When you have an energetic toddler who’s keen to ride a balance bike or scooter and baby in a buggy it is quite a challenge to find a level walk with a hard surface and interesting scenery for the grown ups too. I’ve been seeking out such places over the years and have compiled what I think are the best buggy friendly walks in Cornwall. Most of these walks also have a have a good coffee shop or cafe nearby with baby-changing facilities and easy parking.
1. Cardinham Woods
There are several different trails in Cardinham Woods, but the best one for toddlers is the Lady Vale walk. It’s an easy, mostly level 1.5-mile walk on a hard surface beside a stream. There’s an added surprise on this walk – the Stick Man trail (based on Julia Donaldson’s popular book). Take a picnic, or pop in to the lovely Woods Cafe for a bite to eat to fuel up after your adventures.
The area around Lanhydrock is perfect for exploring (we love playing Pooh sticks off the bridge). Park at Respryn Bridge in the National Trust car park. You can either follow the old carriage drive to Bodmin Parkway station and back for a gentle two mile walk, or opt for a two-mile circular route. If you prefer this option, cross the bridge, then turn immediately right and follow the path with the River Fowey on your right, then cross the first bridge you come to and carry on till you reach a gate. Turn right and follow the lane back to emerge at Respryn car park.
There two good National Trust cafes to choose from, one at the main car park (next to an excellent children’s playground), and another adjoining Lanyhdrock house.
3. Pentewan Trail
Just down the road from Bosinver, the Pentewan Trail is one of my favourites. It’s a two-mile level walk from the car park adjoining the Kingswood restaurant along the river to Pentewan. The village has cafes and a pub, and there’s also a large sandy beach here – don’t forget your buckets and spades!
4. Bissoe Trail
The full Bissoe Trail is an 11-mile coast-to-coast route which runs from Devoran/Bissoe on the south coast to Portreath on the north coast. If you’ve got little ones in tow, why not try this ‘taster’ instead?
Start at Devoran and walk to Bissoe (or vice versa). This is a short, level walk along the old tram road trail that’s ideal for families with young children. There’s parking available at either end, and we recommend Bissoe Bike Hire Café for refreshments.
Devoran is a pretty creekside village, and well worth spending some time exploring. If you’d like to extend your walk, you can take the old tram way down to Point and Penpol and enjoy the stunning views across the water.
5. Argal Reservoir (Mabe near Falmouth)
Follow the route around the lake for a gentle 1.5-mile stroll and stop at the Lakeside restaurant for tasty home cooked fare. If you’re visiting in the autumn, take a box or bag and go blackberry picking along the way. The brambles are abundant here, and you’ll easily pick enough to make a delicious crumble when you get home.
6. Trelissick: North Woodland Walk
This is an easy, level, 1.5-mile level circular walk alongside the upper reaches of the River Fal. Park in the National Trust car park at Trelissick and look out for the signs for the woodland walks.There’s also excellent food at the National Trust café and a kiosk selling drinks, snacks and ice creams.
7. Tehidy Woods near Camborne
If you go down in the woods today… you’re sure to find lots to keep even the most active toddlers entertained. There are nine miles of walking trails at Tehidy, including an easy half-mile walk around the lake. You’ll also find rope swings and plenty of trees suitable for climbing, plus an excellent cafe near the main entrance.
Nanny Pat’s days out ebook
Bosinver’s Nanny Pat has been out exploring Cornwall with her grandchildren and has compiled a free downloadable ebook, Nanny Pat’s Adventures. It’s packed full of ideas for things to do and places to go with pre-schoolers in Cornwall, with a focus on making the most of nature’s playground – the great outdoors. Many of the suggestions are off the beaten track, and most of the activities are things you can do for free or for very little money.
Toddler friendly holidays at Bosinver
Bosinver is toddler friendly holiday heaven! From baby listening devices to microwavable sterilisers and hop-ups, our luxury baby-friendly self-catering cottages are equipped with everything you could possibly want, and more. And there’s loads to do here at Bosinver, too. Take a dip in our lovely heated pool, hunt the Gruffalo in the woods or help Farmer Dave feed the animals and collect freshly-laid eggs from our resident chickens. Adventures await…Read more about toddler friendly holidays at Bosinver.
If you’ve tried out any of these toddler friendly walks, or you have any other recommendations about where to go in Cornwall with active pre-schoolers, why not share your suggestions below, post on our Facebook page or tweet @bosinver?
Look out for Part 2 of Nanny Pat’s Top Toddler Friendly Walks in Cornwall next week.