Ahhhh! 20 adrenalin-fuelled fun activities your teens will love
Get more than a grunt of approval with our pick of the adrenalin-pumping activities around Cornwall.
Teenagers can be a tough crowd. Notoriously hard to please, they don’t want to hang out with you and rarely surface at all before midday anyway*. Way past playgrounds and bribes involving Haribo – keeping teenagers happy in the holidays can be a challenge.
But we’re not so easily defeated at Muddy Stilettos! We’ve rounded up some of the most exciting, teen-friendly entertainment in Cornwall to shock them out of their stupor. Join in if you dare…
*we know not all teenagers are awful. If you’ve got a sane one – do share your secret in the comments.
AQUA PARK: Retallack Aqua Park, Retallack Resort & Spa, St Columb Major
Retallack’s massive inflatable Aqua Park has a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, climbing wall, slides, blast bags, challenging balance beams and more ‘total wipeout’ style fun. 6+ and above, ages 6-12 must be supervised by an adult. £15pp and booking essential.
JET SKIS: Cornwall Waverunner Safaris, Lusty Glaze, Newquay
Cornwall Waverunner Safaris are the UK’s official Yamaha Jet Ski experience offering a wide range of jet ski tours and sessions, located at Lusty Glaze Beach in Newquay. Their jet ski safaris are a great way to explore the coastline and allow you to view North Cornwall from a completely different perspective. Age 10+.
FLOW RIDER: Flow Rider, Retallack Resort & Spa, St Columb Major
FlowRider guarantees fun in the waves whatever the surf forecast. Combining the experience of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding, FlowRider creates a sheet of water about 3 inches deep, with safe and easy waves to ride, giving beginners a chance to learn to surf in a safe environment, with the help of the pro FlowRider instructors. 8+ and ages 8-12 must be supervised by an adult, and over 107cm tall. So much fun that Romeo Beckham was spotted there once…
COASTEERING: Cornish Rock Tors, Port Gaverne, Nr Port Isaac
Sea kayaking and SUP are on offer here but its the coasteering that will get your heart beating as fast as your teens… Spend around two hours exploring an awe-inspiring stretch of cliffs, interspersed with coves and caves with Ben and his team. You’ll climb across wave-swept rocks, swim through gullies and across open stretches of water and climb up progressively higher ledge systems to launch ourselves off some spectacular jumps along the way.
WAKESURF and WATERSKI: Camel Ski School, Rock
The UK’s largest waterski centre offers wakeboarding, wake surfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, inflatable rides and of course waterskiing all on the gorgeous Camel Estuary on the north coast. Book lessons, or private hire, or even take a boat trip out to the island cafe whilst you wait for your teens to return (or sink a pint or two at The Mariner’s and leave them to it).
CLIMBING: Tide Climbing Centre, New Trevibban Farm, St Issey, Wadebridge
Inspired by the Sport Climbing at the Tokyo 2020 games? Have a go yourself at the Tide Indoor Climbing Centre between Wadebridge and Padstow. They cater for all sorts of climbing and are in the unique position to offer both bouldering and rope climbing under one roof. With over 100 bouldering problems for you to try, as well as 22 lines and 4 auto belay points, there’s plenty for everyone.
GO KARTING: St Eval Kart Circuit, Nr Newquay
St. Eval Kart Circuit is an outdoor go kart track, featuring a family circuit which is designed to cater for 12+ years olds and above, a dedicated Cadet circuit for 7-11 years olds, an Adult only track for something a bit more full on, and, ig you have little ones too – a dedicated circuit for the 3 to 6 year olds
SEGWAY: Bude Segway & Outdoor Pursuits, Bude
Something slightly different on two wheels here – glide around the woodland track on your very own Segway (once you’ve completed an intro course to make sure you can ride one ok – you must be over 5 stone and 4 foot tall, aged 7+ to ride). Other activities on offer include the 24ft Climbing wall and a caving experience.
MOUNTAIN BIKING: Old Hill Bike Park near Wadebridge
Not so much a trail as a maze of wheeled obstacle courses! You’ll need to have got all the kit in advance (helmets with face protection are mandatory, body armour recommended) – book in for a half or full day’s riding and try out jumps, ramps and drops along miles of graded tracks in what looks like off-road biking heaven. Top tip – walk the black route first!
ZIP WIRE: Hangloose, Eden Project, Bodelva
If you’ve been to Eden, you’ve probably noticed people speeding over the biomes on a giant zip wire – ‘there goes another one!’ It’sEngland’s longest and fastest. What you might not have realised, is that along with the famous SkyWire, there’s a catalogue of other nail-biting experiences to choose from at Hangloose at the Eden Project: a 20-metre giant cliff swing, free falls, airbags drops, 360 swing and climbing challenges. Wanna try the lot? Discounts are available on multi-activity tickets. 8+ years. From £38.
GIANT SWING & AXE THROWING: Adrenalin Quarry, Liskeard
Making use of an old quarry in South East Cornwall, these adventure sports specialists have been chucking people off cliffs since 2009. There are loads of activities to choose – all guaranteed to give you a rush – including a fast and furious zip wire, giant swing and coasteering but the one I’m most tempted by is axe throwing (just me?). Kind of like archery for maniacs, hurl your whirling weapon at the tree stump targets and listen out for the satisfying thud.
BIKING: Woody’s Bike Park, Fowey
Got a mountain biker in the fam? This bike park outside Fowey is “Family owned and run by mountain bikers for mountain bikers,” there are trails for all abilities, ranging from blue to double black and an efficient uplift service (that’s the van that drives you back to the top – I Googled it).
HORSE RIDING: Polmartin Riding Stables, Herodsfoot, Nr Liskeard
When you’re getting on a horse you want to know you’re in good hands and the BHS Approved Riding School and Training Centre at Polmartin is always well recommended. 8+ and riders must be able to mount, dismount and ride without assistance. Trekking and lessons are available all year, whatever the weather, with all of the riding out along their own tracks and trails so completely traffic free.
FOOTBALL GOLF: Wheal Dream, Helston
Kick your way around and through the various challenging obstacles whilst pausing to take in the magnificent views from the top of the 18 hole course. All ages and abilities are welcome at Wheal Dream Football Golf, whether you are a family looking for a fun and active way to spend some time, or whether you want to put a team together and take part in some of our league matches.
SURFING: St Ives Surf School, St Ives
St Ives Surf School has a great rep, as one of the best places in Cornwall to learn to surf. It’s St Ives’ only surf school and is situated on Porthmeor Beach, offering surf instruction, SUP lessons, sea kayaking and coasteering for all ages and abilities. All the friendly and experienced coaches have certificates aplenty and are trained beach lifeguards – some are even surf pros too. All the gear’s included in lesson pricing and discounts are available for groups. Under eights must be supervised by an adult.
SKATEBOARDING: Mount Hawke Skate Park, Mount Hawke, Truro
While a lot of towns have a dedicated outdoor skate park (including St Ives’ new beauty) Mount Hawke Skatepark is one of the longest-running indoor parks in the UK. Built originally in 1986 to meet the needs of young people living in rural Cornish communities, Mount Hawke started as an outdoor facility but was developed inside in 1996, becoming the South West’s largest indoor skatepark. Another one for your list if your teens were inspired by Tokyo 2020 and Team GB’s awesome skaters, it is split into different sections; street and transition, the ‘black pool’, the bowl, the rhythm section, the vert ramp, mini ramp alongside a new outdoor plaza and pump track, making us an all-weather facility.
PADDLEBOARDING: Loe Beach Watersports, Feock
For those who want to learn an actual skill rather than just get a thrill, why not give sailing, SUPing, kayaking or power boating a go? Loe Beach is a sheltered spot on the South Coast between Truro and Falmouth, looking out towards Mylor, St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula. If you already know the ropes (‘scuse the pun), you can hire a range of watersports equipment or alternatively book lessons and courses with the expert instructors. Prices are more affordable if you have 3 or more people, so get a gang together if you can.
HIGH WIRE: Via Ferrata Cornwall, Penryn
Penryn’s Adrenaline centre, Via Ferrata, is launching a range of new activities for the 2021 season following a successful first season in 2020. The 60-acre site hosts a high-wire and climbing route around a disused granite quarry. This year it has added kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding as well as coasteering and archery. Via Ferrata is also operating an adventure holiday club during the hols with activities for 6–13-year-olds. Options include courses in climbing, zip-lining, kayaking, canoeing and archery as well as half, full and wraparound day care.
Paddle in lagoon-like waters on the river itself, or adrenaline junkies can head out towards the swell for a more thrilling experience – plus plenty of wildlife to see too.
SPEED BOAT SAFARI: Wavehunters, Rock and Padstow
Exhilarating and magical Cornwall wildlife spotting and sightseeing trips and charters from Padstow, Rock and Port Isaac can be booked with Wavehunters, who know all the secret places and where the dolphins are likely to be. Sit at the front of the boat for the fastest seat, and if you choose private hire, you can swim off the boat too when conditions are right.