If you get the weather, Cornwall is without a doubt, one of the most beautiful, family friendly places to visit in the UK. Sure the unpredictable weather can be a little off putting, rain on the beach isn’t everyone’s idea of fun after all. But what if I was to tell you there is somewhere you can stay that has those all important things to do to keep the kids entertained. Even on those days when the weather is less than favourable. Changed your mind now? We spent a week in Cornwall staying at Hendra Holiday Park at the end of the summer and had a lovely time, despite a couple of wet days.
“Is this really where we are sleeping? It’s huge!” Exclaims Finlay as we step into the Porthminster. A sigh of relief escapes my lips as I follow the boys rushing excitedly down the corridor to chose their bedroom for the week. Unlike a lot of holiday homes the Porthminster is spacious, with three bedrooms ( a double and two twins) a shower room, separate toilet and large living area with plenty of space on the sofas, a fully equipped kitchen and dining table. There is more than enough room for the 6 of us without feeling like we are on top of each other.
Our home for the week is based in the Cherry Field which is about a five minute walk from the main entertainment complex, pool and shops. It’s quiet with each home well spaced and views out over the countryside. There is plenty of room to park at the front, leaving a space of grass next to the holiday home for playing which the kids made good use of.
“I’m winning” we hear Ava squeal with excitement from the sofas. We are having a family games night and the kids are playing Mario Kart on the flat screen tv from our Nintendo Switch. We look at each other and laugh. “She doesn’t even know what buttons to press” I say. Until James has a look and exclaims, “she is winning, how is she doing that?”
We spend our evenings at Hendra playing some of the card games we brought with us, or with tired out kids tucked up in bed, sitting together with the fire on having a glass of red and watching a film. We both agree that it’s nice to have our own space in the evenings, unlike when you are sharing a hotel room.
A couple of the nights we venture down to the Venue Club House for the family evening entertainment. Both times we go it’s very popular and we have to stand for a while before jumping on a seat as it becomes available. The kids love the entertainment team and I’m pleased to discover the bar has a decent selection of Gins!
There are also places to eat on site including a fish and chip shop and pizzeria, which looked great. Although instead we made use of the Porthminster to cook our own dinners.
One of the big draws to Hendra Holiday park is that it has it’s own indoor pool, complete with slides, a lazy river and toddler splash area. The Oasis fun pool was a huge hit with the kids. The boys would have spent all day here, but the day we visited it was chucking it down and I think most of the campsite and some of Cornwall had the same idea. We did have to queue to get in and even the lifeguards said they didn’t normally see it that busy so I think we were unlucky. There was a coloured band system in place so that you could all get a turn and it was worth the wait for some tired, happy kids. There was a lot of “come on Mummy” with the boys showing me the different slides and how fast they could go.
There is a small charge for using the pool but if you buy tickets in advance you can get a good discount. There is also a free outdoor pool and I can imagine it was lovely earlier on in the summer when we had the heatwave. I didn’t venture in it, but the boys did, they are braver than me!
A drier option is Henry’s Loft soft play area which is free to Hendra residents. Inside there’s a little cafe serving the all important teas and coffees and it also has free wifi. Or you could head to the arcade for a bit. We also spent some time watching a film and playing some games together and Ava enjoyed doing some crafts back at the holiday home.
There is always something happening at Hendra. You get given a timetable when you arrive so you know what the entertainment team are planning. It’s also a great base for exploring and we definitely made the most of that during our visit.
You can see all we got up to on our week in Cornwall in our video.
Hendra is near some beautiful beaches. We managed to visit four during our stay.
Bedruthan Steps is a National Trust beach accessed by a walk and some pretty steep steps. I promise you it is worth the climb down and up. It’s worth bearing in mind that the only toilet facilities and cafe are at the top of the cliffs so you will need to take food and drink with you. There isn’t a lifeguard and because of the currents it’s dangerous to swim in the sea. However there are plenty of puddles along the beach that are big enough to splash in and the beach is just stunning!
Watergate Bay is a huge expanse of beach and is know for it’s surf. We spent an afternoon here and made the most of the wetsuit and surfboard hire. They have hot showers you can use after if you hire from them. It’s one of my favourite beaches and I have lovely memories of coming here myself as a kid.
Mawgan Porth is a peaceful beach with rockpools and caves as well as great surf. There are some lovely independent cafes at the top of the beach which I really liked. We had a great day here and hired some wetsuits for the kids, long ones really do make a difference. The wetsuit hire worked out quite reasonable and we will do it that way again. Especially as they are growing.
The last beach we visited was Perranporth, a large popular beach with plenty of places to eat and drink. There is also a natural sea pool here which was a big hit with the boys.
We also visited Tintagel Castle. We all love History and the boys in particular loved exploring and finding out about Merlins cave. Its a great place to explore, but be prepared for lots of stairs! It’s probably not suitable for young toddlers with the steep edges and if you have a baby you would have to wear a sling.
And here is a rare family photo of the evening we visited Padstow for some fish and chips. It’s usually much quieter here in the evenings than daytime in peak season and the harbour is lovely when it starts to get dark.
So if you are thinking about holidaying in Cornwall this year. Don’t let the unpredictable weather put you off!
Hendra is a beautifully maintained holiday park with plenty to do. You can check out their latest special offers on the Hendra website.