Enjoy the Perfect Family Holiday in Cornwall, with day trips to Newquay, Padstow, Bodmin and Charlestown

Enjoy the Perfect Family Holiday in Cornwall, with day trips to Newquay, Padstow, Bodmin and Charlestown


An amazing visit from the lovely Anna of Twins and Travels


We recently hosted the wonderful Anna Miller, of  Twins and Travels fame, at Atlantic Reach for a week – and we can’t wait to tell you all about it! 

Anna is an outdoorsy super mum who not only does heaps of activities with her kids, but also leads female hiking trips in the UK and overseas. Anna has 30k followers on Instagram and 12k followers on Facebook, as well as a thriving website full of engaging holiday content. Anna stayed at Atlantic Reach over May half term with her husband Tristan, her 8 year old twin daughters Poppy and Tabitha and her 5 year old daughter Matilda. 

The family came down to Cornwall excited for an action-packed week, and threw themselves into an incredible itinerary of activities in the local area. It was quite a mixed week weather wise, but that didn’t hold Anna and her adventurous family back. This blog highlights that with the right outdoor gear and a positive attitude, the weather really doesn’t matter too much! Cornwall is the land of outdoor experiences, and if you get stuck into the right activities, a little rain won’t dampen your family fun.

One of the best things about Atlantic Reach is its prime location, close to many of Cornwall’s greatest attractions and beaches. By basing themselves at Atlantic Reach, Anna and her family had a wealth of ocean and inland adventures at their fingertips, the North and South coasts within striking distance, and endless options for days-out – perfect for a family who loves Cornwall!  


Cardinham Woods and the Gruffalo Trail


Just 30 minutes before arriving at Atlantic Reach, Anna and her family stopped off at Forestry England’s Cardinham Woods to stretch their legs before check in time. Cardinham offers the ultimate family wilderness experience, but with the added benefits of great signage, clean toilets, dog shower and a wonderful cafe. The ground is firm underfoot throughout the year, the tracks are dog and bike friendly, and the river that runs along the valley floor has lots of great paddling spots and opportunities for pooh sticks.  

The kids grabbed their Gruffalo Trail maps from the ranger station and headed out into the forest to find the 6 sculptures from the best-selling picture book, which are dotted around the woodland. They had an amazing time, and burnt off the energy created by a long car journey perfectly!


Anna’s colourful contemporary Cottage


Anna and her family checked into one of Atlantic Reach’s colourful contemporary cottages, which have four bedrooms and two bathrooms and comfortably sleep 8 people. Some of the cottages have hot tubs and some are dog friendly. Anna’s cottage had a huge open plan kitchen, dinner and living room, perfect for spending quality time together over meal times, movies and board games. Huge sofas complete the home away from home vibe, these cottages are perfect for family groups. 


First stop was the surf capital of Cornwall, Newquay!


Just six miles away from Atlantic Reach sits Newquay, the jewel in the crown of the Cornish surf scene. Anna and family had never surfed before so opted for a lesson with SSS Surf School who have an unbeatable location right on the sand at family-friendly Towan Beach. Towan is well known for being the most sheltered beach in Newquay and the perfect place to learn to surf. The family were well looked after by Stu and his team! They all had a great time and the kids were smiling from ear to ear – such a wonderful family experience!


After their lesson Anna and family headed along the boardwalk to ‘Ice Cream by the Sea’, a wonderful ice cream kiosk that sits just above Towan beach. They enjoyed the best whippy style ice creams in town, with a choice of lots of toppings! The kiosk has a million dollar view from its seating area, and the prices are reasonable too. Win win!  

Just a few miles outside Newquay, Anna and family visited one of the most unique family attractions in Cornwall, the Lappa Valley Railway. The whole family were transported to a far-away land, a sweet, secret world of fun and adventure, surrounded by nature, trains and boats. It’s the perfect place for kids to run around and let off steam in the great outdoors.


Along the coast to perfect Padstow 


The following day Anna and her family set out to visit the quintessential Cornish town of Padstow, just 12 miles away from Atlantic Reach. 

They actually headed to Wadebridge first to park the car, because the most fitting way to arrive in Padstow is by bicycle along the Camel Trail. We wholeheartedly recommend Bridge Bike Hire which has a base right at the start line of the Camel Trail. It’s the original cycle hire on the trail, and their courtyard leads straight onto the route, giving you a traffic free experience from start to finish – perfect for a family outing. Anna and her family hired a range of bicycles, all measured to fit correctly, and had nothing but praise for Kelly and the bike hire team.  



Upon arriving in Padstow, with a hearty appetite created by the 5 mile bike ride, Anna and her family were hankering after baked goods. They headed to the friendly Chough Bakery – started in Padstow by Elaine and Rob over 40 years ago. Chough Bakery makes a pasty unlike any other, using traditional methods and the best Cornish produce. They were delighted with the selection of pasties, sausage rolls and cakes they ate…. absolutely delicious! 

Next up was an epic boat ride courtesy of Padstow Sealife Safaris which promised the opportunity to spot dolphins, seals and a number of interesting sea birds in their natural habitat. The boat ride, with its views of the stunning Cornish coastline from the water is a standout activity on its own merit, but when you add in the refreshing mist of sea spray, the smell of the salt water, the sound of the waves and the world class wildlife sightings, this becomes a truly unforgettable experience. 


Porthpean and Charlestown!


Just 13 miles away from Atlantic Reach, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Charlestown has a range of thriving hospitality, retail and art outlets, and new businesses are popping up all the time. 

Due to the tides, Anna and her family actually started their day a mile down the coast at Porthpean Beach, where they were booked in for an amazing kayak and stand up paddle board adventure with Porthpean Outdoor. Porthpean Beach is arguably the best beach in the St Austell area, although not the largest you’ll come across it has a huge amount in its favour. On the right day you can mistake Porthpean for the Mediterranean, the steep cliffs that back it are topped with trees and the clear water looks turquoise in the sunlight.

Porthpean Outdoor hires out single kayaks, double kayaks, Single Stand Up Paddle Boards (SUPs) and Mega SUPs, and they also offer excursions if you’d like to explore the breathtaking coastline under the guidance of a knowledgeable local activity instructor. We recommend that you book your hire or excursions in advance of your arrival. Anna and her family were very lucky on their kayak tour and witnessed several seals up close, one of which followed them for over 30 minutes. Some amazing underwater footage was captured of this friendly seal, and memories made that will last a lifetime. Thanks to Chris and the team at Porthpean Outdoor who made it such an unforgettable experience!


After their adventurous morning, the family headed to Charlestown Harbour, the only remaining 18th Century Georgian harbour still in operation in the UK today. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you explore the unique landscape of this vibrant working port, witness the majesty of the classic tall ships and imagine yourself back in the time of Jack Sparrow.

 There is a real buzz around the harbour food-wise, and you have your pick from independent pop-ups who spring to life in the summer months, or the more established bricks and mortar around the harbour who service the village year round.

Anna and family opted for a wonderful meal from Charlestown Fish, a family business based right on the waterfront that offers every seafood delicacy you could wish for; mussels, prawns, fish burgers, crab on toast, seafood tacos and of course wonderful traditional fish and chips. They raved about their delicious grub! Thank you Tracy and team for feeding them so well!

Next stop was just a few steps away at the Shipwreck Treasure Museum, which houses Europe’s largest private collection of shipwreck artefacts – nearly 8,000 pieces from over 150 shipwrecks. They had loads of fun here and it was the perfect way to spend the afternoon exercising their minds, after the physically tiring morning.


The Lost Gardens of Heligan


Close to Charlestown, but meriting a full day due to its 200 acres site, is The Lost Gardens of Heligan – the South West’s largest outdoor play area. This is a garden where young legs and minds can run free and have the ultimate outdoor play experience. Your children will love the iconic jungle rope bridge, the jumping pillow which can take up to 38 kids at once for inflatable fun, Bugginghum Palace – UK’s Largest Bug Hotel, Giant’s Head Adventure Play area and the super cute Heligan Farm Animals.  

Anna and her family had an amazing day here. It was a tad rainy, but it is testament to the wealth of activities to do at Heligan that the day was still a huge success. Smiling faces adorned all of their photographs as the kids played, explored and dabbled with arts and crafts. Atlantic Reach packaged up a cream tea picnic lunch for the family to enjoy – after all a trip to Cornwall isn’t complete without this iconic delicacy.


Activities at Atlantic Reach


Anna, Tristan and the kids really made the most of the facilities and activities on the resort at Atlantic Reach, especially the Leisure Club and indoor swimming pool which the girls swam in pretty much every day. The girls took part in an inflatable splash session which they loved, and Anna, who is training to climb Kilimanjaro, made good use of the wide variety of fitness classes on offer – everyone was happy! They played tennis as a family, enjoyed rounds of mini golf, had a delicious lunch at The Little Palm Kitchen cafe, and a feast for dinner at The Manor Arms pub and restaurant.



The family had an amazing game of Laser Tag, a fun-filled session on the Cornwall Slip and Slide and their personal highlight, the Cornwall Segways – all of this was just steps from their cottage. There is so much to do at Atlantic Reach that it could provide ample excitement for a stand alone holiday on its own. But when you add the incredible day trips and activities the family enjoyed, this really does add up to an unforgettable experience, and a serious contender for a holiday of a lifetime.



If you’d like to try out this amazing Cornish itinerary for yourself, then book your holiday at Atlantic Reach this year. You can find out more about our self catering cottages and camping options, and check availability online