Glynn Barton News - Luxury self catering family holidays Cornwall

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.


“A hit with the families” – recent press for Glynn Barton

Young happy family having fun while chasing in autumn day at the park. Copy space.

Family fun in Cornwall this Winter