Heidi Harriett and Henry Saunders at Porthtowan beach lr


By Tim Saunders

Tehidy is a small village in Cornwall, near Portreath, St Ives and the coast. It is a magnificent part of the world and a memorable family holiday awaits you at Tehidy Holiday Park.

“I have ploughed everything I have made back into the holiday park,” explains director Richard Barnes, who purchased the five-acre site 10 years ago and runs it with his family. “It was pretty run down then and I set about updating it, even adding tarmac roads.” We speak during the height of the holiday season when he has 350 guests staying on site: camping, static caravans and in his selection of self-catering holiday cottages. “We keep being asked for larger cottages so we are renovating another one at the moment which will have all the bells and whistles.”

It is a value for money offering and guests even benefit from wi-fi. There’s a play area and the site has been awarded a David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award, which acknowledges the mix of flower beds, Cornish hedges, trees, hedgerows, a small orchard, wildlife areas and wild flowers, scattered with wild strawberries for little fingers to find.

We stay in Lavender Cottage, a two-bed semi-detached stone built bungalow, with a slate roof. It provides comfortable accommodation for four. There are five in the Saunders family but this doesn’t pose a problem because our children quite happily share a room. Harriett (6) and Heidi (4) each have their own bed while Henry (1) sleeps in his travel cot, which fits in between their beds without a problem. Caroline and I take the master bedroom with its double bed and doors onto the patio.

“The county’s finest beaches are just minutes away,” says Richard. He is absolutely right. The first one we visit is at Portreath, 10 minutes away. It’s an overcast day but that doesn’t matter, we enjoy the whole morning on the beach, paddling and making sandcastles and then have a packed lunch. We have to work our day around Henry’s sleep patterns and after lunch he likes a nap so most days we all pile into the car and head on road trips taking in St Ives and Penzance. At St Ives the weather takes a turn for the worse and Harriett and I have left our coats at the ranch but we brave it. We enjoy a walk around the seaside town and even make some pebble sculptures on the beach. We are all thoroughly sodden but it doesn’t matter we are having a great time. It’s such an arty place with so much character from its narrow roads and historic architecture. Penzance is bigger and home to national retailers but still a good place to visit.

We discover the best beach of all on our last day. It’s Porthtowan. A beautiful sandy beach and some great waves. We spend the whole day at Porthtowan, paddling, messing about in the sand and watching the lifeguards manage a huge crowd of surfers. There’s also a play area and some shops so an ideal day out for the young family.

For those of us not hardy enough to swim in the sea, Kernow Hydro, a wonderful warm saltwater pool can be found at Portreath. Owner, Fiona established it a couple of years ago and has just celebrated paying off her £50,000 loan. The children especially enjoy splashing around in the warm water. After our swim we sit in the café and tuck into some of the best pasties we have eaten. A great experience. As always Cornwall creates some wonderful memories.

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