Things To Do
Explore Devon and Cornwall
Hay Lake Farm is an ideal place to relax in peace and comfort as it is situated in a quiet location in the countryside with easy access to the A38, Plymouth, Dartmoor, Bodmin Moor and both the north and south coasts of Cornwall. There are so many interesting places to visit that we have listed a few suggestions below, with travel times listed so you can plan days out. Nearby are a range of diverse beaches, a wide variety of activities, Wildlife Parks to visit, numerous National Trust houses and gardens to explore, plus importantly a plethora of Cornish and Devon pubs and eateries to sample during your stay!
We are in easy reach to the City of Plymouth, Saltash, Liskeard, Tavistock and Callington. Hay Lake Farm is also a convenient stop-over for relatives attending passing out parades at HMS Raleigh, those working on their boat at Boating World in Landrake, or for entrants or spectators attending Landrake Motocross meetings.
BEACHES – North vs. South
South Coast beaches
Whitsand Bay: Golden sandy beach stretching for over 4 miles – Short steep walk down, check the tides before you go, as less beach at high tide. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 15mins / PL11 3AZ
Seaton Beach: A grey shingle beach, rugged coastline & great rockpools. Easy parking, right next to beach + various choices for eating and drinking – the Beach café and other places to eat. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 16 mins / PL11 3JD
Downderry Beach: Links up with Seaton Beach at low tide. Easy access steps alongside the ‘Inn on the Shore’ pub, which boasts an excellent outdoor seating area with great views. Dog-friendly all year. TT: 17 mins / PL11 3JY
Kingsand & Cawsand: Popular adjoining fishing villages with smaller sandy/pebble mix of beaches. Quaint inter-connecting streets, one main car park at Cawsand, – much smaller car park at Kingsand. Good (small) beaches for swimming as sheltered, plus numerous pubs to chose from and great place to park and walk the SW coastal path. TT: 26 mins / PL10 1PG
Portwrinkle: More Shingle beach with rockpools, short walk down a slope to the main beach. Good café the ‘Jolly Roger’ by car park. TT: 15 mins / 8.1 miles / PL11 3BU
Looe Beach: The most commercial and popular child friendly, sandy beach with good facilities plus an abundance of pasty shops. Very busy in the summer months! You also have to walk through the high street to access the beach. Easy accessibility for less mobile/disabled persons. No dogs allowed on the main beach, however the Looe East beach next along does allow dogs. TT: 24 mins / 11.5 miles / PL13 1BU
Millendreath Beach: Refurbished Beach Bar now accompanies the well received ‘Bistro on the Beach’, that has been enjoyed by many as a sunny hang out whilst clutching a great coffee. Lovely views across the bay to Looe Island. TT: 20 mins / 10.1 miles / PL13 1PE
Talland Bay: Small beach with Limited parking. There is a good café which is open seasonally. Plus it’s a good place to walk along the SW Coast path to Polperro.TT: 35 mins / 14.9 miles / PL13 2JA
Lantic Bay: A gloriously sheltered cove with lovely sand and a few patches of shingle. It’s fairly remote, so expect a walk as the nearest parking is 20 minutes walk, there are no nearby facilities, plus access to the beach is via a very steep cliff path – so do not attempt this with less able-bodied persons or small children. TT: 43 mins / 20.3 miles / PL23 1NP
North Coast Beaches
Crackington Haven: An attractive, well known, popular and very accessible inlet beach beneath formidable cliffs but at the end of a valley. TT: 1 hour/ 34.9 miles / EX23 0JG
Crooklets: Although a little pebbly at the top, this beach has a huge expanse of golden sand and rock pools to explore once the tide is out. Clean and safe, popular with families and surfers. Dogs only allowed seasonally. Several activity companies located here. TT: 1 hour 10 mins 45 miles / EX23 8NF
Harlyn Bay: Definitely considered a favourite family beach with lots of space for all! Fairly big car park which is extends up from the beach. Fun waves, great for body surfing, swimming, sea kayaking. It faces north and is about 3 miles west of Padstow.
TT: 1 hour 13 mins / 40.3 miles / SN: PL28 8SB
Hayle: This fabulous sandy beach is nearly 3 miles long and enjoys great views across to Carbis Bay and St.Ives. A safe beach for learner surfers and supported by RNLI lifeguards. TT: 1 hour 15 mins / 60.1 miles / SN: TR27 5AP
Newquay: Probably the most famous surfing area of north Cornwall, with Fistral beach being the epicentre. There are 15 beaches facing in different directions, so useful for all levels of surfing ability and depending on the weather, you can select the best for the conditions.
(57 mins /40.7 miles) List of Newquay Beaches
Northcott: A small somewhat rocky beach, some good waves, but not for beginners, more attractive sand is exposed at low tide. A small stream crosses the beach. Honesty box car park. TT: 1 hour 14 mins / 44.3 miles / EX23 9ED
Padstow: Is immensely popular, made famous local restaurateur & celebrity chef Rick Stein. There are an abundance of excellent places to eat, interesting shops, plus 3 nearby white sandy beaches; Hawker’s Cove, Harbour Cove and Rock beach, all highly rated. TT: 1 hour 3 mins / 40.3 miles / PL28 8RR
Polzeath: Probably one of the most popular, therefore busiest beaches for families and people learning to surf. It’s flat with lovely sand and good range of bars/places to eat located on the beach itself in summer. TT: 1 hour (aprox) / 36 miles / PL27 6SS
Sandymouth: A sandy beach which has a surf school – faces west, a mix of sandy, pebbles, craggy rocks, streams. This is a National Trust beach now, so fairly well organised parking. TT: 1 hour 14 mins / 39.2 miles SN: EX23 9EG
Summerleaze: Only a short walk from the vibrant town centre beach this is Bude’s main beach and boasts excellent water quality plus a sea pool! TT: 1 hour 9mins / 36.7 miles / EX23 8HN
Trebarwith Strand: A popular attractive beach west facing, and only 2 miles south of Tintagel, easily accessible and owned by the National Trust. TT: 1 hour 2 mins / 20.3 miles /PL34 0HB
Widemouth Bay: Great views, large sandy beach, stretching 2 miles across, with a big car park, cafés at either end of the surrounding cliffs. Lots of space for everyone to enjoy themselves, check the wind direction before heading there as it is quite exposed, facing west. TT: 1 hour 8 mins / 41.7 miles / EX23 0AH
Bodmin – 45 mins Drive | 23.7 miles
Moving inland, Bodmin Moor offers miles of open moorland with spectacular scenery and mining heritage. Here you can explore Cornwall’s two highest peaks Rough Tor and Brown Willy. There are many areas of historic interest – Bronze Age hut circles, a Neolithic Tor Enclosure and the foundations of a Medieval chapel. Head to the Cornwall Guide to read more about the stone circles, King Arthur’s hall and Jubilee Rock, The moorland village of Minions is well worth a visit as here you will find the Hurlers stone circle, the magnificent Cheesewring and Cornish mining heritage.
Dartmoor – 35-45 mins | 17-22 miles (depending on your route choice)
There is so much to see and do on Dartmoor, with its magnificent granite Tors and rugged moorland to hike around; Tree Top climbing, Horse riding, electric bikes to hire, gorges and impressive waterfalls, historic places of interest, Llama walks, Sculpture school and Gallery, glorious gardens and ancient woods. Best to check out their website for What’s on at Dartmoor.
There is something for everyone here; Coasteering, a 500m zipwire, and a giant swing 150-feet up, for the adrenaline junkie in your life. The inflatable ‘Aquapark’ is the largest water park in the South West, excellent outdoor fun for all the family, just book online for slots.
T: 01579 308204 | PL14 3PJ
An 800m Go-Karting track to race around, all great outdoor fun – also at Adrenalin Quarry, so you can enjoy a full day of outdoor activities in one location. Just off the A38 in Menheniot, not far from Liskeard.
T: 01579 347229 | PL14 3PJ
Clip ‘n Climb, Plymouth
This great centre boasts a huge range of climbing challenges for all ages and abilities. A great physical indoor experience for all, you will certainly earn your lunch!
T: 01752 717567 | PL6 5AA
Tree Surfing, Cycle hire, Canoe Trips, Archery, Walking & Cafe, less than 30 mins away from Hay Lake Farm, not far from Tavistock.
T: 01822 833409 | PL19 8JE
Boat Trips, Plymouth
Take to the water from nearby Plymouth – Tours of the Naval dockyards, or a relaxing cruise up the Tamar River to Calstock. Travel by boat using the Cawsand or Cremyll ferries, short trips as well from Plymouth.
T: 01752 253 381 | PL1 2NX
Adventure Bay Surf School
Learn to surf, Paddle Board or try Coastering. Whitsand beach is safe and sandy, a friendly bunch that are keen for you to learn and enjoy.
T: 07722 913 206 | PL10 1JX
The Eden Project
A complete and full day out + more! You can simply walk around the amazing biomes and enjoy the well established extensive range of flora, however now there are more high-octane experiences available, such as a zip-wire across the quarry, a scary giant swing and seasonal ice-skating rink indoors.
Contact | PL24 2SG
Cawsand Kayak and SUP Hire
Just turn up at the beach at Cawsand or call. It’s a great sheltered place to launch from.
T: 07814 226892 | PL10 1PG
South West SUP
WSA SUP Foundation Instructor Training & General Tuition, check out their website for various special deals and general information. They are based at Firestone Arch, Royal William Yard in Plymouth.
T: 07898 984497 | PL1 3RP
If you are partial to a round of golf and squeezing 18 holes into your holiday you have various choices of glorious locations nearby. These two are the closest.
Cartridge Shooting grounds is by far the closest in Landrake, only 5 mins drive from us!
Obviously you can just set off from Hay Lake Farm and explore the nearby interesting countryside, however here are some other suggestions:
Golitha Falls, St Cleer – 14.3 miles | 23 mins
Oak lined river walk, uneven path not too strenuous, wonderful cascades of fast flower water in the valley. This walk through a National Nature Reserve is just under a mile if you do the circular walk. Car Parking is across the road and there is a café and Inkie’s Smoke House BBQ in summer months.
Siblyback Lake | PL14 6ER
– 13.3 miles | 26 mins
This walk circles around the lake, you can run, walk or cycle the circular 3.2 mile path. It’s very dog friendly and the terrain is a mix of track, woodland and then crosses the Dam on the final stage. You can hire a Tramper Mobility Scooter if required. website
Churchtown Farm | PL12 4AS
– 5.5 miles | 13 mins
CF Community Nature Reserve in Saltash. This area is owned by Cornwall Wildlife Trust and includes wonderfully diverse habitats including grassland, wetlands, mudflats, quarries, hedgerows plus wonderful views out over the River Lynher. The terrain can be slippery so best to visit in summer or dry weather.
Mount Edgcumbe | PL10 1HZ
– 13.8 miles | 28 mins
A highly recommended area to visit if you enjoy rambling. There are many configurations of walks for all abilities. Walking around Mount Edgcumbe country park is great place to start, it overlooks Plymouth sound and the River Tamar. The South West Coast Path runs through the park for 9 miles (14 km) along the coastline.
– 12.1 miles | 23 mins
There are so many configurations of great walks and hikes around this Penninsular – just search the internet for Maker-with-Rame for the latest updates on over 13 walks and trail routes.
Kilminorth Woods, Looe | PL13 2NE
– 13.4 miles | 29 mins
Parking is straightforward – you can commence this walk at Millpool Carpark, and enjoy a fairly sheltered walk through the woods, along the Giant’s Hedge then descends down towards West Looe River then pops out across a bridge to East Looe and Banjo Pier. You can then pass along the beach, through Looe’s oldest narrow streets and buildings before returning to the car park. A 3 mile/4.8km walk.
Polperro Harbour | PL13 2RB
– 14.7 miles | 30 mins
A figure-of-eight walk around the fishing village and headlands surrounding Polperro, passing the net loft perched above the harbour, the Victorian sea pool, undulating route along the coast path – the harbourmasters route to the lighthouse. 2.9 miles/4.7 km
Walks from Liskeard | PL14 6BW
15 mins / 8.8 miles
There are some excellent circular walks in and around Likseard listed here with downloadable maps.
The South West Coastal Path
The SW Coast path runs for 630 miles in total and is the UK longest and best loved National trail. Find out a suitable route for your day out.
Eating & Drinking
There are many good pubs and eating places in the local area. The Weary Friar, Bullers Arms, Notter Bridge Inn and The Rod & Line are probably the closest to Hay Lake Farm. There are a number of award winning restaurants in Looe which also has a good selection of pubs and cafes where you can sample a traditional Cornish pasty or a scrumptious cream tea.
Heskyn Mill Tideford, PL12 5BG
Foreign Muck, Saltash, PL12 6AB
Just Be, Saltash, PL12 4EH
The Hayloft Restaurant, Tideford, PL14 3PJ
The Edgcumbe Arms, PL10 1HX
Scholars, St Germans, PL12 5LG
The Blue Plate, Downderry, PL11 3LD
The View, Whitsand, PL10 1JY
The Notter Bridge Inn, Saltash PL12 4RW
Tapenades, Liskeard. PL14 4AA
The Sardine Factory, Looe, PL13 2BX
Ocean & Earth, Looe, PL13 1BP
Viceroy Indian Restaurant, Looe. PL13 1AE
The Copley Arms, Nr Seaton, PL11 3HJ
The Weary Friar, Pillaton, Nr Saltash PL12 6QS
Route 38, Trerulefoot, Saltash PL12 5BL
The Finnygook Inn, Crafthole, Torpoint PL11 3BQ
Rod & Line, Tideford, PL12 5HW
The Plough on The Quay, Looe, PL13 1AH
The Plough, Nr Liskeard, PL14 4PN
Squid Ink Restaurant, East Looe PL13 1AT
The Old Sail Loft, West Looe, PL13 1AP
The Who’d Have Thought it, Nr Saltash PL12 6TG
The Devonport Inn, Kingsand
The Eliot Arms, PL12 5NR
The Rock Inn, Yelverton, PL20 6DS
The Cornish Arms, Tavistock PL19 8AN
The Bedford Hotel, Tavistock, PL19 8BB
Plymouth – too many to list all – but a few nice ones:
Wildlife & Parks
Visit the 40 monkeys & learn about this important primate welfare centre in Cornwall.
20mins | PL13 1NZ
Porfell Wildlife Park & Sanctuary
Get up close to exotic animals including lemurs, wallabies, meerkats and reptiles and well kept wildlife park.
25 mins | PL14 4RE
The National Aquarium
This amazing, well run educational marine centre is located in nearby Plymouth. They have an impressive array of fish, sharks, turtle and sea creatures. It is the UK’s largest aquarium.
24 mins | PL4 0LF
The Tamar Valley Donkey Park
A lovely place to visit with younger children, or just take a picnic and relax in the surroundings. Happy donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs, rabbits & guinea pigs to feed and pet. In addition there’s a fun soft play area, cafe and seating indoors if the weather turns.
22 mins | PL18 9HQ
This Devon Zoo has a caring team of dedicated staff with 72 mammals, 38 birds, 21 reptiles and 16 invertebrates, 5 Amphibian species to discover and enjoy – definitely a big day out.
28mins | PL7 5DG
The Cornish Seal Sanctury
This sanctuary was established in 1958 – in Gweek, set in the picturesque Helford Estuary. A longer driver from Hay Lake, however a pretty area to explore. At the sanctuary there are underwater viewing areas, quiz trails and the usual talks and feeding demonstrations.
1.5 hours | TR12 6UG
Paradise Park |
A great park and facilities this is not a huge park. However the aviaries are large and contain multiple species. Expect to see Penguins, Flamingos, Macaws with a fun farm pets corner where you can meet miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, plus some rabbits and guinea pigs. There is an indoor play centre which the youngsters will enjoy!
1 hour 15 mins | TR27 4HY
National Trust & Gardens
National Trust & Historic Gardens
Cotehele Calstock | PL12 6TA
Antony House & Gardens Torpoint | PL12 6TA
Mount Edgcumbe House & Country Park Cremyll | PL10 1HZ
Boconnoc Garden Lostwithiel | PL20 ORG
Buckland Abbey Yelverton | PL20 6EY
Lanhydrock Bodmin | PL30 5AD
Lost Gardens of Heligan St.Austell |PL26 6EN
Mary Newman’s Cottage Saltash | PL12 4DS
This was allegedly the childhood home of Mary Newman, the first wife of Sir Francis Drake. The grade II listed cottage is a perfect example of 15th century domestic architecture, little altered over the centuries with a reconstructed Tudor herb garden, find out more..