What is it?

Holywell Bay is a stunning beach where the sea throws out some great waves for boarding and the small town offers a glorious village pub and small store.  Half a mile up hill from the town centre you can take the children to Holywell Bay Fun Park.

I have to be honest, at first glance I shuddered.  It looked like a stationary fair ground and I presumed it would be waiting to eat my money.

We went to reception which said we could pay as we play.  So we could pay for each ride as we went on, in all honesty this looked pricey, the average cost being £3.00 a ride.  With three kids in tow I could see my money disappearing swiftly.  My other half paled.

Then we saw they had a wrist band option, for children over 1.2 they suggested the every ride band which was £19.75 and for under 1.2 they suggested we purchased a cheaper band for £8.75. This band gave access to 80% of the rides.

The woman behind the till was incredible helpful, she suggested based on the kids ages (7,7, and 3) the cheaper bands would be better.  She also explained that as parents we could accompany the kids on any rides without paying.

Suddenly the day was being priced at under £27 for the five of us.

I perked up!

The ‘rides’ included a super 18 hole crazy golf which was themed around the great sites of Cornwall.  Small trampolines and bouncy castles sent my pre schooler into happy land.  The kiddy karts were great fun even though my heart lurched everytime my smallest crashed into a barrier.

Once inside the park I changed my initial impression of it looking like a stationary fun fair.  It was clean, the staff were incredibly helpful, good natured and interacted with the kids fantastically.  There were no queues and the views over the bay were exceptional.

Plus it was excellent value for money and the children loved it.

The best bits

The star cars were great fun.  Myself and the husband got to race around a track with the kids in tow.

The crazy golf course was excellent, and we were all able to play.

Merlins Maze was very cool, the children delighted in carefully treading over the dragons back and finally trying to wrench the sword from the stone.

Value for money

We stayed for longer than expected. The golf course took an hour to navigate and the kids had repeated turns on the bungee trampolines and water zorbing.  We had a great fun filled afternoon which was an unexpected pleasure and was a perfectly reasonable cost.

Our verdict

Great place to spend a windy afternoon in Cornwall.

We have just enjoyed ten beautiful days in the Cornish seaside.  We stayed at the lovely Trevella Park, glamping (because I simply don’t do camping), and managed to stick to budget and not flutter away a fortune.

Here’s how….
1.  Book early: we booked our trip to Trevella last September and were able to book at 2012 prices.  Plus spreading the cost out over ten months made it feel easier on the purse strings.

2.  Do a big shop, Trevella has a Morrisons around the corner which I sent the other half to as soon as we arrived.  We bought own brand bacon, sausage, eggs and a ton of bbq food, plus everything needed for ten days worth of picnics.  We then bought the basics from the reasonably priced shop on site.

3. Hit the beach!  Building sandcastles, playing french cricket and reading on the sand are all free.  Plus the kids will love it, whether it is raining or if the sun has graced you with its presence.

4. Spend a day on the campsite.  Trevella has a pool (heated), mini golf (30p per person), an adventure park and a playground.  Plus a whole host of ranger sessions where you can join Trevellas very own ranger – Wayne – and learn more about the nature surrounding the park.

5. Go crabbing in Crantock.  You will have to buy a crabbing net, a bucket, and the magic ingredient (bacon) but you can have hours of fun hunting for crabs in the rock pools and the sea.

6. Take on the waves, cornwall is reknown for its surfing, but being younger and softer we stuck to body boarding.

7. Learn to fish: Trevella Park has two stunning fishing lakes and you can hire the equipment.  You can relax by the lake, dangling bait in the water and hope like hell you get a bite.

8. Start a cricket tournament on site.  Trevella has an abundance of space which can be used for football, picnics and of course cricket.  My brood set up a game one evening and were shortly joined by no less than 20 other kids all wanting to join in.  Hours of fun that didn’t cost a penny.

9. Get to know nature.  Trevella has an awesome nature trail and you can take part in the I-Spy nature challenge.  Fab to keep the kids entertained and to help them learn more about the planet.

We reviewed Trevella Park in 2012 and were so impressed that we booked to return as soon as we returned.  I can highly recomend it as a beautiful place to stay and a great base to explore Cornwall without breaking the bank.

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Featured Post

 

The summer holidays are upon us and it is challenging to be thrifty when the children are constantly around.

This weekend, my children wanted to go to London which can often end up being very expensive.

However, I agreed, on the promise that all I would spend would be my train fare…

Top Tips

Before going on any day out make an elaborate packed lunch, taking treats and snacks to keep everyone going.

Make sure you pack enough water.  In London you can end up paying in excess of £2 for a bottle of water.  I prefer the free stuff that comes from my tap.

Sightseeing in London on a Budget.

What to see.

The Southbank is one of my absolute favourite places.  It lights up during the day with outstanding street performances, a book sale to tempt any literary lover and it even offers a sandpit.
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We have been known to spend days wandering on Southbank, finding new (free) things to explore and sometimes just people watching in the sun.

Princess Diana’s Playground

Whereever we are, my kids can always spot a park from a mile away.  They all love swinging through the air, battling imaginary pirates on ships and generally having fun.  This weekend was no different, they swarmed into the playground and whooped with delight as they each found some equipment.

The playground is beautiful, set in rare London greenery and is restricted on numbers so do get there early.

Changing of the Guard

You cannot get more London than this.  All of my three children were captivated by the process of changing the guard.

They posed for photos, chuckled at the horses and watched on in wonder at the intricate parade.

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And it didn’t cost me a penny.

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament

We ate lunch near the Houses of Parliament in a small, shaded square.  I told stories of Guy Fawkes and we Googled the history of Big Ben.

It was a history and fine dining experience rolled into one.

And again, it cost me nothing!

We had such a good day for the price of a train ticket that we have sworn to do it again.  It would seem our capital is not that expensive for mothers and kids!

We have visited Stratford Upon Avon twice this year already and it is swiftly becoming a favourite place of mine.

This weekend the whole family gathered together to celebrate my older siblings fortieth birthday, so seven adults and five children took to Shakespeare’s land to celebrate in style.

The fact that Britain was bathed in a heatwave certainly meant the weekend would have been wonderful anyway. However Stratford is a glorious place to travel to with a party of all ages. StratfordOur top tips

Stay central, cars are not needed in Stratford.  We stayed at the Holiday Inn which was a stones throw from the bustling waterway and Shakespeare tower.

Explore in trainers

Sunday morning saw half of our party don running shoes and tread the paths alongside the Avon.  Monument, gloriously old buildings grab your attention, distracting you from the pain of the run and you can see so much more when moving faster. P1060996
Set sail on the Avon

One of the best things we did on our weekend away was go on a boat cruise with Bancroft cruises. P1060947 Our tour guide, Romeo, was funny, interesting and kept the whole family entertained as we sailed down the Avon, a simply beautiful way to see Stratford. P1060963 P1060968 P1060979 P1060981 The market in Stratford is amazing, check out this super range of fudge! P1060998Whatever your age or family size, we can really recommend Stratford upon Avon as a great place to spend a weekend. We need to go back to check out much, much more Shakespeare!