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LGBT lifestyle blogger Kirsty Taylor-Gallop shares family-friendly activities in north Cornwall. With Airbnb

After our various travels with our five-year-old son, we’ve discovered that it’s not about how much money you spend on your kids that determines how much fun they have. As long as they have full tummies and aren’t too tired you can have fun anywhere, anyhow.

Our winning holiday formula is to be conscious of the extremely short attention span he has, and so we make sure we can easily locate somewhere to burn off energy, somewhere interesting to visit, and somewhere he can spend his pocket money on items full of sugar. It’s that simple.

As part of #TripsXYZ, TantrumXYZ’s campaign with Airbnb, we visited a gorgeous little town in north Cornwall called Camelford, which put us in a perfect location to explore several local towns and beaches, and to find a load of brilliant family-friendly activities in the area.

We've stayed in an Airbnb abroad before, but never really investigated options in the UK. It was really easy and quick to navigate the Airbnb site to discover a suitable residence for the weekend, especially as there are search filters for family-friendly and dog-friendly!

We also had the following requirements:

  1. Not on a main road, or set back from any main roads
  2. A garden or outdoor space to run off energy
  3. A separate room so that we won't wake M when we go to bed
  4. A TV with access to streaming or a DVD player
  5. No high-value designer items in the house (accidents can happen and I don't fancy paying out to repair a priceless vase)
  6. Safe stairs that won't have trigger mini panic attacks every time he takes to them

We chose a renovated barn which was a real ‘home from home’, providing us with all the home comforts we needed after an action-packed day. Our son was particularly pleased Netflix was provided! It also allowed us to bring our dog Beau with us, which made it a proper family holiday.

And this is what we discovered on our adventures…

1. The Eden Project

I am the kind of parent who likes to have an element of education (or let’s call it ‘discovery’) when we go on holiday, so a trip to Eden Project was perfect. Home to two giant biomes that house a rainforest and a Mediterranean environment, there is plenty to wow both children and adults. You could easily spend the day here just wandering the grounds while discovering lots of new facts, and there are so many restaurants and cafes on site that there is no fear of going hungry.

:: The Eden Project, Bodelva, Par PL24 2SG

2. Sea Swimming

If you’re a parent to a water baby like us then your little ones will love a trip to glorious Padstow beach for some swimming. The sandy beaches and calm sea provide the perfect setting for a relaxing day and the chance to surf. We ended the day with sand EVERYWHERE, but still, the sea seems to have the ability to completely wipe our son out equalling an early night, so win-win.

:: Padstow beach, St George's Well Cove PL28 8RR

3. Cornish crepes

Our little man loves saving his pocket money to spend on ice cream or sugary treats while on holiday and, as we also love a treat on holiday, it’s a tradition we encourage. While visiting Padstow we discovered an adorable little Cornish crepe stand which served the BEST Nutella crepe, perfect for a hungry 5-year-old wanting to fill up on sugar.

:: The Cornish Crepe Company, Railway Car Park South Quay, Padstow PL28 8BL

4. Jamaica Inn

Normally you’ll either have a kid that loves spooky tales or hates them. But our little man loves the idea of a spooky tale, yet gets a little spooked too. But he was eager to visit the Jamaica Inn once I told him it was all about people who cleverly smuggled things on to the coast. The Jamaica Inn serves food as well as being a museum, so you can fill their little tummies before scaring them.

:: Jamaica Inn, Bolventor, Launceston PL15 7TS

5. Playground near Port Isaac


Sometimes a simple play area is the best thing to buy you some peace and quiet, especially if you’ve been in the car for a while. We discovered this little play area and football field right next to the main car park in Port Isaac. We let our little man run off some steam whilst we stretched our legs before the short walk into the main centre of Port Isaac.

:: Port Isaac Main Car park PL29 3TR

6. Launceston Castle

If your kid is anything like ours they will love racing around old ruins pretending they are winning some great ancient battle. It’s even better if you’re racing round the ruins of a castle. Launceston Castle is managed by English Heritage and comes with a small gift shop that allows you to buy treasures fit for your little King or Queen.

:: Castle Dyke, Launceston PL15 7DR

:: Kirsty blogs at My Two Mums, see the #TripsXYZ hashtag on Instagram for more family travel ideas and inspiration, or see the articles and videos listed below.