Cornwall has acres of scenic unspoiled beauty that are perfect for hiking – if you’re lucky, you might spot the occasional fox, deer, or bird of prey while you’re out and about. However, if you want a guaranteed opportunity to see some of the native wildlife, North Cornwall has some fantastic family-friendly attractions. Here are some of our favourites.
Padstow Sealife Safaris
Want to spot seals, dolphins, and porpoises? Padstow Sealife Safaris offer several tour options for marine mammal lovers, including a 2-hour RIB trip around the stunning North Cornish coastline. If you take a tour between April and July you’ll also have an excellent chance of seeing nesting guillemots and razorbills, and maybe even a puffin or two! For more information and online booking, visit the website.
The Cornish Birds of Prey Centre
A family-run centre with more than 50 rescued birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, owls, and buzzards, The Cornish Birds of Prey Centre puts on regular flying displays in addition to offering various hands-on experiences with its majestic residents. Open from Easter weekend, the Centre is located between Wadebridge and St. Columb Major. Facilities include a cafe that serves hot meals and snacks, disabled access, free parking and gift shop. You can find more information on the website.
Tamar Otter & Wildlife Centre
In addition to watching British and Asian short-clawed otters being fed, visitors to the Tamar Otter Centre can also see several species of deer, peacocks, wallabies, owls, and other birds of prey on its 21-acre grounds. Run by the Otter Trust, the Centre is the only place in the West Country where British otters are bred on a regular basis. Open daily from 30 March – 31 October, the Centre uses visitor funding for conservation activities, primarily including otter rehabilitation. You can find more information here.
Screech Owl Sanctuary
Providing care and rehabilitation for more than 130 owls, Screech Owl Sanctuary has one of the largest owl collections in the South West, with more than 40 different species from around the world. Animal-mad visitors can meet a host of other cute critters, including donkeys, alpacas, raccoons, meerkats, and miniature Shetland ponies. In addition to watching up to three daily flying displays, visitors can participate in animal feedings and arrange one-on-one encounters with owls, meerkats, or raccoons. Find out more here.
With more than 1,000 of the world’s rarest and endangered animals (including the only lions in Cornwall!), Newquay Zoo is a great day out for the whole family. A short walk from Newquay town centre, the zoo offers a variety of animal encounters in addition to activity trails, face painting, children’s play area, woodland walk and dragon maze. Find out the latest news and events here.
Looking for a place to stay on your Cornish vacation? The Point has an excellent range of self-catering accommodation within a short distance of all these attractions and many more family-friendly days out. Book your stay today.