An (almost) Easter epic fail
Easter 2016 AKA the Easter of an almost epic #Mummyfail
This Easter, my son who’s 10, asked me if we could do something new over Easter, and by ‘new’ he meant going abroad. We had a pretty cool cruise a couple of years back for my biggie birthday which involved a short plane trip but as a rule, I’m really no fan of flying. I flew to Chicago a month after 9/11 back in 2001 – determined not to let terrorists rule my life but I have to admit it was borderline frightening, and really the aborted landing into a blizzard-ridden O’Hare airport wasn’t the most relaxing of events.
So it’s no wonder that ever since then my love of flying has come to a complete standstill. The cruise was my 40th birthday and the first time mini-me had been abroad so I had to bite the bullet and board the 1hr 45 min flight to Genoa, Italy. Which was a breeze – a mere 75 minutes was nothing. But Easter 2016, we had Tenerife in mind – home to the best water park in the world! Apparently. I chose to gloss over the 4 hour plane ride.
So, and with just 7 days till departure I bit the bullet once again and made the decision to book a last minute trip. Going through the online process, credit card to hand, it was only when it came to the mention of passports that I thought I’d quickly check. Mini-me’s passport had run out 18 months ago! As I stared at the screen with an excited 10 year old in my periphery vision, I wondered how I was going to break this news. Flight was exactly 7 days away….Not even driving to Peterborough was going to fix this in time; news to me but you can’t get kid’s passports fast-tracked in a day.
I was in so much trouble. Mini-me just walked out the room; too disappointed to complain, cry, shout or even speak. Talk about an epic fail moment. I had totally let him down.
I promised to sort the passport out asap and try again later in the year, but for now I quickly searched for the best uk based activity holiday I could find to keep him busy and booked a week at a holiday park – Haven’s Perran Sands Holiday Park in sunny Cornwall. Only then did I check weather forecast; first 2 days -heavy rain. Sigh.
I faked the yey-we’re-going-to-the-beach-anyway enthusiasm that failed to generate any support whatsoever and promptly got the suitcases out. We were on our way.
That was a great positive, brought smiles all round. The next positive was the uneventful drive down, it’s a straight route from Warwickshire to Perranporth, we did it in 3 and a half hours. Check in was 4pm, we were half hour early and happily, the caravan was ready for us, and we were delighted to have been given an upgrade! Happy days. Things were definitely looking better.
I need to get the negatives out the way… our delight at the upgrade was short lived because the heating was, well it could have been a lot better – being single glazed night time was pretty cold and we ended up sleeping in the living room with the fire on. And having no extractor fan meant that the fire alarm would go off constantly when cooking bacon for our morning rolls! It was all an adventure really. Otherwise, the caravan was clean and well stocked, we had super sand dunes right behind us to play in, and we were happy to be here. In fact we had our own sand dune, that was like a huge crater, right behind our caravan which on the sunny days created a gorgeous sun trap. Loved that.
Staff around the park were friendly, approachable and seemed sincerely happy to help or serve us. We were visited on the afternoon we arrived to check all was well – we’ve never had that on a caravan holiday before and from then on the staff were great, from the restaurants to the kids activities. Cannot fault in anyway.
It’s right on the beach – brilliant. There is a steep walk down to the beach but the view’s from up top are fantastic and it’s lovely when you’re down there. You can also go the sand dune route which is fun, and we spent hours exploring. It’s a large yet quiet site, we had no disturbances at all and there were a fair amount of people here.
Lots to eat from the fish & chip shop, a sea food restaurant, pub and a very funky camper van themed restaurant which does a great breakfast, and you can even book Alfie, the real camper van that lives inside the restaurant. We tried but alas he was booked up the whole time we were there. Oh and remember you’ll be joined by the characters for breakfast. Fantastic for little ones but my 10 year old was a little too cool for this…but we still got a photo!
As you would expect at a Haven site, there are loads of activities. Book them as soon as you can though as they can fill up and you don’t want to be disappointed. We did archery, shooting, kayaking in the pool and surfing down on the beach. Activities are around £8 and are 45 mins to an hour, except for the surfing which is £32 for a full 2 hours tuition with all equipment included. This was the highlight activity, having never surfed before this was a real treat and wonderfully the sun shone throughout the day.
There’s also quad bikes (the push bike type) that you can hire to explore the site, there’s also a very good mini golf course on site as well.
Kids make friends so easy here, there’s the kids clubs – rather like a creche but mum stays too, they’ll do seasonal activities – during our week it was easter so there were lots of craft and make sessions. Loads of other free activities to do, and the younger kids especially love it. Older kids need more activity so there’s often a cost involved but not a huge cost at all. There’s also swimming that’s included in your holiday and there’s a treasure hunt geocaching style with an app to help too that you can go on independently, that’s fun to do.
The pool wasn’t massive so we steered clear on the rainy days -which is when it can get very busy! In comparison to other Haven sites, the pool was one of the smaller ones we’ve been to. It had a big slide that was popular but the spectator area was very small – only 4 tables and nowhere to get a coffee when watching your kids in there. That was a disappointment but we didn’t spend much time in there really.
The bookable activities in the pool were very good, it’s great to be able to let your kids do taster sessions like Kayaking where they had some tuition then embarked on races down the pool – it was lots of fun.
Off site out and about
Newquay is a 15 minute drive away which is worth doing one day. Check out Fistral Beach and the Sea Life centre too – it’s right on the beach. Lands End although is less than 40 miles away, will take an hour because of it’s windy roads, but it’s a great place to visit and get a proper cornish pastie!
The Eden Project is 40 minutes away so we did this on the way home and I’m so happy we did, it’s a superb place to visit. With your entry fee (£25 per adult) you’re entitled to an annual pass which is great reason to come back to Cornwall. Don’t forget, kids get in free with a Blue Peter Badge – great saving! Although, aforementioned Blue Peter badge was lost somewhere in the rainforest, tears were shed that day…
We are definitely planning a return visit in the summer, my son has a taste for surfing and cornwall is the place to be in the UK!
On the way home, mini-me announced that this was the second best holiday he’d ever had (second only to the cruise!). But for an Easter holiday that started off so badly, it ended up pretty fabulous in the end.
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