The Great Outdoors 2014:
Glorious parks farms & festivals
Hendra Playing Field: throughout August, different entertainment all week with clowns, magic, wonderful animals & bouncy castle, 2 to 4.30pm.
- 6 Aug: National Play Day, Boscawen Park, Truro, has loads of fabulous activities and acts, 11am to 3pm.
- 6 to 7 Aug: Play Fest with Swamp Circus, Boscawen Park, is a two-day festival celebrating creativity, playfulness and community through painting, sculpture, dance, theatre, storytelling, contemporary circus workshops, interactive environmental installations, 11am to 5pm, free entry, £3 activity pass. 01872 274766
Cornwall Wildlife Trust,
See www.cornwallwildlifetrust.org.uk for details of family-friendly free-to-visit nature reserves across the county for the Trust’s Fox Club and marine awareness events for children, 01872 273939 ext. 203
Mawnan Smith, nr Falmouth is bursting with amazing plant life from fast-growing bamboo to giant rhubarb, two adventure play areas, nature trails, zip wire, a fantastic private beach and Cornish ice-cream! Tickets valid for seven days. 25 July to 7 Sept: The Great Trebah Barmy Bear Hunt – we’re going to catch a big one! 01326 252200
Gwinear, Hayle, free entry & parking. Set amidst 28 acres of beautiful countryside, Trevaskis is a lovely place to visit and you can ‘pick your own’ from an abundance of fruit and vegetables including strawberries, raspberry, gooseberries, currants, gooseberries, corn on the cob, peas and beans. Walk around, meet the animals; the British Lop pigs and their piglets are really endearing. Open from 8am & PYO is open until 8pm, so there is plenty of time to come picking after school (the cub reporters love making a bit of jam afterwards) and a great café. 01209 714009
The Lost Gardens of Heligan
Pentewan, St Austell. 25 July to 3 Sep: The Lost Summer – play centuries-old games, from Croquet on the lawn, to Hoopla and Hopscotch; discover ‘lost’ practices like den-making or creating a stick boat; see the Heligan pigs in the woodland; hunt for bugs and have fun spotting moths on Wildlife Wednesdays. 01726 845100
St Austell. Storytelling sessions daily at 12pm and 2pm. 21 July to 16 Sept: Dinosaurs Unleashed! An incredibly detailed immersive experience. Step boldly back 67 million years into an ancient, exotic landscape of raw earth, rocks, roots, ferns, dripping mosses and giant redwood trees, hear pterosaurs soaring overhead and watch T-rex devour its Triceratops prey! Search for the escaped dinosaur; Dig Pit; visit the ‘explorers from the past’ field stations; wonder at fascinating fossils like real dinosaur eggs, a fossilised brain, and a real T-rex tooth. Free with entry, 15% off tickets online. www.edenproject.com 01726 811911
At Gwel an Mor Resort, Portreath. July: Badger Watch, from the cosy hide see badgers and nocturnal visitors in their natural habitat. Aug: rock pool rambles. Sept: Night Walk, discover a magical world of badgers, owls, deer and foxes £10/£6. 01209 844136 or www.gwelanmor.com
Princess Pavilion, Falmouth: A wonderful garden, ultra-modern café by the sea, and playground. On Mondays & Wednesdays 28 July to 27 Aug there are some great activities including creating crazy Mr Grass Heads, beautiful folded paper bowls, plantable eco seed-paper, clothpin parachutes, Bilboquet, bubble blowers, flying fish windsocks, secret codes wheels, finger puppets & talking pirate parrots inspired by the Tall Ships Regatta, book on 01326 211222. On 4 & 18 Aug: Feadon Farm’s ranger, Gary Zammit will be explaining about Cornwall’s wildlife and Fox Club are back with wildlife-themed crafts on 13 July and making a flower press on 21 Aug; once you have made one, search through the lovely gardens for fallen petals and flowers to press; book on 01326 211222.
Between Helston and Porthleven. 01326 562353. In 2014 the National Trust created new bridleways and footpaths, including a route through Higher Penrose farm with spectacular views of Loe Pool, Loe Bar and Porthleven Sands. There are 17 miles of footpaths, cycle trails and bridleways and free outdoor guides from The Stables café, the rangers’ office & www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ penrose. The Stables café, in the heart of the estate, is open daily 10am to 4.30pm for proper coffee, home-made cakes (the date and apricot slice is amazing), sandwiches and Cornish ice creams.
From 29 July to 20 Sept enjoy low cost / free events held in the impressive 1780s Stables courtyard or in Gunwalloe. There are three different Squashbox Theatre wonderfully zany puppet shows with songs, slapstick, tall tales and crazy characters 29 July: ‘Stones and Bones’, 12 Aug: ‘The Sea Show’& 26 Aug: ‘Curious Creatures’ and on 19 Aug John Brolly will be enthralling with his tall tales. Love animals? Drop in on 31 July to see a wonderful mini world of plants and mini-beasts; meet Mark’s wonderful Ark of spiders, reptiles and beautiful owls on 5 Aug; and find bats with the rangers and bat detector machines on 13 Aug ( book 01326 554715). Try den building on 7 & 21 Aug and archery on 14 & 28 Aug (£10 pp, book 01326 561001). Then chill on 10 Aug: Lazy Sunday from 11am, food, children’s entertainment and music with Flats & Sharps. Gunwalloe events, 31 Aug: Chyvarloe Farm Open Day, meet animals, explore the farm and farmers market; BBQ, free entry, 11am to 4pm, 07979 196569. 20 Sept: Beachwatch Big Weekend, Church Cove, 10am to 2pm, help clean the beach and record the litter, NT car park free for helpers, 01326 554715.
Near Truro, the farm is famous for its delicious ice-cream but it is also a charming place to visit. Browse the shop and indulge in the day’s selection of more than 30 ice-cream flavours! Try milking Millie the patient new Friesian cow – you’re safe, she’s made of wood!
Pretend to drive the super little red tractor and clamber over the play-frame. Spot the chickens turkeys and Bertha, the Saddle back sows and maybe little piggies; there are calves in their pen, a suckler cow and calf in the paddocks and you might see Amber the Shire horse but she prefers the pastures near the cows.
There is generally ice-cream-making to watch from the viewing gallery. Free entry & parking. The tea-room serves seriously good home-baked cakes, cream teas, lunchtime treats and traditional ice-cream sundaes or cones. 01872 573126
Lappa Valley Railway
St Newlyn East, we love this place with its miniature train rides, a secret valley, a 19th century mine to explore and delightful picnic spots. 01872 510317
www.nationaltrust.org.uk have wonderful gardens and parks to roam and explore, including Cotehele nr Saltash, Trerice near Newquay, Trelissick near Truro, Lanhydrock near Bodmin, Glendurgan near Falmouth, Godolphin near Helston, Antony at Torpoint, (events page 6 to 9), Penrose and Glendurgan (see below). East Pool & Levant Mines . The Trust maintains miles of gorgeous coastal and woodland walks across the county; check out www.nationaltrust.org.uk/southwest for the 101 one-mile walks across the South West. ‘50 things to do before you are 11’,
see www.nationaltrust.org.uk/50things for some great new & classic suggestions.
A stunning garden where the spirit of the Plant Hunters lives on and you can watch chickens happily scratching in the orchard.
- 13 July to 30 Sept: Scarecrow Festival – dazzling display of Heroes & Heroines themed scarecrows by local schools with artist John Keys.
- 6 Aug: Play Day with lots of the 50 things on offer including water pistols, mud pies, and leafy collages, 11am to 4pm.
- 20 Aug: Family Den Building, drop-in 11am to 3pm, build a woodland den and toast marshmallows on the campfire. Please mention BlackbirdPie. 01736 363148