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Family Friendly Days Out | October Half Term

Charlotte Ballam

Summer may have been and gone but there's no need to pack away the beach gear just yet. Here in St Ives we're often lucky enough to experience a last burst of sunshine in October and with the Autumn comes a whole host of opportunities to enjoy Cornwall this half term.

1) St Ives Surf School

Located on Porthmeor beach just mere minutes from your luxury cottage in St Ives, St Ives Surf School is highly regarded as one of the best places to learn to surf in Cornwall. With far less people in the water than the summer months, October is the perfect time to get some tuitition from both highly qualified and experienced instructors.  As Sail Lofts guests, you can enjoy a 10% discount (not to be used in conjunction with any other discounts or promotion) on surfing lessons and other water activities.

2) The Eden Project

Set in a former quarry and comprised of vibrant gardens as well as three massive Biomes, the Eden Project is home to the 'largest rainforest in captivity' a plethora of amazing plants, exhibitions and stories - making for a fun and informative day out for the whole family. Along with the biomes and gardens you will find plenty of food and drink, a beautiful gift shop selling an eclectic mix of ethically sourced goods from food and drink to homeware and 'The Nest', a huge climbing frame on which the more energetic family members can blow off some steam! The Eden Project is located in St Austell, as it is at least an hour's drive away - this is a great destination to break up the journey either to or from your luxury cottage in St Ives.

3) Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Museum

We consider ourselves so lucky to have this iconic museum and gallery on our doorstep. Everyone will enjoy exploring Barbara Hepworth's scultpure garden, an unexpected oasis of sub-tropical plants in the middle of St Ives, along with the iconic sculptures of bronze and stone - many of which remain where the artist placed them herself many years ago. For a fun, family friendly workshop in case of a rainy day, head to the Tate and help bring their studio walls to life again by drawing and creating wonderful new worlds and creatures to live in them. Both the Tate and Barbara Hepworth Museum are short, easy walks from your luxury cottage in St Ives and as guests of the Sail Lofts you are entitled to complimentary admission, just ask the concierge team for tickets.

4) Barnoon Workshops

Surrounded by beautiful scenery, overlooking Porthmeor Beach and within minutes of the South West Coastal Path, Barnoon Workshop is a dedicated art space in the heart of St Ives. From water colour classes to carving breeze blocks, creating a holiday journal or simply heading out to draw St Ives, Barnoon workshops run classes for all abilities and in a town revered by artists for decades there's certainly no shortage of inspiration. You'll find Barnoon Workshops at the foot of the Barnoon car park, a short, convenient walk from your luxury cottage in St Ives.

5) Trengwainton Garden's Scarecrow Exhibition

For an outdoor adventure kind of day, head to National Trust site Trengwainton. In this warm and luxuriant garden, you can follow in the footsteps of the 1920s plant hunters to see plants that flowered in Britain for the first time. You'll find a kitchen garden built to the dimensions of Noah’s Ark and a tea-room which uses seasonal produce from that garden. The scarecrow exhibition in the walled kitchen garden is an eagerly awaited annual event whereby scarecrows made by children from local schools are exhibited amongst the fruit, vegetables and flowers. Trengwainton is located just outside of Penzance and shouldn't be much more than a 20 minute drive from your luxury cottage in St Ives. The exhibition will run until 27th October when the garden closes.

6) Heartlands

Nestled just off the A30 in Pool, the former mining heart of Cornwall, Heartlands brings 19 acres of eclectic fun to the table, including exhibitions, climb-on sculptures,  gardens and a giant adventure playscape for children as well as studios and a cafe set in an old carpenter's workshop. With ample open, outdoor space for warm, sunny days and ever-curious indoor space when it’s wet, Heartlands is all-year round, all-weather entertainment for anyone and everyone. See, play and explore. At around a 20 minute drive from your luxury cottage in St Ives, Heartlands is a reasonably good alternative to the Eden Project if you're looking for a fun and informative day out.

7) Paradise Park

Just 15 minutes away from your luxury cottage in St Ives, complete with wildlife sanctuary, fun farm and indoor play, Paradise Park will keep everyone smiling come rain or shine. The award winning sanctuary is home to over 1,000 birds including parrots, penguins, flamingos, Cornish choughs, eagles, kookaburras, hornbills, cranes and many more, plus red pandas, red squirrels and playful otters! The Fun Farm includes mini donkeys, pygmy goats, sheep, rabbits and guinea pigs. As if all that isn't enough, the JungleBarn provides the ultimate indoor playground, featuring soft play for little oness and drop slides, ball pools and more for children of all ages.

8) Flambards

Whether the children are getting restless or the autumn weather won't allow a day on the beach, Flambards is the ultimate family destination for a fun day out and at just a 30-40 minute drive away from your luxury cottage in St Ives, it's well worth a visit. There are sky-high rides for the daredevils in the family, an undercover soft play area for little ones and you can even experience Britain in the Blitz in the award-winning life-size Victorian Village. There is plenty to see and do even on the dreariest of days.

9) The Seal Sanctuary

Each season, the Seal Sanctuary rehabilitates over 70 seal pups in distress from around the Cornish Coastline as well as providing a permanent home to animals that can't be released back into the wild. As well as the seals you will experience some wonderful marine animals at the sanctuary including sea lions, penguins and otters and learn all about their stories. At around a 45 minute drive from your luxury cottage in St Ives, the Seal Sanctuary is well worth a visit for animal lovers and wildlife enthusiasts and as the pupping season can start as early as August in Cornwall, you're likely to see some adorable baby seals being cared for at this time of year onwards.

10) Coco Kitchen (I Should Coco)

Calling all chocolate lovers!  Mould, design and decorate to your heart's content and take home a selection of chocolate treats crafted by your own fair hands. White, milk and dark chocolates will be provided along with toppings. Long established, family run business I Should Coco is located in the heart of town just a short walk away from the Sail Lofts luxury cottages in St Ives and run various workshops for all ages and occasions. Visit Coco Kitchen for more information.

October is one of the best times to visit St Ives, whether you're here with friends, family or your four legged friend, why not take a look and find out where's the best place to take your dog this October or even where to enjoy your time in St Ives with a bite to eat out in the town?