23 Fantastic Day Trips From St Ives to Take With Kids

You could stay in St Ives for months, going to the beach, exploring the little shops and alleyways, trying the local delicacies and visiting the many art galleries. If you’re staying a little longer, you may fancy a day trip from St Ives rather than a day out in St Ives.

Whether you want to explore a bit more of Cornwall or you want to take your kids to an attraction, you’ll definitely find something here. From epic wildlife encounters at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary and paradise park to historical sites and other Cornish beauty hotspots, there are endless options.

Here are 23 of the best day trips from St Ives:

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Porthmeor Beach St Ives

23 day trips from St Ives Cornwall to take with kids

1. Paradise Park & Jungle Barn

Travels with Eden | day trips from St Ives to take with kids | things to do in Cornwall with kids, paradise park, hayle, penguin feeding, bird park, zoo
Penguin feeding time at Paradise Park

This animal sanctuary is one of the closest day trips from St Ives, at only 5 miles away in Hayle and one of the many attractions near St Ives. Home to over 1200 birds and animals, there’s something for all the family here.

Kids will love the fun farm, which features miniature donkeys, goats, sheep, rabbits, and guinea pigs. There’s a huge array of birds to see, too, including toucans, owls, cranes, and lorikeets. The ‘flight of the rainbows’ talk allows visitors to feed the lorikeets small nectar pots inside an inclosure.

One of my favourite parts about Paradise park is the kid’s play area. A large play space featuring a picnic area and wooden castle play space. Make sure you take a look at the shop on your way out. There are plenty of brilliant souvenirs and unique gifts to be found.

A day at paradise park will be packed with all the sights there is to see. Daily events and talks include Otter feeding, penguin feeding, and bird shows. The Jungle express train is an added bonus. A scenic ride on kids train around a small section of the park (An extra fee of £1 applies).

Paradise Park features ‘The Jungle Barn’, a large indoor soft play area with huge slides. Toddlers will love the special toddler zone which features a ball fountain.

Read 12 more fantastic things to do in Hayle here.

Location | Hayle | TR27 4HY

Distance from St Ives | 6.7 miles

Website | paradisepark.org.uk

paradise park hayle animals

2. Upton Towans Nature Reserve

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Located at the far end of Hayle, Upton Towans beach is a good choice for a day trip and near St Ives. Upton Towans beach is part of the ‘3 miles of golden sand’ visible from St Ives Bay. For more information on visiting Upton Towans, visit our guide here.

Location | Hayle | TR26 5AF

Distance from St Ives | 9 miles

3. Porthkidney Beach, Lelant

Distance from St Ives | 3.3 Miles

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 Porthkidney Beach is located just two miles from St Ives. However, the beach is far less touristy than the beaches in St Ives. It’s vast, and you can feel a degree of solitude and wilderness.

Nestled in the bay of Hayle, next to the Hayle Estuary, Porthkidney beach is just waiting to be explored. It’s easy to travel to Porthkidney from St Ives via the picturesque St Ives branch line.

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4. St Michaels Mount

St Michaels Mount Cornwall
St Michaels Mount Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount is a small island linked to Marazion Beach via a causeway. If the tide is in, the mount is only reachable by boat. The main attraction is a medieval castle at the top of the mount.

Enjoy family activities in the school holidays that include rock pooling on the island foreshore, potting up in the garden; I Spy trails in the village and garden and giant colouring in.

Distance from St Ives | 10.1 Miles

Website | stmichaelsmount.co.uk


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5. Carbis Bay Beach

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Carbis Bay beach is the next beach along St Ives Bay, just past Porthminster beach. Porthminster is visible from high points in St Ives such as St Nicholas Chapel.

If you fancy trying out a different beach, Carbis Bay is the one to visit. The beach usually has calm waters (great for kids) and features watersports and a restaurant and cafe.

To reach Carbis Bay beach, the best way is to ride on the St Ives Branch Line, a scenic train line from St Ives to the mainland station of St Erth. Carbis Bay is the first stop and only takes 3 minutes to reach.

You can walk from St Ives to Carbis Bay along the South West Coast Path from Porthminster Beach. It’s my favourite of the coastal walks from St Ives.

his should take under an hour. The walk features breathtaking scenery and fantastic views over St Ives bay and high above Carbis Bay beach. To find out more about the walk, see how me and my 8-month-old found it here. St Ives train station car park just above the beach.

6. Portreath

Portreath beach
A view of Portreath from the coast path

The village of Portreath lies on the Eastern Cornish Coast, accessible along the coast road from Hayle and located in a valley between two towering cliffs. This is a spot not to be missed. The main attraction in Portreath is the beach. If you fancy trying your hand at some watersports, there are surfing and watersports facilities.

The small restaurant and takeaway just above the beach is a must-visit. Get some fish and chips to eat on the beach (mind the seagulls!) or try some local Cornish delicacies at the restaurant.

For kids, there’s a tidal rock pool next to the wall at the top of the beach. There are some great walks in and around Portreath for the more adventurous. Climb the paths onto the North cliff for distant views over St Ives Bay and Godrevey lighthouse.

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Portreath by night

7. The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

This charity-run sanctuary rescues and rehabilitates grey seal pups from around the Cornish coastline. Seal sanctuary day trips will involve seeing the seals close up as well as learning about the individual stories. From malnourishment to separation, each season the sanctuary treats around 70 pups. The seal sanctuary also includes a woodland walk where you can see otters and spot rare birds on the Helford estuary and a farm with ponies, goats and more.

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Distance from St Ives | 21.4 miles | Gweek

Website | sealsanctuary.sealifetrust.org

9. The Eden Project

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As one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions, The Eden Project is well worth the distance and a great day out for families.

Kids will enjoy the innovative play equipment and warm welcome. The Eden Project is nestled in a huge crater. Here, massive Biomes housing the largest rainforest in captivity, stunning plants, exhibitions and stories serve as a backdrop to striking contemporary gardens, summer concerts and exciting year-round family events.

View more things to do in St Austell here

Distance from St Ives | 47.5 Miles

Website | edenproject.com

10. Geevor Tin Mine

Geevor Tin Mine is located in the town of Pendeen which was originally the heart of the tin and copper mining industry. Visiting the mine gives visitors the experience of being a Cornish miner while getting to know the story of the workers over 200 years ago.

Visitors will even get a chance to hear from workers who actually worked in the mine before it closed in 1990. There are plenty of hands-on activities for all the family.

View the best mines in Cornwall to visit with kids here

Distance from St Ives | 11 miles

Website | geevor.com/

11. Newquay

Fistral Beach | By Leif Christoph Gottwald 

Newquay is a much larger tourist resort than St Ives with plenty to do for kids. A day trip from St Ives to Newquay is definitely one of my favourites. From exploring different beaches to learning to surf or visiting the many amusement arcades, you’ll certainly not run out of things to do on a day trip to Newquay.

Start the day with a walk down the main street where you can pick up a wide range of souvenirs from branded rock sweets to keyrings and signature Newquay t-shirts. A great way to get around is by Land Train, an alternative bus service than takes you round Newquay in open-top carriages.

Newquay has no less than 12 beaches! The most famous beach is Fistral Beach, a surfing hotspot backed by dunes and dramatic cliffs. Lusty Glaze beach is good for a quiet beach day with stunning views. Newquay also features some of Cornwall’s most popular attractions including Newquay Zoo and the Blue Reef Aquarium.

For more information on Newquay with kids, read our top 10 things to do.

Distance from St Ives | 31.5 miles

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12. Newquay Zoo

As one of Cornwall’s most popular attractions, Newquay Zoo is a great day out and well worth the travel time. Nestled within 13 acres of gardens, the zoo hosts over 1000  of the world’s rarest and endangered animals. Watch the lions devour their lunch and then adventure into the Tropical House (if you’re brave enough) and meet some of the more unusual residents including a sloth! If that isn’t enough, there’s activity trails, face painting, a children’s play area, a Woodland Walk and Dragon maze to keep the little ones busy.

newquay zoo, uk ttractions, cornwall, penguins

Distance from St Ives | 31.3 miles

Website | newquayzoo.org.uk

13. Flambards

Flambards is top of our list of the Best Theme Parks in Cornwall for Families:

Flambards Theme Park is a great family fun day out with plenty of great things to do! Brave the sky-high thrill rides, or enjoy the undercover soft play area. Discover dinosaurs in the Jurassic Journey and uncover fossils in the Dino Dig.  Step back in time in the life-size Victorian Village and experience Britain in the Blitz in the award-winning Indoor Attractions. 


Distance from St Ives | 16.6 miles

Website | .flambards.co.uk/

14. Sennen

Sennen is easily accessible from St Ives during the summer months by a scenic bus route on the Atlantic coaster. The picturesque town is set just miles from Penzance and 1 mile from Lands End. The main draw is Sennen Cove beach, great for kids and popular with surfers, backed by dramatic cliffs and dunes.

Sennen beach is a great place to learn to surf. The surfing centre offers a variety of courses and lessons for all ages with family discounts available.

Distance from St Ives | 16.7 miles

15. The Minack Theatre


The Minack Theatre is one of the most unique attractions in the UK, built on a sloping granite cliff looking out into the Atlantic to Porthcurno Bay.

Pay a visit and have a unique experience at one of the shows or just come and take a look. Take a look down the sheer drop into the ‘zawn’ behind the stage and spot the many beautiful engravings. Sometimes you may catch a workshop or a rehearsal in progress, and you are welcome to watch.

The visitor centre exhibits more about the history of the Minack, see the original costumes and enjoy the interactive exhibits. If you’re feeling peckish, the cafe features local Cornish delicacies with panoramic views out into the bay.

Distance from St Ives | 17.6 miles

Website | www.minack.com/

16. The Lizard Peninsula

Cliffs at Lizard Point, Cornwall.
Photo by Benjamin Elliott

This dramatic outcrop sticks out of the South of Cornwall. Its rocky cliffs, stunning beaches and fabulous beauty spots make The Lizard a popular destination for rod trippers and tourists.

The most popular spot on the Lizard is Kyance Cove. The blog ‘A family day out’ lists some amazing things that you can do with kids on the Lizard Peninsula’. You can view the post here. The Lizard is also home to the Cornish Seal Sanctuary – one of the best family attractions in Cornwall.

white and black street sign
Photo by Hadyn

Distance from St Ives | 26.5 miles to the Lizard on the bottom of the Peninsula. I highly recommend driving as the public transport from St Ives can take most of the day. You would need to take a bus to Redruth and change onto a bus to the Lizard from there.

17. Zennor

man standing on rock
Photo by Simon Godfrey

This small village is set amongst dramatic cliffs and stunning scenery. You’ll really get an insight into Cornish culture by visiting Zennor. The main attraction is the church of St Sentra, a 6th-century church which holds a famous carving of the Mermaid of Zennor.

The walk from St Ives to Zennor is very popular with visitors and one of the only day trips from St Ives that’s possible to walk to (only for teens+). The 6.5-mile stretch follows the South West Coast Path around the dramatic Cornish coastline.

To walk to Zennor, walk to the end of Porthmeor Beach and up to Mans Head. Follow the cliff path from here to Clodgy point before turning right on the path towards Zennor.

At the end of the walk, many like to reward themselves with a drink at the Tinners Arms, a pub dating back to 1271 offering local ales in front of a log fire.

Its quick to drive to Zennor for a quick visit. The village features a picturesque church, a pub and an ice-cream takeaway.

Distance from St Ives | 4.4 miles (6.5 mile coastal walk)

18. Lands End

Lands End marks the Southernmost Point in the United Kingdom (definitely one to tick off the bucket list). The site also hosts a wealth of attractions. The End to End exhibition will teach you about the modes of transport used to travel from Lands End to John O’Groats in Scotland (The Northernmost point in the UK).

Greeb farm is one the kids will love. Visitors will get a chance to meet a range of farm animals. Arthur’s Quest is also great for families. The attraction uses modern technology to conjure up a scary world.

Distance from St Ives | 17.8 miles | TR19 7AA

Website | landsend-landmark

Travels with Eden | day trips from St Ives to take with kids | things to do in Cornwall with kids
The view from Lands End

19. Marazion

green grass on brown sand under blue sky during daytime
Photo by Kernow Hayz

Marazion is a small town between St Ives and Penzance, home to St Michaels Mount with a long beach and stunning views of the sea and towards Penzance. The little shopping street features lots of independent shops and family-friendly eateries. The waters at Marazion beach are perfect for standup paddleboarding.

Ocean high offers paddleboard and kayak rentals, exhibitions and lessons from beginner to advanced. Ocean high also runs ‘ocean tribe’, kids sessions on the beach where kids are taught about the ocean, some beach fitness, and stand up paddleboarding.

Distance from St Ives | 11.6 miles

20. Falmouth

falmouth, cornwall. sea

Falmouth is a bustling port town on the East coast of Cornwall on the Fal Estuary with stunning beaches, a fabulous castle and winding streets.

Beach lovers can head to Gyllyngvase beach, which is walkable from Falmouth town centre. The beach is excellent for kids, with famously calm waters and ample rock pooling spots. Swanpool beach is magnificent for adventure lovers with watersports hire and surrounding cliff walks.

Towering above Falmouth is Pendennis Castle, which boasts interactive kids exhibits and stunning Fal estuary views. You can learn about how the castle played a part in the 2 world wars. Learn about the power of the weapons stored in the castle and how the estuary was defended.

Why not take a boat trip along the Fal Estuary to the village of St Mawes on the Roseland Penninsula, visit another stunning castle and take in sea views at the harbour.

Distance from St Ives | 26.5 miles

falmouth view

View the best Campsites and Holiday Parks in Falmouth here

21. A Day Trip from St Ives to the Isles of Scilly

Located just 35 miles off the Cornish coast, this stunning island archipelago can’t be missed on a trip to Cornwall. For more information about all the amazing things you can do as a family on the Scilly isles, take a look at the ’10 things to do on the Scilly Isles with kids’ by Getoutwiththekids.

Ferry to the Scilly Isles | The Scillonian Ferry leaves from Penzance and takes 2 hours, 35 minutes to reach the Scilly Isles. Day return tickets are £48 (Adult 16+) £30 (Child 2-15) £16 (Under 2).

Flying to the Scilly Isles | Flights take 20 minutes from Lands End Airport and 30 minutes from Newquay. A day trip from Lands End (Monday-Friday) cost £125 (Adult 16+) £100 (Child 2-15) £43.50 (Under 2).

22. Mousehole

Mousehole is a small fishing village just south of Penzance and perfect for a day trip. The narrow streets are great to explore and filled with independent shops, galleries and restaurants to suit all tastes. The harbour is famous in the popular kids story, ‘the Mousehole cat’.

Distance from St Ives | 10.8 miles

Getting to Mousehole

Penzance is easily accessible via the A17 bus from St Ives. Regular bus services connect Penzance with Mousehole. Visitors can also take a more scenic route by train via the picturesque St Ives branch line to St Erth before changing to Penzance’s main line. Penzance bus station is next to the train station. You can easily change onto a bus to Mousehole from here.

Driving will take you around 28 minutes. Parking is limited within the village, so it’s best to park just outside and walk in.


Located between St Ives and Penzance, the site of Chysauster features the remains of a Romano-British Settlement occupied nearly 2000 years ago. Today visitors can walk around the village settlement to understand what the houses would have looked like and how the settlement was laid out. 

The houses are set out along a village street, each of stone construction, and you can walk around the remains of these houses to gain a sense of what life was like thousands of years ago. Chysauster has excellent views across the Cornish countryside and out to sea. There’s also a vast amount of flora and fauna to spot.

Distance from St Ives | 6.6 miles

Website | English-Heritage.org.uk/Chysauster

View our Cornwall Travel Planning Guide here for more help on planning the perfect trip to Cornwall with kids.

Read More: Things to do in Truro

Have you been on any of these day trips from St Ives? Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below:

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