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From the Blog

Cornwall's best baby and toddler-friendly cafés

Posted by Sophie Hesp on Mar 25, 2022

Make baby’s first holiday one to remember

We know travelling with young children can be tricky to plan, so as part of our baby and toddler week, we’ve found 10 of Cornwall’s best cafés and farm shops to visit while holidaying with little ones.

Chosen by our team with practicalities like buggy access, toddler menus, soft play areas and changing facilities in mind, they’ll help make your holiday hassle-free and a special time for the whole family to remember.

1.    The Engine Shed at Lappa Valley

Nestled within 35 acres of countryside and not far from Newquay, this train-themed adventure park will be a hit with energetic toddlers. The whole site is buggy-friendly, and the steam train that runs throughout the park even has a carriage just for pushchairs.

When hungry tummies rumble, head to The Engine Shed for lunch. The newly opened café is home to a multi-level indoor soft play, with a dedicated area for children under five. Parents can relax with a coffee and enjoy views across the boating lake, while little ones tuck into a freshly made Lappa Lunchbag or Little Lappa Roast on Sundays. Every practicality has been considered at the café, where the baby changing facilities feature touch-free sinks and quiet hand dryers for children sensitive to noise.

After lunch, young children will love exploring the ‘picnic and paddle’ area, the pirate play ship or the toddlers’ path maze, while older siblings try out the giant tube slides, crazy golf and pedal cars. There’s also a woodland walk and a dog exercise area if you’re holidaying with furry friends.

Plan your visit: tickets start from just £3 and children under two go free.

 

The train at Lappa Valley in North Cornwall
The train at Lappa Valley in North Cornwall

© Lappa Valley

2.    Woods Café at Cardinham Woods

Always one of our top recommendations for families, Woods Café sits right beside a natural wooden playground, which older toddlers will love exploring after a walk around the Superworm trail or a paddle in the stream. Inside, there’s a fresh selection of coffee and cake for grown-ups, plus children’s lunch boxes which include sandwiches, fruit, carrot sticks and juice. 

The laid back atmosphere and comfy sofas make it easy to feed babies or enjoy an after-lunch cuddle, while the café toy box will be sure to keep hungry children happy. There’s not much room for buggies so they’re best parked outside, or take a seat at the outdoor picnic tables if you’re visiting in warm weather. 

3.    Boscastle Farm Shop

Cornish owned and family-run, this north coast gem has a varied menu and spectacular views over Boscastle. There’s a grassy play area for toddlers to explore before lunch, where they can then choose from red ruby beef burgers, pasta dishes and fresh sandwiches. 

The garden area outside is also dog-friendly, where you can happily spend an hour or two on warm summer days, before letting the children choose something to take home from the farm shop. 

 

A mum and dad admiring the sea view from inside a house, with their daughter sitting between them
A toddler playing with wooden toys on a play mat, and the sea in the background

4.    St Kew Farm Shop and Café

A small but perfectly formed café in North Cornwall, St Kew is well-placed for visiting after sandy walks on Daymer Bay or Rock Beach. The café and shop are spread across one level, with a ramp making for easy buggy access. 

Indoor tables can fill up fast, so we recommend visiting in the summer months when the large grassy garden provides an idyllic setting for lunch al fresco. Take a seat on a picnic bench and enjoy coffee and cake amongst the apple trees, or venture into the shop to browse their curated selection of houseplants and homeware. The farm shop also hosts pizza nights most weeks, fresh from a stone-baked oven.

5.    The Cabin Café

Not far from Bude on Cornwall’s north coast, this Crackington Haven-based café is open every day to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. While they don't offer a specialised children's menu, we recommend ordering a couple of healthy light bites from the main menu to enjoy as a family. Welcoming ‘naughty kids, muddy gum boots and four-legged friends’, the café also hosts family-style barbeques every Thursday and Sunday. 

6.    The Eden Project

Easily one of Cornwall’s most family-friendly venues, the cafés and coffee shops dotted around Eden are no exception. In 2018, their family meals were ranked second in the Soil Association's ‘Out To Lunch’ league table, which identifies the freshest, healthiest and most sustainable food in UK visitor attractions. 

What’s more, the whole site is buggy-friendly, with accessible toilets and baby changing facilities throughout. With highchairs, microwaves and a bottle warming service, you’ll have everything you need for a hassle-free lunch, plus a private feeding area available for those who’d like it. 

Plan your visit: take a look at Eden’s ‘visiting with kids’ page for extra tips.

 

The Eden Project biomes in North Cornwall
Inside the biomes at The Eden Project in North Cornwall

© Matt Jessop via Visit Cornwall

7.    The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Set in picture-perfect South Cornwall, not far from Mevagissey, Heligan’s kitchen and bakery is surrounded by wildlife. Baby diners can nibble on pitta bread, hummus and veggie sticks as the local bees and butterflies zoom past outdoor tables. 

The adventure play area on the east lawn, with its rope bridges, slides and natural climbing frames, is an idyllic setting for families with young children. Parents can relax with a blanket on the grass while toddlers explore their surroundings and older, more adventurous children burn off some energy. 

Coming up on 11th April are Heligan’s Easter lambing tours, where little ones can meet expectant mums and newborn lambs in the nursery pens. With no cost for under fives, it’s a great way for nature-loving families to welcome in spring. 

Plan your visit: with more details coming soon, keep an eye out for ‘Wild Week’ this May half term.

8.    Strawberry Fields Farm Shop

Sneaking into the list on the Cornwall and Devon border, Strawberry Fields makes the perfect pitstop on car journeys to the South West. Well-loved by families, the farm shop offers pick your own sunflowers and strawberries in the summer, or visit in the autumn to see the patch come alive with pumpkins of all colours, shapes and sizes.

Inside, the coffee lounge is brilliantly seasonal, serving everything from Easter afternoon tea boxes to homemade pies and cooked breakfasts. The spacious layout means easy access for buggies, while the outdoor tables are perfect for families with dogs.

Plan your visit: tire out little legs in the maize maze before lunch.

9.    Trevathan Farm

Based at St Endellion, the spacious barn-style café at Trevathan Farm soaks up magical views over the countryside and is well worth stopping by on your way to Port Isaac. There’s plenty of room for babies in buggies, plus a pet’s corner where children can meet alpacas, goats and guinea pigs. Added to the adventure playground and sit-on diggers outside, there’s plenty to occupy toddlers while waiting for lunch to be served. 

10.    The Potting Shed

Our final recommendation sits just outside of Newquay. Tucked into Newquay Garden Centre, The Potting Shed café is set across one level with ramped access from the inside, making it easy for buggies to come and go. 

Stop by for breakfast and let little ones dig into pancakes and fruit, before taking a stroll around the flowers, homeware and fresh produce in the garden centre and shop.

What’s more, there’s spacious baby changing facilities, and the café staff are always on hand to make lunchtimes easier for young families – just ask for a highchair, or a toddler-friendly snack from the menu. 

 

A close-up shot of pancakes, blueberries and honey on a plate

Where to stay

An open plan living area that opens out onto a decked terrace
A dining table with a pendent light above it
A living area with a large gable window and a wooden coffee table

Left: Penmorcom in Polzeath. Middle: Treasure House in Polzeath. Right: Lizard in Harlyn Bay.

Be on the sand within minutes from these three baby-friendly beach houses – gather everyone together for memorable summer holidays with little ones, where comfort and accessibility are at the core of their design. Enjoy al fresco lunches on Penmorcom’s sunny terrace after mornings building sandcastles, explore the best of North Cornwall from Treasure House, or let youngsters dip their toes in the shallows at Harlyn Bay with a stay at Lizard.

Take a look at the full list of our baby and toddler-friendly holiday homes and begin planning your next Cornish getaway. Or call our Property Advisors on 01208 895 570.

Image credits: Lappa Valley | Eden Project - Matt Jessop via Visit Cornwall. All other images are our own.

Posted by Sophie Hesp

When she's not out for brunch, Sophie loves exploring the coast path with her partner and their golden retriever pup, Obi. She writes about all things Cornwall and is a strong believer that there’s no such thing as too many house plants.