Why I love family holidays in Cornwall
It’s no secret that we have spent a lot of time down in Cornwall. My sister-in-law lives in St Ives so we can combine a holiday with spending time with family, and honestly, there is nothing that I love more than watching my girls play with their cousins. Our first “family holiday” after Freyja was born was in St Ives, and it is where she started taking her first steps. For every visit since then, although she was a little older, there was still the excitement from a first glimpse of the sea and the anticipation of being able to frolic on the sand.
Now we have the two girls it is lovely watching them play together on the beach. Maybe it is because we live so far away from the coast, but Freyja and Emily just love the seaside. It doesn’t matter about the weather, they just want to feel the sand under their feet and between their toes (and sometimes in the mouths!). For them, it is a bonus that they get to play with their cousins here too.
Cornwall is a county full of very happy memories for me and there are loads of wonderful places to stay and visit there. This year we had a wonderful break at Deerpark. Close to here is the lovely little fishing town of Looe. It is a working port and so is perfect for watching boats coming and going – a great way to keep children entertained. In addition, Looe also has a sandy beach for hours of fun building sandcastles, kicking a ball around or paddling in the sea.
We have also enjoyed a lovely few days at White Acres. This is close to Newquay which is on the Atlantic Coast of Cornwall and is renowned for surfing – where better to get your water babies learning how to surf? There are some brilliant child-friendly attractions – Newquay Zoo, Dairyland Farm World, The Screech Owl Sanctuary and the Eden Project to name but a few.
We visited Crealy Adventure Park which caters for children of all ages. Here there are thrill rides, outdoor play areas and indoor soft play as well as lots of animals. Definitely something to entertain the kids whatever they are into.
I have a little confession to make. There is an amazing place in Cornwall which is perfect for kids and I have visited it several times – but never with my children! Callestick Farm, close to Truro, is the home of award winning ice cream. Their “Clotted Cream and Blackcurrant” flavour is a particular favourite of mine. I don’t know about anyone else, but just having an ice cream cone in my hand and being close to the sea transports me back to being a young girl enjoying a family holiday. The tea room sells delicious cakes and obviously the Callestick ice cream, and they have a range of farm animals including pigs and chickens. Animals AND ice cream – my girls would love it!
Since having kids our holidays in Cornwall have changed. Not so much the activities that we do, as the Cornish beaches and so many of the attractions can be enjoyed by all ages, but our accommodation needs. No longer can we just check into any hotel or B&B. We can’t stay in a hotel room where we are forced to go to bed at 8pm lying there silently, playing games on our smart phones so we don’t disturb the girls, or panic every time one of them wakes in the night for fear that they will annoy guests in a neighbouring room. Now we need a caravan or a cottage, where we can have separate rooms and be separated from other people enjoying their own holiday by more than just a wall. In fact, our perfect accommodation would be somewhere like the self-catering cottages at The Valley, near Truro.
What I love about The Valley is that not only do you get the luxury that I had become accustomed to pre-kids, but it is a completely child-friendly site. Highchairs, stair gates, bed guards and travel cots are complimentary – meaning that you have less stuff to cram into the car before you start on your family holiday. There are also toys, DVDs and books to borrow from the reception as well as play areas to help entertain the kids when you are not out and about. The Valley has indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools (which would mean my kids would never want to leave the site) and a spa pool, fitness suite, tennis and squash courts for older kids and adults to enjoy.
One of the things that I love best about the idea of staying at The Valley is the ability to arrange for one of their babysitters so you could have a night out. This would make the family holiday an event that would cater for all our needs – making wonderful memories in Cornwall, without making compromises.
Disclaimer: This is our entry for the Parent Friendly Stays #parentpanel 3 competition