Lazy spring days in Cornwall have an ageless appeal. Your children will enjoy a break here as much as you would have done a generation ago, or your parents or grandparents before you. With small children a fantastic holiday can be achieved in a much simpler way than the exotic pre-children holidays we used to have! Cornwall has beautiful beaches, hills to walk, moors to explore, pretty harbour towns to potter through and pasties to be devoured. It’s close (no limited luggage flights! Yippee!) and yet it feels so far from the busy commuter world we inhabit in the south east. We’re sending up a battle cry to bring back the English family holiday and Cornwall, from St Ives to St Agnes, from Padstow to Penzance, has plenty to fill a break full with memories!
Cornwall is a huge county and when you’re staring down at a map and considering the county as a whole it can be a bit daunting! The north coast with its crashing waves and great surf beaches is packed with resorts from the civilised St Ives with its winding streets and art galleries, to lively Newquay with its more commercial and busy feel. If you head towards the western tip of the county you’ll be in rugged terrain with windswept empty cliff tops and lots of dramatic spots for good walks. The south coast has some beautiful villages and coastline, much of which is remote and a world away from the north coast’s busyness. Head inland and you’ll find the windswept Bodmin Moor, with its Du Maurier bleakness and glorious emptiness. Wherever you go, you’ll find much to see and do, with gardens, castles and beaches to delight and scenery to wow you!
If you fancy just spending a few days ambling and relaxing then you might enjoy a day out in one of Cornwall’s picturesque harbour towns. We’ve come up with a pick of our favourite Cornish spots to meander through and perhaps enjoy a cream tea or two…
This historic Cornish village is heaving with tourists in the summer, so much more sensible to visit it on a quiet spring day before the hordes arrive! The harbour is stunning and the winding streets, packed with craft shops, art galleries and cafes, are a joy to wander through.
Pronounced ‘Mowzel’ this gorgeous spot has been described as ‘the prettiest village in England’. It certainly is stunning! Make sure you get the book ‘The Mousehole Cat’ and read it to your little ones. There’s also a small and sheltered beach which is safe for tiny paddlers.
This unspoilt north Cornish village is an old mining town where you’ll find the spirit of Cornwall that the Poldark novels evoked. There are plenty of places to eat and lots of pleasant streets to stroll down.
Pronounced ‘Foy like boy’, this pleasant harbour town has plenty to justify an ambling day trip: cosy pubs, antique shops, plenty of spots for a clotted cream tea and stacks of pretty cottages, all crammed by the waterfront. Little ones will love a trip across the estuary on the ferry to neighbouring Polruan and there are loads of lovely walks to be had in this unspoilt part of Cornwall.
The only downside to Fowey is that there is often a problem finding somewhere to park. If you’re coming by car then it’s best to park outside the town (the car parks are signed) and walk in.
The busy town of Padstow is very picturesque. Filled with galleries, cafes and shops this is an ambling paradise! Rick Stein’s influence is everywhere and there are plenty of places to enjoy his food, from fine dining to fish and chips!
This classic north Cornish fishing village has recently been used as one of the settings for the TV series ‘Doc Martin’. The old centre of the village is packed with adorable 18th and 19th century cottages, all crammed along narrow alleys and ‘opes’ winding down steep hillsides. Despite its TV fame, when we were there we saw little sign that Port Isaac has become a ‘tourist trap’ and it remains a charming spot for an spring visit!