I was so pleased we were able to book a week in Cornwall this October for half term. It felt like it made up for the wash out our August camping holiday turned out to be! My son had been counting down the days for weeks and weeks, and it was amazing how quickly it came round in the end! Soon we were on our way, car packed with excitement and everything else bar the kitchen sink!
Saturday: We’re going to Cornwall!
We left on Saturday late morning, an hour after we’d planned to leave (as always) and made the journey in the car in good time. It took us about 3 hours from home to get to Hayle in Cornwall. We arrived at St Ives Bay Holiday Park just after 2pm and were directed to our caravan, our home for the next week. The first thing we noticed is how close to the beach we were and we had an amazing sea view right from our caravan. As soon as we arrived we felt at home. My son was so excited to have arrived in our caravan and to be able to see the sea! The caravan, although the budget option, was like new and perfectly clean. We went for the cheapest ‘budget’ 2 bed option which cost us about £230 for the week. I didn’t think that was too bad for half term! I was a bit nervous about the kids sharing a bedroom as they hadn’t shared before, but they were so excited about it! All the caravans were set within the beautiful sand dunes and most enjoyed the amazing beach and sea views. It really is set in a fantastic position. Please look out for my separate review post for St Ives Bay Holiday Park!
After we had brought everything in to the caravan from the car (there was a lot!) and unpacked a bit, we headed straight out to check out the beach. The beach was literally 2 minutes walk from our caravan. There was a short walk through the sand dunes down a hill and then on to the beach. My hubby and I just sat for a moment, watching the kids play and taking in the sea air. I immediately felt relaxed. There’s something special about being right by the sea.
Sunday: The Lizard & Sunday carvery
On our first full day in Cornwall, we visited the Lizard. Now we’re members of the National Trust we wanted to make use of our membership and we always go to the Lizard when we visit Cornwall, so it was a perfect first day. We were so lucky with the weather, although blowy, it was bright and sunny for most of our visit. We started by walking along the coastal path and walked for about half an hour before turning round to come back. My son is great at walking, but was still a bit tired from school so we didn’t want to walk too far. We were lucky enough to see some seals swimming close to shore. Thankfully my hubby brought his binoculars so we could get a better look. It’s rare not to see seals at the Lizard from our experience, they never fail to appear! So lucky, and they’re lovely to watch in the wild.
After our walk and seal watching, we went and visited the Lighthouse which was really interesting. My hubby and son went on the tour to the top, but unfortunately my daughter was too little, so we stayed behind. Then afterwards we went to the most southerly cafe for a cream tea! It was wonderful to be able to sit outside and enjoy the late October sun.
Monday: The Seal Sanctuary
The Seal Sanctuary is my sons new favourite place! Ever since we visited at the beginning of the year, my son has wanted to go back. We brought the tickets at the caravan site and got 20% off with a free return within 7 days visit ticket. The weather unfortunately started to turn when we got there, so we got a bit wet, but it didn’t stop us from having a great time! After we visited all the lovely seals, sea lions and penguins, we went for a walk through the woodland. Because it was Halloween they had a ‘find the witch’ game, which my son enjoyed!
We managed to find a sheltered spot under a tree for our picnic and I welcomed a cup if coffee from our flask as it was very damp and cold!
They had lots of activities going on due to it being Halloween, as well as finding the witches, my son enjoyed making a bat from a peg! Another super visit to the Seal Sanctuary!
Tuesday: Newquay Zoo & beach evening
We have Paignton Zoo annual passes, which means we get free entry to Newquay Zoo too! So on the Tuesday of our holiday we headed to Newquay to visit the Zoo. The weather was a bit wet, so we took our waterproofs and a flask of something warm! The Lions were definitely the highlight of the day. The male lion was playing football with a massive ball that was in the enclosure. I’ve never seen a lion so active, as they’re normally fast a deep, lazing about! Amazing to see!
We took a picnic with us and found a nice spot by the maze and sheltered from the rain, where we ate. Unfortunately I dropped our flask and it broke! But we managed to get one cup of coffee out of it at least! The kids really enjoyed seeing all the animals and running around. My son and I got lost in the maze too!
In the evening we went for a walk across the sand dunes and down to the beach. Then we had great fun making sand castles and paddling in the sea!
Wednesday: St Michaels Mount
I just love St Michaels Mount! plus it was another trip included with our National Trust passes! It only took about 20 mins to get there from our caravan, so we got there quite early and timed it perfectly with the tide being out, so we could walk across to the Mount. It was quite busy and the garden was closed due to high winds, but we still got to go round the house and enjoy the amazing views. The sun even came out at one point!
They had a quiz on and as you walked round there were various questions to answer in relation to the rooms and castle. At the end we all got gold medals for completing the quiz, which my son was very proud about (although it was actually daddy who answered the questions!).
Because my daughter has not long been walking and the Mount isn’t exactly pushchair friendly, she went in the Boba 3G carrier and for a nearly 18 month old was surprisingly happy! After we walked back over from the Mount we went for lunch in one of the pubs and was even able to sit outside!
Thursday: Paradise Park
Paradise Patk was just 5 minutes up the road from us and was a bit of a last minute plan, but we ended up having an amazing time! When we got there we were just in time for feeding some of the birds. What an experience! It was bird crazy! It was really fun having the birds land on you and eat from the pot you were holding. My son really enjoyed it but for some reason the birds wouldn’t land on him and they all landed on me instead!
We also got the opportunity to get up close to a baby penguin, which was a real treat. ‘Paul’ the baby penguin let you sit right next to him and have your photo taken with him. I got a fantastic photo of my son with ‘Paul’.
The highlight for my son though I’m sure was the indoor play area! We spent probably half our time in there whilst he went up and down the slides!!
Friday: Beach Walk & Godrevy
On the Friday we all wrapped up warm and walked down to the beach for a long walk. We walked about a mile along the beach and found an amazing bit of rock separated from the cliff and some interesting little caves, which my son enjoyed exploring. Hayle beach is honestly the most amazing beach of approximately 3 miles of golden sand!
We had lunch back at the caravan and then in the afternoon we went to Godrevy a National Trust house and gardens. We got there a little later than planned, so only had a couple of hours there. They had lots of Halloween activities going on, including Halloween games in the gardens and spooky story telling in the house! We took a rain check on the ghost stories as I think my son might have been a bit scared! And we walked round the grounds instead, which included the most ancient garden in England.
We definitely want to go back and spend a little longer there and visit the famous tea room!
Saturday: Going home!
It was so sad when our week came to an end. We had such a fun filled week which went by so quick! We made some very very happy memories and I felt so lucky to have spent such special quality time with the family.
So we said farewell to our little caravan and our lovely sea view and headed home with two very tired and sleepy kids!