The lure of Cornwall with its rugged coastline, sandy beaches and turquoise waters make it an idyllic retreat for, if like me, you yearn for a more laid back bohemian vibe. While surfers and party goers flock year after year to the many festivals, nightlife and attractions North Cornwall has to offer, it’s the stunning landscape with all its colourful vibrancy that never fails to amaze. For me Cornwall is truly unique place and I have many magical memories of my holidays there, from my hen night in Newquay,to a week away with my husband and the dogs in St Ives. Famous for smuggling, pasties and pirates this part of the country is steeped in history and charm with secret coves, quaint villages and breath taking scenery. It’s safe to say my husband and I love Cornwall so when we were asked by Mini Travellers to review The Park Cornwall in Mawgan Porth we were only too happy to be oblige. This time it was going to be very different though, not the long coastal walks, dinner and drinks of yester year we now had our own 18 month old mini traveller on board too.
This was the first time we had tried taking our little one on such a long journey so we decided to set off early Friday morning to avoid potentially being sat in the car all day. Bleary eyed and half asleep we bundled into the car at 5am to make the five and half hour journey from Manchester and hopefully avoid the rush hour at Birmingham. Stopping briefly for breakfast, dog walk and to dress the little one, our journey passed without any complications due largely to Peppa Pig and Paw Patrol. We arrived at Mawgan Porth at 11.30am to glorious sunshine only to find we couldn’t check in till 4.00pm. A bit of a blip on my part for not checking on the website but as I explained, “ it’s just better to get there!” It is after all one hell of a journey. To my relief the sun was shining so whiling away a few hours on the beach was not going to be a problem. I needn’t have worried if it had been raining though as the Park at Cornwall has lots to do come rain and shine. There’s an indoor pool and an outdoor pool which opens in May, trampoline, Yurt playroom and several play parks. So after hours in the car our little boy was only too happy to burn off some pent up energy in the play park littered with cars while the reception staff kindly provided us with a stroller so we could explore Mawgan Porth
A short stroll from The Park at Cornwall and we were in Mawgan Porth a small village with a convenience store, pub, seafood restaurant and a small selection of gifts and surf shops. The pub served some local beers and ciders which could be enjoyed from its garden while watching the waves wash up on the sandy beach just across the road. To our relief the beach at Mawgan Porth was dog friendly , In fact all of the beaches we looked at in the surrounding areas were dog friendly all year round. So with our little one playing happily in the sand and splashing in the waves we spent most of our first day on the beach enjoying sunshine while our dog patch cooled down in the fresh water stream which runs into the sea. Later that day we took a 10 minute drive along the coast to Fistral beach were we found a Sainsburys and stocked up on essentials before heading back to the Park to check in.
Our accommodation (Ebrenn) was a light, airy and comfortable two bedroom cottage with patio doors opening to a secure private dining terrace making it ideal for toddlers. The terrace also had a barbeque and views of the surrounding countryside which made it a lovely place to sit of an evening. The cottage was modern and immaculate with ample living space for a family of three plus a dog. The kitchen was well equipped and plastic cups, plates and cutlery where provided and there was an en suite shower and family bathroom. The beds although reasonably comfortable could pose a bit of a problem if like my husband you are six foot. If that’s the case pack some thick socks to keep your feet warm. Prior to stay and at our request the Park had been much obliging and kindly provided a travel cot, high chair and stroller so we had everything we needed to for our three night stay.
On our first evening we headed to the on sight restaurant “ Gusto at the Park” a very reasonably priced establishment with a relaxed friendly vibe. The staff where very welcoming and before dinner we sat outside on the terrace listening to the jack daws who are in abundance throughout the park. Since we had our dog with us we were seated in the conservatory for our meal, this was a huge bonus since it doubled as a play room with plenty of toys to amuse our little one while we waited for dinner. There was also a little craft shop next door full of charming craft items children would love. The food its self was good, no fuss grub. I’m a vegetarian and there were some good options but my burger was a bit man versus food so I’d probably say there’s no need to order starters. We all enjoyed Gusto at the Park and my carnivore husband loved it and thought it was great value for money. After our meal we headed back to our cottage and while my husband bathed our little one my Friday finished in peace and tranquillity with a lovely dog walk along a wooded pathway which led to St Mawgan, a route which would be easily accessible with a stroller.
On Saturday we headed down along the coast through the charming Watergate Bay to Fistral Beach made famous for its surfing. There was plenty going on at the Beach with a freestyle football tournament and power boat competition attracting quite a crowd. After a picnic on the sand however we headed back to our much more child friendly accommodation. That afternoon we enjoyed a swim in the indoor heated pool, the pool looks out over the restaurant terrace so my husband and dog could look in on us too while enjoying a bit of one man and his dog time. After swimming we went to the Yurt an indoor play area strewn with toys and books which my little one enjoyed carrying outside onto the grass and then back in again.
On our last day we packed a picnic and took a twenty minute drive to Holywell Bay Fun Park. As a family we are always a looking for things that are both child and dog friendly and our dog was allowed in the park although he might not be again as he decided to take a dip in the pool much to my horror. Luckily the staff didn’t seem to mind too much though. At the park our little one enjoyed the bouncy castles, slides and trampolines which made up the area described as soft play. The park itself was fairly quiet as Cornwall still had a week to go till high season. Had the park had been busier It may have been tricky taking our little in the soft play area but as it was we could enjoy them together without getting skittled. There was a couple of toddler friendly rides but if your expecting Alton towers you could be disappointed. After eating our picnic at the park we headed back to the beach at Mawgan Porth to enjoy the warm afternoon sun later finishing a perfect day with tea at the Merrymore in Inn which overlooks Bay.
We checked out at 10am the next day to start the long journey back home after a most enjoyable weekend at The Park Cornwall. We looked to the road ahead and discussed the possibility of retiring to this part of the world or becoming surfers as we left the peace and tranquillity of Cornwall behind. We will hopefully be back soon and have already discussed a summer break, we would most certainly stay at The Park Cornwall again.
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Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!
Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.