Our budget last year and in to 2020 is understandably being spent on the house. However we all needed a break from dust, builders and mess so escaped to Cornwall back in the Summer. We picked the last week of August for our break and were lucky to have a few good days of sunshine, mixed in with rain.
Pentewan Sands is a campsite, approx 3 hours from Bristol and was recommended to us by friends who’d spent the previous two summers holidaying there. Wanting a cheaper UK break we opted to stay on a campsite and liked the look of Pentewan being right on the beach but with facilities if the weather was iffy. It’s obviously popular as the site was fully booked whilst we were there and we secured one of the last caravans at the time of booking.
Pentewan is located between Mevagissey and St Austell. It’s a static caravan and camping site with pitches available right on the beach. Booking fairly last minute we grabbed a 2 bed static caravan, for a week we paid approx. £600. The site has tennis courts, two indoor swimming pools, a softplay area and upstairs bar with outdoor seating area with sea views. Pentewan Plaice is the on-site chip shop and there is also an American diner / beach bar. The food was really good and is locally sourced.
We spent days on the sandy beach, there was a little inlet from the river into the sea and lots of the children played here. The sand was golden and very clean and we never once felt cramped by the other beach visitors. We tried the casual beachside restaurant which serves your typical selection of burgers and nachos, the food was tasty. Late afternoons were spent in the indoor pool onsite. With two slides, plus a separate baby pool it was a popular place but not too crowded to stop you wanting to visit.
You could happily spend your week on Pentewan beach and not venture further but with so much worth visiting on your door step its a shame not to explore. Immediately next to the campsite is the little area shown in the photo above, set around the water inlet are a series of houses, a small tea room and pretty village pub. I had tried to improve my couch to 5 k efforts whilst there and it made a sweet spot to start my early morning runs from.
Days out and we didn’t venture far. A cream tea in Tea on the Quay and walk around Mevagissey Harbour (including stumbling on a tiny Aquarium) and two visits to Fowey (rhymes with joy). Mevagissey wasn’t too busy and its a sweet place to visit for a few hours, we took photos of the fishing boats and admired all the colour houses as well as watching the fishermen at work.
The first time we visited Fowey the rain was so vicious that it was running down the streets and we ended up sheltering in Haveners watching the rain pelting down outside (and eating more cake). On our second visit we were treated to hot sunshine and it was like a different place, packed with visitors enjoying watching all the boats sailing in the harbour. We found a busy ice cream shop near the harbour and would recommend the bubble gum flavour! We found it easiest to park in a car park at the top of Fowey and walk towards the harbour rather than try and navigate the tiny streets.
The Lost Gardens of Heligan are only five minutes from Pentewan and were our favourite day out. The gardens are stunning and we could have easily spent two or three days there exploring, the place felt quite magical. There are 11 acres of wildflowers, an adventure play space made from trees from the estate, tea rooms, ancient rhododendrons, walled gardens and the most beautiful greenhouses growing melons amongst other things. The jungle area was home to a huge Burmese rope bridge, you can walk across here and view some very exotic plants. This is one place I definitely want to return to as I felt there was so much we didn’t see or explore.
We spent a few hours one morning walking along Par beach which was wide, clean and really quiet. There was a small inlet for the children to splash in and tiny pools to look for crabs and shells. Dogs were allowed on this beach during the season, whereas most other beaches are dog free during the summer months. It isn’t the sort of beach that you’d spend the day at, a bit too prone to being battered by the wind and no real facilities nearby but for a walk and some rock pool exploring it was great.
It’s possible to hire bikes from Pentewan cycle hire or you can take the picturesque walk along the coastal path towards Mevagissey, there is also a lovely pub just metres from the site.
We all enjoyed it and got so much from this change of scene, fresh air and beautiful scenery. We’d definitely return to Cornwall again. In 2020 with still much work to do on the house we’ll be enjoying another trip to Cornwall during half term, as well as exploring Ireland over the summer.