Have a happy half term with Cornwall’s top attractions
Hurray! It’s half term. Oh no! It’s half term… Turn holiday horrors into happy days with some of Cornwall’s top attractions.
Here’s ten of the best, all within an hour’s drive of Mother Ivey’s Bay Holiday Park. After all, wouldn’t you rather be having fun than sitting in a stuffy car?
Less than 15 minutes
Old Macdonalds Farm, Porthcothan Bay
Let’s start with the nearest first and this lovely, family-friendly working farm where you can see lambs, chickens, pigs, ponies and calves and even help to feed them. Also included in the admission price are rides and attractions including a miniature ride-on railway, crazy golf, go karts and trampoline. It’s lovely for little ones to explore.
Less than 30 minutes
Screech Owl Sanctuary, St Columb
What started as a sanctuary for sick and injured owls over 25 years ago is now a visitor attraction where, alongside the birds, you can meet meerkats, raccoons, Shetland ponies and alpacas. There are Animal Encounters throughout the daily and flying and falconry displays. Great for bird lovers.
Less than 45 minutes
A beautiful Tudor manor house in the care of the National Trust where there’s plenty to do indoors and out. Discover what life was like for the occupants or head into the gorgeous gardens for traditional outdoor games to play, a small turf maze to enjoy and bugs, butterflies and birds to spot.
Helman Tor, Bodmin
Looked after by the Cornwall Wildlife Trust, a great place for blowing the cobwebs away. A landscape defined by the tin mining industry, it is now a haven for wildlife with areas of wet and dry heathland and grassland, wet woodland and open water. There are the remains of a Neolithic hill settlement which is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Lappa Valley Railway
Take a trip into the park on one of the beautiful steam engines. When you arrive, you’ll find a leisure park full of family friendly activities – which include crazy golf, play areas, a canoeing lake and two further railways to explore. Fun for the whole family.
One of the biggest attractions in Cornwall, there are over 130 species of animals large and small in 13 acres of sub-tropical gardens, from big cats to little bugs. It’s a full day out, even when it’s wet weather – crocodiles, gorillas, orang utans and giraffes are just some of the many animals you can see housed in warm buildings. Plenty of different activities every day.
Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay
The centrepiece of the aquarium is a spectacular coral reef which is home to exotic species including lots of brightly coloured fish, sharks, rays and moray eels. A walkthrough underwater tunnel runs right through the middle of it – the closest you’ll get to these underwater creatures without getting wet.
Eden Project, St Austell
Explore the largest indoor rainforest in the world! Lots to see and do in the iconic biomes. You can get high up in the jungle on the canopy rope bridge, walk through clouds, shelter from a tropical rainstorm and try a zip wire for a bird’s eye view of the lovely gardens. An action-packed day with lots of interactive stuff. Just don’t tell the kids that they’ll learn lots!
Less than an hour
Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro
This museum, in the heart of the city, explores the connection between Cornwall and the wider world over the centuries. It’s the only place in the county where you’ll find Ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian artefacts on permanent exhibition. There’s also minerals, rare ceramics and art. One of the favourites an Ancient Egyptian mummy. Admission is free for under 18s.
Tintagel Castle in North Cornwall is at the heart of the legend of King Arthur. It is believed to be the king’s birthplace and certainly has a long history – the Romans lived and traded here. Amazing views and lots of nooks and crannies to explore.