Our family as a whole is very young, and our experience as a holidaying one is still very limited. Yes, we’ve been to Spain twice, but those weren’t real holidays. Last summer we took almost two weeks off in July and we did lots of travelling and took a few day-trips to the beach, but again, that doesn’t really count as a holiday.
Glynn Barton in Cornwall has been our first family holiday. And it could not have been better (well, it actually could… but we’ll get into that below) The journey from Basingstoke to Cornwall went quite well. It took us approximately 4 hours with a half hour break for lunch. We left at around 10:30 in the morning and arrived in the early afternoon. The kids behaved very well, and they only started getting fractious towards the end of the journey. As it happens, we could have made it to the cottages without any twins’ tears, but we got lost. We decided to follow the satnav, rather than the directions on the website, and the satnav asked us to turn into a private road (which happened to be fenced) and being this impossible to do, panic followed.
The next half hour was spent going up and down the hill looking for the place, and stopping at the crematorium to ask for directions to a bunch of guys dressed in black who, although very helpful, had no idea of what we were talking about. “Why didn’t you go onto the website to check out their written directions?” you ask. And it’s a very valid question. We tried. Oh gosh, did we try, but we had no 3G or any kind of signal to check the web!
We finally made it to the cottages and we were so impressed with the whole place at first sight.
The Bull Run Cottage. Our cottage was called the Bull Run. It has got a large living space with a kitchenette and a dining area next to it. Two bedrooms and one bathroom. And we didn’t really need any more than that. It was more than enough. The master bedroom was cosy but spacious enough and the bed was really comfortable. The kids’ room was normally a twin room with two single beds, but we asked for two cots instead and they very happily obliged. They removed one of the beds and put two cots instead.
The kitchen had all the utensils and necessary equipment you would need, including baby items like plastic cutlery and plates, beakers, etc. We never felt like we were missing anything from home (bar a bit more cupboard space for storing food).
Without wanting to sound like a marketing brochure for the place, the facilities were outstanding. To be completely fair, I have nothing to compare with, this one being our first holiday of this kind, but it really felt proper. The “shop” was maybe the only bit that let it down, since it could have been so much better catered. There were lots of frozen meals (we had “Alexander chicken” one night and it was truly delicious) but many other essentials were lacking. Yes, they recommend that you get your groceries delivered by Tesco, and there is a Morrisons supermarket within a 5-10 minute drive, but having a few tins and other bits and pieces in the shop would have made it even better.
There is also a laundry room with tumble driers. The tumble driers were coin operated but we were happy to pay the one or two pounds that it cost if it meant we would have dry clothes the following day. I packed enough clothes for five days, but all the mud and muck around meant that we had to get some washing done before originally planned.
Stuff for the kids.
Lots and lots. And for all ages. The twins were 21 months old when we visited, but even younger and older kids would really enjoy all the available things for them: swimming pool, soft play, games room, adventure play area, ride on toys, animal feeding, wendy house, etc.
For us, the highlight of the holiday was the animal feeding. We did it every single morning! I am very happy to report that both Eric and Elisa got on very well with all the animals and loved feeding them. Eric got spooked by a sheep one day and he got a bit put off, but the rest of the days he absolutely loved it! His favourite bit was collecting the eggs from the chicken coups and doing the whole knocking on the door and opening it to reveal the eggs and then collecting them. When we had finished going through all the coups he still had to go and double check that we hadn’t left any eggs uncollected. So sweet!
The soft play was a bit of hit and miss. Some days they would play happily, other times they didn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes in there. However, the activity that was always a hit was the ride on toys. If we walked past the ride on toys, we always had to stop for at least half an hour. They absolutely loved it.
Out and about.
Despite there being lots of things to do at the Cottages, we didn’t stay in all the time and we went out almost every day. We visited Padstow (which was a disaster, as the kids were having an off-day and nothing made them happy, coupled with the worst restaurant experience ever), Fowey (which we loved, despite the fact that we had to take a taxi to take us back to our car because there was no way we could push the pushchairs back up that hill!), Looe (we only saw a tiny bit of Looe, we got quite rained on!), Lostwithiel (where we had the BEST meal ever. We can totally recommend the Trewithen restaurant. Absolutely delicious food, very reasonably priced and excellent service) and obviously, Bodmin (we saw a lot of Bodmin and can recommend Bodmin Jail restaurant, very nice food and super friendly staff)
In addition to all the day outings, Jon and I had our first ever babysitting service! It was great. I was quite nervous, expecting a telephone call any minute all the time, but the call never came and Jon and I enjoyed our first night out far from children for the first time in 22 months!
So, as you can imagine, we had a great holiday. It could have been better, yes, especially the day that we went to Padstow, which was completely ruined. But, hey, you can’t have everything, so I’ll take what we got.
I give Glynn Barton Cottages a 4.5 out of 5. It is not a 5 out of 5 because of the price mainly. Unfortunately we will never be able to take this holiday in the summer since it’s out of out price range then, but we will be coming back the same time next year, when we can still afford it.
So looking forward to that!