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Top family coastal activities in Cornwall

The fact that Cornwall has a coastline of over 400 miles and that no area in the county is more than 20 miles from the sea means that coastal activities are a popular pastime.

Cornwall’s coastline has a range of natural features such as small rocky coves and headlands, sandy beaches, granite cliffs and calm estuaries. It is these features that mean there is nowhere else in the UK that boasts as many coastal activities as Cornwall.

So, if you and your family love going on active holidays, would like to try surfing for the first-time or want a really nice break away within the UK this winter then you need to look at holidays in Looe and other seaside resorts in Cornwall.

Here we have compiled a list of all the different coastal activities that you and your family can do during a holiday in Cornwall.


The Cornwall coast is famed for being a surfer’s paradise and tucked away in

South East Cornwall’s stunning ‘Forgotten Corner’, just a stone’s throw from

Plymouth, Liskeard and Looe, Adventure Bay Surf School give visitors the chance to learn the art of surfing.

Adventure Bay Surf School is Whitsand Bay’s premier surf school provider and visitors will receive quality tuition from experienced surf coaches where after a gentle warm up on the beach, you’ll be shown how to catch waves and get to your feet on the sand before taking to the water to carve up those waves under the supervision of Surf Lifeguard trained instructors.

All equipment including wetsuits and surfboards are complimentary for people that are taking lessons, whilst those who know how to surf can hire surf equipment including a selection of super versatile, soft and hard surf boards, body boards, snugly 5mm winter wetsuits and accessories to keep you warm all year round.

Wildlife cruises

Wildlife cruises are a must when visiting Cornwall as the county is home to a wide variety of marine wildlife and with the news that a Humpback Whale and a Blue Whale was spotted off of Cornwall recently this just highlights the range of wildlife visitors could potentially see.

AK Wildlife Cruises are one of the best companies to book a tour with as they operate tours 12 months of the year and offer bespoke wildlife trips around the south coast of Cornwall in the coastal and pelagic areas as well as cruises up the Fal estuary.

On board AK Wildlife Cruise’s Free Spirit ship guests can enjoy heated cabins and modern toilet facilities, whilst being educated by naturalists whom are proficient at spotting marine wildlife, from dolphins to seals, pelagic birds, larger whales and possibly even a leatherback turtle!

The Cornish coast is very diverse in marine wildlife and boasts eight cetaceans visiting the coast, which include the resident harbour porpoises, common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins.

Many cetaceans visit Cornish waters such as killer whales, pilot whales, Risso’s dolphins, Minke whales and fin whales and last year Cornwall had an unexpected visitor: the white beaked dolphins.

AK Wildlife Cruises offer a fantastic day out any time of the year where guests can always expect the unexpected!

Body Boarding

Atlantic Pursuits offer visitors to Widemouth Bay in North Cornwall the chance to try body boarding – a great coastal activity for the whole family to try.

Sam Roberts, of Atlantic Pursuits, said, “Smaller children may prefer boogie boarding (body boarding) which is a much smaller board used in the safe swimming area.

“To build confidence in the water, boogie boarding is an excellent activity learning about waves, surf safety, handling yourself in the shallows and catching small waves to shore.”

Canadian Canoeing

Atlantic Pursuits also offer visitors to North Cornwall the chance to try their hand at Canadian Canoeing, a traditional long canoe that can seat between two and four people.

Canadian Canoeing is a great fun sport and Atlantic Pursuits offer instruction at all levels and even give people the chance to gain a British Canoeing national award or for beginners the opportunity to just enjoy the scenic view that the “Jungle Run” down the Bude canal can offer.

It is a great activity requiring a little bit of team work and learning steering skills as you paddle up Bude Canal, an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Sailing on a classic boat

Classic Sailing, a provider of hands on sailing trips and holidays, lets guests see Cornwall from a traditional sailor’s perspective.

Based in St Mawes, near Falmouth, Classic Sailing’s pilot cutters sail the same waters as the 19th century pilot cutters would have patrolled in search of a ship to put their pilot aboard and our proud to preserve Cornwall’s maritime heritage in an adventurous and fun way.

If you want to live and breathe the spirit of Cornwall then you need to get out on the water, pull a few blocks and tackles, anchor off secret smugglers’ coves and land barefoot in the sand with a Classic Sailing tour.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding

If you fancy a day out in Penzance then why not call up Ocean High and have a go at Stand-Up Paddleboarding.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding is one of the world’s fastest growing water sports and is hugely popular in Australia and the USA.

Stand-Up Paddleboarding is a highly accessible, fun and social way to enjoy sea or inland waters and people of all different ages can have a go at it.

At Ocean High they offer a wide-variety of courses from their SUP Taster course, which costs £25 per person, to their BSUPA Ready to Ride course that costs £40 per person.

Family coastal walks

The South West Coast Path offers kids and their parents the chance to discover the land of myths and legends by climbing hills and exploring secret coves linked to infamous smugglers.

The South West Coast Path offers walkers the chance to follow Treasure Trails that take in short circular walks which have a series of clues to solve dotted along the way.

These walks are perfect for children and parents in the school holidays or an active family weekend.

Walks to try when visiting Cornwall include 2.6 mile Pentire Point & The Rumps walk that offers walkers spectacular coastline views over Padstow Bay and Puffin Island.


Kitesurfing is one of the most exciting adventure sports in the world and you can try it with Mobius, who offer families, children and even old-aged pensioners the chance to take part in a number of water sports.

Mobius offer kitesurfing lessons to suit everyone: from complete beginners to advanced riders and for those that have never tried the sport before, and want to see if it’s for you, then they can get a taste of the sport with an introductory course.


Powerkiting is an exciting and fun sport that is great for both adults and children to take part in and at Mobius you can have lessons from experienced instructors.

Those that decide to have a go at this exhilarating sport can choose from a range of different size kites so they can simply enjoy the thrill of harnessing the wind on small kites, or larger ones, which have enough power to pull you along the sand on your feet.

Kite Landboarding

Kite landboarding brings together the excitement of riding an off-road board, the thrill of flying a kite and covers skills needed for kitesurfing and skateboarding.

Learning to control the kite whilst balancing on the board can be challenging at first, but once you gain momentum you can lean back and enjoy the ride!

Mobius offers visitors to Cornwall the opportunity to take kite landboarding lessons and a two-hour training session costs just £40 per person.

Kite Buggying

An increasingly popular activity to try on the beach is kite buggying as people can travel up to 20 miles per-hour whilst being dragged along in a buggy that is just inches above the sand by a kite.

The Kite Buggy lessons from Mobius allow people to get to grips with moving the buggy with your feet and how you can speed and slow down the buggy by using the kite.

The advantage of kite buggying compared to other kite sports is the fact that you can do it in very light winds.

Once you get to grips with handling the buggy there are a range of tricks that you can try such as 360s, riding backwards and slides.

Mobius Bike Trails

If you are a keen cyclist or just want to get up close to the beautiful coastline that Cornwall has to offer then you should try the Mobius Bike Trails.

Experienced and qualified guides take bikers along scenic trails that can vary from following disused railways to steep descending tracks along the coast.

Those staying at Cornwall holiday parks that have not packed their bikes do not need to worry as there are plenty of trek bikes available to hire.


Coasteering is a great way to see the coastline and at Harlyn Surf School, the only surf school in the UK to be awarded an Adventure Activity Licence as a mark of their good safety practices and management. They offer a great route for people that want to try this popular coastal activity.

People that book up with Harlyn Surf School will go on a route that takes in lots of jumps, sea swimming and offers spectacular views of the coast.

Coasteering is a great experience to do as a family, group or individual and Harlyn Surf School’s fully qualified instructors will make sure that your day is full of fun.

Kayak tours

Harlyn Surf School also offer kayak tours along the rugged Cornish coastline and no matter whether you are a complete novice sea kayaking is a great way to explore Cornwall’s beautiful coastline and take in some spectacular views.

Ride a horse on the beach

Visit Cornwall recently wrote an article about 10 contemporary activities on the Cornish coast to try and one activity was to ride a horse across Perranporth Beach.

This activity offers people the chance to see the Cornish coastline from a completely different way as you can go on an exhilarating gallop through the waves of the Atlantic Ocean.

Horse riding at Perranporth beach is open to people of all shapes, sizes and abilities and visitors to Perranporth beach can choose from a range of treks.

Young children can try half-hour rides, whilst adults can try treks that last from two hours to half a day.


Rockpooling is a great activity for the whole family to do and fortunately many of Cornwall’s beaches are perfect for rockpooling.

Rockpooling is obviously free to do and can be done at any time of the year. To find marine animals it is best to check out the rock pools that are closest to the sea, but keep an eye out on the tide!

Swim in Bude Sea Pool

The part man-made, part natural sea pool at Summerleaze Beach in Bude offers a safe haven for young children or for those that are learning to swim.

The pool, which dates back to the 1930s, nestles beside the cliffs at Summerleaze Beach and Visit Cornwall highly recommends visiting the famous sea pool.

Visit Cornwall says, “Bude Sea Pool offers a unique experience for the entire family to enjoy. Let your little ones get their toes wet, watch the sporty ones take a plunge or simply soak up the sunshine beside the fresh salty water.”

This content was written by Alex Jones. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.

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