Trevella view from our caravan

The first term back to school is usually a pretty hectic one, new school or teacher, new clubs starting up and a plethora of emails and newsletters coming from the school, each one of us in my family is tired and ready for a break by the time autumn half term swings around. Dad had already booked the week off way back in the year and we received an email from Trevella Park in Cornwall asking us to come and visit them. We grabbed the opportunity and a few emails later had booked a week for visiting Cornwall over autumn half term.

Trevella Park dog friendly caravan

Trevella Park

Trevella Park has a wide selection of accommodation possibilities from lakeside lodges, glamping, eco domes and fields with electric hook up for caravans and tents. Whichever solution you choose all of the facilities are open to everyone. As we were taking Baxter with us we were allocated a dog friendly 2 bedroom static caravan which was in the main park with the outdoor swimming pool and children’s park on the green in front of us. This was marvellous as the moment we arrived, both the girls and Baxter were itching to stretch their legs so we were able to unload the car whilst they played outside, Baxter on a lead of course!

I thought it was a lovely touch to find a doggy welcome pack waiting for Baxter which included a bed, a bowl, some treats and some ecological poop bags, thank you Trevella that really was a lovely thought.

Trevella reception

On site we were able to buy a few necessities at the shop, visit reception for information on what was on and where to go and use a laundrette if we needed to. There is free WiFi all over the park (thank you!) and although the swimming pool was closed there were two playgrounds, one with a zip wire which was hugely popular with the twins. There is also fishing in the lake, crazy golf and Ranger Activities organised for the children including pond dipping, crabbing, fishing, bug hunts and rock pooling.

They have a collection of animals for the children to look at and also a pretty cafe which serves food and drinks, from breakfast to take away dinners.

Trevella Park cafe

Once we were settled we decided to walk to the nearby beach Crantock. You can walk directly from the site, it’s a beautiful walk but we hadn’t bargained for how long it was and had both girls moaning and one crying at one point. However once they reached the sand they brightened up, their ‘sore legs’ forgotten and happily walked all the way back, kids eh?

Crantock beach is a wide expanse of sand and a vast bay stretching out to the Atlantic, the surf was excellent and the beach is dog friendly too.

Crantock Beach Cornwall

 

App for Cornwall

You may think there isn’t a lot to do at this time of year but let me assure you visitors are spoilt for choice. The first thing I did was to download the App for Cornwall This allowed me to find all sorts of ideas of things to do during our stay, dry days and wet days, also in our case, as we were taking Baxter with us, dog friendly places to visit.

On that note I must add that Cornwall is really really dog friendly, Baxter was able to come with us on nearly all of our trips and days out and we managed to find plenty of places to eat who would accept dogs too.

Trevella Park weather rock

 

Things to do in Cornwall

As you can imagine we managed to do a lot during our stay at Trevella Park and I shall write about them individually. Please also see my Top five beaches in Cornwall post as they still stand family favourites.

Take a look at the Best Days Out in Cornwall website or download the app and you’ll discover there’s a huge list of possibilities, we knew we wanted to get lots of belly boarding in (them not me) but I was also hoping to get out and about a bit. I’m pleased to say we managed a bit of everything, here’s a quick snapshot of what we got up to.

Newquay

Newquay bridge beach

Fistral Beach

Fistral Beach Newquay, Cornwall

Blue Reef Aquarium

Blue reef Aquarium Newquay

Cornwall Gold

Blue reef Aquarium Newquay

Hell’s Mouth

Hell's Mouth Cornwall

Poltreath Beach

Poltreath harbour

Land’s End

Land's End Cornwall

The Minack Theatre

Minack Theatre Cornwall

Mousehole

Mousehole Cornwall

St Michael’s Mount

St Michael's Mount Cornwall

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

Mud maiden gardens of Heligan Cornwall

Mevagissey

Mevagissey harbour Cornwall

Porth

Porth Cornwall - climbing rocks

Disclosure: Trevella Park invited us to stay for 4 days in a static caravan, they also gave us two press passes for The Best of Cornwall for the purpose of this post and others that follow. All opinions and words are my own.

 

If there is one thing every member of my family love it’s a beach and on our recent trip to north Cornwall we were spoilt for choice with the long coastline stretching before our eyes.

We did our best to cover as much as we could and here are our top 5 beaches north Cornwall in the order we visited them.

Polzeath

Polzeath Cornwall

Polzeath lies at the entrance of the River Camel which has an enormous estuary leading to Wadebridge and beyond. To get to the beach you have to follow a long winding road typical of Cornwall which winds around fields and then takes a plunge down to the coastline, parking is on the sand and when we arrived the sea was way out with a gentle stream rustling down to it. A popular surfing destination Polzeath has a string of shops and a couple of cafes selling ice cream and drinks.

polzeath exploring

We walked on the left of the stream looking out to sea and the girls loved climbing the black rocks that ran all the way out. shouting out regularly ‘We’re rock climbers!’ and very proud of the fact too.

Polzeath surfers paradise

As we were visiting in February after a particularly bad weather winter the sea was high and strong with continuous waves crashing in to the coastline. I took this photo on my phone and it is still my favourite of the whole holiday, so much so I made it up into a large canvas.

Polzeath Cornwall

St Ives

This was the beach furthest away from us whilst staying at Retallack but well worth the journey which took about 30-40 minutes.

st ives shops

The town is built on hills and parking is scattered throughout the busy town, we were out of season and got lucky finding one quite central but still a good walk down to the seafront.

st ives cornwall

St Ives has some fabulous shops, restaurants, cafes and art galleries. The sea was out again so the girls played on the beach whilst I took a stroll to take some photos. Note the sandbags in the doorways, a prevention needed this winter.

st ives cornwall

And should you get hungry, well you could choose off of this delicious menu from the Rum & Crab Shack which sadly we didn’t visit but I’d love to, the Rum Shack Jambalaya catches my eye.

St Ives Rum & Crab shack

or maybe you could go for a pasty like we did to eat on the beach, check out this selection of freshly made pasties from St Ives Pasty bakery
st ives pasty bakery

Constantine Bay

Constantine Bay

 

We visited Constantine Bay the same day we went to Padstow as it’s only a 15 minute drive away, the roads are narrow and winding but there is a car park at the top with a sandy pathway leading down to the beach which is immense.

Constantine Bay

Our visit took place on a windy grey day but even still you get a very good idea of what this would be like on a beautiful summer’s day. The girls took their buckets and spades and filled them up with shells that were strewn across the bay. We also clambered over the black rocks and took a  few family snaps – as you do when you’re on holidays, I think Bessie did a great job with her photo of mum and dad with the BIG camera.

constantine bay

 

And before we hopped back in the car I picked up a couple of souvenirs which I think will look fabulous in food photography shots.

slate slabs

Bedruthen Steps

Simply stunning and has to be seen. The Bedruthen Steps or Carnewas as it’s also referred to, which can be a bit confusing when looking out for directions as road signs indicate Carnewas.

Bedruthen Steps Carnewas

We visited about 4/5 years ago and since then a new car park has been built by two buildings which date back to the Carnewas mining industry and are now used as a shop and a cafe.

A short walk along the cliff top leads down to the Bedruthen Steps and a breathtaking dramatic view opens up for you as you head down the steps leading to the beach.

Bedruthen Steps - Carnewas

We couldn’t access the beach as the steps are closed in the winter but we reached the viewing platform where these shots were taken.

The tide was in, the sea was rough and crashing into the huge rock stacks that make this such a beautiful view. If you check the site out you’ll get an idea of what it looks like on a sunny day with the tide out.

Watergate Bay

The next time I visit Watergate Bay I want to book into the Fifteen restaurant there. Twice I’ve looked at it and not been able to visit as this place gets really booked up. If you, like me, missed your booking then there’s a fabulous beach cafe underneath with tables both inside and out.

Watergate bay Cornwall

Watergate Bay has a very reasonably priced car park, which I was very surprised at, we expected to have to pay a fortune. The beach is immense and another surfer’s paradise. I was amazed that even though it was cold and windy, classes still took place, even when we scarpered back to the car as it was pouring down they stayed out there and carried on.

watergate bay cornwall

Perfect picture of the building at Watergate Bay that has Fifteen on the top floor, beach cafe underneath and a surf shop too, car park is up behind the building

watergate Bay cornwall

retallack resort lake

A half term holiday in Britain in February is never going to be 7 days of wall to wall sunshine, blue, blue skies and feeling hot, hot, hot. In fact we were wondering what on earth we’d do with ourselves for a week in Cornwall, Husband even contemplated if he should bring the portable heater with us, after all the weather in the south west has been particularly dreadful in recent weeks and after days of being ribbed off by his work colleagues who howled with laughter at the thought of us down here in gale force winds he thought we might need it.

Suffice to say we didn’t need it and we are totally blown away by Retallack Resort who kindly hosted us. Please see my Instagram profile for many more photos taken during our holiday.

retallack resort and spa

Retallack is situated just of the A39 between Wadebridge and Newquay, a complex of 5 star wooden lodges that blend into the surrounding rolling hillside beautifully, a main building with reception, the swimming pool and gym, the spa and the Flow Rider – more about that later. This was our stunning view on the first morning.

retallack resort view

Also we had James Nathan winner of the Masterchef 2008 on site in The Green Room restaurant. So a trip to his place was definitely on the cards and we were not disappointed, a superb meal and we were made to feel like VIP’s.

the green room retallack resort

Question: How do we get to eat in The Green Room without the kids and no babysitters?

Answer: Retallack’s Kid’s Club. 

Retallack have the brilliant idea of offering a Pyjama party night for the kids from 7 – 9pm, you take them along in their pyjamas and they have a fun movie night on beanbags whilst you enjoy some Grown Up time. I went for the prawn starter, pheasant breast for main and pecan and meringue for dessert, scrumptious.

kids club retallack resort

There are activities running every day at Kid’s club, here are a few things the girls came home with from the Kids Club, Sweet Treats, Canvas painting and T shirt painting. 

Our home was a 2 bedroom Rock lodge. It is lovely and spacious, as you walk in there is a very handy utility room with a washing machine which came in very handy indeed with dirty boots and wet coats. The Rock lodge has a lounge leading onto a balcony, a large kitchen with dining table, a walk in closet for ironing boards, bags, storage and a downstairs bathroom too. On the balcony to the back husband spotted an Outback BBQ which he was dying to get his hands on and is now on his wishlist.

retallack resort rock  lodge

There are many kinds of different lodges available, even ones with hot tubs on the terrace.

In the main building there is a small gym overlooking the fabulous family swimming pool. There is also a spa with a wonderful list of treatments.

retallack gym

I treated myself to an Aromaceane Body Wrap (1 hour 10 minutes = £69.00), I was coated in mud, wrapped head to toe in plastic which made me think of a CSI body bag – totally irrelevant – and left to relax before I showered off was massaged and returned to my family feeling Brand New. It’s a bit messy but well worth it. I also treated myself to a mini manicure with a lovely bright red Opi varnish and managed to scuff it before I’d even left the room but the lovely beauty therapist kindly mended me.

Retallack specialise in family holidays, for babies you will find baths and changing mats in each lodge, for toddlers, high chairs and cots on request and there is a fabulous park on site with a great zip wire our twins adored. Talking of twins, Retallack also specialise in twin holidays as they know the ins and outs of travelling with 2 little ones.

There is so much more to tell you so I’ll leave you with a list of the facilities on offer and come back in a few days time with a Flow Rider report – So Much Fun

Retallack resort facilities include

  • Cornwall’s only FlowRider *
  • FlowZone children’s soft play
  • The Green Room restaurant – with Masterchef 2008 winner, James Nathan. 
  • Licensed coffee bar serving a selection of fresh smoothies, juices, beer, wine and Origin coffee
  • Driftwood Lounge for enjoying food and drinks from The Green Room bar
  • Sun terraces overlooking the FlowRider from where you can relax and enjoy drinks and a meal with friends
  • Retreat Spa with 2 Beauty Treatment Rooms *
  • 15m Indoor Heated Swimming Pool
  • Eucalyptus Steam Room
  • Scandinavian Sauna
  • Matrix Fitness Suite featuring Matrix state of the art fitness equipment
  • Spinning Studio
  • Fitness Classes and Personal Training sessions *
  • 9 hole par 3 golf course – equipment can be hired from the FlowZone
  • 2 hard tennis courts – equipment can be hired from the FlowZone
  • Acres of beautiful countryside perfect for woodland and lakeside walks as well as leisurely bike rides along our cycle trail
  • Children’s outdoor play area with zip wire and complete soft surface
  • Jelly Tots Crèche, Kids Club, Adventure Club and babysitting *
  • Pool table and starlit X Box zone
  • Changing facilities equipped with hair dryers, lockers, complimentary toiletries and swim suit spinner
  • Plenty of parking available directly outside the facilities

* Please note, these facilities are chargeable as extra.

Our tips for a great Retallack stay

  1. You can take food with you or order a Tesco delivery for day of arrival online from the local Wadebridge store. Be warned there is no shop onsite for milk and other necessities.
  2. If you are travelling with twins in a buggy ask for a lodge at the top of the hill 
  3. Book up any kid club activities along with your holiday so you don’t miss out
  4. Book up any spa treatments before you arrive to ensure you don’t miss out
  5. Book up your flow rider sessions before arrival and towards the beginning of the week as you will most likely want to go on again
  6. Don’t forget your dishwasher tablets and washing machine tabs – I did.

Disclosure: We were hosted in a Rock 2 bedroom lodge for 7 nights in self catering. Our kid’s club activities were also offered for the purpose of this review. I was given 20% off my spa treatments.

retallack logo

We’re on countdown now to half term and even more so as we have our first family break away this year booked in to Retallack Resort in Cornwall.

retallack resort cornwall

Five minutes from the beautiful town of Padstow and the north Cornwall beaches their beautiful lodges are dotted around lakes and countryside settings, I can hear the peace calling me as I type.

It’s five star self catering accommodation that awaits us, with a fully equipped kitchen, there’s even a washing machine and tumble dryer. Sky TV, Wi-Fi and upstairs downstairs layouts. The top of the range apartments even have a jacuzzi on the balcony!

As it’s almost a year to our wedding anniversary we’ve booked a table in The Green Room restaurant where James Nathan, Masterchef 2008 winner is executive chef. The beauty of Retallack Resort is they have a brilliant kids club where Movie Nights are organised from 7 – 9pm. You take the kids along after their dinner in their pyjamas and they get to enjoy a pyjama party, watch a film and eat popcorn whilst you can enjoy a child free evening – BOOKED!

In fact the kids club has some excellent activities on throughout the week, Explore Retallack with outdoor adventures, Baking Bananza, Pizza making, Canvas Decorating and many many other activities to keep the children amused. 

Another big attraction is the FlowRider, the only one in Cornwall and we have booked  a slot to try it out – even the girls will try which will be interesting to see how they cope with that.

kids flow rider activities

Retallack is a spa and if there’s one thing I love it’s a massage. I never get the opportunity at home to go so it’s very much a holiday treat therefore I’ve booked myself in for the Aromaceane Luxury Body Wrap experience, you may not recognise me when I come out.

I couldn’t really care about the British weather as there is a pool, sauna, steam room and gym onsite plus a fantastic outdoor play area, I’m sure we’ll be very busy but there are a few things I’m really looking forward to

  1. A proper cream tea
  2. A cornish pastie tea
  3. Fish and chips on the beach
  4. Visiting Fiona at Coombe Mill Farm just up the road

One thing that really appeals to me about Retallack is they have gone the extra mile to make Twin Families feel more comfortable, they know and understand the logistics of moving with two babies and have put lots of assistance in place to make sure you have the best family holiday with them.

Retallack are offering a 7 night Staycation to one lucky family in one of the 2 bed, baby/dog friendly Rock Lodges and all you have to do is

a
Rafflecopter giveaway


Very best of luck to you, I shall be back soon to let you know all about our stay.

lake district HomeAwayA sponsored post brought to you by HomeAway.co.uk??

Choosing to stay in a holiday home gives you all the amenities and freedom of home. When travelling with the family one of the most important things is to take the hassle out of your stay in a holiday home you run your own schedule. Many homes will provide local information and children can have separate rooms. HomeAway has picked our favourite places to take the family for a Great British holiday.

You can find more tips on where to go and what to see on family holidays on our UK Family holiday idea pages

Cornwall

Cornwall is a great place to visit all year round whilst best seen in summer when you can enjoy the outdoor activities, there is more than enough to do indoors to keep you busy through the winter or on rainy days.

The county is almost completely surrounded by sea giving over 300 miles of coastline. Plenty of sandy beaches perfect for family walks, sunbathing and sand castles, or if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous visit the beaches around Newquay famous for its surfing and water sports.

If you’re looking for family activities, Cornwall has an abundance of places to visit like Newquay’s award winning Zoo with 130 species and Holywell Bay fun park with dozens of attractions and rides.

Visit the traditional villages in Cornwall or the modern attractions such as the Tate Art Gallery in St Ives.

Cornwall has a great selection of holiday homes like intimate cottages or chic apartments all perfect for families.

The Lake District

With over 3,500 kilometres of lakes, mountains, towns and villages the lake district is England’s largest national park. Home to both England’s highest mountain at Scafell pike and deepest lake Wastwater. Whilst you can visit the Lake district year round it is at its most beautiful from spring to autumn. The Lake District can be a peaceful and tranquil place to escape the modern world but at the same time is full of adventure and excitement.

Enjoy spectacular vistas from the shores of lake Windermere. Discover the beautifully preserved traditional market towns and little villages. If that sounds a bit too quiet to keep the kids entertained try the numerous outdoor and indoor activities.

When booking a family holiday in the Lake District it’s a good idea to pick one of the larger centres as a base from which to explore. The market town Kendal in the south is a short drive from the beach at Morecambe bay. A hub of culture, history and a shopping centre too. Home to two castles, two museums and a wealth of architecture with limestone Victorian buildings. There are plenty of routes for great walks but if the weather is bad try the theatre complex for entertainment. Most of the great lakes and fells of the park are within a two hour drive of Kendal.

We have a great selection of family and pet friendly properties across the lake district. Choose from rural retreats, mountain side cottages or apartments and townhouses.

cardiff bay homeawaySwansea and the Gower peninsular

Swansea, Mumbles and the Gower peninsular are one of the best places to visit in Britain for family holidays. Spend your time on the beach building sandcastles, or try adventure and excitement with water sports or explore the culture and history.

Swansea is Wales’s waterfront city and is home to brilliant beaches and attractions; medieval castles such as Oystermouth castle, art museums like the Dylan Thomas museum and rich botanical gardens. ??Wales is home to some Britain’s best family friendly beaches and many of those on the Gower peninsular are award winning blue flag beaches.

Port Eynon bay was named as the best British beach of 2011 by the Cadbury flake 99 Great British beach awards. Other family friendly beaches can be found at Oxwich bay and Horton. Wales has excellent beaches for surfing at Langland, Caswell and Llangennith or try water activities such as power boating, water skiing, kite surfing or diving.

Close to Swansea are golf courses, mountain biking, quad biking and horse riding.

In Swansea and the wider Glamorgan area we have a selection of holiday homes you can find accommodation in the heart of the city and right on the waterfront with views out over the bays or for more peace and quiet try a family friendly country house or cottage.

Scotland

Scotland is a mix of the untamed beauty of the countryside in contrast with the modern cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow. It’s a sparsely populated part of the UK so there can be a bit of a drive between towns and attractions. It’s a good idea to research what you would like to see in Scotland before deciding where to stay.

Edinburgh and Glasgow are rich in culture, history and attractions both are perfectly suited to family holidays and cater well for children.

Scotland is home to some of Britain’s most family friendly destinations and attractions, Stirling castle has the Royal palace vaults and the Dundee science centre has 80 hands-on exhibits based on the 5 senses. One family day out is the West Highland Line Jacobite Express – the steam train known as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series of films.

From the wilderness of the highlands to modern towns and cities we have accommodation across Scotland perfect for family holidays.

??London

As the largest city in the UK you can find a huge array of attractions from Zoo’s to museums, galleries and cathedrals.

London has an extensive transport network so it’s easy to get around and many of the major attractions are grouped together. It is home to museums like the British museum exhibiting history, art and culture from thousands of years and two of the most popular museums are the Science museum and the Natural history museum, both are situated in South Kensington.

The bright lights of the West End are London’s hub for shopping and entertainment. Visit Covent Garden or Oxford Street for world class shopping before taking in a show in one of the many theatres.

Leicester square is home to cinemas, restaurants and arcades, best seen as a family during the day as it tends to get busy in the evening.

Running through the heart of London is the River Thames and a boat trip from Westminster is a great way to see the sights.

No trip to London would be complete without visiting landmarks such as St. Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey or Trafalgar Square. A number of operators run hop-on hop-off tours around the city, a good way to explore with children.

Accommodation in London is spread out across the city and the surrounding towns as well. As the city is very well connected you don’t need to worry about being close to the attractions and therefore can opt for cheaper properties on the outskirts.