Before we found Dorset, Cornwall was always our happy place. Our home away from home. Our go-to destination for holidays. If it’s not the beaches we love, it’s the laid back atmosphere that comes with Cornwall being a surfers paradise. Before T came along, Sharon and I had been visiting Cornwall on and off (every other holiday was a visit to Cornwall) for years – it was even our first holiday together as a couple! We just love the area and actually feel more at home here than in Sussex.
Despite our love for Cornwall though, it’s a rather long way away from Sussex with a child, so when choosing our holiday we often opted for Dorset when deciding to visit the West Country as it’s only 3-4 hours away in comparison to the potential 6-8 hour journey to Cornwall. The last time we visited (gosh, this is an old post!) T was only a few months old and the journey wasn’t *great* so we decided to leave it a little while before visiting again – leading us to where we are now.
After years of waiting for the right time, we finally decided to book a holiday to Cornwall.
Leaving around 6am on the Friday, we arrived at our favourite caravan park in Cornwall; Perran Sands, around 3:30pm. This included two decent stops – which was really impressive considering T loves as good service station – and some minor traffic restrictions.
Once we were settled in our caravan, we then did a quick food shop and was ready to hit the sack, but not before letting T blow off some steam in and around the play park after a long journey. We also had Sharon’s mum with us on this holiday so we gave them a chance to have a nose around the park and have a little play in the arcades! It was a first for them, where as for us this is our 3rd or 4th visit.
Due to the long journey the previous day, Saturdays (or the day after we travel) are always the days when we take a slow walk around the local town or village. In this case, our local village was Perranporth. Perranporth is a gorgeous little surfers village full of surfer and knick knack shops, sandy beaches, and one of the best ice cream parlours. There’s also a wonderful chippy and Indian takeaway, and lots of other shops to browse.
As soon as we set eyes on the Ice Cream parlour though we decided to get straight into the holiday spirit and have ice cream for lunch. Sharon and I had waffles with ice cream and clotted cream, and T had an Ice Cream, sundae! We then spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach and walking around a number of clothing shops.
On Sunday, we had a short drive into Newquay, which is the next town along from us. Newquay is your typical seaside town, with a gorgeous beach, and a town centre and high street, but it also has lots of little lanes full of sweet shops and kitchens making the best fudge and pasties! Today was absolutely the day we were going to have Cornish pasties.
Before lunch, however, we decided on a trip to Newquay Aquarium, which is right on the seafront by the beach. Newquay Aquarium is part of the Blue Reef Aquarium group and is a lovely little aquarium to visit. We easily spent the morning here looking at all the tanks and listening to a few talks – the turtle feeding was particularly interesting and engaged T the longest.
After our visit, we then took a slow walk back up the hill to find our favourite pasty shop for lunch. After some shopping, we then arrived back at the caravan park where we then took T swimming for the remainder of the afternoon until dinner.
I was chomping at the bits to go swimming as I wanted to see what T had remembered from his swimming lessons. I also wanted to show Sharon what he had learnt as she doesn’t often get to go swimming with us. On this occasion, we decided to treat T to his SwimFin as the pool was quite busy, and a lot deeper than his usual pool (and a lot colder!) so we wanted to make sure he was safe. Plus, he loves using it as a toy; pretending he’s a shark!
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Monday was our first proper day, and the weather was starting to improve, so we decided to dedicate it to the Eden Project to which we had been invited to visit*. If you have never heard of the Eden Project I will be writing a comprehensive review of our visit, but in summary; the Eden Project is an educational “hub” detailing the importance of plants, whilst also teaching you about sustainability and the planet.
It’s an incredible place; with the main features being their two ginormous biomes which contain all sorts of Mediterranean and tropical plant life (and birds!). There’s also a number of trails to follow as well as ‘The Core’ which explores the beginning of life.
I absolutely adore the Eden Project as it’s one of those places that makes you feel motivated and empowered to do something for your planet. It’s suprisingly big – which is how we spent all day here – and incredibly fascinating; with lots of exhibits to interact with.
It’s one of those places I could visit time and time again no matter the weather. It was T’s first visit here and he thoroughly enjoyed running around and talking about the things around him. His favourite area was absolutely the Mediterranean dome with swing bridges and mist clouds.
Despite the long day on Monday, we still had loads of energy left, so we decided on a trip to Lands End. We’ve never not visited Lands End when we’ve come to Cornwall; even when we’ve stayed North of the county. The drive is really pleasant and if you want to stay there for the day there’s quite a bit to do, as well as a nice shopping area, and parking is only £6 for the whole day.
We don’t tend to do the exhibitions when we visit as we find it can get a little pricey, plus, we usually have something planned after, which was exactly what we planned. We stayed for the views and the photo, and then after some lunch and a play in the park we made our way to St. Ives for the afternoon. We were going to take a walk to Sennen Cove, however Sharon’s mum wasn’t up for the walk so we left early and had more time in St. Ives.
Although a little hiller than Perranporth, St. Ives is a lovely coastal town home to a number of ice cream parlours, sweet shops, and pubs, knick knack and craft shops, and several galleries and clothing shops, as well as a lovely little beach. Every time we visit we forget how gorgeous it really is – although the seagulls could give Brighton’s seagulls a run for their money!
Wednesday was when Sharon’s mum took over and treated us to a day at Flambards; a local theme park that’s been running since the 70’s – starting as an aviation museum and slowly growing into the family attraction it is today. Sharon and I have only visited once previously, however Sharon remembers coming here as a child with her parents so she was really excited to bring T here.
As well as a small theme park; housing several traditional rides like a rollercoaster and a log flume, Flambards is also home to a Victorian Village which was surprisingly big but incredibly interesting. This is probably what I found the most interesting as it’s incredibly detailed and so well done.
Our last day was reserved for a visit to our favourite cider farm; Healeys Cyder Farm – which is located 10 minutes down the road from Perranporth. I remember coming here when it was just a small farm that made its own cider, however over the years we’ve seen it grow into what it is today.
It’s still home to a polite little farm, full of animals, and has kept a lot of it’s original features, however it’s also grown over the years and now houses several new features such as a large cafe and restaurant as well as an impressive visitor centre. There’s also tours and tractor rides.
We easily spent the morning here; stocking up on wine, cider and chutney, however once we were done we headed back to the caravan site to pack and then spend our last few hours at the beach. It was absolutely glorious and the perfect way to end our holiday – I was even tempted to crack open a bottle of Rattler!
In no time it was Friday, meaning it was the end of our holiday. The drive home was somewhat longer than our drive there as our sat nav decided to take us off piste a little, but T did incredibly well and we managed to get home in one piece and in good time.
I’ll always feel sad about leaving a holiday, as we always have a wonderful time, but leaving Cornwall and Dorset always leaves my heart particularly heavy – I’d honestly move here in an instant if we could. Watching T play on the sandy beach was like nothing else. Watching him run (as opposed to hobble) into the water, dig and build sandcastles, and take half the beach back in his sandals will always be memories I hold dear. I just hope he does too.
Have you been to Cornwall? Where do you like to visit?
on a side note… this was whole new experience
If you follow us on Instagram, you would have seen that we’d written briefly about how this holiday was different in comparison to the others we’ve taken T on over the years. Although we had an absolutely brilliant time, we couldn’t help but notice how much T has changed. Where as before he’d be pretty laid back and go with the flow when it came to days out and the food we ate, this time round he was a lot more opinionated and argumentative.
I imagine this all balled down to a change of scenery, having granny as an audience, and generally being a four year old, but it was quite a shock to the system when we had T arguing over his cereal, why we weren’t putting the television on, or what bucket he’d like to take to the beach – not to mention the selective hearing whilst out and about. It didn’t ruin the holiday – far from it, as we know this is normal – but there were times when he was truly sucking the joy out of the holiday.
Has anyone else experienced this? Tell me it’s normal!
*We were invited to visit the Eden Project and given complimentary tickets in exchange for a review (to be published soon!), however thoughts, opinions, and images are our own.