Cornwall’s new cultural playground


It was my little nephew’s 2nd birthday this Saturday and as luck would have it the sun was shining and a full day of outdoor based activities was actually allowed to go ahead unhindered by gale or squall!

First stop was a big meet up of friends and family at Heartlands, Cornwall’s new ‘cultural playground’ (don’t worry we didn’t know what that really meant either!) It opened towards the end of April so is all brand spanking new, there are still areas of scrubland, porta cabins and inadequate signage a plenty, but once past this the sprawl of out of town superstores and derelict mining sites of Pool (the area between Camborne and Redruth) gives way to a vast, landscaped garden of fun!

From the car park the first thing you come across is the fantastic adventure playground. With plenty of wood and sand, a massive log pile climbing frame, a giant shallow ‘puddle’ (don’t forget to bring wellies and a change of clothes!) loads of unusual swings and slides and willow tunnels which will be amazing once they’ve grown a bit.

You can then lure kids toward the red river which is sculpted from red granite (we think!) and if they’re anything like Biba they’ll be down to vest and pants within seconds and splashing up and down, running from one end of the river to the other (it’s very shallow and looks crystal clear)

Then hopefully they’ll be tired and ready to sit nicely in the lovely Red River Cafe which is housed in a converted mine building with lots of high ceilings, wooden beams and bits of machinery. There’s a nice menu and plenty of seating indoors and out. Beyond the cafe we hear rumour that there are more things (things like art exhibitions and craft workshops, that don’t involve any water or climbing or sliding) but we weren’t allowed to go to those!

The park has a big party this coming weekend to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming through Cornwall. It looks like it’ll be a good bash! I’ll be busy teaching a stitching course at Bedruthan Steps so won’t be able to make it – ho hum!




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