Wild things to do in Cornwall
Published: Monday 24th Feb 2014
Written by: Catherine
Cornwall is widely known for its long stretches of coastline and outdoor activities and it is thanks to these idyllic holiday features that it is also home to some of the most impressive wildlife in the UK. From seeing animals in the wild on exciting boat trips to getting up close and personal with some more exotic members of the animal kingdom at local animal parks, there is no end of wild things to do in Cornwall.
With so many stunning natural habitats making up the landscape, you never know what you might come across during a Cornwall cottage holiday; from seals to eagles, there is plenty to explore and keep the whole family entertained.
Paradise Park Hayle
The only trouble with wildlife spotting in the wild is that it is not always guaranteed. While that is part of the beauty of going on relaxing walks across the Cornish countryside and coast paths, there are some great wildlife parks around that can ensure that neither you nor the little ones will be left disappointed.
Taking a trip to Paradise Park in Hayle is one of the best things to do in Cornwall whilst on a family holiday. Home to the county’s top wildlife sanctuary and the brilliant JungleBarn indoor play centre, Paradise Park offers something for the whole family, whatever the weather. With different events put on throughout the year and wildlife including 650 birds such as flamingos, parrots and toucans to name just a few - as well as red squirrels, red pandas and penguins - there is no end to the excitement.
There is even a great Fun Farm attraction that includes donkeys, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and more, allowing children to get up close to their favourite furry friends.
The great animal selection and fun-filled calendar of events has seen Paradise Park awarded the TripAdvisor 2013 Certificate of Excellence and the Cornwall Quality Attraction stamp of approval to confirm its status as one of the best wild Cornwall attractions.
Just around the corner in St Ives, there is plenty more wildlife to track down. The pretty harbour and beaches make St Ives a hotspot for birds and marine life and you will often see families making the most of the fun things to do in Cornwall here, exploring the rock pools of Godrevy Beach in Hayle or birdwatching around St Ives and Carbis Bay during your St Ives cottage breaks.
Puffins, buzzards and peregrine falcons are highlights to spot around the St Ives area and, because of the variable landscape, you can even catch sight of woodpeckers and kingfishers in the RSPB reserve of Ryan's Field near Hayle.
There are other great nature reserves in the nearby area that the Cornwall Wildlife Trust works to protect so that visitors and local residents can continue to enjoy the area’s wild and plant life. Upton Towans Nature Reserve boasts stunning views across the water from St Ives and is home to some truly magical sights. Here, children can find real glow worms and everyone who comes to the reserve admires the pyramidal orchid and sky lark.
On the high seas
At the other end of the scale there are some great opportunities to see marine life and coastal birds with the boat trips and tours available just south of St Ives. A half-hour drive takes you to the pretty village of Mousehole, which is famed for its quaint harbour that inspired the story of the Mousehole Cat. The harbour is also home to Cormorant Cruising, who offer some fantastic boat trips on the Cornish south coast. Children and adults alike will enjoy the chance to see dolphins, basking sharks and other coastal critters in the wild during their holidays to Cornwall and will gain a real experience of the local landscape and wildlife during their trip.
Share your experiences and photographs of wild trips to Cornwall on the Cornish Horizons Facebook page.
Image Credit: Paradise Park, Cormorant Cruising, St Ives Tourism Assoication