Travel: Exploring the idyllic hidden gems of the South-West

Strolling across the beach to Perranporth.
Strolling across the beach to Perranporth.
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The sun was out, the surf was up and the scene was set for an unforgettable family holiday packed with action, adventure and the adrenaline rush of the Atlantic Ocean.

Set high above the clifftops with the stunning backdrop of crystal waters and miles of Blue Flag beach, we thoroughly expected Haven’s Perran Sands to be the perfect five-star park.

Surfing on the beach at Perranporth.

Surfing on the beach at Perranporth.

And it didn’t disappoint. Located right in the heart of Cornwall, with indoor and outdoor pools, show-stopping entertainment, breath-taking coastal walks and accommodation ranging from luxury decked caravans to first-rate touring facilities, this idyllic holiday village is a brilliant base for exploring the hidden gems of the south-west.

A stone’s throw from picturesque Perranporth, lively Newquay and charming St Ives, whether you enjoy sun-kissed days soaking up the surf, relaxing on-park or heading out to explore, there’s plenty to do, see and discover.

Blessed with a week of sunshine, our mornings began with a full English breakfast followed by a sandy stroll across the water’s edge to Perranporth, where we enjoyed drinks at the Watering Hole beach bar and restaurant before heading to the quaint town centre to pick up our tea – a tasty mixture of meats and tapas – from the traditional local butchers.

Most of our days were spent experiencing the sheer exhilaration of the breaking waves, with the sea in August warm enough to enjoy bodyboarding without the need to even wear a wetsuit. At all times the excellent lifeguards provided a reassuring presence to parents watching their little ones in the sea, ensuring that young and old could savour the thrill of the surf in safety.

One of our most enjoyable outings was St Ives, the dazzling jewel in the Cornish crown.

The fishing harbour, palm trees and cobbled streets of this picture-perfect seaside town pull in tourists from across the globe, whilst its icing sugar sands have been voted one of Europe’s top 10 beaches.

With a different beach for every day of the week, party-capital Newquay has an infectious up-tempo beat that radiates atmosphere around the clock with award-winning restaurants, vibrant bars and attractions to keep the kids entertained until the sun goes down.

Surf-lovers flock to Newquay’s world famous Fistral Beach for the ultimate wave, the bookend headlands creating a playground of powerful, towering waves which are a must-ride for thrillseekers or an exciting eye-opener for novice surfers.

Back on the park – when we weren’t relaxing in the luxury of our spacious Prestige caravan – we hired go-carts, played mini golf and even tried our hand at archery thanks to Haven’s great value Sport and Splash activity passes. Keen to make evening meals a real family affair, we ate, drank and chilled in the laid back surroundings of the park’s Mediterranean-feel Surfbay, which boasts Alfie – a popular blue camper van – in which you can enjoy the novelty of dining!

Travel facts:

- A three-night self-catering holiday staying at Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth is priced from £455 (saving 20%) per family.

- Price is based on a family of eight sharing three-bed Prestige accommodation on October 20 and includes family friendly entertainment.

- To find out more or to book visit https://www.haven.com or call 0333 202 5205. Haven is also offering a saving of up to 25% on all 2018 holidays, book early for its best offers.

Suomenlinna.

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