17th June 2016

What can teenagers do on holiday in St Ives?

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Finding a holiday that appeals to both you and your teenagers is never easy. Teenagers have very specific ideas of what they want to do – or more accurately, what they don’t want to do… You, the grown-up who is organising the holiday, knows that deep-down your kids would love a week or two in St Ives – but how can you convince your reluctant teen?

You’re all aware that this could be your last holiday together (well, until they have kids of their own and want you there for babysitting), so you want it to be a lovely, special time that you all can enjoy.

We’ve put together a few ideas, based on feedback from guests, opinions of local teens, and our own distant memories of growing up in St Ives, which should help to sell the idea of a St Ives holiday to your teenage offspring…

Learn to surf

It’s almost obligatory for teenagers visiting Cornwall to try surfing at some point – and most take to it like, well, a surfer to water.

We’ve teamed up with St Ives Surf School, who are based on beautiful Porthmeor Beach. They offer three levels of surfing lessons – beginners, improving, and advanced, as well as courses for families and one-to-one sessions. All the gear is included (although just to warn you, if your family becomes addicted to surfing, they’ll want their own kit! Try Down the Line Surf in Hayle for its wide range, and for kudos among the local teens).

St Ives Surf School really are a great bunch of instructors, who get the balance (sorry) right between teaching, safety, and sheer enjoyment. They offer a 10% discount to all Tregenna’s guests (you’ll need proof of accommodation when you book your surf lessons).


This is what the local teenagers (and sorry kids, parents too…) have been embracing recently. Stand up paddleboarding, known as SUP, is self explanatory. You stand up on your surf board, and propel yourself through the water with a paddle.

Cornwall has really taken to this Hawaiian water sport, and it’s become extremely popular with both local and visiting teenagers.  St Ives Surf School offers classes – again, mention that you’re staying at Tregenna when you book, and you’ll get a 10% discount.

Hang out on a zipwire

OK, this isn’t actually in St Ives – but we’ve had it recommended to us as the ideal way of getting your teens to visit a garden!

Hangloose Adventures is based at The Eden Project , where no doubt you’ll be heading yourself at some stage in your holiday. Persuade your teenagers to come along by promising them a turn on the zip wire across Eden’s biomes. There’s also a giant swing, Gravity, and a free fall jump. The zip wire reaches speeds of 60 mph; the swing is a rather more sedate (!) 50 mph, and is suspended 19m above the cliff edge; and the free fall platform is 12m high. Have fun!

You can book ahead via their website, or decide on the day. After you’ve seen it…

Go native

Let’s be honest, sometimes all teenagers want to do is this mysterious thing called “hanging out”. To us their parents, it can seem a bit aimless; however cast your mind back, and it’s probably what you did on most Saturdays too.

Local teenagers are so lucky – they mainly hang out on the beach. Our closest St Ives beach, Porthminster Beach, has everything a teenager needs for a good hanging out session: rocks, walls and sand to perch on, take-aways for chips, ice creams and soft drinks, a beautiful, always-blue sea backdrop for selfies, endless people watching… It’s a lifeguard patrolled beach, and is just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel; and accustomed to meeting visitors during the holiday season, the local kids are a friendly bunch on the whole. Porthminster Beach is a lovely place for the whole family to spend time, just hanging out (probably in slightly different parts of the beach).

Chill out at Tregenna

But of course, you don’t have to go far to keep your teenagers entertained. The hotel itself is the perfect place to chill out, and each member of your party can find their own thing to do – or your teenager (gasp!) may actually want to do things with you…

There’s a choice of the indoor or outdoor swimming pools to swim in or lie beside, as well as the tennis courts and superb golf course. Many teenage girls would love a pampering session in Castle Beauty, or you could book yourselves in for a round of golf. If you’re self-catering at Tregenna, you’ll have the space for everyone to relax and unwind in your lodge, apartment, or cottage. Sometimes even teenagers just like to sit down with a cuppa and a good book!

So, we hope you can use these suggestions to convince your teen(s) that a holiday with the old folks isn’t too bad. We know it’s a bit of a cliché, but there really is something for everyone at Tregenna; and with St Ives getting a national reputation as one of the places to visit in the UK, we think they’ll be pretty happy when you show them our website…

To find out more about family stays at Tregenna, please contact us.

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