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.

Self-catering gold!

Last week we had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Cornwall Tourism Awards in Truro Cathedral, where we were thrilled to be awarded gold in the Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year category.

Judges described Glynn Barton as ‘A Garden of Eden for young families’- something that we are hugely proud of.

It’s lovely to see families re-connecting with nature during their stay with us, spending time playing in the fort, taking part in forest activities, having fun in the indoor pool and playrooms, helping to feed or muck out the animals and generally relaxing and enjoying time together.

We know we live in a very special place and it’s wonderful that our guests and the Tourism Award judges think so too.

Glynn Barton Cottages Scoops the Runner Up spot at the Rural Business Awards

Cornwall business Glynn Barton Cottages Takes Runner Up at Rural Business Awards

Glynn Barton Cottages from Cardinham has been named one of the best rural businesses in the country after being recognised at the regional Rural Business Awards.

Glynn Barton Cottages was named runner up for the Best Rural Tourism Award at the South West regional finals of the Rural Business Awards in partnership with Amazon which were held at The Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester and regionally sponsored by Openreach and Milsted Langdon.

Glynn Barton Cottages, Owner, Pippa said:

“From living by the beaches of Sri Lanka to finding our piece of paradise in Cornwall it has been a long journey to Glynn Barton, but we’ve finally found our feet. We are delighted to receive such recognition for our efforts and passion so far, and long may the journey continue.”

James & Pippa Storey- Rural Business Awards Cirencester.

Now in its fifth year, the Rural Business Awards is the only UK-wide programme dedicated to showcasing the success of rural businesses. It is run in partnership with Amazon.

Awards co-founder Jemma Clifford said: “Anna and I are so proud to be hosting the fourth annual Rural Business Awards together with Amazon. When we started the Awards we wanted to shine a much-needed light on successful rural firms but the success of the RBAs is beyond what we ever imagined. We were blown away with the diversity of our entries this year so being recognised in any of the categories is an extraordinary achievement – hearty congratulations to Glynn Barton Cottages and all the other finalists.”

For more information, interviews or images contact:

Pippa & James Storey

Glynn Barton Cottages

T: 01208821104

M: 07867520324


Bedruthan to Padstow on foot!

Walking the South West Coastal Path

One of the most beautiful coastal walks I have done (yes this is without kids!) is the stretch of the North coast between Bedruthan and Padstow. With beautiful views of turquoise blue waters and sandy beaches what’s not to love? It took me 5 hours with a bit of time shopping in Padstow before getting the bus back to the car at Bedruthan. If you fancy doing the walk we can always arrange babysitters for you to go and have a little me time. Something we forget to give ourselves!

It started at Bedruthan Steps at the National Trust Car park. If you’re a member of the National Trust you just need to validate your card at the ticket machine for free parking. Follow the signs to the Steps and from there turn right and keep walking! Bedruthan Steps is a beautiful beach but its not for the faint hearted. You have to climb down 120 steps to the beach which is not a safe swimming beach. However at low tide you can walk all the way along the beach in between all the islands.

From Bedruthan, head North to Park Head where you get a view all the way back to Newquay. The sea just keeps on going and on a clear blue day is just stunning. The coast is dotted with all sorts of little coves but as you get closer to Porthcothan it opens up to an expanse of sand.

Treyarnon Bay and Constantine Bay are equally as good. These are all great beaches too for a day out from Glynn Barton Cottages. Most beaches have loo and café facilities and ample parking. The only exception is Constantine where parking is limited.

The jaggedy coastline continues along Booby’s Bay up to Trevose Head. Booby’s is great for a bit of rockpooling at low tide. At this point you have a cheat option if your legs are tired! You can cut out Trevose Head lighthouse and walk straight across to Trevose and Harlyn or you can hot foot it around the headland. I went for the longer option and the lighthouse is stunning. I am mesmerised how it stays so white! You also get to see the RNLI lifeboat station which is tucked into the cliffside. The launch looks more like a log flume and there are some beautiful Art Deco houses tucked into the cliffs too.

Take your trainers off whilst walking along Trevose and Mother Ivey’s Bay for a little paddle too and just enjoy soaking up the sounds of the sea. Its easy to forget what an amazing place we live in sometimes. Its non stop beaches for a while as you meander through Trevone, Gunver head and up to Stepper Point. There is another cheat point from Trevone as you can again cut out the headland and head straight across to Padstow- depends how hungry you are! I took the long route and had a picnic at Stepper Point. There is a little tea garden on the headland too if you are in need of a Cornish Cream Tea and energy boost for the final stint.

The final stint is down the estuary and into Padstow, admiring Daymer Bay and Rock as you go. My Roskilly’s ice cream at the end was well deserved and not to mention my fritter around the beautiful shops of Padstow. Shopping without the hassle of parking!



Time to complete walk: 5 hours ish….

Distance: quite a long way

Fun factor: AWESOME!!!

Glynn Barton’s Guide to the BEST Cornwall Beaches on the North Coast

Family time at the Beach

Whether it’s a trip to the north or the south Glynn Barton is perfectly set for exploring both coastlines.

One of our favourite stretch of coastlines on the North is Polzeath round to Padstow. Its just beautiful! Watching the waves at Polzeath point or walking north to the Rumps it can certainly blow the cobwebs away.

The North Coast

Starting at Polzeath- a life guarded beach, book in for a surf lesson with Wavehunters  or hire a board and wetsuit (depending on how brave you’re feeling…!). There is a great stream on the beach and pools for playing in. The kids will be able to splash around all day and have lots of varied fun. Grab lunch at Surf Side or the Waterfront for a gluten free pizza and finish off with an ice cream at the Cone Shop on the corner. You can always join WildWarriors  which provide an adventure in a backpack as a forest school on the beach which will ensure the adults grab a couple of hours me time.

Walking the South West Coastal Path

Walking south its about an hours walk down to the ferry at Rock. Walking along the coastal path is just a breath of fresh air. Half way along you get to Daymer Bay which depending on leg length has a decent sized car park and a very short walk to the beach. It’s a great swimming spot due to the shelter from the headland and the beach stretches all the way around to Rock. Sand dunes to explore and play hide and seek in, shallow water for safe play and swimming and the added bribery that the ice cream is not far away. There is a little café and shop in the car park too.

Rock- Padstow Ferry

The ferry leaves from the slip-way and it’s a short 10min ride across to Padstow. Perfect for taking the kids on a little adventure and picking up lunch in Padstow itself. Parking can be tricky especially over the peak holidays so catching the ferry is perfect. There are plenty of places to catch lunch – Greens of Padstow, Steins Fish n Chips, Burger & Fish…… not to mention the harbour for fresh crab, cake and ice cream. Step into Chough’s bakery (voted worlds best pasty in 2018) for their amazing millionaire’s shortbread or Roskilly’s for a mouth watering mint choc chip waffle cone. Aside from strolling around the shops whilst you enjoy your ice cream the kids can become mini marine biologists with a visit to the charity run Lobster hatchery. This little harbour is bursting with life.

Best for Rockpooling

Round the corner from Padstow, is home to one of the best beaches for rock pooling. Constantine Bay is a lovely stretch of beach with lots of rock pools for exploring. Depending on the time of year you will spot a crab or pick up a bucket of mussels to take home and steam. They are small though so make sure you have a big bucket! Due to the rock pools the sea can be quite rough so make sure you swim and surf on the right side of the beach. It is a life guarded beach seasonally too and they have signs up with safe swimming zones.  

Poldark Territory

Further south our family favourite is Holywell Bay. Home to the opening shots on the TV show Poldark – it is absolutely stunning. With the large and long stream for paddling in its perfect for the kids. Sand dunes to surf down, caves to explore and a long wide stretch of beach with lots of space. The car park is run by the national trust and it’s a 15min walk to the beach. So keep the loads light and don’t try and take the kitchen sink with you! Surfboards and boogie boards are available to hire on the beach but take your own picnic as there aren’t any shops down on the beach other than a small trailer selling hot dogs and sausage rolls. With all the fresh air the kids will definitely sleep well.


Finish off your day with a swim and a hot tub when you get home.

Team GB


Top places to visit with the kids within 30 minutes

We all know that not everyone loves a car journey – especially in the summer when our little Cornish roads can struggle under the weight of visitors. Thankfully, we are fortunate to have an abundance of things to do in Cornwall almost from our doorstep which means the car journeys are only small and they can easily end up with cake or scones in a café – or they do for me anyway! Check out the below little snippets for some of these fun filled ideas for all the family.

Cardinham Woods

Literally 5 mins down the road and a café that serves possibly the best Cornish Cream Tea I have EVER had. Hands down it’s the best. The woods are run by the Forestry Commission and are filled with walking and cycling trails which accommodate all leg lengths and abilities. If you fancy taking on the Beast trail prepare for some hills! They also have the Highway Rat trail based on the Julia Donaldson book which follows a river and is perfect to keep the children entertained on a walk with things to look out for. The car park is Pay and Display unless you have the Forestry Commission Discovery Pass which is available from the café (it offers free parking and café discounts).

Little Margate Equestrian

Less than 5 minutes down the road and for those budding jockeys out there Little Margate run one to one and group lessons as well as ponies to suit everyone – even parents! Its located just before Cardinham Woods but its worth booking during holidays as its very popular.

Lanhydrock House

One of our fave’s. With a very grand National Trust house, gardens, great walking and cycling trails there’s lots for everyone to do. Smooth tarmac for little learners and a balance bike track too. For the more advanced cyclists / tricksters they have a skills area to practise those jumps and tight turns. Finish off with a cup of tea and cake at the Park Café whilst the kids burn off that last little bit of energy in the adventure park.

Eden Project

With 2 biodomes and an abundance of activities you can easily spend all day here and not realise it! If it’s raining the Biodomes offer plenty to do and they are always running kids programs too. There is a great café for all ages which means that the kids can have their chosen kids bags and you get to have your choice also! Hangloose Adventures is also now open which is great for the older kids.

Camel Trail

18 miles of cycling! Don’t panic they have shepherds huts along the way serving up the all important hot chocolate for the kids and cappuccino for the parents. There are stunning views along the way (both woodland, farmland, riverside and estuary) but our fave is cycling from Wadebridge to Padstow, having a little lunch and a stroll along the harbour before cycling home again. It means you avoid the hubbub of parking in Padstow which can be tricky and a lengthy wait. Try out Rick Stein’s fish and chips or Rojano’s for a pizza. Make sure you leave room for a Treleavens ice cream on the harbour – their mint choc chip is the BEST! (its lucky we stock it in our shop too!)

Polkerris Beach

Polkerris Beach is a delightful little cove with a lovely walk towards Fowey along the ragged cliff tops. The car park is halfway down the hill on the right hand side and then it’s a 5 min walk downhill to the beach. You might want to persuade your other half to drop you at the bottom! A great little beach and perfect for the kids too as its nice and sheltered for swimming and making a splash (great skimmers). A lovely café is Sam’s on the Beach which serves excellent food and yummy (all year round) Fowey river mussels. It’s a great spot for sundowners whilst they play on the beach and you enjoy the best of Cornwalls breweries!

Hire a boat along the river Fowey

Self drive motor boats are the best way to see the river. Don’t be alarmed….they are very easy to use. Available on the harbour they provide life jackets and a quick but fairly fool proof lesson on how it all works. Great for an hours explore along the river banks to see Daphne Du Mauriers House and Dawn Frenchs too! Go for longer and take a mackerel line with you. In season there are shoals of them.


Park at the top and walk down (in summer) as there is very little parking in the town. The roads are very small and not built for traffic per se. Its filled with lovely local crafts shops, cafes, local butchers and bakers and eateries. Sam’s (same company as Polkerris) has a spot here too which is great for the kids so be prepared for a quick meal (generally suits us!) as they get busy. They have a tiny aquarium which is fun for a walk around (check out the size of the largest lobster caught….wow) and endless ice cream stop off points. Walk further down from the harbour to catch some lovely interior shops such as Brocante. It will make you want to redesign your house!

Bodmin & Wenford Steam Railway

A trip to us is not complete without a ride on the steam train. We are perfectly located for this and whether it’s a quick there and back you’re after or more of a day out it suits everyone and is lots of fun. Toot Toot! The Easter bunny is on board during April and Father Christmas in December. Check out their website for the latest events.


(Or picking muscles in season) in the rock pools at Constantine Bay or Padstow – whether you’re decked out in splash suits and wellies or shorts and flip flops we all love the rock pools. We have nets and buckets on hand for you to take and try your hand at catching supper. We’ve never been that successful but the joy our little team get from it is astounding!

There really is so much to do so keep your eyes out for further blogs on what we have been up to and make sure you follow us on Facebook for the most up to date info we can give.

New Year’s Resolutions

We’ve been working pretty hard over the last 12 months to find out which of our facilities are the favourites and what it is that our guests are really looking for when they visit. We already have great facilities onsite but with our own boys in tow its important that we keep evolving and helping to create even more magical memories. Freddie & Max absolutely love the outdoors and being wild at heart so our emphasis will always remain under this ethos. We are very much an outdoors family and I hope that we can also help to relax the minds of busy parents who also need a break.

What we’ve got…

    • We already have an indoor swimming pool which is awesome!
    • A soft play barn with extra comfy sofas in for parents to have a cup of tea- whatever the hour!
    • A large trampoline
    • A toddler ride on area full to bursting with tractors, cars & scooters
    • A play barn full to bursting with toys, games, VHS, DVD’s and books
    • A Wendy House
    • A Giant outdoor Fort and Toddler fort area
    • A pizza point and BBQ areas
    • A little shop brimming with Cornish goodies

Having reeled off that list you might wonder what on earth we can do to add to it? Its not always about adding facilities but perfecting the ones that we have too.

What are we going to do this year?

For the kids……

  • A fully renovated and revamped play barn
  • A new trampoline
  • A new Arts & Crafts barn for burning some creative energy

For the parents……

  • A lovely warming bubbling hot tub within the swimming pool garden for the ultimate relaxation

For the cottages……

  • Mill House will be undergoing a kitchen and floor renovation in Jan 2019
  • Bull Run has already had a kitchen and floor renovation in Dec 2018
  • Most of the cottages will be showing off their new curtains and blinds

We have had fab feedback throughout the year and the above is just a little snippet of what we are and will be doing. For the rest… well you’ll just have to come and see for yourselves!


Green Tourism GOLD

“Don’t lose it, re use it”- In the words of Paw Patrol at least!

Glynn Barton is a unique and beautiful place set in the Glynn Valley in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. We have 13 acres surrounded by stunning woods and fields which are packed full of plants and wildlife. We are very lucky to live here and are committed to ensuring the long term preservation of its natural beauty.

It has been eye opening for us learning how much waste we create as a business and as we update our Green policy its super important to us as a family that we create easy and sustainable ways not only to recycle but to also reduce our carbon footprint. As a Green Tourism Gold member we already have in place initiatives to support this but we are always looking at new ideas for sustainable tourism.

How do we do it?

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle….

We provide easy to use and clearly identifiable recycling bins to encourage our guests to separate out their own rubbish. We are also placing into cottages recycling bins in our cottage renovations to make it even easier. It’s helping us to reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill.
Composting- we have placed compost bins in each of our cottage kitchens which use biodegradable green liners. It’s creating some amazing compost for the garden.


All our communal lights are on timers and sensor activated. We are also installing low energy light bulbs wherever possible. We encourage all our guests to always switch off lights, use low heat dishwasher programs (if at all) and to reduce their use of tumble dryers. We have tumble driers onsite which we try to limit the use of due to the high energy consumption by charging for each session.


We are lucky to have installed a Biomass Boiler which keeps all our water nice and toastie for the guests. All our cottages can be controlled individually, and we ask our guests to manage their heating responsibly and to always make sure that it is switched off when not required.

Solar PV panels

Did you know that our swimming pool roof contains solar panels? This helps contribute to our electricity and give back to the grid.


We use Eco friendly cleaning products and there are some great hacks out there which I’ve learnt this year. Who knew that bicarbonate of soda could be so useful. I might have to post a few of them especially with little sticky fingers on sofas! We provide these products in the cottage for our guests to use and prefer that they use these versus other supermarket equivalents.


We are extremely lucky to be on natural water here at Glynn Barton. That said we collect as much as we can through water butts and handily placed wellie boot washing tubs to reduce the use of tap water. We have lots of plants in our garden which are perfect for the Cornish climate which means they don’t need additional watering.

Carbon footprint

Some of our guests manage to travel to us by train but if you’ve ever tried to pack the car for a family holiday you will appreciate its not always that easy- especially with the little one’s who probably need their own separate car! However, we have a host of baby and toddler equipment that we can provide to help lighten the load. From baby chairs, play mats and carrying backpacks we have most things available. Its’ not just about getting to us either. We have got lots of great activities onsite which means that you don’t need to leave every day.

Local Business

Supporting our local economy is very important to us. Having only moved here a year ago we have tried to find all sorts of great and scrummy suppliers to tantalise your taste buds. Not only produce suppliers but local businesses from bike hire to surf lessons it all helps. We have a great list of local places to visit too which we give to all our guests to encourage local support.

Now What?

There is always more we could be doing and as we go into our second year here at Glynn Barton, we will continue to look for ways to create a more sustainable business. We are always keen for ideas so keep them coming!!

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.