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Free family fun in Cornwall

Swim in the Sea Water Pool

On Perranporth beach, walk around the back of Chapel Rock to find an open air pool which fills with seawater at high tide and is warmed by the sun during the day. Great for adventurous kids! Keep an eye on the tide as Chapel Rock is cut off as the tide comes in.

Picnic in the sand dunes

Whether you’re in shorts and flip flops or wrapped in scarves and coats, as long as the weather’s dry, you can’t beat a seaside picnic! Find a sheltered spot in the sand dunes, get the sandwiches out, and sit back to enjoy the view while the children run, jump and explore.

Build sandcastles

From single bucket castles to elaborate sand creations, children will love to build sandcastles, dig moats, collect seawater and search for shells and seaweed decorations. Hours of fun on the biggest playground around!

Wildlife adventures in the sand dunes

Perran sand dunes is the largest dune system in Cornwall and the highest in Britain, and home to many forms of wildlife. Take a scenic walk along the dunes to see what you can spot: look out for the silver studded blue butterfly, rabbits and ground-nesting skylarks. And after dark in the summer glow worms can be seen shining in the dunes too.

Feed the ducks

Perranporth’s boating lake hires row boats in the summer, but if you’re after free activities, it’s still worth a visit to appreciate the lovely flower beds, mature palms, space for the kids to race about, and feed the many ducks who live here.

Explore rockpools at Trevaunance Cove

St Agnes’ main beach is a fantastic place to investigate and explore rockpools. Observe anemones flowering under the water, mussels and limpets on the rocks, and take a bucket and net for a closer look at your finds which could include crabs, different types of seaweed, and small fish.

Climb St Agnes Beacon

Park at the bottom of the Beacon near the road to Chapel Porth beach and hike up the hill through beautiful gorse and heather to reach the summit. The view from the top is impressive, taking in a panorama from Newquay all the way round to St Ives. For a longer walk, head back down to the remains of Wheal Coates engine house and along the coast path to Chapel Porth for a paddle.

Seal spotting at Newquay Harbour

Wild grey seals are often seen at Newquay Harbour, basking in the sun, or following returning fishing boats. Watch out for their heads bobbing above the water in the deeper parts of the harbour.

Play in the parks at Trenance Gardens

Free play parks with swings and slides, plus Cornwall’s biggest wooden outdoor skate park, makes Trenance Gardens worth a visit for active kids (bring your own skateboard). In addition, there are rose bushes, colourful flower displays and mature trees in this tranquil public space. A charming tea room dates from the 1800s and a boating lake with striking swan sculpture attracts a lot of wild water birds including cormorants, coots, moorhens and swans.


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