Callington is a small 15th century market town between the rivers Tamar and Lynher and was once the gateway to one of the richest copper mining districts in the world. Today the town is home to an interesting mural trail featuring large paintings on walls and buildings depicting Callington’s past, present and future.
Home to the famous Ginster Pasties, Callington boasts a few interesting shops, popular restaurants and cosy pubs. Sat between the rugged moors of Bodmin and Dartmoor, the town is just a short drive away from Tavistock, a wonderful town with lots of independent shops, pannier market and weekly farmers market.
There are plenty of wild walking opportunities on nearby Dartmoor or Bodmin Moor, whilst Kit Hill Country Park, the highest point in the Tamar Valley with over 400 acres of natural heathland to explore and an abundance of birds and wildlife to see, is only a couple of miles away.
For those who enjoy an active holiday, nearby Tavistock is home to Tree Surfers, featuring extensive tree top ropes, zip wires and woodland trails to challenge the whole family, as well as The Barn indoor climbing wall.
As for beaches, Callington is located inland, however, in Cornwall you are never too far from a beach. The traditional fishing town of Looe, with its family-friendly beaches, is less than 30 minutes away by car, whilst the popular fishing village of Polperro and the stunning Talland Bay and Whitsand Bay, both of which are dog-friendly beaches and excellent for rock pooling, are also close by.
A holiday cottage in Callington provides a great base for exploring the nearby moors and market towns, offering everything you need for an active holiday within easy reach.
On the border of Devon and Cornwall, the Tamar Valley Donkey Park is home to donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits and guinea pigs to feed and pet. Guests can also visit Holly’s Café for hot and cold meals or a Cornish cream tea, there’s an indoor play barn as well as a soft play area, and lots of different parts of the park to explore and experience, including mini tractor rides. Opening times are seasonal so do check the website before you visit, and prices start at £7.95 for adults and £7.50 for children.
A Tudor house and estate with delightful collections, a garden and its own quay, Cotehele was the ancestral home of the Edgcumbe family and is perched high on the hill above the River Tamar. Decorated with tapestries, armour and lots of original features, the inside is testament to its adoring owners while outside there are formal terraces and a valley garden to get lost in, which includes a medieval stewpond and dovecote leading down to the river. It’s peaceful and tranquil and a delightful place to explore while you’re visiting Cornwall, plus they have an excellent restaurant in the 15th century barn, serving homemade cakes, hot soups, wine, ale and lager.
Cornwall’s self-proclaimed ‘top go-karting centre’, Kartworld caters to all ages, with custom tracks and go karts for toddlers, children and adults. If you really want to test your skills, you can even participate in real races! There’s an 800-metre track (plenty of room for overtaking), long, fast, straight sections, and they have an exceptional safety record. You can even print out your lap times to take home. For adults meanwhile, there’s the chance to participate in the grand prix experience. It’s just 45-minutes from Newquay, refreshments and facilities are all available, as well as parking, and prices start at £12 for adults and £8 for children.
With the tag line ‘throwing people off cliffs since 2009’, what’s not to love about Adrenaline Quarry? Home of zip wires, coasteering, a giant swing and axe throwing they offer the complete adrenaline experience. Priding themselves on the number of adrenalin junkies, thrill seekers, bold mums and dads, toddlers, grandpas, little boys and girls, and old ladies that flock to South East Cornwall for the chance to fly down a zip wire or power a hovercraft solo around the quarry lake, they like to prove themselves as the place to go for outdoor adventures. Cornwall is home to a wealth of extreme sports and this is a wonderful place to start – they even offer hen and stag parties, or wedding parties for the truly dedicated. Opening times vary throughout the seasons, and prices start at £12.50 per person.
A hidden gem, serving authentic and innovative Indian dishes using only the finest ingredients. Each dish is made to order and prepared according to the taste and preferences of individual customers, and served in comfortable welcoming surroundings by friendly staff.
Balti King Restaurant, 5 New Rd, Callington, PL17 7BE (T: 01579 383818)
A family-run Chinese restaurant and takeaway serving the highest quality Chinese cuisine as well as an English menu from 5-11pm 6 days a week (Tues-Sun).
Also offering a generous 'All you can eat buffet' on Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Red Panda, 13-14 Pannier Market, Fore Street, Callington, Cornwall, PL17 7AD (T: 01579 383373)
Freshly prepared, locally sourced gourmet menu showcasing the very best of Modern British food. Chef/Owner Anton Buttery has carefully designed an exciting, well balanced seven course Tasting Menu to enjoy in this comfortable and welcoming 2 AA Rosette Restaurant. Open for dinner from 7.30pm Thursday to Saturday. Lunch and other evenings by arrangement.
Langmans Restaurant, 3 Church St, Callington PL17 7RE (T: 01579 384933)
Serving homemade hot food, including a popular all-day breakfast, and family favourites such as cod and chips, sausage and mash and burgers, as well as a selection of homemade cakes and of course, Cornish clotted cream tea.
Open 7 days a week from 9am. Louis Tea Rooms also serve evening meals. A very family friendly venue which even has a special play corner in the family dining room. Also a Farm Shop selling local Cornish products and homemade Cornish pasties too.
Louis Tea Rooms, Kit Hill Approach Rd, Kit Hill, Callington, Cornwall, PL17 8AX (T: 01579 389223)
A welcoming 15th century inn on the Tamar Trail, with beamed ceilings, open log fires , ample parking and outdoor seating. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner offering locally sourced fish, meat and game, roasts, curries and lots more.
The Royal Inn Horsebridge, Tavistock PL19 8PJ (T: 01822 870214)
A spacious, grey sand beach that’s popular with families, Seaton Beach enjoys views across the green, surrounding countryside and walks in Seaton Valley nearby. At low tide the beach stretches all the way from Seaton Beach to Downderry Beach. There are facilities close by and there is are two car parks as well as road parking, but it does get busy quickly in the summer. The beach is great for surfing, but do be wary of undercurrents. There’s also a café and beach shop close by as well. Dogs are welcome at the beach all year round.
Millendreath Beach is a south facing beach at the foot of a wooded valley, in a sheltered cove with soft sand and lots of rock pools to explore at low tide. It’s connected to other nearby beaches by the South West Coast Path. Dogs aren’t allowed on this beach at any time of the year, and there is a reasonably sized car park a few minutes walk away. The beach is popular with families on holiday in Cornwall, and most of the surrounding area is occupied by a holiday park, so there are lot of facilities open to the public.
A small and pleasant grey sand beach with rocks exposed at low tide, Plaidy Beach is simply a nice place to visit and take in the scenery. There aren’t any facilities, and there’s no parking nearby so it’s one to reach on foot. There’s a slipway to the beach, but you will have to access it by walking along the coast path, parking at Millendreath or Looe and it’s worth keeping in mind that it’s quite steep from both directions. Millendreath is closer and the walk should take around 20 minutes. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, so it’s a charming place to take them for a walk while you’re in the area.
Half a mile west of Looe, stretching along the coast, Hannafore Beach is a sandy, shingle bay with a rocky reef and views of St George’s Island. At low tide it’s brimming with rock pools, making it fun and games for the whole family to enjoy, and it’s a wonderful sun trap in summer months thanks to its south east facing position. Because of its location over the river, the beach never really becomes too busy, but equally there aren’t any facilities nearby. It’s popular with dog walkers as it’s amongst the few dog-friendly beaches in the area, and having explored you can extend your excursion to a stroll along the promenade or a potter around the coast path to the wonderfully scenic Talland Bay. There is roadside parking along the sea front above the beach, but it can be difficult to find a space. Alternatively, there is a large car park in West Looe, around 10 minutes away on foot.
In East Looe, the beach sits directly in front of the old town, sheltered by the Banjo Pier and overlooked from the east by the hillside of Mount Ararat. A good family beach that has something for everyone, at low tide the sandy location is safe for swimming although it’s recommended you steer clear of the river mouth beyond the pier. The beach backs on to a seafront walkway which runs its length all the way to Second Beach to the east, where it tends to be less busy and it’s good for snorkeling. As it’s in the centre of the town there are lots of facilities and cafes nearby, but in the summer it’s a very popular spot and parking can be tricky, with traffic prohibited during these months, so be prepared for a bit of a walk.