Is Newquay (Cornwall) a family destination?

Newquay for Families

I recently had the opportunity to visit Newquay, as part of the inaugural easyJet flight from Southend (London) Airport.   The flight takes less than an hour and if you’ve ever driven to Cornwall during school holidays, you know it can be an absolute nightmare.  We did it once and it took nearly 8 hours.

Easyjet Flight to Newquay from Southend

‘So how much?’ you say…

The lead in price for the flight is approx £25 including taxes, which is less than what it would cost us in diesel.  Southend airport is easily accessible by trains from Liverpool station and it stops outside the terminal building.  Alternatively, I went by car and it was only an hour from my house.

Ironically, as I was there to check out Newquay for families, I didn’t have my daughter with me.  I kept finding myself wishing she was with me thinking, oh she’d love this  or she would have loved that.  However, I got over it fairly quickly having 3 days CHILD-FREE!  Whooop!

However, we are hoping to go back as a family later this year and I can’t wait to…..

Things to do with kids in Newquay

Beaches, Beaches, Beaches

I love nothing better than sitting on the beach watching my husband and daughter play in the rock pools, build sandcastles and paddle.  There are 8 beaches within walking distance of Newquay and 4 more within a short drive.

Beaches near Newquay Cornwall

Surfing is Therapy

I had the choice of having a Spa treatment at Headland Hotel’s newly refurbished Spa or going for a Surfing Lesson at  the ever so stunning Fistral Beach, in the end, I came to the conclusion that I could have a massage anytime; but when would I ever get a chance to try surfing again?  I’m so glad I did as it was amazing,  mind you I was crap at it, but I was in fits of giggles the entire time and Ben the instructor was brilliant.

Surfing Lessons in Newquay

Surfing is Therapy offers family surf lessons, plus a few other Kids’ Activities :  Rock Pool  Rambles, Crafting and Junior Bay Watch, where kids can learn about the power of the sea and a few lifeguarding skills.  How cool is that!

They run out of the Headland Hotel and supply everything from wetsuits to surfboards.


The Eden Project

I’ve always wanted to go to the Eden Project, the World’s Largest Greenhouse housing a rainforest, inside the biomes you will find plants from all over the world.  It was absolutely fascinating; our guide was incredibly knowledgeable and very passionate about what she does, I learned so much and can’t wait to take my daughter there.

The Eden Project - Cornwall, UK

Get a Bird’s Eye View of Eden

And for those thrill-seekers you can fly like Superman over the Biomes on the fasted Zip Wire in England.

Longest Zip Wire in England - Eden Project

Seal Cove Safaris

Departs from the historical Newquay Harbour, travel down the rugged coastline on the biggest passenger vessel in the harbour,  learning about bird colonies, passed Fistral Beach in search of the Grey Seals that inhabit the area.  We spotted a couple of females and one juvenile.

On our return to the harbour we met the ever so cheeky Doctor Who, who is well-known by most of the local fisherman.  He’s so cute!

Seal Cove Safaris - Newquay Cornwall

Annabelle and Chris Lowe have been running Atlantic Diving for nearly 30 years and the Sea Safari’s and Fishing branch for 6.  They’re incredibly knowledgeable and offer a  huge selection of Ocean Adventures, everything from Evening Sunset Cruises to Swimming with Basking Sharks to Blue Shark Cage Diving!  I’ll pass on the cage diving, thanks.


Where to stay

Headland 4* Hotel and 5* Cottages

We stayed at the iconic family owned Headland 4*Hotel, steps away from Fistral Beach with commanding views, fine-dining, newly refurbished spa, very helpful staff and it’s incredibly dog friendly.  I was taken aback when I came down the stairs in the morning to be faced by a giant sheep dog.

Headland Hotel - Newquay, Cornwall

I can not fault the hotel, however, if we went again, we would opt for the 5* luxury cottages that are very much a part of the hotel, you can still use the hotel facilities, but directly next to it.  They have 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms and are beautifully kitted out and bigger than our own house.

For us, as a family we prefer self-catering as it gives us a bit more freedom and  in the evenings we can put our daughter to bed and then enjoy a glass of wine or three on the patio.

Self-catering - Headland 5* Cottages, Newquay, Cornwall


Cornwall Camper Company

If you take advantage of the Easy Jet flight from Southend, you may be in need of wheels.  Why not combine transport and accommodation with these fabulous campervans?  Ben and Jess have rescued these vans, some that have been left to rust in farmer’s field and have restored them beautifully.  They ‘re so proud of them they’ve even named one after their first born.

Camper Van Hire - Newquay, Cornwall, UK

What a fabulous way to explore the Cornish Coastline.  They can also help with planning your trip, provide food hampers and equipment for the little ones.

In conclusion

So, to answer my original question ‘is Newquay a family destination?’ that would be a resounding YES!

We can’t wait to go back.

Disclosure: the trip was compliments of easyJet UK












Family Holiday, Bude, Cornwall April 2010

We’ve just returned from a short break to Bude, Cornwall.  We were absolutely blessed with the weather and I can’t recommend the place we stayed at enough.  Just for the record I do not get any kick backs of any type for recommending this place.  We stayed at the Atlantic Cottages on the West Grove Farm just on the outskirts of Bude.  I originally found it on Friendly Baby Boltholes but I was a bit cheeky and went direct in the end.

To be honest it cost a wee bit more than what we budgeted for but was worth every penny.  We were only going to go for 3 days but husband managed to negotiate a great deal for two extra nights (£20).  Prior to arrival the communication was excellent.  We received a very warm welcome from Verity and her family.  The cottages are gorgeous and kitted out to a very high standard; flat screen TVs, microwave, dishwasher, washing machine, TUMBLE Dryer and a wireless connection but I didn’t dare bring my laptop or I would’ve ended up in divorce court.

Bude itself is not spectacular but the beaches are.  You’re minutes away from Summerleaze, Crooklet, Northcott Mouth, Sandy Mouth, Widemouth and Crackington Haven beaches. The only downside is that we had to drive to the beaches but it really wasn’t a problem.  The bonus was being able to return to the farm after a day out and our 2 year old could run wild.  As it is a working farm there were loads of animals to chase around (dogs, cats, pigs, sheep, hens, geese and goats) and children are also invited to help at feeding times. The highlight of my daughter’s holiday was Tess the farm dog!

As the weather was so nice we really didn’t need more than the beaches but we did go on a couple of small excursions.


A stunning little port with a natural harbour. Make sure you go first thing in the morning or parking is a problem.  If you arrive early like we did you can always get a full English breakfast at the B and B on the corner.

Port Isaac

As we are fans of Doc Martin we had to make the short trip to Port Isaac to see the doctor’s surgery.  The scenery was stunning but the public car park sticks in my mind.  It wasn’t a problem if you remembered to move your car when the tide came in at 3pm!


A gorgeous little hamlet with a church, tea room and a pub.  From the church you can walk a short way to the cliffs edge and see ‘Hawkers Hut’ the National Trusts smallest building.  It is tucked in the cliff edge and isn’t for the faint hearted.  I’m terrified of heights and nearly had kittens walking down to it.

Make sure you stop at the Bush Inn, a 13th Century Freehouse with stunning surroundings and good beer and food.

We had an absolutely amazing time and would definitely recommend a visit to the area.  There are so many things that we didn’t manage to see so we will have to go back!