Friday, 1 August 2014

the best summer holiday ever

But then I say that every year.... :)

It seems like a long time since we returned from our family holiday in Cornwall and I miss the leisurely unstructured days already. We are moving at a leisurely pace back home but it just doesn't feel the same. The children seem to be magically attracted to various screens and aren't inclined to go outside and play. The result? Well, I shall spare you the saga of a frustrating week! This post is all about our holidays after all.

We have been visiting the same campsite in Cornwall for the past three summer holidays. This may sound a bit boring but we just feel very much at home there. I have no doubt that we will be back again next year. In case you want to check it out, the site is called Treloan and is in a near two small villages that are merged together, Gerrans and Portscatho, on the Roseland Peninsula. The Roseland is a bit off the beaten track and even during the English school holidays, it feels tranquil and laid back. The beaches are never packed full and the roads are never blocked. Richard used to stay in Portscatho when he was a boy! Debs and Pete run a very friendly laid back campsite with weekly fireside get together, where poems are recited, stories are told, jokes are cracked and food is shared.

The first time we went to Treloan we stayed in our tent but we decided that we prefer a static caravan. When I say "we", I mean everyone except me because I personally prefer the tent. Having said that, it is of course nice to have a  kitchen, shower and a loo, albeit small. If I put on any more weight I won't fit in the toilet cubicle.


James and Alistair have a lot of freedom on the campsite, they usually cycle around the site, make friends, kick a ball or help random strangers do their dishes. Being on the slack side of relaxed when it comes to children's independence, I am quite happy not to see or hear them for an hour or so. They always come back when they are hungry and I know that they are not able to leave the campsite without passing reception.

During our stay, we share Annie with Debs. Annie helps Debs with the allotment, the animals and sometimes she helps with the cleaning, too. Annie would quite happily do this all summer! And maybe one year she will.

Sam does what teenagers do best: sleeping and hanging around, interspersed with a bit of sulking. He also spends a lot of time reading and hooking up to Debs and Pete's WiFi, which is possible if you are happy to sit within 5 metres of the reception and make a donation to a charity. Sam also visited the Eden Project with his cousin Adam, and spent a day surfing in Newquay.

Richard and I like to spend our days doing anything from nothing much at all to exploring the area. Richard goes cycling most mornings when he wakes up. He has seen more of the Roseland than any of us. I like to go for jogs around the neighbourhood. It is amazingly hilly in this part of the world! I am not a long distance runner and the places I explore are all within 3 miles of the campsite. There is a lot to see and many foot paths to explore still. There are mysterious private roads and foot paths with no public access, which is not something I am used to, living in Scotland, where you can go pretty much anywhere you like.


We do things as a family, too, for example we go for cream tea, or visit nearby towns and gardens.

This year we visited The Lost Gardens of Heligan. It is a magical place with lots of walks and amazing gardens and we had a great time with Richard's brother and his family. We brought some produce home to eat with our dinner.

We also visited Trelissick Garden, which is owned by the National Trust. Richard was given a life-long membership to the National Trust by his dad, which is great. When we visit National Trust places in Scotland, this usually admits all of us but at Trelissick, we had to pay for four children, which was a bit of a shock but it was a garden well worth visiting.

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

We also had an outing to Mevagissey, which is a lovely village only a few miles from Portscatho. We wandered around the harbour and ate pasties.


We passed by Melinsey Mill, where I took photos of the teapot and teacup collection hanging from trees. This reminded me of Kristie of North of 49, who sometimes walks on Teapot Hill near her home.


Almost daily, one or more of us wander down to Portscatho for bread and milk or a spot of window shopping in the two galleries, the gift shop and the vintage shop. I did try to talk Richard into buying yet another piece of art but he wasn't too keen. Next year. The kids like to go to the post office to stock up on sweeties and cap guns and other holiday essentials. There are several ways to walk into the village: along the road, the barley way or along the coastal path, which adds a bit of variety to the daily walk.


Not surprisingly, we love to go to the beach. There is a tiny cove just at the bottom of the campsite, which I like. It has rocks to jump off at high tide and a small strip of sand to sit on and read a book. This bit is only accessible at low tide, unless you are happy to swim there, with small children on your back and a blue Ikea bag hooked over your shoulders. 


Towan Beach is another firm favourite. It is great for taking the rubber boat. This beach requires getting in the car but it is well worth the effort. It is not far to walk really but we always take a lot of stuff to this beach. It is a deceptively large beach with plenty of sand to dig up. It has no ice cream van but if you are lucky, you might find an entrepreneurial teenager wandering up and down with a cool box full of tubs of ice cream.
The beach in Portscatho is also lovely, we go there quite often because it is within walking distance. Sometimes we walk the additional mile to Portcurnik beach, which is also lovely.


We always catch up with family when we are in England during the summer and this year was not different. Both Richard's brother and sister spent a few days on the same campsite (not at the same time), giving siblings and cousins an opportunity to spend time together. They always have a great time. We also catch up with an uncle and aunt in Devon. Maybe one year, my Swiss family will join us, too?

Every year we wonder if two scientists could make a living in the area. There must be some hidden skills that we could market but we haven't discovered those yet. And so, we return year after year and enjoy the two weeks we get to spend away from busy Glasgow. It is even busier just now, with the Commonwealth Games in full swing. Sam has been to see swimming on Monday, gymnastics on Tuesday (both tickets courtesy of his school) and we have 6 tickets for squash tonight, thanks to Scouts. Richard is taking a load of kids but I choose to go to book group instead. The prosecco is cooling and the Swiss onion tart is wrapped up, ready to go.

Have a lovely weekend! Cx


34 comments:

  1. Wonderful photos, I think the Cornish Tourist Board should give you a job! x

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  2. Your holiday photo's are very beautiful Christina; the Lost Gardens look amazing, what a lovely name too. X

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    1. The Lost Gardens of Heligan were in Countryfile last Sunday if you have BBC iplayer. x

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  3. Wonderful holiday, the photos are amazing, truly beautiful.

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  4. Ahhh, it looks gorgeous. I used to go to Cornwall on holiday as a child, the memories of the family drive there are still enough to put me off going back but your photos make it look tempting. We stayed 2 hours north of Glasgow at the time so it was further to go, and we always seemed to have car issues, not to mention the traffic jams we encountered. That was quite a while ago now though... Love the beach shots best, beautiful!

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    1. The journey is not too bad if you drive over night (with the children blissfully asleep). Luckily there are not traffic jams near where we go.

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  5. Looks like a fantastic holiday. We've been to some of those same places and really enjoyed it. It's hard to get back into home life again but (far too quickly) things just get back to normal.

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    1. Just settling back in! 10 days later....

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  6. Beautiful collages. Some of these photos actually remind me of my childhood in New Zealand. So different from the Dutch landscape.

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  7. It looks idyllic and wonderful for everyone to have so much freedom.

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  8. It all looks and sounds idyllic, we've never done this kind of holiday as my family will only agree to a break between September and March but it sounds perfect. Your pictures are so colourful and summery, it's like a "wish you were here" postcard!
    And book group with prosecco and an onion tart, that would be my perfect evening too! What makes it a Swiss onion tart? I know I'd like it whatever the difference is!

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    1. There is a recipe for the onion tart on my recipe page if you fancy making one. I am not sure what makes it Swiss. Where I grew up, it was traditionally eaten on the third Monday of November. Weird, I know. x

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    2. Thank you Christina, I've only just spotted your reply - I'll print off the recipe (may not wait til November though!)

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  9. It looks as though you had a wonderful holiday. We stayed in Portscatho four years ago and had a fabulous time. I even swam in the sea.

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  10. It looks like a fabulous break was had by all. And what a great place for kids! I wonder if your four will be taking their own children to holiday in the Portscatho area in years to come.

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    1. Maybe they'll take me when I am old and frail :)

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  11. I just love your collage of family photos. We had a holiday in Cornwall last year and I'd love to go back and explore further. You found some lovely places which are not as touristy as the area we visited.

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  12. I really enjoyed this post, Christina. It looks like you had a wonderful holiday there. I love the photos too, everyone looks peaceful and relaxed. Thanks for sharing, I would love to be able to go there myself someday.

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  13. It looks as though you went to some wonderful places and did some relaxing too! I hope that you enjoyed book club and will enjoy the rest of the summer at home too, especially after today when the games will start to depart and your city will have itself back to itself again! xx

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  14. What a wonderful family holiday! It sounds like you have found the perfect spot to go, so it's no wonder you keep returning year after year. Your children are going to have such great memories! I was especially happy to see you found some teapots and teacups when you were out walking. :-)

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    1. My first thought was you when I saw the tea pots and cups. x

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  15. Sounds like a wonderful holiday. My aunt moved to Cornwall for 5 years when I was a child so we often headed that way, but I've not been south since... ooh... 1999 for the eclipse! I'd love to go back and explore it all again! The Lost Gardens of Heligan are one of many places on my list! It looks like the children had a great time too, lots of memories made :)

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    1. The Lost Gardens were on Countryfile last Sunday, it was quite interesting!

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  16. Enjoyed the photos! That sleeping person installment in the Lost Garden caught me off guard! Love the pink webbed feet and those bright boats look like toys! After two weeks away, it is back to reality for us also. Ho-hum.

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  17. I love family holidays such as these. They force you to relax, unwind and do nothing. And I absolutely loved all the teacups hanging from the trees. Such a beautiful and quirky idea. Hope this week is a little less on the frustrating side of things for you!! xx

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  18. Hey Christina,
    What a wonderful post. You all look so happy! Such a shame that I wasn't able to meet you. I think you and I would have had a lovely time together. I don't know Roseland very well. We tend to to stick to West Cornwall, but the camp site you stay at has been earmarked by us to visit in the future. We have said that we should go further afield.
    Leanne xx

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    1. Hi Leanne. There is always a next time, I am sure we will be back next year. Yes, the Roseland is well worth visiting and I am sure you'll like it. Christina xx

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  19. It certainly sounds like an idyllic holiday and one to keep all the family happy. Lovely photos - the teapot tree is fascinating!

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  20. Your trip sounds wonderful, Christina, and thanks for letting us know about the campsite you stayed at. We have always wanted to go to Cornwall but wouldn't know where to start. But this place sounds lovely and just what we would want. The kids look like they had a great time with lots of freedom to explore and have fun! I think getting away for a while does us the world of good, just to be able to relax in a different setting can make such a big difference. I am like you though, when I find somewhere I feel safe and relaxed, I just want to return. I quite often go on holiday to the same places and it just feels like going to your other "home" for a bit. Have a great week. :)

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  21. Haha I am reading this whilst staying at Treveague farm at Gorran Haven We go to Pendower beach on the rose land peninsular each day! And we are from Kent so not local - small world really!!!

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  22. Looks like you had a wonderful holiday. I loved Cornwall when we went and would love to return. We spent a very very sunny day at Perranporth beach on BigRs first birthday! I love the teacup decorations! :-)

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Thank you for visiting and leaving a comment, I love to hear from you, I really do. I sometimes reply by email but I am not all that reliable... Christina xx