You might think that going to Padstow every year would get boring. But every year, the beauty of Padstow just draws us back again. We could go somewhere else, but we don’t want to. The secret to not getting bored is to find different things to do every year. We will always do our favourite things, but there is so much to choose from and, as the kids get older and want to do new things, it’s easy to find new activities every year.
These are the new things we tried with our big kids this year…
Fish and chips at Rick Stein’s
It’s pretty much illegal to go to Padstow without getting your dose of Rick Stein. Unless you’re super-rich, you won’t be going to The Seafood Restaurant, so the best way to get your little bit of Padstein is at Rick Stein’s Fish & Chip Shop. We’ve never been before because two of us are vegetarian and the chips are cooked in the traditional way ie in beef fat – bleurgh!
Well it seems Mr Stein has realised he’s missing a big chunk of his eatership (I just made that word up, did you notice?) by not selling veggie chips. So he’s introduced them! Hooray! So this year we all got a bit of Rick Stein action. He’s even introduced veggie burgers with halloumi and a lovely spicy sauce (yum!). And, if you or your kids aren’t veggie, but you don’t fancy beef-flavoured chips, you can order them too.
You queue to get a takeaway or you can queue to sit down in the restaurant, which we did. We had to wait an hour. Was it worth it (with the kids moaning that they were hungry)? Just about! It was nice, after all these years of going to Padstow to finally eat some Rick Stein’s chips.
We’d never really noticed these before, even though they advertise them on the harbour. But this year, my younger son spotted the orange boats with rows of seats, which were just like ones he’d been on on his year 6 residential.
Padstow Sealife Safaris do a range of one and two hour trips and can even do bespoke trips. My daughter gets seasick, so we gave it a miss. My husband and son decided to start off with the one hour seals cave experience, which costs £22.50 for adults and £15 for children. Waterproofs and lifejackets are provided and advice is given on where to sit in the boat if you want more or less of a thrill/ soaking.
They absolutely loved it! They would definitely do a two hour trip last year. They saw one seal, but my husband was just all about the fact that it was essentially a thrill ride (he described it as being like a roller coaster), rather than the fact that he was supposed to be looking at wildlife!
The Eden Project
OK, so it’s not actually in Padstow, but the Eden Project is somewhere you just have to visit if you’re in Cornwall. It’s 20 miles, or a 40 minute drive, away from Padstow and my eldest was very keen to visit. It’s not cheap – it’s £25 for adults and £14 for kids, although you can save 10% if you book online in advance (which we didn’t do as we were playing rain roulette). You can get a family ticket for £69. It goes without saying that that’s only for four people. Sigh.
It’s the first time we’d been in five years, so the kids had pretty much forgotten it and the boys were very impressed (my daughter, slightly less so). We went on a rainy day, which a lot of people do, but the downside of that is the queues and the crowds!
We could have spent a lot longer there – the gardens are stunning, but the kids don’t have patience for gardens. They just liked the domes and then they were done. They were interested to see all the different plants and read about the effects of humans on the environment. They were horrified at the rate at which the rainforest is being destroyed.
Since we last visited, the rainforest biome has introduced a very high walkway, which was a highlight for my eldest and my daughter. It’s pretty much my younger son’s worst nightmare – he hates heights and wobbly bridges. So we went to queue for a pasty. They queued half an hour for the walkway. The short queue for the pasties took 45 minutes. To be fair, they were delicious. The food at the Eden Project isn’t cheap and the queues are LONG, but it’s all locally-produced and very tasty.
South West Coast Path
The South West Coast Path is a 630 mile walk across the whole of the South West – so you can walk it in Devon and Dorset, as well as Cornwall. The scenery is absolutely stunning. For a family of Scouts, it was the perfect thing for us to do on holiday. We tackled it for the first time on holiday and really loved it, although 12 miles might have been a little bit too far.
My husband worked out our route himself (hence why it ended up being too long), but the South West Coast Path website gives lots of suggested shorter routes, including circular routes, so you don’t have to worry about getting back to your car.
The Coast Path will definitely become an annual activity for us.
If this isn’t enough for you and you’d like to find out about go-karting, water skiing or cycling on the Camel Trail, check out my original Things to do with big kids in Padstow post.
This is not a sponsored post. All of these attractions were paid with from our own hard-earned cash.