Top 10 things to do when your family stays with us in 2020

When you’re enjoying a child-friendly stay here at Glynn Barton, you’ll find that there aren’t many other places so centrally located in Cornwall that offer such a variety of things to do nearby; you’ll find peaceful beauty spots, fun family attractions and lovely coastline to explore. There’s so much to choose from that it’ll be hard to know where to start when you stay with us! Our list of the top 10 things to do when you’re here should help you narrow down your options!

Visit the spectacular cascades of Golitha Falls

Fancy a woodland walk with a difference? These breathtaking waterfalls are along a stretch of the River Fowey through the ancient oak woodland of Draynes Wood. One of the best-known beauty spots on Bodmin Moor, the scenery varies, from wide wooded glades to a steep sided, craggy gorge where the falls are at their most dramatic; there’s also less common wildlife and plants to keep an eye out for! Call in at Inkie’s Smokehouse after for a well earned lunch!

Put your pedal to the metal at Lanhydrock

Whether you’re bringing your bikes or hiring them at Lanhydrock, the woodland cycle trails at the National Trust’s Lanhydrock Estate are well worth the trip! The gentle green trail is perfect for families and beginners, with harder trails available for more capable riders. Once you’re done cycling, pop into the stately home and its magnificent gardens to unwind and don’t forget a cream tea at the café by the adventure playground after.

Soak up some history at Charlestown

St Austell Bay is home to the last open 18th century Georgian harbour in the UK, Charlestown. When you visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time; if you go to Charlestown, pay a visit to the Shipwreck Museum, which houses almost 8,000 artefacts from more than 150 shipwrecks, the largest private collection of its type in Europe! Plus you can explore an entire network of underground tunnels!

Take the kids on a unique “Glow Trail”

The perfect location to recharge and relax, Cardinham Woods has everything you could want from an outdoor woodland adventure, with stunning viewpoints, stream-side paths and secret glades to explore. It currently has an extra reason to visit for families; the Shaun the Sheep Glow Trail, an accessible trail perfect for families with children aged 5 to 13. It makes for a great day out! Buy your glow pack from the Ranger Hut to discover the hidden clues and finish off with a chocolate brownie at the café after.

Try some of the best Cornish pasties around

When you’re on holiday, one of the big things to do is sample the local cuisine. In Cornwall, that means cream teas and pasties! Some of the best pasties around are by Kittows. Luckily we have some at Glynn Barton so make sure to stop by the little shop to sample his goodies!

Climb up to the Cheesewring

The rugged wilderness of Bodmin Moor is dotted with numerous granite tors, with the Cheesewring among the most unique. Standing on the eastern flank of the moor, the rock outcrop looks like piled slabs, with a local legend saying it’s the result of a contest between a man and a giant. The tor is a mile from the village of Minions and four miles from Liskeard, so you can pick and choose your walk. Keep an eye out for the wild ponies too.

Walk to Cornwall’s two highest points

On the north part of Bodmin Moor stand Cornwall’s two highest points, Brown Willy and Rough Tor. It’s possible to do a circular walk that climbs the summit of both, taking in spectacular views of the moor out to the north Cornish coast. The walk takes you through prehistoric settlements, overlooking the Fernacre stone circle and is just one of countless walks you can do on the moor. It’s a great adventure for all leg lengths – make sure you take a picnic to keep everyone going. Its about a 3 ½- 4 hour round trip.

Have a hoot at the Screech Owl Sanctuary

Who doesn’t love owls? They’re intelligent, elegant creatures and the Screech Owl Sanctuary is an important resource for rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing the beautiful birds back into the wild. There’s so much more to the sanctuary too, with meerkats, racoons, alpacas, ponies and much more. There’re owl encounters, flying displays and much more each day, so it’s perfect for keeping the kids busy!

Take a dip before enjoying some pizza

The sandy beach at Readymoney Cove, just south of the harbour town of Fowey, is great for families. Sheltered by cliffs, the beach’s calm waters are ideal for a relaxing dip in the height of summer. Once you’re done at the beach, take the short walk to Fowey along the esplanade exploring the hidden gardens and secret peeky holes. Find your way to Bufala, a pizzeria that makes beautifully simple, thin and crispy Roman-style pizzas, great for when you’ve burned off energy in the sea!

Ride the waves with Wavehunters

Whether you want to ride the waves on a surfboard, try your hand at paddle boarding or discover more about Cornwall’s marine life on a sea safari, Wavehunters offer amazing adventures for thrill-seekers and calm-seekers alive. Their surf school is situated at Polzeath Beach, one of the safest and most reliable surf spots in Cornwall. They also have a great photographer on hand to catch your successes, or in my case, nose dives!

To find out more about our cottages and when we’re available to have you for an amazing adventure in Cornwall, visit

We’ve been chosen as South West Tourism Awards’ finalists!

Hot on the heels of winning gold in the self-catering category at this year’s Cornwall Tourism Awards, we’re thrilled to have been chosen as a finalist in the South West Tourism Awards.

Described by judges as ‘A Garden of Eden for young families’, our 13-acre site has been shortlisted in one of the annual awards most keenly contested categories.

For us the news comes almost exactly two years after taking over Glynn Barton’s eight letting cottages and grounds where we offer family-focused experiences that are all about getting outside and enjoying back to nature things to do like den building in the woods, feeding our many animals, playing on the giant fort, toasting marshmallows around the campfire and more.

We’re really looking forward to the South West Tourism Awards which are taking place in Exeter on 6 February – wish us luck!


Our favourite Cornish Christmas lights displays

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

With the Christmas countdown well underway, there’s no better way of getting into the festive spirit than visiting some of Cornwall’s best lights displays. Here are just a few of our favourites:

Heligan By Night: ‘The Art of Illumination’

We have to start with our personal favourite! Internationally renowned light artist Ulf Pedersen has returned to The Lost Gardens of Heligan this year to reveal the night time magic of its historic plantings.

Explore the gardens, where you’ll find incredible textures, colours and atmosphere created by the illuminations. New for this year, you’ll also find a unique selection of thought-provoking projections that come to life across the hedges and walls of the historic landscape.


We couldn’t write a blog about Cornwall’s Christmas lights without mentioning one of its most famous displays. With lights both in and around the harbour, as well as through the village, Mousehole’s display is now made up of more than 7000 bulbs! You’ll find sea serpents, fishing boats, whales and much more as you marvel at this spectacular offering.


Originally started in 1986, it’s easy to see why Angarrack has gained a reputation for having one of the best displays in Cornwall. The lights are designed and made in the village and depict the Twelve Days of Christmas with animated pieces that sparkle along the walls, above the roof tops and even in the river.

The Eden Project

Explore the site after dark, making your way through a spectacular avenue of lights to the biomes where you’ll find willow lantern creatures hiding amongst the tropical plants and Luke Jerram’s amazing work ‘Gaia’ – a stunning replica of the earth – which is suspended in the Mediterranean Biome.


With lights twinkling in and around the village harbour, Padstow is bright with colour at this time of year. Illuminated fishing boats create magical reflections on the water, whilst the five candles, angel and tree above Rojano’s Restaurant hold special significance, representing those tragically lost. Home to some of Cornwall’s best restaurants, why not make an evening of it?


Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the UK’s longest festive tunnel of lights at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum!

Families will be able to descend into the spectacular subterranean tunnels – which have 36,000 lights decorating their walls – before meeting Alabaster Snowball the elf and discovering Father Christmas in his underground grotto.

Time slots are available to book between 11am-6.30pm daily from Saturday 14th December to Monday 23rd December.

Things to do in Cornwall this Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, we’re looking forward to welcoming our guests over the festive season. If you’re planning what to do during your stay, here are just some of the top things to do around Cornwall this December:

Explore Cornwall’s Christmas markets and festivals

If you’re visiting Cornwall in the run up to the big day, a trip to one of the county’s many fantastic Christmas markets or festivals is a must!

The Padstow Christmas Festival is taking place from 5th-8th December and offers both a market as well as a variety of fantastic entertainment including top chef demonstrations, Santa fun run and the town’s own dazzling lights display. Fowey’s Christmas market – which runs between 6th-8th December – is also well worth a visit with traders selling a huge number of locally produced gifts, arts and crafts as well as plenty of delicious food and drink. Running on 7th and 8th December, the Heligan Christmas Fair will see over 100 artisan makers coming together, providing the perfect opportunity to find those unique gifts for family and friends, whilst the Winter Gift Fayre in Truro is on from 11th-19th December and offers the perfect place to complete your Christmas shopping.

Santa by Steam!

Did you know that when Father Christmas isn’t driving his sleigh, he travels by steam train?

Bodmin and Wenford Railway’s Santa by Steam trips will be taking place on selected dates throughout December and include a one-hour return journey on a steam hauled train, during which families will have the opportunity to meet Father Christmas. A mince pie and seasonal drink is also available for the adults, whilst each child will receive a Christmas present.

Find out more >

Ice skating at the Eden Project

Part of their Winter Festival, Eden’s glittering indoor ice rink is the only one of its kind in Cornwall and is great family fun. With both general skate sessions as well as special time slots for different ages and abilities, everyone can enjoy their time on the ice.

Find out more >

Visit some of Cornwall’s best Christmas lights displays

Of course, Christmas in Cornwall wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the county’s many amazing lights displays! From Mousehole’s famous offering, where lights adorn both land and water, to our own favourite display at The Lost Gardens of Heligan where renowned light artist Ulf Pedersen reveals the night time magic of Heligan’s historic plantings – you won’t be short of spectacular lights to enjoy.

Activities on your doorstep

For those staying here at Glynn Barton, there are plenty of things to do right on your doorstep too! With an indoor heated swimming pool, outdoor hot tub, soft play barn, outdoor fort, trampoline and much, much more, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Kids will love to meet our farm animals which include wallabies, donkeys, alpacas, sheep, pigs and goats, whilst the older members of the family can kick back and relax with a spa treatment in the comfort of your own cottage.

Feeling like you need to walk off all those festive treats? Thanks to our location in the heart of Cornwall, when it comes to heading out on a family walk, you’ll be spoilt for choice with Cardinham Woods, Bodmin Moor and both the north and south coasts all within easy reach.

20% off Spring in Cornwall!

We LOVE Cornwall at this time of the year and can’t wait to share it with you! We’re offering 20% off holidays from now until 30th June (excluding half term)!

Check out our cottages and book your next dreamy getaway right now.