Cornwall is the destination of choice for many Brits choosing a staycation this summer. And who can blame them? With an epic coastline, gorgeous beaches, turquoise sea and rugged landscape there’s something for everyone. Keep reading to discover one of our favourite places to visit in Cornwall with kids. It’s a real gem, and it’s our little secret!
If you’ve been to Cornwall before – or you’re lucky enough to live here – then you’ll know how utterly brilliant it is and you’ll probably already have some fave places to visit.
But, if you’re like us, you’re always on the lookout for new, different and interesting places to visit. Especially if you’ve got kids to entertain.
If you’ve not been to Cornwall before, and you’re planing your first trip here, then right after you’ve finished reading this post you should definitely read this 🙂
Now for those of you who follow GinGin & Roo on Instagram, you’ll already know how much we love The Eden Project and the Lost Gardens of Heligan. They are two of our most favourite places to visit. And both feature regularly on my stories.
We definitely prefer visiting places that have nature at their heart and plenty of outdoor space for the girls to run around. Wild and free, like kids should be. Filling up on vitamin D and fresh air!
But, sometimes, Eden and Heligan can be overwhelmingly busy. Especially during the school holidays. And sometimes we just want to go somewhere a little different.
So to get our outdoor fix we head to Pinetum Gardens. This is a place I’ve written about before, but I think it’s such a fabulous place to visit that it deserves its own special mention. Not least because there are some great things happening at Pinetum that you should know about.
Pinetum is divided into several different garden spaces, which flow naturally from one to another. There’s a real sense of exploration and adventure at Pinetum, as you wander through one area and into the next.
On our most recent visit, the girls absolutely loved following the Soul Bird Trail. And seeking out the little fairy doors. It’s absolutely magical and encourages our little ones to really look around, looking up high and down low, for the chance to see a real fairy.
They enjoyed finding all the statues hidden in amongst the trees too.
The discovery of a collection of lawn games kept them entertained as well, until Roo demanded her ‘nic-nic’ (that’s picnic for anyone who doesn’t talk Roo-ish). So we laid out our blanket in amongst the pine trees and ate lunch to the calming sound of birdsong.
Pinetum is named for the collection of pine trees. They really are magnificent! And they provided a brilliant opportunity for a game of hide-and-seek after our picnic, which momentarily terrified both GinGin and Roo because they couldn’t find me, even though I hadn’t actually moved and was stood in the exact same spot while they ran around a huge pine tree!
Once they realised I hadn’t taken the opportunity to leg it to the cafe by myself, they took joy in pointing out every big tree they could find. And they found lots. Other people had a little giggle at Roo who jumped up-and-down excitedly next to every pine tree shouting “look mummy, I found one! A big tree!” (She’s too cute!)
Watch Roo discovering a big tree! See how excited Roo was about finding a “big tree.”
I think the Winter Garden is my favourite bit of Pinetum. It’s sort of fenced-in and more heavily manicured than the rest of the gardens. But the thing I love about the Winter Garden is that it’s almost maze-like. Lovely paths weave in a symmetrical pattern obscured by clever planting.
So, for little toddlers like Roo, they could run round and round all day long not realising they’ve been along the same path eleventy-one times. And, because it’s fenced in, they can run off and explore and still be safely contained.
Heading down towards the big pond is usually where Roo is confined back in her pushchair. I’m sure she wouldn’t jump in the pond, but I don’t want to take that chance. Plus, she’s usually worn out by the time we get to this bit, so she doesn’t put up too much of a fight at the chance to sit down.
We love to walk round the pond, seeking out dragon flies and other creatures. If you can get the kids to sit still enough and quietly enough lots and lots of creatures come out to play. It’s quite wondrous for my girls, who normally run around at about 90 miles an hour.
Back up the grassy hill it is essential to ring the bell. I mean who really wants all that treasured peace and quiet, right? And then it’s into the Japanese Garden.
The Japanese Garden is gorgeous. Having never been to Japan I can’t tell you how authentic it is, but it is very lovely. A word of caution, though, this part of Pinetum is pretty inaccessible to anyone on wheels. The gravel and stepping stones are just too tricky to attempt with pushchairs and wheelchairs, which is a shame.
But if you’re not dependant on wheels to get around, then this is possibly one of the most tranquil gardens at Pinetum. It’s also GinGin’s favourite bit.
By the time you get back to the Courtyard Garden, you’ll be grateful that’s where the cafe is so you can enjoy a well-earned cup of tea and a delicious slice of cake. They serve tasty food at Pinetum. There’s also a nice little shop and a plant nursery. But don’t leave before exploring all of the Courtyard Garden. It’s an amazing space and leads you down to another hidden pond area to explore.
Pinetum really is a brilliant place to let the kids go wild and explore. Even toddlers are safe to run free here, although do be careful near the water. And, because it’s not a particularly well-known place, it’s still a fabulous and peaceful little gem to visit in Cornwall even in during the busiest times of the year.
Gingin and Roo and me definitely recommend you add Pinetum to your list of places to visit in Cornwall.
Have you ever been to Pinetum? I’d love to hear your about your experiences there too. Let us know in the comments below.
If you’ve enjoyed reading this, then you might also be interested in reading these posts too:
- Six Amazing Places in Cornwall Your Kids Will Love
- A Must-Go Place in Cornwall (Part I)
- A Must-Go Place in Cornwall (Part II)