Save Money on Days Out in Cornwall

 

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…

 

Save Money on Cornwall Days Out

 

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to find recent results, otherwise you may be getting excited about an offer from 3 years ago, and i suspect it could be out of date.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.

You can also check out my What to do in Cornwall when it’s raining post, my 100 Places to go and things to do in Cornwall post and my Things to do in Cornwall all year post for more inspiration.

Stevie x

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14 Comments

  1. Rachel B
    10 May 2015 / 4:03 pm

    We love Cardinham Woods. Pay £3 to park all day and that’s it! Great place to take bikes, streams to paddle in and plenty of picnic areas (you can even take your own bbq). There is a small café if you want to eat there. We do it once a week over the summer!

    • 10 May 2015 / 6:10 pm

      My boys love it there as well Rachel, always great to have a cheap place to go for the day! Tehidy Country Park is great as well with free parking, although it does get very busy for parking!

      Stevie x

  2. Fife Mummy
    10 May 2015 / 4:20 pm

    We saved loads a couple of years ago by using our Tesco Clubcard voucher to double up for days out. I got a family day pass at Eden project, a day pass for Flambards and £40 voucher to use at Pizza Express, which we used for their restaurant in St Ives.

    x

    • 10 May 2015 / 6:29 pm

      Tesco Clubcard vouchers definitely come in handy, I’ve used them brfore when we’ve been going on holiday as well. They don’t usually have a huge amount that can be used in Cornwall, but will have to take another look as sounds like more than I thought!

      Stevie x

  3. Lisa@intotheglade
    10 May 2015 / 10:06 pm

    With your National Trust membership there is loads of free parking in Cornwall too. Ah Flambards takes me back, we have had some brilliant days in there. I think Crealeys do discounts if you book on line too. Cornwall xx

    • 10 May 2015 / 10:22 pm

      I have been enjoying the novelty of not having to pay with our National Trust car sticker in the window :) Luckily in Cornwall you don’ have to spend a fortune to have a fab day.

      Stevie xx

  4. Fern
    11 May 2015 / 1:32 pm

    we’ve just come across first (buses) £25 week pass (single person, £50 for family but there’s no limit on children number) which lets you get any first bus as often as you like as many times as you like. We are planning to get a family pass and spend the day just jumping on a bus and going wherever it takes us and then onto somewhere else.

    no parking, not bad considering you can use it unlimited amount of times. I was quite impressed anyway. We have the mobile app so you just pay and download the ticket on your phone so you can do it wherever you are, they also do 1,2,3 day passes and monthly.
    £20 for a family day ticket, as many children, as many journeys as you like.

    • 11 May 2015 / 1:39 pm

      That sounds like a brilliant idea Fern, and possibly also a good idea for tourists who hate driving on some of our roads down here!

      Stevie x

  5. 12 May 2015 / 12:47 pm

    Great tips. It’s amazing how quickly the costs can add up for family days out. Do you guys ever get Groupon vouchers for your area? We use them all the time here in Bangkok but I guess it’s a much (much much) bigger city.

    #twinklytuesday

    • 12 May 2015 / 12:51 pm

      I think they do occasionally have Cornish places on there, I’m loving all the extra tips everyone is giving me, our school holidays should work out very cheaply at this rate!

      Stevie x

  6. 15 May 2015 / 6:24 am

    How beautiful! When I lived in the UK, we only ever went to London to see family for the holidays. I hope that someday I’ll be able to actually see more of the beautiful country. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday.

    • 15 May 2015 / 8:47 pm

      Thank you, I’m extremely biased, but Cornwall is stunningly beautiful especially around the coast!

      Stevie x

  7. Darren Shilson
    18 August 2015 / 1:39 pm

    Remember Carnewas is a NT car park, there’s another pay one further down the road, but be mindful of it’s closing time.

    NT cafe does great Cream Teas as my waistline would testify.

    I’ve already made the most of my NT membership with car parking definitely! Even if you just sign one of your children up to get the free parking. I did that for a few years, but have my own now.

    Cheers

    Darren

    • 18 August 2015 / 9:05 pm

      We love the cafe at Carnewas, the Tiger bap bacon rolls are amazing! We love our National Trust memberships, but haven’t used them much yet this Summer, but we definitely will for the rest of the year :)

      Stevie