It was less than a week ago, than I sat, an ice cold alcohol free beer in hand, watching the sunset disappear over the Cornish heels. The dog at my feet, the kids out playing with friends, and a group of loved ones around me.
It feels like eternity ago.
Our annual retreats to Cornwall are what I hold my breath for all year round. It is where I count my blessings, learn to relax, indulge my kids and enjoy every second. When we first started going eight years ago, it was simply my family. Luckily, year on year that family has grown, to include friends we met by the sea, friends who read the blog and chose to come the same weeks, friends I have know forever, my friend who checks on me every day to make sure I am doing ok, and a pal I met up a mountain one day. Plus my folks often make the trip down for a few days (and sometimes bunk in with us which was a surprise to all!).
So suddenly as a single mum, I go from a life of relative quiet to the hustle and bustle of being surround by people – and I absolutely love it.
This year was perfect, I laughed every day, made memories, obviously nearly put the kids up for adoption many, many times – but now we are home – I only remember the good stuff!
We were lucky enough to spend some time working, reviewing the sites of Cornwall, and consequently I can share some fantastic places to visit with the kids. But we also kicked back and did the good old fashioned stuff! Swan everyday in the sea or the pool, walked for an hour down the coastal path with the kids, toasted marshmellows, built an enormous hole on the beach and ate all the jam and cream scones!
The magic of pretending to be a pirate from the depths of Cornwall delighted my nine year old, as she eagerly dressed up to look the part, and had a perfect pirates accent by the end of the day! This engaging tour, tells the history of Cornwalls pirates, mixed in with folklore and a spicy, scary walk through some of the darker times. Great way to spend an afternoon educating the kids through play, hunting for hidden treasure and learning all about the local land!
Flambards of course is a place we return to time and time again, because it is ace! A plethora of rides, museums, crazy golf, death slides – there really is something for everyone – even the dog. We passed a full day jumping from one activity to the next, giggling at our bodies in the crazy mirrors, talking to dinosaurs in the Juraasic age, walking through the Victorian era, and of course riding ALL the rides!
You head to Cornwall – you need to take the kids to both of these attractions.
Hard to choose there were so many. From cramming into the worlds smallest pub on Trevella’s campsite – and finding it to be our happy place! The shame of leaping behind the bar to take photos when the bar lady left for a moment, to suddenly seeing the CCTV firmly laughing at us. BBQ’s on the beach, long dog walks and body boarding in the sea are all high on my list of awesome days.
The parents came, as I said above, booked into their hotel, but drove down a day early and were surprised to find Newquay fully booked on a bank holiday weekend. Like Joesph and Mary they turned up at our caravan which we quickly coated in layer of bleach, and we all squeezed in together. Parents, three kids, dog (who came into season the day before) and me – all in a teeny, tiny two bed caravan – memories were made……
The older pair, clearly fueled by adrenaline loved our day out at Adrenalin Quarry, where we seriously maxed out on fun. Axe throwing, aqua park. giant zip wire, go karting and a giant swing were on the menu of the day. Every second was epic, the sun shone and we had a glorious adventure filled day!
All three kids, and our friends also adored their time hunting for clues in Cornwalls Great Escape Rooms. Sixty minutes to find the key to escape out of a puzzle box. Two adults, six kids – the odds were pitted against us. But we survived! We didn’t escape – but we were moments away I tell you!
The clues were testing but not impossible, and the room big enough for us to cope with a huge variety in ages of kids. It was a fabulous afternoon out, a break from the usual tourist attractions and much enjoyed by all (although the grown-ups did need a beer afterwards – sixty minutes locked in with children can seem like a very long time!)
And we did so much more….
We took a banana boat out in the ocean, and fell off (alot!)
We surfed on the flowrider, went paddle boarding, wake boarding and cruised down sand dunes in the rain.
We saw some beautiful British scenery, which just makes your heart sing a little when it is coated in sunshine.
We had fun.
I always go to Cornwall, worried, with life and its problems eating away at me.
This year was no different, I drove the many miles between home and holiday with a heavy heart, anxious about many things that impact a grown up life. It may have took longer than usual but as always Cornwall blew the worries away, reminding me of the beauty in the world and how simple things can bring so much joy.
In Cornwall, for us, their is a never ending friendship that means more than I think my friends will ever know. That the simple act of holidaying with a single parent can mean so, so much. For my and kids and certainly for me.
Cornwall reminds me that most anxieties can be solved with a good sunset and a reminder that health is the most important thing.
To my friends who came out to play this year – thank you again for being amazing.
And we will see you next year!