Fantastic free family activities in Cornwall all summer long

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The thought of a family summer holiday in Cornwall is always pretty tempting, but this year, The Esplanade Hotel in Newquay is taking temptation to irresistible levels with one of the most family-friendly, kid-centred, brilliantly beachy and exciting summer seasons ever.

Fun comes fairly naturally to The Esplanade since it overlooks Fistral Beach, the most famous surfing beach on the North Cornwall coast, home to fabulous international events likes Boardmasters and the UK Pro Surfing Association’s spectacular night surfing competition plus an all time family favourite for classic seaside holidays. Just don’t expect the hotel to be sitting back and letting its fabulous location take all the credit this summer.

Free family fun at ESP Fest from 13 July to 9 September 2018

Book a family break at The Esplanade Hotel from 13 July and catch the ESP Fest, all week, every week, until the start of September. ESP fest is an activity-packed programme of family events with heaps of stuff for kids of all ages. Choose from this schedule of festival-inspired activities and get stuck in:

  • Food Fest Monday means pizza and cocktail masterclasses and live entertainment.
  • Tuesday Art Fest is for doughnut and t-shirt decorating, plus magic shows.
  • Music Fest on Wednesdays comes with a glitter station and silent disco.
  • Thursday is Carnival Fest with circus fun, bingo and pig racing.
  • All the fun of Science Fest Friday finishes up with movies and popcorn.
  • Saturday is all about mini Pirates and Mermaids.
  • Sunday means fun on Fistral with Beach Fest volleyball and more live music.

Naturally, there’s a high chance of sun in Newquay come July and August, but ESP Fest activities will be happening, whatever the weather. Just remember to bring a sense of fun, loads of imagination, and no cash at all – even Monday’s Food Fest cocktail concoctions are free for all hotel guests.

Have a look at the ESP Fest free family activities lined up all summer at The Esplanade

Learn to surf for less at The Esplanade Hotel this summer

Not only is the Quiksilver Surf School now an Officially Accredited Surfing England Surf School, it’s at the sheltered south end of Fistral Beach and recommends family stays at The Esplanade Hotel highly enough to offer family discounts on surf lesson all summer long.

Since you really can’t be on this amazing beach without testing the waves at least once, this is a perfect opportunity to start surfing as a family: Quiksilver start lessons from age seven, if kids are accompanied by an adult.

The friendly team aren’t just brilliant with beginners, they also have advanced one-on-one tuition for expert surfers, as well as body board courses and SUP classes for all ages and stages.

If learning to master the waves on one type of board or another isn’t quite daring enough, Quiksilver offer coasteering from Fistral too. Bold, exhilarating and not for the fainthearted, it’s a thrilling experience, and definitely the best way to explore Newquay’s rugged Atlantic coastline, secret caves and quite a few of those tucked-away coves, known only to Cornwall’s legendary smugglers, until now.

Find out more about Family Surf Breaks at The Esplanade this summer

A fabulous hotel that’s like a family home, but lots more fun

In true seaside tradition, The Esplanade Hotel lives up to the promise of being ‘a home from home’ for families. Only this particular home is really quite fabulous.

It comes with its own gorgeous indoor pool, one of the best family restaurants in Cornwall, impeccable service, and heaps of marvellous treats you probably aren’t used to in your own home. Younger kids, AKA Little Nippers, have an indoor Jungle Gym and an outdoor Pirate Play Area dedicated to keeping them busy whatever the weather.

There’s family swimming all day in the family pool. Long days on the beach, sea air, sunshine and masses of activities are the best way to build up an appetite. But just in case kids are still tough to please at the table, The Esplanade restaurant has its own Little Nippers’ menu and involves young guests in everything from designing their own pizza to decorating ice creams. Don’t worry, there are plenty of gourmet delights on the grown-up menu too, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients and sensational seafood, of course.

Check out all the fun stuff for Little Nippers at The Esplanade Hotel

Got some summer celebrating to do? Try #HolidayHyped

When extra is the only way to go, amp up the adventure for kids with #HolidayHyped at The Esplanade. Anything from a room full of balloons to celebrate a birthday to a tepee for tots in the bedroom is easy to arrange, you can even have towers of doughnuts, cupcake classes or a teddy bears picnic.

Just ask and the hotel will be happy to organise the perfect add-on to mark a special occasion or just make even more special holiday memories this summer.   

See what’s in store for extra special little VIPs at #HolidayHyped this summer

Family rooms with room for real-size families

Last, but definitely not least, The Esplanade is one of the few seaside hotels in Cornwall where family rooms are realistically roomy and more than big enough for up to six guests. Variations on the theme can include sea views and balconies, panoramas of the Pirate Play Area, bunk beds, single beds and even space for the family dog. Simply ask for what you want when you book direct and the hotel will do the rest, right down to arranging #HolidayHyped extras for kids.

Explore the super-spacious family rooms at The Esplanade Hotel this summer

The lowdown


The Esplanade Hotel, Fistral Beach, Newquay, North Cornwall


ESP Fest free family activity weeks from 13 July to 9 September 2018


Family Room for four, room only, from £150 per night.

Family Room for four, bed and breakfast, from £180 per night.

Family Room for four, dinner, bed and breakfast, from £240 per night.

Book a family summer break direct with The Esplanade Hotel and you get the best possible room rate guaranteed and a complimentary bottle of wine on arrival. Don’t forget to quote ESPDIRECT when you book.

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