A beautiful Georgian house dating back to 1753, Lawrence House is leased to Launceston Town as a local museum and civic centre, spread over three floors, with exhibits focusing on local history and the area’s links with Australia. When you visit you can learn about Philip Gidley King who sailed on the HMS Sirius, which accompanied the first fleet of convicts to Australia, see a display of costumes that date from the 18th century to the 1960s, discover the Victorian kitchen and let the kids play in the toy room. Opening times are limited so make sure you keep an eye on the website for further information.
For a fantastic, fun, all-weather family day out, Trethorne Leisure Park is sure to tick all your boxes. Comprising of a large indoor play area, perfect for rainy days, with a dropslide, ballparks, trampolines, climbing wall, assault course and much more, as well as outdoor space with crazy golf, paddle boats, slides, swings, sandpit and an adventure climbing frame. There's also an animal barn with ponies to ride, a cow to milk, and guinea pigs and rabbits to cuddle.
If you're looking for even more family entertainment afterwards, you'll find 8 lanes of ten pin bowling, a dodgems rink, and a games arcade right next door!
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.
A friendly, 15th century inn overlooking Dartmoor with roaring inglenook fires, real ales direct from the barrel and a popular dining room offering excellent menus including the pub’s renowned made to order steak and kidney puddings, along with other high quality meals making use of the area’s excellent local meat and farm produce.
The Duke of York Iddesleigh, Winkleigh EX19 8BG (T: 01837 810253)
A beautiful thatched pub with wonderful views over Dartmoor along with a cosy bar, large beer garden and smart restaurant. A la Carte and lighter Lunch menus are available made up of unpretentious, yet expertly cooked options using high quality local ingredients.
Bearslake Inn Lake, Sourton, Okehampton EX20 4HQ (T: 01837 861334)
Less the five minutes on foot from the centre of Bude, Summerleaze Beach is an easy beach to get to and enjoy for the whole day. There’s a river flanking the sandy beach and it’s sheltered by a breakwater, making it popular with families and surfers. You can book beach huts daily or weekly, and adding to its charm is a part man-made/part natural salt water sea pool to swim in at the foot of the cliff, that’s been welcoming swimmers since it opened in 1930. There’s lifeguard cover in the summer months, dogs need to be kept on leads from May to September, and there are toilets and disabled toilets close by as well as an RNLI shop, sandy play area, a beach café, and a large car park that leads directly to the sand dunes.
Three miles south of Bude, Widemouth Bay Beach is a long, open bay that’s popular with families and surfers, while at low tide there are hundreds of rock pools to explore. It’s a wonderful place to learn to surf or body board thanks to fantastic conditions and lots of local surf schools in the surrounding area. There’s free parking at both ends of the bay as well as viewing points. Dogs are welcome throughout the year on the south section of the beach, otherwise known as Black Rock, but on the northern part there are seasonal dog bans. It has a wild feel to it, which adds to its appeal, and there is lifeguard cover in the summer, but nonetheless do be careful when swimming.
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Lovely clean beach.
Lovely clean beach. Dogs enjoyed it!
At the end of a narrow valley, surrounded by towering cliffs, backing into the village of Crackington, Crackington Haven Beach offers shelter from the elements but only by comparison to the exposed coastline. The beach is all rocks and shingle, and has a seasonal ban on dogs from Easter to October. There’s parking at the beach, so remember to take cash for pay and display, and there are two cafes, a pub, surf hire and toilet facilities close by. There’s also lifeguard cover in the height of summer.
In the shadow of Tintagel Castle, Tintagel Beach is small and often overlooked, barely accessible via a scrabble down the cliff path. To the north of the beach there’s a waterfall and to the south is Merlin's Cave, a 300ft long tunnel passing under Tintagel Island and castle that’s only accessible at low tide. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and the beauty of the place is its remoteness – just you, the beach and the sea, so there aren’t any facilities nearby basically.
Two miles from Tintagel, Trebarwith Strand Beach on the north Coast of Cornwall is easily accessible and is owned by the National Trust. A long stretch of sand, it’s backed by flat rocks and steep cliffs, but check the tides before you visit because people often get cut off in the summer months. Once there, there are caves to explore and rock pools containing a wealth of sea life. It’s been the setting for a number of films in its time, but these days it’s all about swimming (when lifeguards are on duty between May and September) and exploring. Dogs are allowed on the beach all year round, and there are two car parks – the main one is a bit of a walk away, and a smaller one is closer to the beach. There’s also a handful of roadside parking spaces.