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Taking The Kids on Holiday - The Adventure Starts Now!

Tintagel by Karen Davies

Ah, the challenges of a family holiday with young kids.  The joys of trying to coordinate preparation and packing and making sure the little ones have managed to find whole pairs of shoes, rather than a varied selection of singles.  Making sure you’ve got enough towels.  Working out the reasonable ratio of pants per child for a week and checking the weather forecast to see how many jumpers are required. Explaining to the youngest that you can’t take his bed because it won’t fit in the suitcase, and no we can’t put it on the roof-rack or tow it behind the car even though it has wheels.  Parent Tip #1 – Take one of his pillowcases, he’s probably got a favourite and it doesn’t take up much room!

You COULD go abroad, where you’ll have to follow all the above and then get everyone corralled at the airport, checked in, and entertained in a soulless waiting area while you wait for your flight.  Hanging around at the other end and hoping your suitcases have all made it in one piece.  Add to that the hire car or the coach to your hotel and the checking in, and you have a recipe for a headache that only paracetamol and gin can cure.

Alternatively, chuck everything in the car or the luggage rack on the train and head to the beautiful county of Cornwall where there’s something to keep everyone happy and occupied, whatever the weather, and the only obstacles on your journey will be possible roadworks, how many times you have to stop for toilet breaks and finding games to play on the journey.  Parent Tip #2 – Something beginning with “B” will nearly always be “Bum” when you play I Spy with under 5s.

The legends and magic tales of Tintagel will keep them enthralled.  Add some dragons, they love that.  Getting children to see the same beauty in landscapes as you do is tricky, that’s why you need to find castles, ruins and places that tell a story; places which Cornwall has no shortage of.  So the parents get to see what they came here for, and the kids get to run around till their cheeks go red and you all get to stop for tea and cake.  With the beautiful big sky as a backdrop, Mum and Dad can gaze into each others eyes and smile fondly as they remember the times before they had children and could stay in bed beyond 6am.  As you breathe in the fresh Cornish air, recapture your love and desire and dare to dream of a future when you won’t have to pick up wet clothes from a bedroom floor or recover glasses of random liquids from random places.  Parent Tip #3 – Socks will always disappear, this isn’t a child only thing.

In future posts, I’ll be writing more on individual areas, but this is by way of an introduction to Cornwall and the reasons to visit.

They don’t like walking unless there’s something worthwhile at the end of it, and something I absolutely loved doing as a child was finding beaches that were off the beaten track and quieter than the main attractions.  There’s plenty of these in Cornwall, and my favourite was Nanjizel, or Mill Bay as it’s alternatively known.


The Lagoon, which is just to the left of the main beach pictured below.  It’s neck-deep for a 12 year old, but has shallow entry and exit points.  The brave can throw themselves off the little ledge just to the right of the centre of this pic.

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A simply amazing little beach, which requires a bit of work to get to, but is well worth the effort.  Definitely not suitable for pushchairs and prams, but if your little ones are sturdy adventurers, then I highly recommend this place.

Other good beaches I remember fondly are Porthleven, Porthcurno, and Kynance Cove. Also Sennen, which was five minutes from my Great-Aunt’s house, and Carbis Bay which was five minutes from my Grandma’s.  They both made incredible pasties as big as your face, so I always looked forward to visiting them!  Parent Tip #4 – Pirates! If the sun goes in while you’re beaching, always remember that kids love tales of Pirates and Smugglers almost as much as ice cream!

I have visited various parts of Cornwall throughout my life; as a child, as a teenager, as an adult and as a parent, and will never tire of finding new things and exploring new places in this wonderful county.  The fact that I’m a 45 year-old father of  twin girls of 13 and stepdad to an 18 year-old lad, I’m often exhausted and powered by tea, but can still sit and write this as I reminisce about amazing holidays I had two years, twenty, thirty and forty years ago is testament to the place!

If you’ve never visited, and you’re reading this while you consider next year’s holiday, then stop thinking about it and just do it.  Holidays don’t have to cost a bomb.  Your kids won’t remember how much you spent, they’ll remember the things they’ve done.  You’ll thank me for it, and your kids will absolutely thank you for it.

We all love our kids, but my lord they’re a full time job aren’t they?  That’s why I recommend family holidays here; because you’ll ALL feel like you’ve had a holiday when you get home.  Mum and Dad can relax and unwind.  Give them a bucket and spade while you soak up the sun, or let them run themselves ragged as you stroll through the countryside.   You’ll ALL enjoy it, and after a week or two, you can get home and spend the next three days doing the washing, and finding half-eaten lollipops stuck in pockets, which you’d still be doing if you’d been to Spain, but at least you’ve got the luggage and you haven’t spent two hours getting through customs while little Johnny tells everyone you’ve got lots of vodka in your suitcase.  Parent Tip #5 – Put lots of vodka in your suitcase.

Have a look around on our website, find somewhere to go, and book it!

Happy Holidays!




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