School is out and we are into our second week of the holidays, which started with some amazing weather and opportunities for us to embrace our new love of camping as a family.
Over the years we have spent many a holiday in Cornwall or Devon as they are our favourite family destinations in the UK, however we have never tried camping. So we thought what better way to start the holidays and unwind from a busy school year than to book a couple of sites, load up the van and head south with our camping family!
Our first stop was an overnight car park stop at the lighthouse inn in Newport, a perfect halfway point situated right on the seafront, and of course an opportunity to relax with a glass of wine or two, a warm welcome was received by us, the kids and dogs! After a good sleep we were Cornwall bound with a lunch stop at the Jamaica Inn in Launceton, again friendly and accommodating for 9 people plus 3 dogs.
We arrived at the first site in Cornwall -Polladras park in Helston, amenities were good and clean and pitches were generous sized, the only downfall was the weather as it had started to rain but setting up in the rain wasn't going to dampen our spirits!
The site had a lovely play area for the kids, walking/ exercise area for the dogs as well as an indoor play room for the kids, although the weather soon picked up and we had no reason to look to entertain indoors. A favourite attraction of ours Flambards is only ten minutes away so prefect for a family fun filled day out.
As a family of foodies we enjoy the outdoor cooking life as well as some fine dining so we quickly got the kitchen areas set up as well as having pre-booked a table at Rick Steins in Padstow, wow wow wow amazing is all I can say, the food was awesome.
To balance the hours on the road we also wanted to chill and appreciate camp life so we had a day or two just relaxing, cooking, and enjoying the sun and areas/ scenery around camp. I packed some craft activities for the kids to keep them occupied and not so reliant on devices!
Cornwall boasts some amazing coastline and views, we love to walk around the headland at the Lizard point as well as the breathtaking views at the coves such as Kynance cove, perfect to burn off some of the kids energy and walk the dogs.
We spent the second half of our holiday on a fabulous site near Barnstaple - Brightlycott camping site, the views from the pitch were amazing, amenities again clean and well situated, even a free washing machine to use, perfect for a freshen up of towels etc halfway through the holiday. There was a great kids play area the kids loved and a real sense of the kids being free and happy running around on site.
Devon was a favourite of our when the kids were growing up as it had a lot of attractions and days out to suit all the family especially the kids, we always loved the Big Sheep, Clovelly and The Milky Way which we made a return visit to this time, fun and something for everyone in the group to enjoy, including the big kids(adults)!!!
I will admit I am surprised how much I enjoyed camping/ van life because obviously you do not have all the creature comforts of a hotel or holiday home but it was a real sense of back to basics and I relaxed more than I expected. I think it was such a success and was stress free because we were quite organised and had gone prepared. After having a few camping trips already we had worked out the essentials for making the set up more effective and comfortable but also preparing things like a craft activity box for days on camp, having some basic foods and snacks on board to stave off the hanger - a must for pre teen family members!! Also ensuring you have essentials packed like a first aid kit, one item I added was this temporary tooth repair kit from DenTek, because who wants to let tooth ache spoil their holiday, something we rarely think of until it happens so being prepared for a lost filling, cap or crown could save some time, pain and cost!
We have our next adventure in sight but hoping to make it a child free one this time, nothing to do but Eat, Drink and Chill - perfect summer days, cheers!