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02 October 2021

Things to do with teenagers in Cornwall

by Jasmine Greenwood

If there’s one person who’s going to say they’re bored on holiday, it’s bound to be the family member between the ages of eight and eighteen. Ensuring everyone’s happy all the time is tricky. But, fear not, keeping young people entertained is one of the things Cornwall does best. Here’s my fail safe list of knockout activities and things to do for teenagers in Cornwall (and young adults, and the young at heart).

Coast 2 Coast Karting

This is an awesome karting track, and their turn-up-and-drive policy means there’s no need to book. They have three types of kart – each designed for a specific age group. 8 to 12-year-olds can get behind the wheel of a Junior Evo Kart. For kids over 12 years, the Single-engine Pro Karts are quicker (and the best option for adults who want to join in the fun). But, for over-16s with karting experience, the lightning-fast Twin-engine Pro karts will satisfy their need for speed. Don’t panic, there’s a full briefing session beforehand, and the course is an extremely safe and controlled environment.

How far? 15-minute drive.

When can we go? Opening times vary seasonally and daily, so check the website for details.

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Flambards theme park has been one of Cornwall’s best all-weather, family attractions for decades. The rides are the biggest draw. If your kids like being spun around 360 degrees, 25 metres above the ground or hurtling down a log flume (and you don’t mind them doing it), then this is a place for them (and you, if you can handle it). But, if you’re in the mood for something a little less hectic, there are plenty of other great attractions and indoor exhibitions, including the Victorian Village and Jurassic Journey. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the website for special events during the holiday seasons, including fireworks, gigs and Christmas markets.

How far? 25-minute drive.

When can we go? Easter to October, with winter openings of the undercover exhibitions. Check the website for details.

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Mount Hawke Skatepark

If your kids are into skateboarding or BMXs, then this is a winner. Mount Hawke is Cornwall’s largest skate park and one of the longest-running in the country. In 2018, it was the venue for the UK National Skate Championship. The massive 24,000 sq. ft warehouse is divided into different sections with loads of high-quality ramps to keep skaters happy for hours.

How far? 25-minute drive.

When can we go? Opening times vary seasonally and daily, so check the website for details.

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Cycle Trails

Cycling a designated trail is a brilliant family activity; kids can let off steam while you lap up the Cornish scenery. The closest one to Three Mile Beach is the 2.5-mile Tehidy Trail, which starts in Coombe (15-minute drive). It’s a mostly off-road, one-way trail that weaves through the beautiful Tehidy Country Park. It also connects to a more adventurous, coast-to-coast cycle route from Portreath to Devoran that follows old mining tramways. Head to The Hub café in Portreath (20-minute drive) for cycle hire and route info.

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Horse Riding

It’s always good to give city-dwelling youngsters the opportunity to get out on horseback. There are plenty of good riding schools in our area, offering a range of lessons and gentle hacks for all abilities as well as beach rides for more experienced riders.

The nearest option is Old Mill Stables in Lelant.

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Newlyn Filmhouse

This arthouse-style cinema offers something a bit more special than your regular movie-going experience. With its super-comfortable screening room, luxurious sofa seats, and a cool café/bar, this a great place to catch the latest release or just hang out. Do take note that they have a strict ‘no rustle’ policy in their screens; you’re only allowed to take drinks and ice creams into the film. You won’t find popcorn on sale here, and we know that could be a deal-breaker.

How far? 30-minute drive.

When can we go? Open every day, including bank holidays, except for Christmas and New Year. Check the website for films and their screening times.

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Eden Project

Once a disused china clay quarry and now an iconic visitor attraction, the Eden Project is a must-do. And its message of sustainable living and our impact on the natural world has never been so important. There’s so much to see and do here, from exploring the vast rainforest and Mediterranean biomes to daring to ride the SkyWire, England’s longest and fastest giant zip wire. The latter is run by Hangloose Adventure who organise a range of awesome activities for kids of eight upwards, including the giant cliff swing, climbing challenges, and a 12-metre base jump.

How far? 60-minute drive.

When can we go? Open all year except Christmas Day and special event days. Opening times vary depending on the season, so check the website.

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