Summer has been amazing!
I think we can all agree on that. From the World Cup to the heatwave, I can’t remember a summer like it. I know we didn’t actually win the Cup but to be honest the atmosphere and positivity it created in the country was enough. As it draws to a close I’m going to be posting on all the different things we got up to. I’ve been both working and holidaying, and at some points I was doing both at the same time, more on that later……
As I write this I’m sat on a five hour train journey back from Cornwall to London after a seven day glamping trip in Penzance with my husband, kids and my best friends. We have had an incredible time. We’ve actually been visiting the same farm on and off for the last 10 years and its still as brilliant as ever.
Although the same farmers are in charge, they are no longer part of the bigger company they once were, and they have gone it alone.
Where we went…
Boswarthen Farm in Madron run by Maddie and Adrian Nicholas
Friday 24th August to Friday 31st August 2018
We got there by…..
Train!!! Having done the 5.5 hour drive in two chunks on previous trips to Cornwall, usually splitting over two days we decided to go by train this time as we needed to get to a wedding in Wakefield on the Friday we were heading back to London. With our Friends and Family Railcard it was just under £200. We then booked a hire car through www.rentalcars.com for the week too, which was approximately £120
Where we stayed….
On a dairy farm high above Penzance with views out to St Micheal’s Mount. You are woken by the sound of the chickens in your personal coop and the cows being taken to the milking parlour. There are opportunities to watch this being done, and if you’re lucky you may see a calf being born. There’s also lamb feeding each morning and afternoon that my girls still like to be a part of.
Penzance itself isn’t to much of a tourist hotspot and the new Sainsbury’s and retail park that have been built just outside of the city centre hasn’t helped one bit, but as a base to visiting the surround areas its perfect.
There are so many places to eat, some very fancy places and some not so fancy, but utterly delicious, places. As we are camping we tend to head towards the cheaper end of the market and we do lots of pasties and fish and chips. We have found some EXCELLENT places that we couldn’t recommend any higher.
Its pretty hard to get a bad pasty, but after years of testing we’ve decided that The Cornish Oven does the best Cornish pasty. Fact!! Maybe its because its a flaky pasty, but the pastry is delicious and the filling moist, with big chunks of steak.
Newlyn is a big fishing village so everything is super fresh. They also do curry sauce which always gets 10 extra points from me. There are only four stools in the actual shop but if you wander around the corner there are some benches and a table looking out over the sea next to a monument for a brave fisherman. There’s nothing like eating fish when you can see the sea.
Got to have a cream tea, and where better than on our favourite beach in Cornwall. After a long day body boarding the quaint little cafe just above the beach is a welcome site. You can either make the scones yourself or they’ll jam and cream them (the Cornish way) for you. Along with a pot of tea, and in my case a Cornish Cider, its the ultimate naughty, but nice.
This is the fanciest we go on our camping trip and its worth having a shower for. Seafood is their speciality but they do great vegetarian dishes too. The view onto the beach is stunning, and although its the priciest place we go you certainly don’t have to get dressed up and the atmosphere is casual, but the dishes would stand up in some of Londons classier restaurants. I had the squid to start and the monkfish curry for my main, both were very tasty and fresh. There is an ice cream shop underneath if you want something simple. did! Theres a great wine list too with my favourite Whispering Angel rosé wine on the menu.
A rugged and beautiful landscape where the Atlantic crashes against the picturesque but dangerous rocks beneath is a sight to be seen. Its a National Trust area with a lighthouse to explore. There are a couple of cafes to relax and take in your surroundings before you take the 1.5 mile walk to...
Our favourite beach (so far)!! You could be in Thailand when the sun is blazing, in fact its hard to believe you’re in England. The coves, caves and rocks make it an incredible place to explore and for £40 you can buy a wetsuit and a bodyboard and have hours of fun riding the waves. Make sure that you check out the tide times as its a very different place when the tide is in, still as beautiful, but you really want to try and get around the rocks to the beach thats only accessible when the tide is out. TOP TIP: Join the National Trust and get your parking free at both the Lizard and Kynance Cove.
Ive never watched theatre in more beautiful surroundings. Overlooking the sea as Much Ado About Nothing is playing and a naughty seal is attention seeking down by the rocks is an unforgettable experience. A lot of the shows are family friendly and its a great thing to say you’ve done, definitely one for the bucket list. TOP TIP: Its worth the pound to get the little seats which make it a comfier watch.
VISIT ST IVES
Get yourself to the Park & Ride at Lelant and the11 minute train journey to St Ives is worth the trip alone as it overlooks the Lelant Saltings. In St Ives there is a Tate gallery as well as smaller independent galleries and craft shops. There are a few chain stores here but the majority are small independent shops which is always nice. It gets really busy but definitely worth the trip.
Camping, or glamping, is one of our favourite holidays as a family. There’s no electricity in the tent which means that screen time (for kids and adults alike) is at a minimum and everybody has to muck in as there are jobs that have to be done, otherwise you can’t eat, sleep or….. eat. We hire a chicken coop for the week and so first thing in a morning the girls go and check to see if they‘ve laid. As the chickens are treated as pets all week meaning they get handled, carried and stroked you’re very lucky if you get eggs but you still have to let them out, feed and water them. You have a cold box which is kept cool by frozen hot water bottles which are kept in a freezer in the farm shop, so once the chickens have been sorted the hot, or should I say, cold water bottles have to be swapped around. The grown ups get the fire going so that breakfast can get underway and no doubt continue drying the towels that got wet the day before.
Eggs for breakfast is then followed by a shower up at the shower block. The tents have cold water, sink and toilet so its only the showering that needs to be done elsewhere. There are ceramic plates, cups, pots, pans, everything you need to make any meal. There is a wood burning stove with an oven for all your cooking, and real beds, duvets, blankets and pillows for a blissful nights sleep. A BBQ, a double swing chair and a picnic table mean you don’t have to leave the field if you don’t want to. Maddy the farmers wife has wood fired oven outside and a couple of times a week there is either a lasagna night or pizza night where everybody from the tents are invited round the camp fire to eat and drink. Its a fab way to meet the grown ups of the camp, the kids will have already met everybody.
After we’ve got up, showered and ready we head out for the day, returning for dinner. One of our favourite things to do is go to Newlyn and pick up some lobsters which are tonnes cheaper than London prices and have a BBQ with a big salad…. and a large glass of wine. Warming our water on the stove washing up is a family affair. It really is like stepping back in time and its surprising how quickly the kids adjust. Entertainment becomes reading, crosswords and singing by the fire instead of Youtube, the shouty Disney Channel and the The Sims. It might only be for a week but it presses a reset button where you feel grateful for the mod cons, for each other, and for the chance to lead a slower pace of life.