Last week I wrote all about our little trip to the fabulous child-friendly Bosinver Farm Cottages in Cornwall. There are so many wonderful facilities on site to suit all ages, but if you do fancy exploring, Bosinver makes a great base to explore all that Cornwall has to offer.
Thanks to Bosinver’s lovely team for their excellent recommendations, we had the most fabulous days out in Cornwall during our holiday. Nanny Pat (one of the owners) has even produced a downloadable ebook of recommended places to visit in Cornwall based on her own experiences of days out with her grandchildren which was a brilliant resource.
With so many of Cornwall’s top attractions including the Eden Project on Bosinver’s doorstep, it was hard to choose what to do with the few days we had to play with, but these are the wonderful days out we experienced and would highly recommend:
Dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World by some, the Eden Project barely needs an introduction, but in a nutshell it’s a huge, lush crater that is dominated by two gigantic biomes and is filled with two million plants.
There aren’t many attractions in the UK that match the Eden Project for the ‘wow factor’ visually and it’s pretty spectacular when you first clap your eyes on it all from the viewing platform as you enter. It’s vast, yes easy to navigate and there is so much going on it definitely deserves at least half a day of your undivided attention to explore all it has to offer.
We started our day exploring the biomes which were just brilliant. One biome houses the world’s largest indoor rainforest and the other houses over 1,000 varieties of Mediterranean plants; both were a huge hit with Jack. The ‘Rainforest Biome’ is the largest conservatory in the world and contains the crops and lush rainforest sights of the tropical world. It’s super hot and steamy in places so make sure you wear layers, but it’s brilliant for the little ones to discover the tropical plants that are used to produce everyday products. For those with a head for heights, there’s also a rainforest canopy walkway that offers breathtaking views across the biome.
The ‘Mediterranean Biome’ features all your typical Mediterranean plants including orange and lemon trees, olive groves and gnarled vines and it smells amazing! There’s also a restaurant within the biome called The Med Terrace which is a lovely spot for a sit-down lunch.
As well as the biomes, the Eden Project has stunning gardens to explore and whether you visit the Project in Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter there is plenty to look at. Outside paths wind up and down terraces and there are wonderful sculptures dotted around the grounds. There’s also fun play equipment and activities for the kids at every turn including a giant wooden ship set in a sea of tea leaves and the sense of play garden.
One aspect I was really impressed with was the food. There’s no shortage of places to eat at the Eden Project, and there’s a real emphasis on healthy food which makes such a change from most tourist attractions.
There’s so much going on at the Eden Project that I’d highly recommend checking out their events calendar before you visit to make sure you don’t miss out on anything. In the school holidays there are also free themed shows and activities, all with an educational slant, but most importantly fun and interactive for the little ones.
The Eden Project is not a cheap day out but in my opinion is totally worth the money and we had such a fun day. Advance tickets (they are 10% more on the door) are currently: adults £22.50, kids (5-16) £12.60 and a family of four is £62. Under 4’s are free.
The train journey to St Ives has to be one of the most scenic in Britain and is the best way to visit one of Cornwall’s most picturesque seaside villages. It also wins for avoiding the queues into St Ives and the stress of parking, which I’m sure must be a nightmare during summer months.
We began our journey at Lelant Saltings, (taking advantage of the park & ride) but you can also begin your journey at St Erth (on the main line) if you’d prefer. Once aboard we made a dash for the seats on the right hand side of the carriage to get the best views and they are truly spectacular as the line sweeps along the coast. The journey takes just under 15 minutes from St Erth (and around 10 minutes from Lelant Saltings) and passes the golden sands of Hayle Towans and Carbis Bay before arriving above Porthminster Beach, which is a family favourite for safe swimming in gorgeous clear waters. It’s then just a five-minute stroll through the winding streets of St Ives to get to the harbour and beach.
As you can see from the photos we had the most glorious weather on our little holiday so spent a whole day in St. Ives, which is just stunning. We based ourselves on Harbour Beach which, thanks to its sheltered position behind the harbour walls, is a perfect sun trap, even in October! The beach is incredibly clean and the kids had a lovely day paddling, crabbing, building sandcastles and digging moats. We also had the most delicious crab sandwiches from Pels that I can highly recommend.
Watergate Bay is a large open bay of fine golden sand stretching for over 2 miles that is hugely popular with families and surfers. It’s about 3 miles from Newquay and only a 30 minute drive from Bosinver so we popped over one morning after Farmer Dave’s animal feeding session and spent a good few hours watching the surfers, flying our kite and playing in the sand.
The north Cornwall coast is vastly different to the more sheltered sandy coves of the south coast but lovely to visit nonetheless. We also had a really delicious lunch at The Beach Hut, which is one of Cornwall’s best known beach-side hangouts.
After lunch we journeyed up the coast to Carnewas and Bedruthan Steps which is one of the most popular places to visit on the North Cornish coast and is an absolute must-see. As it’s a cliff top walk, it’s not exactly child-friendly (so much so, mine stayed in the car with Andy), but the views are absolutely stunning.
There are so many wonderful places within easy reach of Bosinver that we would have loved to have visited but we just ran out of time. On our next visit I’m already looking forward to visiting Portscatho and the Hidden Hut that shot to fame thanks to Caroline Quentin’s Cornwall TV programme and cycling the Camel Trail.
In addition to these fabulous days out, we also ate well during our stay at Bosinver. Although all the cottage kitchens at Bosinver are fully equipped, when we’re on holiday we’d rather not cook if we can help it so we try and eat out as much as possible. Thankfully there are numerous delicious restaurants within a short drive of Bosinver so we were totally spoilt for choice. We had some lovely family meals out at the following restaurants and I wouldn’t hesitate visiting them again when we return.
Sam’s on the beach, Polkerris
Down on the small but lovely Polkerris beach, the food at Sam’s on the beach is top notch, with great seafood, pasta and wood-oven pizzas. The restaurant is located in the old RNLI lifeboat station which makes for a unique dining experience but remember to book! We rocked up one early evening with the littles in tow to be told they had no availability resulting in us making a mad dash to Sam’s in Fowey to feed the little ones before they became cranky with hunger! Thankfully we managed to get a reservation for the last night of our holiday instead and we had a wonderful meal.
The Beach Hut, Watergate Bay
Right on the sand at Watergate Bay, The Beach Hut is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s in a prime position to watch the surfers ride the waves and the food is exceptional. I can highly recommend the soft shell crab, deeeelicious!
Sam’s Bistro in Fowey is something of an institution. You can’t book so you may have to wait for a table but it’s totally worth it. It’s fun, vibrant, energetic and the food is fab!
Polgooth Inn, St Austell
The Polgooth Inn is Bosinver’s ‘local’ and is less than 15 mins’ walk away from Bosinver (or a short drive). A family run traditional pub, it’s both child and dog friendly and the food was delicious. In the sumer months, there’s a lovely beer garden and in the colder months you can cosy up by the fire. Bliss!
All in all (as you can tell from these reviews) we had a fantastic family holiday at Bosinver Farm Cottages. The setting and environment provides a safe haven for the little ones and the on-site facilities are second to none. Given the comfort of the home-from-home accommodation and the attention to detail throughout the site that ensures all guests, both big and small, have a wonderful stay, it’s no suprise that so many of Bosinver’s guests return year after year.
So if you’re looking for child-friendly accommodation with more on-site facilities and activities than you can shake a stick at, just a short drive away from all the best Cornish attractions, I can wholeheartedly recommend Bosinver Farm Cottages.
Disclosure: We were very kindly invited by Bosinver Farm Cottages to stay for the purpose of this review, however all opinions are my own.