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?