Grab your sunnies and head to Cornwall this summer - the UK’s very own beachy paradise.
Home to picturesque harbour villages, coastlines that were made for frolicking along and pasties to die for, Cornwall is truly an unmissable hot spot for family staycations! Plus, if you’re in the mood for other UK destinations to explore, you simply must head to our bucket list of top UK family holiday destinations here.
With the uncertainty around travelling abroad, what better time to explore our homeland? If you’re looking for a bit of sand and sea, you’ll definitely find that in the long stretches of golden sand on the North coast - it’s the best of both worlds! Or if you’re wanting that sea-side air but don’t want to have to travel, check out our top 7 beaches within two hours of London for some perfect weekend getaways. Whether your kids are nature lovers, swim babies or foodies, Cornwall truly has something for everyone. Experience the glorious British summertime in Cornwall and don't forget your swimming trunks!
1) Sandymouth Holiday Park
Where? Sandymouth Bay, Bude
Located within a stone's throw of Sandymouth Bay, Sandymouth Holiday Park is an enviable resort, perfect for families looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of Cornwall. With plenty of caravans and lodges on offer, Sandymouth Holiday Park boasts an incredibly relaxing but family-friendly retreat to North Cornwall. Having opened its doors on 4 July, with plenty of measures in place, including extra cleaning and sanitising, extra time for properties to air between visitors, safe key collection and drop off, and physical social distancing, you'll be able to fully relax on this staycation. Whilst facilities such as the swimming pool, indoor soft play, outdoor playground, games room and restaurants remain closed in line with guidance from the government, there’s plenty else to explore in Bude! Sandymouth Bay beach is always a hit for the whole family while The Castle in Bude is bound to excite any history lovers and the scenic Bude Marshes are unmissable for nature lovers.
2) Tregenna Castle Resort
Where? St Ives
Overlooking the magnificent coast of St Ives, a popular family spot in Cornwall, Tregenna Castle Resort boasts an incredible 72 acres of family fun and relaxation nearby the beach! Home to over 72 self-catered properties, immerse yourself in the Cornwall climate but not as you know it - this time, set within an incredible castle overlooking St Ives Bay. Recently reopened with plenty of COVID-19 measures in place including flexible booking terms, increased sanitising and disinfection of public places, surfaces, door handles and elevator buttons, contactless payments and general maintenance of physical social distancing, Tregenna Castle Resort is a super safe place to holiday. There might be more social distancing measures but that doesn't mean less stuff to do around the resort - 10 holes of the golf course are reopen (allowing for adequate social distancing measures), the tennis courts are open (visitors are advised to bring their own equipment or purchase balls and rackets that will be disinfected after use), and the croquet lawn is available for fun on a first-come, first-served basis!
3) Polean Farm Cottages
Polean Farm Cottages, located just outside the village of Pelynt in Looe, is deemed one of the best places to stay in Cornwall. What were once 18th-century former barns are now spacious, comfortable and luxurious child and toddler family Cornish farm cottages, perfect for a family seeking a little more farmyard and a little less sea-side. Having reopened on 4 July, Polean Farm Cottages have taken on board all government advice and have worked out a safe and responsible way of running the farm cottages as usual. This includes the infamous animal feeding, perfect for little ones, pony rides and even the iconic tractor ride which is great for mini thrill-seekers! Whilst the swimming pool and entertainment are yet to open, you’ll find plenty of animal fun to get stuck into at the resort. Or you could head into the centre of Looe, famous for crabbing from the quayside, and then take the 30-minute drive to one of Cornwall’s most famous landmarks - The Eden Project - now open daily.
4) The Olde House
Part of Penport Farm which has been in the family for three generations, The Olde House offers self-catered farm cottages in the North of Cornwall, near the bustling fishing villages of Padstow and Port Isaac. Having reopened their doors on 4 July, The Olde House is delighted to welcome old and new faces in a safe manner which means guests can make the most of their Cornish staycation! Don’t forget to wave hello to the many animals.
Where? St Austell
With plenty of space to roam free and play, Bosinver in Cornwall boasts detached cottages with their own gardens across 30 acres of meadow and woodlands. Perfect for families, this popular holiday spot offers luxury self-catered cottages with endless activities and fun on site. Having welcomed guests back from 4 July, Bosinver have employed correct measures in line with the government’s guidance which means that you’ll still receive the Bosinver experience, just with a few tweaks! The animal feeding and Wild Kids sessions continue to run in a more structured way, with families taking turns to participate, as well as the swimming pool, tennis court and games room that will operate on a bookable session basis.
6) The Esplanade Hotel
Nestled in Newquay, one of the coolest seaside towns on the North coast, The Esplanade Hotel will provide you and your little ones with the beachy, relaxed getaway you’ve been searching for. Overlooking the infamous Fistral Beach, this family friendly hotel is a surfer’s paradise - not to mention the opportunity for seaside picnics and a swim! The Esplanade Hotel’s message states that the beach is your playground - splash about in the water, build impressive sandcastles and take some time to truly relax. Or if you fancy a little less wild dip in the water, the indoor pool at The Esplanade Hotel is reopening on 25 July with social distancing measures in place. Other social distancing and safety measures that The Esplanade Hotel have employed include staggered dining times at The Cove, ventilating the room whilst cleaning takes place, as well as general social distancing measures and upkeep of disinfecting and sanitising public places.
7) Bedruthan Hotel and Spa
Another gem located in Newquay, the Bedruthan Hotel and Spa, is about as family friendly as it gets! Escape to the sea and leave with sandy toes as you and your little ones explore this popular holiday destination. With almost all of their facilities open and available to guests, including the gardens and lounges with social distancing measures in place, as well as the outdoor pool and extra lounges for relaxation dotted around the hotel, Bedruthan Hotel and Spa is unmissable. Plus, the arts and crafts rooms remain open so your children can get stuck into some socially distanced creativity, including playing with Lego, knitting and painting. Not to mention the children’s club rooms have been recently transformed into bookable play spaces for families - ‘the Z club’ is aimed towards older kids, with table-tennis and games for over-8s. As well as this, this summer at Bedruthan Hotel and Spa, the family activity and entertainment programme has been altered to suit the COVID-19 guidelines and include circus skills, roasting marshmallows and story-telling around the open fire, rock pool rambles, silent discos, scavenger hunts and so much more!
8) Carlyon Bay Hotel
Where? St Austell
Located in the lovely St Austell, Carlyon Bay Hotel is for luxury seekers. Whether you’re looking for a family friendly spa break or award-winning food at top restaurants in Cornwall, it’s simply a must visit! Having reopened their doors on 4 July, Carlyon Bay Hotel have ensured all measures and advice from the government are in place and keeping their guests super safe. You won’t miss out on the award-winning food because of COVID-19, instead you’re entitled to a more intimate dining experience; they have extended their dining spaces and are utilising public areas to maintain the 2 metre distance as advised by the government, as well as agreeing your dining times prior to your meals via guest relations calls. Plus, parts of the spa and pool facilities are now open so don’t forget your swimming trunks!
9) Hotel Tresanton
Where? St Mawes
Set in St Mawes, on the Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall, Hotel Tresanton will immerse you and your family into the Mediterranean. With its unique interior, the furniture a mix of old and eclectic new, every room has a sea-side feel to it and it’s simply irresistible in our eyes. Complete with the best local art, Hotel Tresanton truly provides the Cornish experience that is difficult to find elsewhere. Having adapted many aspects of normal hotel life in line with guidance from the government, including UV wands to disinfect all luggage, all staff are undergoing thorough health and safety training in order to comply with the new safety measures, as well as extra sanitising and disinfecting for rooms. You can relax at Hotel Tresanton safe in the knowledge that the correct measures are in place. Don’t forget to head to the nearby St Anthony’s Head - a National Trust property at the southernmost tip of the Roseland Peninsula, overlooking the incredible entrance to one of the world’s biggest natural harbours - don’t forget your camera!
10) Hotel Penzance
Harboured in the Atlantic coast of Cornwall, in the bustling fishing village of Penzance, Hotel Penzance is an unmissable townhouse hotel for nature and wildlife lovers and little water babies who love the sea! Boasting panoramic sea views as well as St Michael’s Mount - a rocky, tidal island with picturesque houses and fairytale-like streets - Hotel Penzance will bring the magic of Cornwall alive. What was once home to Merchant’s for ship owners is now an unrecognisable but nostalgic Edwardian townhouse, perfect for a staycation by the beach. Planning on reopening their doors on 30 July, Hotel Penzance are now taking bookings and you can expect flexible booking, contactless payment and check-out, rooms to be deep cleaned and sanitised prior to your stay, restaurant tables and outdoor tables to be adequately spaced apart to allow for physical social distancing, as well as hand sanitiser provided throughout the hotel.
11) Watergate Bay
If you’re looking for a popular, contemporary holiday destination, Newquay in Cornwall is bound to fulfil your craving! Watergate Bay epitomises beach holiday - with a location to die for, the fun comes to them. Immerse yourself in the crisp sea air and take time to relax as well as diving head first into some adventure. Planning to reopen this summer, blessed with heaps of open space, social distancing is unlikely to be a challenge in this paradise - you’ll find markers around the hotel as well as a guest flow to follow as you make your way around. Guests are advised to book a table at the restaurant in advance, or you could order their new picnic menu and dine to the sounds of the crashing waves against the rocks on the beach. They plan to open the pool on 25 July by offering private, bookable sessions, whilst surf sessions are still running - wetsuits will be sterilised and tuition will be available in smaller groups than normal. What are you waiting for? Hit up the waves!
12) Wringworthy Cottages
Near the coast but also providing that irresistible countryside feel, Wringworthy Cottages are a great option for a family holiday in Cornwall. Offering all the comforts of home, these self-catered cottages set amidst the luscious, picturesque 70 acres of countryside, are super safe and fun for families looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of central Cornwall. Having re-opened on 4 July with safety and social distancing measures in place, you can book your cosy stay now! Why not take a boat out to Looe for a peaceful but super fun afternoon whilst you’re there?
Note: Please check with the individual venue before making plans, as openings and restrictions are at risk of change due to COVID-19.
Ellie is a keen Londoner, thespian and foodie! She's the oldest of three and loves taking her younger siblings, aged nine and fourteen, on adventures to the theatre and food markets, trying new foods and dabbling in the world of musical theatre. Some of her favourite spots include Primrose Hill and the Natural History Museum, not to mention the ever-changing Spitalfields Market.