Kite flying, coastal walks and National Trust property Lanhyndrock

A Late Summer Break to Cornwall

Author: Lisa Soeno

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been chatting about autumn clobber, but today I’m eking out summer by talking about our late summer break to Cornwall.

My love affair with Cornwall started when I was 19. My best mate and I spent the summer working and living in Newquay, and left with shell bracelets dangling from our wrists and Jack Johnson ringing in our ears.

When Rich and I started dating we went down there for a weekend and he too caught the Cornwall bug. Since Lyra was born we’ve made an end-of-summer trip down to Padstow every year. Whilst I’m by no means an expert, I thought I’d share my tips on our must-dos in the Padstow area with you guys today, in case anyone’s tempted to have a late summer getaway, or start planning for next year’s summer holiday.

Late Summer Break to Cornwall {Travel}

We had Flybe vouchers from a delayed flight earlier in the year so we decided to fly to Newquay from Birmingham rather than drive. This was a REVELATION as it was a 40 minute flight as opposed to a painfully long car journey with two young kids. The flights were reasonably priced too – around £20 each way per person.

Late Summer Break to Cornwall {Stay}

The first time we went to Cornwall with Lyra we stayed in Bodhi’s Beach Hut – an Airbnb in Constantine Bay which is run by the lady behind Jo and Co (see below). Charlotte and James have also stayed at Bodhi’s – see Charlotte’s review here. It’s the epitome of seaside chic, and thank goodness the kitchen is nice because that’s where Rich and I ended up sleeping. Oh the things you do when you have a six month old baby. Jo and Tom who run Bodhi’s have also recently opened up another Airbnb which looks quite frankly STUN-NING.

Since our brood has become bigger we’ve always stayed in a caravan park at Mother Ivey’s Bay, a ten minute drive from Padstow. It is THE most beautiful cove. It’s safe and clean and there’s a tiny shop at the top of the hill selling Cornish pasties and other fresh produce from the local bakery. Every Wednesday during the summer the caravan park has a BBQ on the beach raising money for the RNLI and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the lifeboat launch. Everything about the place is magical.

Late Summer Break to Cornwall {Do}

The only request that I ever have when we go to Cornwall is that I get an hour to myself in Jo and Co. In a previous post Lauren talked about how her hubby described this interiors and lifestyle store as ‘walking into Rock My Style’. They’ve now expanded and also own a furniture shop which is choc-a-block of bespoke pastel/scandi/seasidey pieces that give Loaf a run for their money.

The coastal walk from Constantine Bay to Padstow is breathtaking (in every sense of the word) – I’d even go as far as to say it rivals the Great Ocean Road – and it’s how we first discovered Mother Ivey’s Bay. I’m desperate to do one of the walks south of Constantine Bay too.

We always try to get a bike ride in – last year we hired bikes from Padstow and rode along the Camel Trail (a disused railway line) to Wadebridge, and this year we braved a blue trail at National Trust property Lanhyndrock.

Lanhyndrock National Trust property

If the weather’s good, all you need is the beach. But if it rains, there’s always the cinema – the Regal in Wadebridge is old-school but quaint, and I’ve heard excellent things about the Lighthouse Cinema in Newquay.

Late Summer Break to Cornwall {Eat}

The only request that Rich ever has when we visit Cornwall is a takeaway from Rick Stein’s Fish and Chips. This year’s was scoffed on a bench overlooking Padstow harbour with a brass band playing in the background. I’m dying to visit the Fistral Beach branch too.

Being foodies, Rich and I were mega excited to discover Greens of Padstow, a super-stylish but relaxed restaurant that did such delicious steak that we went back twice. Awesome views from the terrace across the estuary to Rock, a cute little mini golf course out the back, and ultra insta-worthy interiors within the restaurant (think herringbone floors, timber panelled walls and pendant lighting).

Mini golf with a view at Greens of Padstow restaurant

On the other end of the scale, our favourite evening was spent in Scott and Babs, a ramshackle restaurant five mins upstream from St Mawgan and a must-try for anyone who went travelling in SE Asia or Australasia. I honestly felt like I had stepped into a beach hut eatery in Thailand or Melbourne or Malaysia. The food was AMAZING and so creative – I had massaman mussels which were delicious, but nothing compared to the kids’ wood-fired pizza. Afterwards, whilst the sun was setting, Jenson chased the resident ducks and Lyra ‘ahhed’ over the piglets. Eclectic, unique, and again – magical.

On the to-do list for next year are the Lappa Valley Railway, taking the ferry across from Padstow to Rock and checking out the Lost Gardens of Heligan. If you’ve got little ones then Fern’s ace post for Rock My Family has tonnes more tips.

Does Cornwall hold a special place in your heart too? What are your favourite places and must-dos when you’re in the area?

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
This post may include affiliate links.
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13 thoughts on “A Late Summer Break to Cornwall

  1. This could not have come at a better time! I am literally leaving for 5 days in st Kew in about an hour. I have been going to Cornwall since I was little, although usually we holiday near st makes, but this is my boyfriend and my first holiday together. Both being foodies, we will definitely be taking some of your tips. Just out of interest, where did you hire the bikes from?

    I would 100% recommend lost gardens of heligan. I went a few years back, and the heads created from plants are as magical as the photos make them look. Enjoy your next Cornwall trip!

  2. Down here as we speak!! Normally try to get down here at this time of year- a little quieter than peak time but hopefully weather still lovely (which it is- yippee). staying again on the lizard in a great family friendly hotel which is just awesome for the kids- Pollurian bay hotel if anyone wants a recommendation. Splashed out on one of their brand new self catering villas this year which are just gorgeous. Lazy week planned before heading back to a house move, back to work and 1st and 4th birthdays to plan.

    1. Omg those villas look amazing. Yup we love Cornwall at this time of year too – the crowds have gone but there’s still a buzz about the place. Enjoy x

  3. Ooh you are the third person to mention Mother Ivey’s Bay in the last few weeks – I’ve spent so much time in Cornwall yet never even heard of it! Cornwall still feels fairly exotic to me, it was a really long way from where I grew up in Scotland. I now see the proximity to Devon, Cornwall and Dorset as a great perk of living in Somerset.

    Can I ask, do you have to hire a car if you fly, as I think you really need a car to get around. I guess this adds to the costs plus managing all the stuff required by kids in limited plane luggage would put me off. However, my boyfriend’s dad is a Flybe pilot doing all these short haul flights so not complaining!

    We really love our trips to Cornwall, out of season of course! I love bike rides and I’m desperate to do both the Camel and the Tarka trail. I’d like to head over to Rock too. Love the sound of Scott and Babs, I can feel a trip coming on but we’re meant to be saving for the next house!

    If you like Padstow I can wholeheartedly recommend Salcombe and surrounding area, such as Hope Cove and Bantham beach. We camped at Ilton Farm campsite in July, which had a bus stop nearby so we could get into town without having to park the car. The beachs down there are out of this world. Follow Salcombehouse on Instagram to get all sorts of tastes of Salcombe chichi living in beautiful pink Pitchford House.

    1. Bunny how pretty is the Salcombehouse insta feed! Thanks for the recommendations, always up for a stunning beach 🙂 I really really hope that you hearing about Mother Iveys Bay three times in the last few weeks doesn’t mean it is no longer a hidden gem! Yes we hired a car – although there are buses they aren’t very frequent x

  4. We stayed for a week in Cornwall at the start of the summer. You know, when it was 30 degrees and everyone went wappy about the weather. You can imagine we didn’t spend much time OFF the beach.

    I must say Cornwall didn’t exactly win my heart straight away. We stayed for a few days en-route in a Yurt in Devon which was TRULY MAGICAL (Orchard Retreat if anyone is looking for a perfect stop off) but even out of summer holidays I found Cornwall very cramped and busy. We usually venture to Scotland where the beaches are as glorious but empty. Took me a while to realise the reason they were empty is because everyone heads to Cornwall!

    We stayed at Constantine Bay – lovely farm shop with heart shaped scones near the costal path and mainly did the beaches around there. We tried Padstow but it was just too crowded for my liking. We did the Camel Trail and like I said above, get the bikes after 2pm as they are £12 instead of £25. The ride itself is only an hour or so there and back (even if you take it slowly with kids) so you don’t need the whole day.

    Best fish and chips for us were from Friar Tucks at Constantine and eaten on a bench ALONE overlooking Harlyn Bay.

    We’re going back next year before our eldest starts school then that’s it with Cornwall for us. I’m not going back when its the school holidays for love nor money. Next year we are staying at Roseland (the Hidden Hut is walking distance from the cottage) so any recommendations around there would be good.

    ALSO if anyone has any good camp sites further down towards Sennon Cove that would be great.

    1. Rebecca – take a look at Treen campsite. Little away from Sennen but wonderful location – beautiful beaches, pub, Minack Theatre all walking distance. Sennen is probably about 10-15min drive.

  5. Love Cornwall – it’s nearly as nice as Pembrokeshire lol (I’m Welsh so naturally biased towards Pembs).
    Lost Gardens of Heligan are wonderful – much preferred it there to The Eden Project.
    Loved The Minack Theatre (right next to Porthcurno beach), saw a wonderful production of The Crucible there – so atmospheric with the waves crashing against the rocks. They do lots of family friendly productions I believe and it’s well worth doing.
    Spent last New Years in Polperro and going again this year. The whole place dresses up in fancy dress and it’s so much fun – one for the adults though!

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