Nanny Pat’s days out: Porthleven and Penrose

Scenic photo with Penrose House in the distance amongst the trees.

The National Trust estate at Penrose near Helston is a hidden gem for getting the children outside. If you head towards Porthleven out of Helston on the B3304 you will find free parking next to Flora Motors and opposite Coronation Lake. Retrace your steps to the car park entrance, turn left towards Porthleven and immediately left to enter the estate.

A broad hard surface path winds its way alongside the broad expanse of Loe Pool, an inland freshwater lake cut off from the sea by Loe Bar at the seaward end. It’s a haven for wildfowl and popular with bird watchers.

Loe Pool's tranquil setting is ideal for a leisurely family day out in Cornwall
Loe Pool is popular with birdwatchers and is a lovely place to explore with children

The open parkland soon unfolds before you with the imposing Penrose House and traditional farm buildings nestled in the centre of the estate. As you head towards the bridge you have a choice of routes. If you continue straight on, you’lll come to the NT car park at the top of Porthleven. It’s possible to walk down into the town here – while there’s no footpath, it’s just a short distance.

Explore the Penrose estate with children
There’s plenty to discover on a day out with preschoolers

If you cross the bridge and head towards the outbuildings you’ll arrive at the Stables Café. It has a range of snacks and drinks on offer and makes a great place to refuel after your walk. Opening hours vary depending on the time of year, so I suggest you check the Penrose page on the National Trust website before you go.

Continue towards the lake and keep it on your left as you follow the path heading towards the sea. When you reach the coast, you can turn left and pop down to the beach at Loe Bar (unsafe for swimming as it has very dangerous currents here).

Loe Bar offers beautiful views
View of the coastline towards Loe Bar

To get to Porthleven, turn right off the path and follow the road down into the town. There a lovely little harbour here with interesting shops, pubs and cafes.

Porthleven has a lovely old harbour to explore

You can make this route into a circular walk by heading back up the B3304 back to the NT car park. Alternatively, retrace your steps and return the way you came. If you have tiny tots I suggest you just play around in the park, have a coffee and return to Coronation Lake where you can feed the ducks, enjoy the playground and have refreshments at the Lakeside Café.

Coronation Lake has a cafe and a good playground ideal for a child friendly day out in Cornwall
Coronation Lake and cafe

Getting there

Penrose is just under an hour’s drive from Bosinver. Postcode for SatNavs: TR13 8SG (parking by the boating lake) or TR13 0RD (National Trust car park).

The children's play area at Coronation Lake offers a chance for kids to burn off some energy
The play area at Coronation Lake is a highlight for children of all ages

Child friendly days out in Cornwall

For more ideas for great child friendly days out in Cornwall, download our free ebook, Nanny Pat’s Adventures.

What’s your favourite child friendly day out in Cornwall? Share your thoughts below, post on our Facebook page or tweet @Bosinver. We can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Share this post:

Red cow with a red heart clipart

Here are some more posts you may like

Action Nan and the rest of the team are always busy writing posts that we think you’ll like – from top tips on where to take the kids, to what’s likely to be going on in the local area when you stay – we’ve got it all in our blog!