Things to do in Padstow with big kids

I love our annual trip to Padstow, but things change. When you’ve got teens and tweens, they don’t want to spend all their time making sandcastles on the beach. They want entertainment! They want danger! They want excitement!
Throw in some dreadful weather (after a lovely long, hot, sunny summer – what are the chances?) and you need to find something else to keep them entertained. So here’s my suggestions of some of the best things to do with bigger kids in the Padstow area.

High speed boat trips

These go around the bay all afternoon through to about 7pm. It’s a 15 minute trip costing £7 per person. You can’t miss them because there is a man there permanently yelling about them to drum up trade. The boats go very fast and you will get wet! (These are also suitable for younger children if they like going fast and getting wet.)

Cycling the Camel Trail

The Camel Trail is the disused railway line running along the Camel Estuary from Padstow to Wadebridge, Bodmin and beyond – it’s about 17 miles in total. If you can stick your own bikes on your roof rack you will save money, otherwise there are bike hire places in both Padstow and Wadebridge. Be warned, they get very busy – if your teenagers keep to traditional teen hours, you may find they are sold out of bikes by the time you get there! Trail Bike Hire is the cheaper of the hire places in Padstow at £12 for an adult bike (including helmet, lock and pump/ puncture repair kit) or £8 for a child’s bike. They also do trailers and tag-alongs if you have smaller children too.
Be prepared and take along some ID. Funnily enough, I didn’t have my passport or driving licence with me when I went to hire a bike, so they wrote my bank card details on the hire sheet instead, which was a bit of a worry.
We have always only cycled Padstow to Wadebridge and back, which used to take a good proportion of the day when we had to stop for crying children/ nappy changes/ drinks/ snacks etc, but now it takes only about 40 minutes each way, so it’s time to up our distance.
PicMonkey CamelcycleCollage

Go Karting at St Eval

Kids love driving fast, so go-karting at St Eval is a great activity for when the weather isn’t brilliant.
St Eval is slightly in the middle of nowhere – kind of near Newquay and Padstow, but kind of near nowhere. It’s another place that gets very busy – if you can drag your kids out of bed early, you will save yourself a lot of queuing. Oh, and it’s not open on Sundays! If only we’d had WiFi at our holiday house we might have checked that and saved an hour’s round trip on Cornish roads.
Kids can drive go-karts from age 7 and the karts for 7-11 year olds cost £10 for 1o minutes, £20 for 20 minutes or £25 for half an hour. Karts for age 12+ (which adults can also drive, although there are more powerful karts for adults if you prefer) cost £12 for 10 minutes, £24 for 20 minutes and £30 for half an hour.

Water skiing with Camel Ski School

Camel Ski School is based across the estuary from Padstow, in Rock. You just need to catch the ferry which runs all day to get there. My husband used to water ski in his teens and early 20s and has been out with Camel Ski School a few times over recent years. This year he decided it was time the boys had a go too! I wasn’t so sure, but what do I know?
Needless to say, it’s not cheap. For my husband and the two boys to go out together on the boat and have 15 minutes bobbing around in the water water skiing each cost £80. But as this was our only holiday this year, we thought the cost was OK. And the good thing is, the boys loved it!
We only booked the session a few days in advance. There is actually no minimum age for water skiing with Camel Ski School, so it’s up to parents to decide when they think their kids are ready. For us landlubbers, 10 seemed to be as young as we would be prepared to go.
They don’t just do water skiing – they do kayaking, paddle boarding and even a boat driving course!
Those are our suggestions of the best things to do with big kids in the Padstow area, but feel free to let me know of any more in the comments below. We know we’ll be back at Padstow again next year and, judging by how busy it gets, I’m sure a lot of other people will be too!
Plutonium Sox

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Sounds like a great place to visit for all ages. Love the photos even in gloomy rain sounds like there are things to do. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With me #sharewithme

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    • Thanks, Jenny, it’s a pleasure to link up. It’s a fantastic place and of course there’s lots to do with younger kids too. Sadly rain is to be expected there!

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  2. Sounds like a lovely place to visit, I’d love to visit Cornwall it’s the travelling time that puts me off, maybe time time to reconsider!

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    • I would be put off by the travelling time if it was too far too! It’s about three and a half to four hours for us. Any more than that would be too much!

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  3. Sounds like such a fantastic place to visit. I’d love a holiday in that region, but it’s where not driving really limits us sadly 🙁 #PoCoLo

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    • It is a lovely place, but not accessible by public transport! You would definitely need a car to get there (although we find we don’t use ours much once we’re there – of these activities, we only need it for the go karting).

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    • It is, it’s brilliant. If you don’t like fast and dangerous stuff you can just enjoy the beauty (like I do!).

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  4. Goodness this is like seeing my future =P

    I am so not into danger so when my son is looking for something wee bit extreme when he is older I will let husband go with him. I am so chicken with these things! #pocolo

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    • I’m a bit chicken too! The only one of these I joined in with was the cycling!

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  5. I went to Padstow many years ago pre child! So it’s great to see the activities you can do especially the more high octane ones! Right up my street… I’ve always wanted to try water skiing! #PoCoLo

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    • We go to Padstow every year, we love it! It’s great that there are more exciting things to do for older kids, but I’m just happy on the beach!

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  6. We’ve got some friends who live near Bodmin and run a cafe on the Camel Trail near Wenford Bridge. It looks like a great place for going cycling – reading this has made me want to go back there. #PoCoLo

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    • What a small world! We actually went to that cafe! We didn’t cycle that far as it’s the complete other end of the Camel Trail, but we popped in there for lunch when we visited Coombe Mill for the morning. The food was delicious!

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  7. I love Padstow and all the quaint shops ( and the fish and chips). We’ve only taken our small ones there, but I would love to take them water skiing when they are older! How fun! #familytraveltips

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    • It’s my favourite place in the world and I’m desperate to get back there (just four more months to wait!). You can always find something to do, whatever the child’s age!

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  8. I think I was born to be the mummy of a tween. Don’t get me wrong. I love doing toddler stuff. But I’m looking forward to the action packed adventure style holidays we will have as he ages.

    Sure I’ve been to Padstow. Sounds familiar. Hubs would know. Great tips. Thanks.


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    • Ha ha, something to look forward to! Padstow is an amazing place and there’s plenty to do for all ages. Personally I’m not so keen on the adrenaline stuff. I’m happy walking and cycling.

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  9. Sounds like there is something here for all ages! I would love to try my hand at the waterskiing myself – never mind the kids !:) thanks for sharing #ƒamilytraveltips

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    • There’s definitely something for all ages! I didn’t fancy the waterskiing myself, but my husband is just a big kid and it’s right up his street (to look after the boys – obviously!).

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  10. Oh these all sound like the sort of activities that I can’t wait to do with my two. Roll on the times when they are old enough! Fast boats and waterskiing are two of my favourite water sports and I love water sports in general. I’m actually not a fan of Padstow but doing things like this would make me want to go! I’d love to cycle the camel trail too. Thanks so much for linking up to #familytraveltips.

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    • Maybe you’ll get to love Padstow one day! I’m not a fan of watersports myself, but if they keep the kids and the husband happy, I’m all for them! 🙂 x

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