A few weeks a go my little family and I headed down to Wadebridge, near Padstow in Cornwall, for the weekend to stay with my Aunt and Uncle, we then added on a few days in Newquay at the end. While we were there we were lucky enough to check out two really great family attractions in each region. This is my 3rd and last post on our trip to Cornwall and in each I have mentioned just how amazing this holiday was…I guess we really just embraced the traditions of a Great British Holiday; enjoying each others company, admiring the beautiful sites and tasty food that Cornwall had to offer. However, we have a toddler, and he has the attention span of a gnat (like most), so for us, finding hubs of entertainment to keep him, well entertained is a great way to balance out the stuff that doesn’t involve a full on day out or cost anything, such as coastal walks and rock pooling (which we did lots of too).
Here’s my review of the two attractions we spent the day out in Cornwall this summer, oh and we found a pub with an amazing beach view, soft play and climbing frame, (#winning), so featured that below too:
So if you didn’t have tickets already, your first thought on a rainy morning probably wouldn’t be “I know, let’s go to a theme park”, however we did – we had tickets and a plan, so the plan we stuck to!
I wanted to share our experience of Camel Creek as despite first impressions (and the rain) we all had such a good time! Ok, so when I say first impressions, bare in mind we arrived in the pouring rain, it was empty and it just wasn’t as perhaps rosy as it appears in the map above, or in this edit here however, this place is toddler heaven, and as all parents say, ‘if they’re happy, you’re happy!
Measure your tot before you go – ideally need to be 92cm
to take full advantage of the park
So for most of the rides toddlers need to be at least 92cm to ride either on their own or with you. Louis was a month away from being 3 when we went and was 98cm, had he been any shorter than 92cm there would have been quite a few rides he wouldn’t have been able to go on. We were really surprised that he was in fact allowed to ride on The Thunder Log Flume (yes we went on this in the rain), The Pirate Ship, The Dragon Roller-Coaster and Water slides – all of which you need to be a minimum height of 1m at Legoland and Chessington World Of Adventures to go on. So this was a massive ‘tick’ for us! And there are so many other rides too that are less thrill seeking for tots – a mini Ferris Wheel, spinning Teacups, Land Train and Helter skelta slides.
Having spent the day in the rain, enjoying the rides, we decided it was time to find shelter and warm up with a cup of tea – which is when we found the humongous and I mean seriously massive Play Barn. After kicking ourselves for not finding it sooner (and just camping there all day), we let Louis run wild while we took it in turns to keep an eye on him. Another of other rainy day activities they have here is the Reptile House and 5D Cinema experience – which is essentially a simulator type contraption that throws you about to a 10 min film. Louis was too small, so I sat at the back watching the film with 3D glasses on, which was fine for us, extra fun for Ant.
Reptile House | Pony Express | Raging Rivers
One downside was that because it was raining they had closed off a lot of the indoor and outdoor high slides, which I guess was just too slippy in the weather. The animals were also feeling a little sorry for themselves and naturally didn’t want to come outside their barns to say hello to us, or perform in the animal display shows (so they were cancelled too) however to be fair, we didn’t want to sit on a wet bench and watch a soggy parrot either. I’d also say take a packed lunch – the food was OK… for a “happy meal” kind of treat day, but the food for adults is nothing to look forward to. So save your pennies for treats in the Play Barn, they had a great selection of Cornish produced adult and child friendly snacks and bakes.
Morgawr | Swampy’s Sky Ride
AND depending on when you happen to be reading this – Camel Creek are planning a luxury family resort with the Hilton Worldwide chain, which will be a stones throw from the park. The plans look insane, I mean seriously amazing, if it looks anything like they’re proposing then I’m sure it will be big news when opens, I can’t see that they’ve actually released an open date yet but wouldn’t imagine any sooner than 2019. Anyway, I will most definitely be adding this to my ‘must-stay’ list for when it opens. Intrigued? Take a look.
So all in all I’d say if you’re heading off for a holiday to Cornwall this summer, add this one to your list. Tickets are £15 for toddlers over 92cm (free if under) and £20 for adults, it’s half price in the Winter months and you save 20% off booking up to 24hrs in advance. Bare in mind we went in the rain, I’m sure you’d have as much fun in Winter, you might just want to check what’s open! We were lucky enough to do the whole park with no queues in 4.5 hours, so in peak and sunny you’d easily fill a whole day. Enjoy!
When we arrived in Newquay we picked up a load of leaflets (in the amazing pub, below), and had a look through – as someone who produces marketing materials for a living, note to self, the caption that caught my eye was “a toddlers paradise”... so we were sold…and read on. Advertised as having not one but three trains to ride on, a boating lake, indoor soft play, climbing frames, mini golf, picnic areas, towers, slides and battery cars to drive…double sold.
Located just 10 mins from where we were staying in Fistral Beach, we headed off via Trevilley Farm Shop, for picnic supplies (i.e. Cornish pasties and cake) and arrived for a day of all of the above!
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t too good for us – to be honest this wasn’t the best attraction for the rain as really it would have just been a whole lot more ‘lovely’ if the sun had shone…however it didn’t and that actually didn’t matter, because Louis was literally having the time of his life! The weather just doesn’t seem to bother toddlers all that much does it (thanks Peppa Pig and your muddy puddles).
The trip to Lappa Valley cost £12.50 an adult and £10 for children over 3 (under are free) and I’ll tell you, it’s worth every penny. – like the quote said, literally a toddler’s paradise.
If this post has inspired you to take a trip, you can find the attraction leaflet here:
Lappa Valley Leaflet
And the tip you’ve been waiting for…
Pub with Amazing Beach View, Soft Play and Climbing Frame
Yes you read that correctly. We found one…accidentally. Our stomachs were rumbling, Ant was “parched” and Louis had shouted “I want chips” one too many times to cause me to want to throw myself on the floor in front of a passing surfer dude and his van (there really are a lot of surfers in Newquay, the cliche is real). So when I saw this beacon of hope in front of my eyes and the sign ‘beer garden’ I said “Ant for god sake let’s just go in here”.
Hello Climbing frame, we instantly lost Louis to that while Ant disappeared to find the bar and order…chips! Not the best food in the world, think your basic pub grub. But the view of Fistral Beach was fabulous, as was the view of Louis having the time of his life on the pirate themed climbing frame. When the black cloud moved over and the temperature dropped, we headed inside for the indoor soft play, located next to sport screens and games tables, perfect place to spend a rainy afternoon for a bit. So just a little tip, but if you’re heading to Newquay for the day and want an easy spot to enjoy the view with a cold drink while the kid(s) are entertained, this traditional family pub ticks that box.
Opposite end of the scale, we did have the most expensive Fish & Chips at Rick Stein Fistral restaurant, but that was probably more to do with the drinks at London prices. It was delicious and huge portions. They also have an Asian Fusion menu on offer, which is inspired by Rick’s travels in India and Asia, I went for this menu, which was delicious.
So if you’re heading down towards Newquay with toddlers, I hope you find this a useful review. Thanks for reading.