We’ve just returned from a week in Cornwall. It was our first family holiday since Little Buddha appeared. When Boy Wonder was her age, we flew to Normandy to stay with family but unfortunately he got a severe case of bronchitis and although my aunty dealt with the doctor and organised the (impressively large) range of medicines we decided to stay on home soil for the next few years.
So, last year we went to Pembrokeshire in Wales and this summer we drove through the night to sample the marvellous beaches of the south west.
We stayed at Glynn Barton Cottages, near Bodmin, which gave us good access to the Eden Project, Padstow and the northern beaches that have made the whole area famous. The cottages are run by Andy and Lucy Orr, who have two young children and clearly understand what parents need for a successful holiday. The facilities are excellent: amid the tranquil surroundings are an indoor swimming pool, a soft play cabin, a games room and an outdoor play area.
Andy collects the kids each weekday morning to help feed the resident donkey, sheep, cows, pigs and chickens; in return, each little helper gets a freshly-laid egg. There’s also a free laundry, wellies and beach gear for all sizes and useful equipment in each cottage, like a steriliser, monitors, high chairs, cotbeds and so on. Staying at the farm isn’t cheap, especially during peak periods, but it’s sold out most of the year and we can understand why. Hopefully, we’ll be back there next year.
Here are some other thoughts about our family holiday:
- Self-catering is a necessary evil when you’ve got a baby with very strict feeding demands, as well as a need not to burn through cash in cafes, bistros and restaurants every day. The first thing I did after arriving was visit the local Asda superstore and there were the usual daily chores. But I don’t expect we’ll be heading for an all-inclusive holiday in some resort while the kids are young.
- However good the facilities, the best thing about a family holiday is time. The Duchess and I ‘wasted’ hours playing with Little Buddha, teaching Boy Wonder to swim on his own (with the help of inflatables) in the pool, exploring rock pools and running with the tide. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Little Buddha started crawling and became really vocal – and cutely comedic with it – while we were away.
- We’re definitely old: we got excited at the prospect of listening to Chris Evans in the morning. Alas, he too was on holiday that week. The lazy get.
- While we subject Boy Wonder to 6music at home, he demanded his Hello Children Everywhere! CD was played every time we were in the car. My new favourite song is a toss-up between Right Said Fred by Bernard Cribbins and Mr Benny Hill’s Ernie (The Fastest Milk Man in the West).
- On the subject of our car, I deserve a medal for packing it for the return leg home. But that’s the last time. Whisper it but we need to swap it for an… estate. Did I say we’re getting old?