Tuesday, 4 June 2013

You can go on holiday with a toddler

Ever since the little man arrived, our criteria for having a nice break away have seriously changed. Flying, for a start, is out. I remember being young, free and single and how my heart would drop as I settled into my seat ready for a seven-hour flight only for a toddler to clamber in next to me. I'm not saying you can't travel with little ones but he is particularly active and I would be stressed. Besides, you can pack so much more into a car and there was a lot I wanted to pack.
Other criteria include:
1, If we're going by car, it can’t be too far away – four hours max if possible. Driving is boring, for everyone.
2, There must be fun things for toddlers to do – the beach, swings, slides etc. Even a pool is out at this stage really - we didn’t want to spend the day taking it in turns chasing our two and a half year old around the pool trying to keep him safe.
3, Self catering accommodation is a must so we can cook what we want when we want with perhaps an occasional visit to a restaurant if we are feeling up to it. He must have his own room too and a living space away from said room so we can relax with a glass of wine (or fruit juice in my pregnant state) after a long day of fun without disturbing him.
In short, what we didn’t want was a holiday that turned out to be more stressful than simply staying at home. So I was delighted when we found Trevorrick farm - a collection of pretty cottages in Cornwall offering an indoor pool, children’s play area, animals to pet and beaches nearby. The owners Melanie and Mike are themselves parents and quite clearly know exactly what every holidaying family requires to make life easy and, therefore, fun. Stairgates, night lights, baby monitors, high chairs, booster seats, socket guards, a pram if needed are all provided for guests. They even promise to fill your cottage with age appropriate toys. We booked on the spot.
So we have now returned from our break away and I am happy to report it was everything we had hoped for. The cottage was indeed pretty and filled with trains, train tracks, building blocks, puzzles and books waiting for him to play with. Every morning, while I got ready, the little man and his daddy would wander about the farm, visiting the turkeys, two Shetland ponies, pigs and chickens. It was idyllic. 
Everyday, we headed out for a day of family fun and there was so much for toddlers to do, not including all the beaches nearby (it was just a bit too cold to venture to the seaside unfortunately). Our favourite was Crealy Great Adventure Park where you pay once and then get a free seven-day pass. We went three times. Bargain. It was there we discovered the little man's love of rollercoasters - at last his daddy has someone to go on with him. We rode the steam trains at Lappa Valley and stared at the animals inside Newquay zoo. We even found time to read our books while our son, exhausted by all the fun he was having, reverted back to his afternoon naps again. One day I ate such an enormous Cornish cream tea I was actually sick but I don't regret it - that Cornish cream is to die for and at one point I did think I was dying. Sometimes in the evenings, we fell asleep not long after putting the little man to bed. It was our first and last holiday just the three of us and it was just what we wanted - fun, stressfree and exhausting with a pile of Cornish cream on the side for good measure.

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