With May half term and the Summer holidays quickly approaching, many parents in Cornwall, and those planning to visit Cornwall will be starting to look into places to go in Cornwall for a day out. I’m going to be doing separate posts about events to join in with and places to visit in Cornwall in the holidays, but for now I wanted to do a quick post to help you work out how to reduce the cost of all those days out!
Here are my top tips for ways to save money on days out in Cornwall…
Check local papers for discount vouchers, in particular the Cornish Guardian newspaper is good for this. They constantly have different vouchers inside their pages for money off entry during the school holidays, and you can pick up a copy of the paper in most supermarkets or newsagents down here, as well as in petrol stations.
Look on Local Radio Stations’ websites for money off deals, Pirate FM often have half price vouchers on their site and there is even a list on there of ‘what’s on’ in the County with a lot of fun things to go to listed, including many free events.
Google discount entry or days out in Cornwall close to when you want to go away. Companies such as wowcher may have some special voucher deals for you, and google is always worth a quick search before you go out anywhere in my opinion, but remember to set it to find recent results, otherwise you may be getting excited about an offer from 3 years ago, and i suspect it could be out of date.
Check out Attractions websites before you go, as often they may have their own discount vouchers online for you to use, and some allow you a cheaper rate for booking online in advance.
Return tickets can save you loads. If there is somewhere you have been for the day that you would love to go to again within the same week, then a lot of attractions including Springfields Pony Centre in St Columb Major and Flambards in Helston, let you get your ticket validated before you leave the first time, so that you can return on another day that week for free.
It is always worth checking if an attraction does this, as it can give you an extra day out for free, and it won’t even matter if you only want to pop back for a couple of hours on your last day of holiday to fill some time. We do this with Springfields every Summer holiday. Just remember to check if you have to validate your ticket before leaving though, as once you have left it may be too late.
Locals Passes can be handy for those who live in Cornwall as well. Check out my list of places that provide locals’ passes in Cornwall. There are some such as the Eden Project who sell local passes to Devon residents as well. Land’s End do a free local’s pass, which makes it free to park there, which means that as a family we can go down and enjoy the food, shops, fireworks over the Summer, and beautiful walks for free, unless we want to enter the attractions, which we don’t always. The Lost Gardens of Heligan have also now do local’s passes.
If you live in Cornwall, it’s always worth keeping an eye out and checking websites of attractions to see if they do a locals pass to make things cheaper or free! Some passes are expensive though, so make sure that you will be going to those places enough to warrant the expense.
Use your National Trust Membership, there are loads of lovely National Trust places down here, including Trelissick and St Michael’s Mount. and if you already have a membership this can mean a free day out, other than food and if you get conned into giving in to requests to visit the gift shop of course! If you don’t have a National Trust membership, then if you go to one of their properties and then decide to get a membership, they refund that day’s entry free.
Do Free Things! Yes going to theme parks and paying attractions can be a lot of fun, but really in Cornwall you can make your own free or cheap fun. Below are just a few ideas to help give you inspiration:
- Go for a walk on the beach, or on the cliff tops for beautiful views, by a river, anywhere really for fresh air and a look at the beauty of Cornwall. Try Carnewas or Wheal Coates for inspiration.
- Play at the beach, build a sandcastle, jump waves, write in the sand (good sneaky spelling practice), play ball games, play tag, just have fun being silly.
- Set your children a nature treasure trail, all you need to do is write a list of things they need to spot whilst you are out for a walk in Cornwall and let them tick them off as they spy them. This can be anything from a cow to a dandelion, or for the giggle factor a cow pat! The reward can be your choice, but if you want to keep it free then maybe an extra half an hour added to their bedtime would be a good prize – feel free to sneakily change the clocks if you can’t cope later on though!
- Oh no it’s raining we will have to pay lots for entertainment…um no I think you will find you now have your entertainment for free. As any Peppa Pig obsessed child will tell you, rain is perfect for jumping in muddy puddles. My boys love to play in the sea when it rains as well, as the beaches are usually quiet and what difference does a bit more wetness make?
- Go on a picnic, location up to you, but if you want to save money try to avoid anywhere with an ice cream van lurking. Local play parks are a good option, as whilst you sunbathe..I mean watch the children, they can play, have fun, and hopefully tire themselves out.
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