Staying in Cornwall for a Holiday Weekend

We banned mobile phones from our family road trip to Cornwall, with the intention of having a sing-song journey along the A30 from London (it’s lovelier than it sounds). Turns out we only knew a couple of songs and so we switched to car games soon enough.

We headed out in August and took the A30-Exeter route after reading it was a more relaxed drive than zooming through Plymouth – and it was. As we cruised along the northern edge of Dartmoor National Park, the kids tried extra hard to spot a deer, and even though they only saw a couple of squirrels, they loved the ride – they still talk about the ‘secret road to Cornwall that only a few kids know about’.

So, we would definitely recommend booking an extra day off and taking the smoother drive to Cornwall from London – when you can make the road trip part of the holiday, that’s when you’ve really cracked it.

If you’re coming from the North, then you can travel through Exmoor National Park and use the network of country roads to link back up to the A30 (more about our day out to Exmoor can be found further on in this post).

Staying at Riviere Sands

With a view across the white sands of St Ive’s Bay and into the bright blue Atlantic, this has to be one of the most spectacular Haven campsites in Cornwall.

To judge a beach in this area, just add up the amount of surfers enjoying the waves – the dudes and dudettes know how find the best spots for a day out. Just so happens the beach next door to Riviere Sands is one of the most popular. But that doesn’t mean you won’t find your own little patch in the sun – it’s huge.

The rain did make an appearance one afternoon during our weekend away, so we stuck around on the park itself – the kids were in their element. The FunWorks amusements are great for keeping little ones happy and for our eldest (who is 11), the mini archery lessons were perfect.

A trained member of staff takes a mixed group of kids and grownups, demonstrates how to work a bow, then makes a competition out of it. The game we played was all about hitting the coloured rings on the target in a particular order. Hit the wrong colour at the wrong time, and your team has to restart the order.

For the kids, the Haven rep explained each colour represents the ingredients of a cake – so if the right ingredients ‘go in’ at the right time, the cake is baked just right. Needless to say they were amazed. If you’re thinking about doing this when you visit, just make sure you do a few stretches to warm up – it’s a bit of a workout on your shoulder.

There is loads to cram into a weekend at the park and we spent our first day at Exmoor, so didn’t quite get around to doing every single activity. The kids have listed the top three things they missed out on and we’re going to prioritise these next time:

I think we’re all holidayed-out for now but you can get a deal if you fancy it; for July Holidays with Haven, you can stay here for as little as £99.

Exmoor National Park

After driving by Dartmoor Forest on the way to Riviere Sands, we all wanted a big day out in the fresh air. One of the caravan owners at the holiday park told us to visit Exmoor and so we set off first thing on the Saturday morning.

We had our hearts set on a picnic at Wistlandpound – you’d swear this lake was in Canada. The picnic was kind of rushed because the kids just wanted to get straight on the play area. Once they settled down, we hired a boat and enjoyed the scenery from the middle of the water.

If we go back to Exmoor next time, we’re going to visit Lynton Cinema. It’s a tiny independent picture house, where the staff escort you to your seat using torchlight. It looks like a lot of fun and we heard great things about it back at the holiday park.

All in all, we had an amazing weekend in Cornwall and packed so much into the weekend that it felt like a much longer stay. Riviere Sands is a lovely place to base your holiday but there are three more Haven parks which are much closer to Exmoor if you want a break from driving ((Perran Sands, Doniford Bay and Burnham-on-Sea).