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Those who work for themselves will know we don’t get much time off. It sometimes seems like a 24/7 job that is impossible to escape from, especially when like me you are really bad at self-care. Not only is it important for me to take a break for me and my work but it is also important for Alyssa that I take a break and she gets to spend time with me away from the laptop, work and home and just spending some quality time together. We were very fortunate to be invited to Hendra Holiday Park in Cornwall for a long weekend visit to review their holiday park, facilities and to get away from it all. So here’s our review and the memories we made…
We packed up early, waited for my nephew to arrive then Nonna, Rowan, Alyssa and I hit the road… stopping briefly along the way at both Costa and McDonalds but that is what road trips are all about. Sat Nav directions are absolutely perfect for Hendra Holiday Park and we arrived in about 3.5 hours. There is a security gate, which is good to see, which is attended and they tell you where to pop your car so you can go into reception to check in.
Reception is quite small but there is some seating and there were 3 lovely staff helping customers. I was provided with a map, which was drawn on to show me directions to our caravan, given the keys to our accommodation and we also collected our pre-paid pool passes and entertainment passes and were on our way. Due to the package we were on, our beds were already made on arrival, however if you don’t choose this option, you will also collect your bed linen from here too. Then we headed off to our accommodation which was a Cherry caravan and I dived in before anyone else to snap some pictures.
I have to say, right from the start I was amazed by this caravan. It is honestly the nicest one I have ever seen. I was so impressed from the spacious living room with flat screen TV, DVD player, electronic fire and through to the kitchen with frdige, freezer, microwave, hob, oven and every imaginable kitchen item you can imagine. The only thing I would say that as a caravan that has a double and two twin rooms, it is obvious children will be staying so crockery and cutlery that is child friendly would be beneficial as everything was either glass or china and I was slightly concerned, especially on the hard, wooden floors where glass would smash and spread. Luckily I had packed cutlery.
The beds were super comfy, there was room for all our bits and pieces and the double even had a flat screen TV as well. I was also grateful to use USB plugin points on the plug sockets too. We were able to park and keep our car with our caravan but this isn’t always the case and for some you do need to park in a communal area so do check that out.
We had instructions in the pack for everything. There were also basic instructions on the wall for the heating which we simply couldn’t grasp but this was because we discovered we needed to turn the boiler on as well which it hadn’t mentioned AND if you don’t turn this off, despite the timer mechanism, we majorly overheated the first night but then found a balance. There is an onsite maintenance team you can call for help too.
We were fortunate to have a nice grassy area next to our caravan for both kids to run and play on and we were very lucky with the weather but there is lots to do both inside and out that it wouldn’t have mattered if not. The biggest hit with both the kids was the swimming pool. It is effectively one BIG swimming pool which reaches a maximum depth of 1.2 metres. It has a shallower area for little ones which has a giant frog you can pump to squirt water. It also has a warmer area for little ones which again has a crab character you can pump to fire water. There are two waterfalls in the deeper part of the pool that you can swim under too.
There is a heated outdoor pool which wasn’t open when we visited then of course there are the flume rides and the rapid river – these have a weight limit of 15 stone if they use a rubber ring and are brilliant fun.
Just to let you know – you do need to PAY to go in the pool, even if you are a resident of the park. It is discounted for holiday park residents and you can buy a bundle of passes but you do have the pay to use the pool. You will also need a £1 for the lockers but this is refundable. There are also a few seats and a balcony by the pool if you don’t want to swim but watch.
Another available indoor activity is the play loft which is a great indoor soft play area for babies and children with seating and a little snack bar in it too. With your holiday park passes this area is free.
Then of course there are also the arcades which we just couldn’t resist going to and hitting the 2p machines. Each different type of machine, including the 2p machines, give you a chance to win tickets to exchange for prizes. We collected all weekend and the kids traded them in on our last morning just before we left.
There is also a kids club available but as we were so busy, we simply didn’t get a chance to attend. However, we did book an activity session for Rowan who go to try out archery which, whilst the weather is still up and down, was done on the balcony of the swimming pool. CHECK where it is going to be held – we thought it would be outside and dressed for it and it was in the hot and humid pool room and we were sweating bullets by the end even after taking off what layers we could!
However, the archery session was great and they played shooting games and learnt some great techniques!
Of course, if the weather is nice then you’ll be wanting to get outside like us and there’s plenty to do. There is a skate park for those who like to scoot, skate or ride bikes and there is also a big play park. There is a section for younger children (0-6 years) and a great big pirate ship for 6-16 year olds which was great for both Rowan and Alyssa as they both had areas to enjoy. There is also a short climbing wall in the park area too. There are plenty of grassy areas just to kick a ball around on and this is all still inside the boundaries of the park.
There are also a couple of places to eat on site including a pizzeria and a fish and chip shop as well as an onsite supermarket. As expected it was a little higher in price than others but the convenience is worth it. They also stock local products including delicious Thatcher’s Cider and souvenirs to take home.
We also went to the evening entertainment which varies each night but always includes a little disco for the kids, as well as bingo, shows and all sorts. As with all holiday parks, you do have to get there early to grab a seat and the chance to see Henry or Henrietta the park’s mascots!
Overall we had an absolutely amazing time – we did NOT want to leave. When we did, checkout was easy. It gets a bit crowded but Nonna just hopped out, dropped the keys in and we headed on our way. We never ventured from the park during our stay as there was so much to enjoy but if you’re there for longer there is so much to see locally and in the area.
Anything I’d change? The WiFi. I know I shouldn’t have been working but as I have said it’s a 24/7 job and I needed to check in. The free WiFi in the main buildings was fine but out in your own caravans you have to pay for it, which along with charging the residents for the pool, I was a little surprised by. However, it’s not worth buying in my opinion. I wasted £10 as I bought it, activated it and each time the signal would then drop out and I’d be unable to use it.
It was suggested I speak to maintenance about it but unless they had a couple of signal boosters I wasn’t sure how this was meant to help. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, it was simply that the signal just wasn’t there to use. However, overall, this did not effect our stay it’s just a pet peeve.
Will we be returning to Hendra?! You bet your life on it. If you’d like to see more you can also head on over to my Instagram Profile and view our holiday highlights!