February half term is fast approaching (excitement all round!) and in a bid to make the very most of this post-festive season break we’ve scoured the coast to find you and your family a bunch of activities to enjoy which aren’t exactly your run-of-the-mill days out. So if you’re on the hunt for fun and adventure (with a side of education thrown in), we think you’ll love these ideas.
Elementary my dear Watson….
Yes, the small seaside village of Porthleven in west Cornwall is well-known for its spectacular sea conditions during the winter months, but now there’s an even more exciting experience to be had! Are you ready to crack the secret codes hidden on landmarks, monuments and statues all over town? You’ll be against the clock with only 3 hours to solve the clues on your self-guided Spy Mission Treasure Trail so best hurry!
And parents, you’ll have a handful of terrific cafes and award-winning restaurants like The Mussel Shoal and Kota to relax in afterwards. Being a spy’s sidekick works up an appetite.
If you fancy shopping independent and treating yourself to a handmade locally produced souvenir, the indoor market at The Shipyard is home to a range of artisan traders and food and drink vendors.
If you’re looking for a February Half Term activity with the kids that’s nature-infused, we highly recommend a visit to this sensational sub-tropical garden on the Cornish coast. Four miles of footpaths wind through dazzling exotic planting, with countless secret corners waiting to be discovered, and in this second month of the year you’ll be treated to Trebah’s collection of 500 Camellias all in full bloom.
The Camellias can be found on Camellia Walk, Petry’s Path and Badger’s Walk, and range from pure white and pale pink, (some flecked, some solid), to deep cerise, magenta and crimson. Once you’ve enjoyed the display, take a stroll down to the garden’s private beach, Polgwidden Cove, and savour a hot chocolate from its boathouse before whiling away a blissful hour overlooking the sea.
Visit Trebah Garden
It’s no secret that Cornwall’s seafood ranks among the best in the world and as a valuable natural resource with both economic and social importance, the European Lobster is worth protecting!
Continually under threat of being over-fished (which has already happened in both Scandinavian and Mediterranean waters), The National Lobster Hatchery in Padstow is a marine conservation, research and education charity whose work is specifically to preserve and prolong the abundance of this commercial species.
You can visit the hatchery and its award-winning visitor centre where you’ll be able to witness the work of the organization first-hand…and you’ll even be able to adopt your own baby lobster which you’ll be able to track online through its life stages. Fun, educational and a terrific activity for both young and old.
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Not only does Sidmouth dazzle with its stunning seafront and Regency architecture but it also offers adventure….of the Triassic kind! Yes, Sidmouth is in fact an important site, where the rare remains of ﬁsh, amphibians and reptiles can be found so, if you and your family fancy a spot of treasure hunting this February, stick this East Devon town at the top of your list.
With easy access down to the shore most specimens have been recovered from fallen blocks, but a few have been found in situ. Bones and footprints of the labyrinthodont, Mastodonsaurus lavisi and a rhynchosaur, Fodonyx spenceri, have also been found on the foreshore!
Situated above a flower shop with its entrance partially concealed around the corner, this terrific spot is still a relatively hidden gem on Brixham’s eclectic Middle Street and is a must-visit for those food and wine lovers visiting the area.
The Wine Loft’s husband and wife team bring their knowledge, cookery skills and hospitality to this small independent business where you can indulge in some fabulous Spanish and Portuguese deli treats while sampling from a range of over 400 wines from around the world.
Visit the Wine Loft
If you’re a lover of Cornwall’s most illustrious artist Barbara Hepworth, her abstract art and sculpting, you won’t want to miss this unrivalled collection of her work at the Tate St Ives this February.
Set in a truly magnificent spot overlooking Porthmeor Beach, a visit to the gallery alone is a rather special experience and if you time your visit to be a little later in the day you can grab dinner down at the magical Porthmeor Beach Café while taking in some of the best sunset views around.
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Open 365 days a year, The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, East Devon is a wonderful option for families.
This winter, visitors can take on the Stories of Sanctuary Spirit Trail and uncover the spirit word and it’s matching donkey.
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Based in Praa Sands, South Cornwall, the Boatshed Activity Centre is home to the ultimate coastal adventure.
Explore the Cornish coastal with surf lessons, coasteering adventures, kayaking tours and more. All of these exciting activities are open all year round, perfect for keeping everyone entertained your February half term getaway.
There is also the option to have hired surf equipment delivered straight to your door when you arrive, either for a day or your entire stay.
Find out more about the Boatshed Activity Centre here.Find out more
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