Cornwall 2019- Glad to be back.
Another trip to Cornwall, we were so happy to be back! If you have followed us on Instagram for a while then you may have caught up on our previous Cornwall adventures and blog posts, apologies if so as some of this may seem repetitive because we visited a few places we have already visited previously. I will link 2017 & 2018 blog posts, as last year the weather was incredible and we managed to get around so many lovely places so its worth checking out if you are planning a trip to Cornwall with little ones.
We live in the East Midlands, the drive to South Cornwall (where we tend to stay) is around 5 hours. Each trip we tend to leave around 4am, making just 1 planned stop at Gloucester Services on the M5 because the food and coffee is great! I’m pretty sure I sound crazy when I rave about this services, but its not like your normal services with fast food and a WHSmith, its a beautiful building with a farmshop feel to it. There is free to use showers, family rooms, shopping, restaurant and a small play area! Just stop by to see what I’m talking about and you will know I’m not so crazy!
Most of the time hotels, caravan parks etc don’t allow you to check in until 2pm onwards so we also plan an activity in the North Cornwall for 2 reasons, first reason being that it breaks the journey up and secondly it means you get to see a part of Cornwall thats in the opposite end to where your staying. We do this on both the way in and way out! So because we still had valid tickets from The Eden Project after visiting on the way home last year (when you pay for admittance you are able to visit all year round) I won’t go into too much detail about The Eden Project as I dedicated a whole blog post to it last year which I will link HERE. We really enjoy it here, theres a lot to see and its beautiful. If you have children who love being outside and at one with nature then you will enjoy it, we joke that Oakley is like Mowgli from The jungle Book (not so much now he has short hair) because he will kick his shoes off and just go for it when in places like this.
We stay at Riviere Sands a Haven site situated in Hayle, the location we feel is great as Hayle is close enough to the majority of the places we enjoy in Cornwall and its next door to the famous St ives. Hayle beach is 3 miles long and such a lovely simple beach that we love spending time there. This Haven site is probably much smaller than most, some will prefer a larger site perhaps, but we enjoy the size of this one and as we have stated before we feel safe. There is a heated indoor & outdoor pool, some slides outside and often activities (weather dependant) for the children. We have only ever visited out of term time so we can advise of how busy the site is in term time.
We got the train to St ives on our first full day, the train journey is lovely and the train means we avoid driving around St Ives as it is often too busy to park (not to mention the crazy steep lanes and roads etc) You can get the train from St Erth station, a short 3 minute drive from Hayle and parking at that station is super cheap so we leave the car. We love St Ives, there is 5 beaches in total at St Ives, I think we have visited 4 of them now, they are a relatively short walk from each other to be honest broken up by beautiful streets and independent shops. There are some good Cornwall pages on facebook which you can learn more about what is going on at what time, I read about the famous ‘Bear in the window’ but hadn’t spotted it until this year (see pictures) Theres just a great deal to take in at St Ives, some beautiful places to eat and drink with fantastic views and then also the Tate Gallery too.
Theres 3-4 shops on the main strip in St ives which I am always fast to visit… mostly they are children products and interiors but honestly they have the best things in them. Hudsen: Is a really really cute gift shop with an incredible children’s section. Home & Gifts St Ives: Is a smallish shop but filled with some incredible homeware, frames and prints galore. Laff Kids: Is sole Children’s clothing and toys, theres a window at the back of the shop which has the most beautiful view of St Ives beach but they also stock some beautiful independent children’s brands. The Painted Bird: I could spend a fortune in this shop, everything from jewellery to cushions. If you have a love for Scandi Interiors then you will love this shop!
We had a real mixture of weather this year, I would say it rained more than it probably seemed it did. We just made the most of the weather we had, most mornings would be very grey and cloudy so we would rust to the pool until the sun came out. Its always hard to read Cornish weather, even the weather reports didn’t get it right. On bad weather days we used the sites facilities, stayed localish or we did lots of googling for fun places to take the kids. We will list everywhere we visited on here.
One of our particularly favourite places to eat out in the morning/brunch time is Birdies Bistro which didn’t disappoint again this year! There is a very large Asda, Lidl & also a Marks & Spencers in Hayle, so its also quite cost effective to do lots of beach picnics if you can. Another few good places to eat in Hayle is Bucket of Blood, The Cornish Arms and Quay Point.
We decided to head back to St Ives for a boat trip midweek, as it was looking like the only day suitable for a boat trip as advised by weather experts. We haven’t done a boat trip before whilst in Cornwall and had said we wanted to this year. We opted for a trip to Seal Island, boats and animals so the kids were made up. I am not entirely sure I would do it again in a rush, although it was a good experience there was very little time near the seals and much more time getting too and from. It was great to see the other side to St Ives as the boat took us away from Hayle so we discovered a few more beaches that we hadn’t made it too, so we decided when we got back to shore to go for a walk and find them on foot.
Porthgwidden Beach was the first one we stumbled on, its the beach in the images below with all the colour full doors etc. Its a nice small beach, with a cute cafe and we really enjoyed a few hours there before Oaks got his glitter tattoo and we headed back to our site for the evening.
A new place we visited this year was Dairy Land Farm, we had heard good things about it and opted for the farm instead of a theme park due to the children’s ages. We were worried about height restrictions so the farm seemed a safer option as Olive especially loves animals.
It was a great day out, there was so much to do, you could even pay £1 extra each to get a return ticket. It cost around £30-£35 for all of us, but there was also a huge soft play on the site which was included in the price. Its located near Newquay so weather permitting you could take a trip to Newquay beach. I would definitely recommend a visit, especially as if the weathers nice there is also a nature trail too. Theres various outdoor play areas, you can milk cows, tour their museum as well as tractor rides, animal petting and feeding etc
I feel as though this years trip flew so fast, it also felt like we did only half the amount of days out compared to last year but the weather was so up and down this year that we spent so much time at the site, swimming and staying on Hayle beach so we were close to home should we need to escape the rain.
I hope you have still managed to get some Cornwall inspiration, and if you wish to see more of our favourite places in the area then last years blog post HERE will be a good read. it includes a trip to St Michaels Mount, Lands End, Minach Theatre, Mousehole and more.