Thursday, 18 May 2017

Hendra Holiday Park - Newquay

Usually during the Easter holidays we head off to France but this year we decided to have a bit of a change and stayed a little closer to home at Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay, Cornwall.

Hendra Oasis Pool 

What a fantastic time we all had. Hendra Holiday Park is fantastic and the swimming pool is really good fun. The only thing i would say about this is that you have to pay for entry into the swimming pool.

Hendra Holiday Park

Saying that however the campsite is spotlessly clean, the staff are incredibly helpful and the entertainment is also brilliant.

We really loved our trip to Hendra and would happily return again for another trip. Whilst staying at the campsite we went to Newquay Zoo, Holywell Bay park, the Aeronautical museum and much much more.

Although we still really love camping in France, we would certainly not rule out another trip to Cornwall in the near future.

If you haven't been to Hendra holiday park before we'd recommend you try it.

Friday, 17 February 2017

Goodbye my Friend - Stanley Dog

I haven't been writing for a few weeks as our poor old Stanley Dog had to be put down the week before last.

He'd made it to the grand old age of 12 but for the last few months he had really been struggling.

It was a massively tough decision to make but to be honest i had to make it as it wouldn't have been fair to keep him going any longer.

I have dealt with a lot of death and pain through my job however i have never dealt with anything so painful as having my best friend put down. I stayed with him until the end and although at the end he was asleep, i hope he realised how much i cared for him.

Goodbye my friend!

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Hendra Holiday Park

Although we live in Devon we generally try to leave the southwest each time we go on holiday. We regularly head over to Whitsands Bay on the south coast of Cornwall for short breaks but very rarely take holidays in Devon or Cornwall.

Hendra Oasis Pool 

I think this goes back to the fact that when i was growing up, most weekends during the summer i would head off down to Newquay with my friends. Having spent many a night out on the town back in the early 90's I have forgotten how good the area actually is for families.

A good friend and work colleague of mine was planning to head down to Hendra Holiday Park with his family in April and asked if the five of us would like to join them. I had a long think, as usually during April we try to head off camping in France.

We have however decided that this year we'll have a bit of a change. We've already booked out summer holiday to France and so in April we've decided to join them in sunny Cornwall.

One of the massive plus points for us is that Hendra Holiday Park is probably around an hour or so away from where we live which makes travelling much more pleasant. We've also had a look at the indoor pool at Hendra and although you have to pay for entry, which is completely unheard of in France, the quality of the pool and slides do look rather good.

Hendra Holiday Park

Now the kids are rather spoilt when it comes to holidays as we always try to get away to France when we can. My plan this year is to see how we get on at Hendra and then possibly book another last minute break away to France during the May half term, but that will have to wait until the last minute offers come out.

We are really looking forward to see what Hendra has to offer and the kids are also really excited. I really hope it's as good as it looks as it will make the perfect place to escape to for long weekends when we get the chance throughout the year.

Watch this space and I will upload a variety of photos and video's once we've finished our holiday to Cornwall at Hendra Holiday Park!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Brittany Ferries 2017

Brittany Ferries 2017

We'll we've booked our camping holiday in France for 2017 and this time the in-laws are coming with us and we've booked with Brittany Ferries for a change.

After a long search we've ended up booking up at Les Alicourts in the Loire again for another year!

For the last two years of holidaying in France, we've always driven to Dover and crossed the channel from Dover to Calais.

Now driving from the southwest to Dover was a bit of a pain last year due to the problems at the port. Although we didn't have massive delays, the long journey and then the short delay was a little boring for the kids.  This year however will be completely different as we are traveling from Plymouth to Roscoff. The Plymouth to Roscoff ferry can be a little expensive at peak times of the year, however when you book your accommodation with Brittany Ferries as well, the price is substantially reduced making it considerably more affordable.

We chose Les Alicourts again this year due to it's fantastic array of facilities and activities on offer. The kids love the swimming pool and especially the new slides that were put in last year and the lake and it's beach are fantastic for swimming. We also thought that all of the onsite facilities and activities along with the vast choice of laces to visit nearby would be good for the whole family as well as the grandparents to visit.
Les Alicourts Beach

Les Alicourts

We'll give you a full update on the holiday once the summer comes around!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Family Day Out Saltram House

Family Day out Saltram House

Family Day Out Saltram House

Today we had a fun family day out at Saltram House near Plymouth.

Saltram House is a National Trust property which can be found in the Plympton area of Plymouth overlooking the River Plym. The estate was home to the Parker family and the house is absolutely fantastic.

When you visit Saltram House you have a variety of things to do and see. We've been to the Saltram House estate many times in the past but as a family have never ventured inside the house. The estate has many places to walk, ride your bike, walk your dog and have fun but today we decided to skip the walking and just head off inside the house.

Saltram House

The architecture at Saltram House is fantastic. The outside of the house is outstanding and there's plenty to see inside. There are a plethora of paintings by many different artists with several of the estate itself which were painted for the family. Those paintings show in detail how the estate once looked including the estuary where now the train rolls by and where there are a number of houses on the opposite bank.
Messing around at Saltram House

Also within the house are a variety of different rooms where you can discover who the family would have once lived. The kitchen area was most impressive with it's huge range of cooking articles from the past. We also loved looking at the large ballroom with it's wonderful painted ceiling.

Saltram House Fun

One of the best things about Saltram House are the grounds in which this wonderful monument sit. There are acres of woodland walks some of which take you along the Plym Estuary which on a sunny day offers some particularly wonderful views. To add to the house and land you find a great pond near to the shop and house where there are always plenty of ducks for the kids to feed. Ours love to stand there feeding the ducks for ages.

Duck Pond at Saltram House

If you're looking for a great day out with plenty of history combined with lots of nature walks, then head on over the Saltram House. These wonderful National Trust properties really do provide a fantastic day out for all the family!

Ducks at Saltram House

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Poor Old Stanley Dog

Poor old Stanley dog!

Our lovely black Labrador Stanley is showing his age. Back in March he hit the grand old age of 11 and in the months since he's really started to struggle.
Stanley Dog

He's now on a variety of different tablets to help his ageing body cope. Although his hair has become grey and he's starting to look like an old man, our beloved Stanley is still going strong at heart.

As soon as he gets up onto the moors he runs around like the puppy he once was. Back and forth, into the bushes searching for whatever he thinks may be there. Is it a ball, a stick or some form of animal. I dont really know and to be honest as long as he's happy in his old age I don't really care.

The one thing we have noticed as he gets older is his bowel movements. Unfortunately he started to have a few accidents around the house!

Now although this is rather unpleasant, the vet has been very good and given us some great advice and help. Good old Stan is still full of energy and not struggling too much so the vet's been happy to prescribe some tablets to help settle his stomach.

Luckily for us, the main smelly problem has stopped, apart from the odd tiny accident which we are happy to cope with.

Last week, the Mrs and Kids went to Whitsand Bay in Cornwall, which is one of our favourite places to visit. Now this used to be a one of Stanley's favourite places to visit also but in recent times we have decided not to take him due to the steep steps leading up from the beach. Well, last week we decided that he was looking a bit more agile and so off he went!

What a surprise, bounding, splashing, running around like a baffoon! Mrs said she hadn't seen him so active in ages.

Good old Stanley Dog, I know that your time is limited but I hope you will carry on for a while longer yet!!!

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Our Eurocamp Holiday Part One!

Our Eurocamp Holiday Part One!

Our Eurocamp holiday to France this year has been and gone and boy did we have a fantastic time. We love going camping in France and this year was no different with an overnight stay just outside Paris followed by a week at Saint Avit Loisirs in the Dordogne.

Both of these stays were booked with Eurocamp with the third part of our holiday being booked with Al Fresco Holidays.

As i've got so much to write about our holidays i'll split it into three parts with our Eurocamp Holiday part one covering our journey and the overnight stay at Camping International near Paris.

Our first task was the long drive from Devon to Dover for the ferry. We chose to travel from Dover to Calais due to the savings in price we could make over travelling from Plymouth to Roscoff. Although it's a fairly long drive, we saved over £600 even when you take into account the increased diesel costs.

A trip across the channel from Dover to Calais cost us around £75 whereas an overnight crossing from Plymouth to Roscoff would have cost in excess of £750. Due to the time it takes to get to Dover, we decided to stay overnight just outside of Paris with Eurocamp and even with this added into the cost we still saved over £400 on the overall cost of our holiday!

Camping International Paris

Camping International Paris
We arrived at Camping International as some point around 7pm. Although it was a long drive from Devon, our trip from Calais to the campsite was quite quick. The roads were clear and we loved using our new Sanef Tolling Tag which we'd picked up before our holiday started.

On arrival, we checked in at the main reception area and were directed through to the Eurocamp office which was just inside the campsite. Here we met our Eurocamp Rep who told us all about the campsite and took us to our accommodation.

We booked a 2 bedroom classic mobile home which had a double bedroom and a second bedroom which had two single beds with a further high single bed. Although the accommodation was clean and tidy it was a little bit dated compared to other campsites we've stayed on previously.

The campsite in our opinion if excellent for an overnight stay or for those looking to explore Paris although there are few activities of facilities on site other than the basics.

Once we'd checked in we went immediately to the restaurant to eat. The choice of food was good, the quality was excellent and the portion sizes were amazing. It is one of the best campsite restaurants we've eaten in for some time!
Camping International River

The campsite is located along the banks of the river and the views from the restaurant are lovely on such a beautiful summers evening.

After we'd finished our meal we decided to have a quick look around the campsite. There's a small playground area which is perfect for younger children.

Camping International Playground
Part of the Playground at Camping International
Small slide at Camping International
The small slide was great fun for the little ones!
 You'll also find on site, the restaurant, as we've already mentioned, a take away, the bar,  a multi sports pitch, table tennis and a small shop for all your essentials.

The campsite is well laid out with a variety of different sized camping pitches along with a variety of mobile homes and these great tree houses which we though were quite cool looking.

Camping International Tree houses

Now as we've said, we thought the accommodation was a little dated, but we still had a great evening and fantastic nights sleep before we headed off down to the Dordogne for our first week of our holiday.

Don't forget to keep an eye out for our Eurocamp Holiday part Two!