Thursday, 26 March 2015

Three of Cornwall's best parks for families

There's nothing like getting out in the fresh air and spending some quality time with your family, and parks are fantastic places to do just that. Fortunately Cornwall is brimming with them.

Whether you're embarking on a nature spotting adventure, setting off on a family cycle ride or simply sitting on a bench and relaxing while the kids run off some energy, there are plenty of green spaces you can head to during your break in the county.

This 19-acre Cornish Mining World Heritage Site sits just off the A30 in Pool, near Redruth, and is the ideal place to let the kids run free. There are swathes of green space for picnics and games, and there is also a huge adventure playground with a wide range of equipment for children of all ages.

It's free to enter, and you'll find everything from funnel slides and subterranean tunnels to carousel swings and pyramid towers. There's even a giant sandpit complete with diggers and a sand transportation system that will keep little ones entertained for hours.

Botanical gardens and wildlife trails make Heartlands a fantastic place for nature lovers and keen gardeners, and there are also links to cycling routes for the bike lovers in the family. And if you want to enjoy a spot of lunch, the Red River Cafe serves delicious dishes made from fresh local produce.

Trebah Gardens
Situated near Falmouth, this sub-tropical paradise (pictured above) features more than four miles of footpaths and its very own secluded beach. It is bursting with colour all year round, so if nature is your family's passion you'll find plenty to explore here.

The beach area, which sits on the banks of the Helford River, is the ideal place to skim stones, paddle and build sandcastles, and you can enjoy a bite to eat at the Boathouse Cafe. Trebah Gardens also boasts adventure play areas and trails for the kids, as well as a programme of special events.

Admission prices range from £9 to £4.50 for adults and from £3 to £1.50 for kids. Children under five go free. Dogs are also welcome in the gardens and on the beach, as well as in the garden terrace and picnic areas. There are even designated doggie tables in the Planters Cafe.

Hidden Valley Discovery Park
This exciting adventure park is situated near Launceston and is jam-packed full of fun things to do. There's the Forbidden Mansion, featuring secret passageways, concealed doors and an upside down room, as well as detective trails for those with a passion for exploration.

There's also an underground hobbit house and a challenging beech maze, as well as a miniature railway that takes you on a fun-filled mile-long journey around the park. Unlimited rides on the train are included in the park's entry price.

Hidden Valley Discovery Park is open through the spring and summer months from 10am until 5pm and car parking is free. Admission costs £9.50 for adults and £8.50 for children. Under fives are free of charge and there is a discount for groups of four or more.