The A30 is a popular route for those heading west to Devon and Cornwall – and can become very congested at peak times. If you are looking for an alternative to a dual carriageway lay-by or a service station for your picnic stop, and somewhere safe for the children to burn off some energy after the frustration of a traffic jam or long drive, take your break at a play area. Playmapp features over 1000 places to play in Devon and Cornwall, from scenic village playgrounds to large town parks – and plenty are within easy reach of the A30.
Check out the Playmapp guide to 10 ‘play stops’ near the A30 between Exeter and Penzance – great spaces for a rest , a picnic and a play.
Suggested distances and exits are assuming you are travelling west from Exeter to Penzance on the A30, they may differ on the return journey. Addresses are provided as a guide, but as most play areas do not have a postal address please check the individual play area pages (just click on the titles) to see its exact location. Playmapp is mobile phone-friendly, so you can check the directions ‘on the go’.
Darts Farm, Topsham, Exeter. Devon, EX3, 0QH
If you are coming down the M5 before getting onto the A30, a slight detour at Junction 30 in Exeter will take you to Darts Farm, a great place to break your journey. There is a large shop selling local food produce and gifts (though beware, you have to navigate the toy section to get to the toilets!), a cafe and a fish and chips outlet. With an RSPB centre, farm nature trail, cycle hire and play area there is plenty of outside fun to be had too. The play area has a slide unit, play tractor and agility trail, with plenty of open green space and picnic benches. Free Carparking.
Located approximately 2 miles from Junction 30 of the M5 – follow the A376 Exmouth signs.
Glebelands, Chertion Bishop, Exeter, Devon, TQ11 0BH
Cheriton Bishop Play Area is an enclosed play area with a basketball hoop, wooden agility trail with burma bridge, log walk, swinging steps and wobble board. There are also cradle swings and a basket swing, a roundabout and springers.
Located approx 1 mile from the Cheriton Bishop exit of the A30, with on street parking adjacent. If you are after a bite to eat or a drink, try The Old Thatch Inn (dogs welcome too!).
Behind Cawsand View, South Zeal, Devon, EX20 2JU
Take a small detour into the Dartmoor National Park for a picnic stop with something to entertain all ages and abilities. South Zeal Recreation Ground has a play area with slides, climbing frames, springers, inclusive basket swing and inclusive roundabout. There is a large recreation field with football goals and a tennis court along with a small skatepark.
Located 3 miles from the Whiddon Down exit of the A30, with a free carpark adjacent – look out for the carpark sign taking you down a small lane from the main road through the village. Public toilets opposite. For refreshments, try The Country Store & Tea Room, the Oxenham Arms or The Kings Arms.
Moorland Road, Launceston, Cornwall, PL15 7DN
Grammars Park in Launceston has a play area with a range of equipment including a bespoke wooden climbing platform and nest swing. Park on Moorland Road and access on the footpath opposite St Catherine’s Primary School.
Located just under 1 mile from the A30 – take the Launceston/A368 exit.
Margate Lane, Bodmin, PL30 4AL
If you’re looking for fun and adventure or peaceful strolls and natural beauty, you’ll find it at Cardinham Woods, run by the Forestry Commission. Whether you come for a family picnic or a delicious teatime treat, to walk the dog or watch wildlife, you’ll be surprised by what Cardinham Woods has to offer. Once you’ve burnt off some energy outside, step inside Woods Cafe to recharge and refresh, with a selection of scrumptious homemade food, using local ingredients where possible – and there’s a children’s play area next to the cafe. Pay and display parking and toilets on site.
Located 3.5 miles from the A30 Bodmin exit.
Truro Road, Lanivet, Bodmin, PL30 5EZ
Lanivet Green Play Area has a good range of play equipment, mainly wooden, with an embankment slide, shelter, climbing tower, swings, toddler area and more, with picnic bench seating and open green space. Free carpark with toilets adjacent. For supplies, the village Spar is within sight of the carpark, and next door to the Spar is the Lanivet Inn.
Located 1.5 miles from the A30 – take the A389/A391 exit toward Wadebridge/St Austell.
School Road, Summercourt, Cornwall, TR8 5DX
Summercourt Play Area, also known as Thomas Playing Field, has a range of playground equipment including a multiplay unit for climbing and sliding, swings, roundabout and springers, all set within a pleasant open green space. Free onstreet parking. For a bite to eat, try the London Inn.
Located just half a mile from the A30 – exit at the Summercourt/A3508 turn-off.
Off road between church road and Roseland Terrace, Zelah, Cornwall, TR4 9HL
Zelah Play Area has a playground and open green space with football goals. Park on main road in village or at the Hawkins Arms where you can get a drink or a bite to eat.
Located 500metres from the A30 – exit at the sign for Zelah.
Dundance Lane, Pool, Redruth, TR15 3QY
Photo credit to Timberplay and Richter
Heartlands Adventure Playground has a huge amount to entertain, with things to crawl through, climb over and slide down! Set within Heartlands, Cornwalls ‘cultural playground’. Fuel yourself with a coffee at the onsite ‘Snack Shack’ (open April to September) and join in the adventure! Pay and display carparking, toilets, cafe, snack kiosk and plenty more on site.
Located half a mile from the A30 – take the A3047 exit.
Lethlean Lane, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 5AL
There is something to entertain all ages at Hayle Recreation Ground. The large playground features multiplay units with long tunnel slide, a zipwrire, springers and cradle swings and picnic benches. There is a multi-use games area for ball sports and a concrete skate bowl. All set within a large open green space – you can get some takeaway food at the nearby M & S or McDonalds and enjoy it in the open air while your children.
Located half a mile from the A30 – take the B3301 exit at the roundabout in Hayle.
We hope you found this guide to A30 Picnic Areas useful – and if you are looking for more play areas while on holiday, you can do your own search here, or check out our guide to 10 great play areas in West Cornwall for some ideas.