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.

Food is probably one of the things I find easiest to economize on, I adore cooking which sadly doesn’t mean I am any good at it, but I adore it nonetheless.  I am a huge fan of my slow cooker and find it such an ease to pop something on in the morning and then wolf it down ten hours later after smelling it all day weaving through the home.

Slow cooking allows you to use basic ingredients to create a perfectly tasty meal, try this easy recipe for starters… View Post

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My weakness and biggest extravagance in life is holidays.  I try really hard to be thrifty.  Honestly I do.  I shop in Aldi, I can’t even cope anymore with the choice at Tescos and Waitrose.  I take the car out of gear when driving down hill.  I save coupons, I buy bulk discount.

But I dream of beaches, I fantastise about laying by the pool with a best seller in hand, listening to the happy noises of my children playing in the pool.  When I close my eyes I can feel the sun kissing my face.

For all my new thrifty ways, holidays are something I just don’t seem to be able to live without.

I surf the net in the evening looking for a bargain holiday that I can book without telling the husband.  He asks what I am doing, and I cough, and say ‘working darling’ and he buries himself back in the sports section of BBC news.

I have tried alternatives.  I have tried to camp, but for me, it is simply not relaxing or meets my description of a vacation.  I have had some glorious weekends holidaying in the UK, but still, it doesn’t touch the enjoyment we share as a family when we holiday abroad.

So can I be thrifty and still journey abroad?

This is how I justify it to myself…

We always book late deals or well in advance to ensure we get the best price.

We save for our trip abroad all year round, but we have to make sure we save a certain amount first before contemplating booking a trip.

We go all inclusive and spend next to nothing when we are on holiday.

Plus – the kids love it – and I am trying to be thrifty to give them a better start, so that makes it ok…

Right?

I love Cheesecake, almost as much as it loves my hips!  Plus it is so easy to make, grab your digestives, some cream cheese, and bit of double cream and see what you can create.

Here is my attempt at an Easy No Bake Cheesecake.  I didn’t use a reciepe, I just threw in a few ingreiednts and tasted the outcome.

If the photos make you want to have a go yourself check out some of these recipes..

The Crazy Kitchen: No Bake Oreo Cheesecake

A Mummy Too: Honeycomb and white chocolate No Bake cheesecake

Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary: Easy No Bake Cheesecake

 

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

Cheesecake no bake