On-site at the farm, we have a small play area for younger children (with a climbing frame and sandpit) and mud kitchen in the orchard, plus a plethora of den building opportunities up in the woods for adventures galore. Also there is the tennis court, games room and basketball hoop to burn off excess energy! On the farm, you are welcome to help us feed the animals which include chickens, ducks and cows. Our guests have access to Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s events for children. Perhaps take a walk over to the village playground or further afield (and needing a car) try the South West Coastal path or Kit Hill. We have written an article Things to do with kids; Low cost, low carbon, low stress for easy day ideas. Other personal favourites are Calstock visits for a Scenic day out with stunning train ride, ice cream parlour, easy walk, playground and pub food. Or a trip to Plymouth Marina & the Mayflower Steps.
Days Out – Becky Falls is stunning (woodland waterfalls in Dartmoor) and has walks suitable for toddlers through to teenagers, a petting zoo and other attractions. Tintagel, the home of King Arthur is fascinating for all ages (this has lots of steps so may be one for those will older children). The Eden Project is always a hit (fun and educational!), even in bad weather. The National Marine Aquarium shouldn’t be missed while you are in the area, with sharks, clown fish and local animals like crab and lobsters. Lost Gardens of Heligan (our guests can benefit from discounted tickets). Good sites to get ideas from are Tamar Trails, Visit Plymouth and Days Out with the Kids.
Horse riding – Great Trethew Treking is under 30 minutes away and offers completely road free riding. For a Dartmoor experience, Cholwell Riding Stables or here is a comprehensive list of riding schools on Dartmoor. For Bodmin Moor, Lower Tokenbury Equestrian Centre has a variety of options is also half an hour away.
Rainy day adventures – Worth a visit any day, especially with younger children but great on a rainy day, the Donkey Sanctuary & Indoor Play Barn (Soft Play Area) or Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre is 45,000 square foot of indoor space with rides, games, stalls, cafe and more (book online for a discount). Also the Carnglaze Slate Caverns is an underground slate mine with enormous caverns and underground lake. For older children, the Skateboard Park in Saltash makes a good excursion for avoiding wet weather cabin fever. The Box in Plymouth is a museum but one that will really keep children (and adults) interested – think natural history (with life size mammoth model), exploration (artefacts from the voyages of Drake, Raleigh, Cook, Darwin, Scott of the Antarctic), archaeology, interactive media lab). Another great option is the Market Hall Devonport with its state-of-the-art 15m immersive dome with lots on that also suits very young children.
Swimming – the Saltash Leisure Centre has a good indoor pool with slides and fountains for the children. In Plymouth, Tinside Lido has fantastic views across Plymouth Sound or at Mount Wise there are 3 outdoor pools; a 25 main pool, a small paddling pool ideal for young children and a fun-packed activity pool including a whirlpool and bubble pool (FREE to use!). For serious slides the Splashdown water park in Paignton is great.
Great height adventures – Check out Tree Surfers in the Tamar Trails Centre (where there is also an extensive network of cycle and walking trails) near Gunnislake with tree top ladders, rope bridges, zip wires and walkways. Or for zip wires, coasteering, an aquapark, go karting and a giant sky high swing then visit the Adrenalin Quarry.
Water activities: There are plenty of opportunities in the nearby safe waters of the Tamar estuary and there is a yacht club approximately 1 mile away in Cargreen. It is possible to bring your own boat and launch from a local quay with prior arrangement. Here are our suggestions for beaches to visit.
You could charter a boat for sea fishing, dolphin watching, bird watching or just a coastal trip to enjoy the beauty all around. Saltwater Boat Hire offers motorboat charter in Plymouth. Plymsail, Devon Sail and Liberty Yachts all offer bareboat and skippered yacht charters from Plymouth. From Looe (which is 30 minutes away) you can go sea fishing and charter a boat.
Canoe hire and trips are available from Cotehele Quay which is 15 – 20 minutes away and set slightly further up the River Tamar from the farm. Try Tamar Boat & Canoe Hire in Calstock who can be contacted on 07727 273682 or Canoe Tamar Safari. Kayak hire is available from TK Watersports from a variety of local locations.
Sibblyback Lake offers a wide range of equipment hire (rowing, windsurfing, sailing, canoeing, SUP, kayaking) or you can bring your own kit and launch there.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding is possible from the farm’s quay and other local quay – contact the lovely Mel at Mai Adventures.
Surf Hire and Lessons at Whitsand Bay with Adventure Bay They can also take you Coasteering if you are feeling brave!
Zoos – Paignton Zoo is excellent, as is Dartmoor Zoo. Also close by is the Monkey Sanctuary in Looe and Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary is quite unlike a zoo with some very unusual animals that you can get up close to! Or the Seal Santuary in Gweek to see the magnificent animals often see in Cornish waters and find out more about their conservation.
If you have a birthday to celebrate during your stay, then you could book an Archery Assault (a paintball-like game for all the family….well may be not the littlest!). Or a Sedway adventure followed by taking the ferry to Royal William Yard for a special meal. Or how about learning some circus skills with Baba Yaga’s Circus(they also offer school holiday workshops)?
During the summer, check out the Cornish Maize Maze and Fun Farm a few miles away in Pilaton which has over 3 miles of paths that twist and turn through the giant maize stalks! The Wild Futures Monkey Sanctuary is interesting and educational, with a great cafe up in the trees!
Local National Trust properties have lots of activities for children, especially during the holidays. Plus RHS Rosemoor Garden regularly runs special activities for children during the holidays. The Tate St Ives is a great rainy day option to inspire young artists.
For younger children, how about a train ride on the Tamar Valley Line? It is a small train that goes up the valley from Plymouth to Gunnislake so very scenic, with lots of places to get off and visit. Here is our guide to a day trip scenic train journey along it.