23 May 2012

Things to do in Cornwall when you're 4 & 3

We recently went to Cornwall for our first family holiday. We were based at Trevella Park, a lovely caravan park in Cornwall, near Newquay.

Our children are four and three and loved playing on the beaches at Crantock and Newquay. For a bit of variety, and because the weather was sunshine and showers, we visited a different family attraction each morning. This left plenty of bucket and spade time for later in the day.

Dairyland Farm World, near Newquay, was a massive hit with my children. They loved feeding the goats and seeing the piglets, sheep, cows and hens.

Listen out for announcements throughout the day as there are many activities such as milking the cows and pat-a-pet:

One area of the farm that is suitable whatever the weather is soft play at the Bull Pen. Some of the vertical slides are not really for little ones, but my boys (and my husband) loved the rest of it. You can buy refreshments here, the coffee is pretty good as it happens.

There are swings, climbing frames and slides everywhere. There are also mini-excavators and sand pits galore. This is Cash driving a tractor:

There were trampolines too:

There was so much for pre-schoolers to do that we could have stayed all day. There was a cafe at the main entrance and funky picnic tables outside. We liked the hygiene stations where you could wash your hands, especially after touching the animals or feeding them.

Facts and Figures
Entry is £9.75 per person. This reduces to £9.45 per person for groups of three or more. So a family of two adults and two children will pay £37.80. Children under 92cm get in free. If you're staying the area for a week it's a good idea to take advantage of the seven days for the price of one offer. That way you can pop in at any time, even if it's just to go to the soft play area.

Our Verdict
This was the highlight of our holiday from the children's point of view and if they're happy, we're happy. We thought the entry price was a little steep, especially as the pony rides and hay ride were extra. The animals were well looked after and everywhere was well-maintained and clean. I'd imagine it gets super busy at peak season, but it's well worth a visit.

The Eden Project

We chose a rainy day to go to the Eden Project, near St Austell, thinking that it was an indoor activity. In fact, a lot of the gardens are, well, gardens and therefore outside. It's also quite a trek from the car park to the entrance (park and ride buses are available) and then from the entrance to the biomes. There are two routes: slopes and steps. There is also a tractor and trailer for the less able.

Here I am, getting wet:

Here are the world's largest conservatories:

I'd always wanted to visit The Eden Project and I wasn't disappointed.

We went to the Mediterranean Biome first and wandered through citrus orchards and olive groves. The boys loved the sculptures. A lot of the plants were labelled and all of them were flourishing.

The Rainforest Biome contains the largest indoor rainforest in the world. It is just like being in a real steamy jungle. It is hot and humid. Bear this in mind when you're dressing for your trip. There are places to store your coats before you go in. The boys ended up in their vests, their cheeks flushed and their hair sticking to their heads. The less said about my frizzy mop the better.

Some of the plants are huge, like the giant palm above. The tree canopy is almost fifty metres high. We loved seeing the banana trees, and the coffee and cocoa plants too.

These guys have created a paradise out of a clay pit and it is an incredible achievement.

The waterfalls are cool and welcoming.

There wasn't that much to specifically interest pre-schoolers, but they were happy to take it all in. They particularly liked playing in the jungle shacks and they loved the spice trail:

We had lunch in the Eden Bakery. The food was fresh, plentiful and tasty. It was excellent value too; £5 for a main course with herb and garlic potatoes and a salad. Andy had a Cornish pasty (well, it would be rude not to) and I had a roasted veg and feta slice. The boys had a kids' lunch box. 

Facts and Figures
Adults, on the door, are £23 per person, children 5-16 are £9.50 and under 5's are free. There are big savings to be made if you book online. You can also find out about events, such as the Eden Sessions on the website.

Our Verdict
As the Eden Project is a charity we thought the entry fee was good value for money. The shop, on the other hand, was pretty pricey. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Eden Project.

Newquay Zoo is actually in Newquay, so you have to pay to park there. Make sure you take some change with you to pay and display.

Newquay Zoo is a nice size for pre-schoolers. There are loads of cute animals to see and you can listen out for feeding times and talks from the keepers.

Our apologies if you were at the zoo at the same time as us during the macaque feeding. Three year old Cash told everyone that he too liked carrots and then jabbered on about what we sometimes eat for lunch.

There are places to eat and drink dotted around the zoo, but watch out for pesky pilfering peacocks trying to pinch your picnic!

The boys loved the penguins. We saw some babies peeking out of their nests, all fluffy headed and nosey.

The lions were sleeping. Four year old Presley was pleased. He made us ask the zookeeper to check that all the gates were closed before we went near the animals.

Facts and figures
Adult entry is £12.05 and children aged 3 and over are £9.30. A family of four can get in for £35.

Our Verdict
We liked Newquay Zoo. It was a great value day out. The zoo does a lot of conservation work and is part of a successful breeding programme. There are some lovely things in the shop and prices are reasonable.

Disclosure: we were given a four night break at Trevella Park and a trade pass allowing two adults free entry to many attractions across Cornwall. I write reviews based on my personal experience. I always think about the value of any activity as if I had paid for it myself, to determine whether I think it is good value for money.



1 comment:

  1. We went to Newquay Zoo last year and the lions were sleeping then too. We were watching the Meerkats being fed and Mr Lion came out to do a bit of roaring and all of a sudden the poor zookeeper was left talking to herself about the Meerkats as everyone raced to have a look.


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