With the cost of holidays soaring through the roof, we decided to keep things cheap this year and go camping in Cornwall. Petrol costs were minimal for us as it was only an hour away. We already had our fantastic tent which was a gift from a special lady (thank you Auntie Tina!)
The joy of Cornwall is that there is just SO much to do there, come rain or shine. As it happened, we had a mixed bag of weather. Most of the rain was over-night and the heavens really opened so we were more grateful than ever for our great tent which was fully water-tight, even in the heaviest of downpours.
One of the main things we did to try to be thrifty was to cook all our own meals rather than eat out. We did have the odd meal out of course, it is impossible to resist all the lovely cafes and the local cornish pasties and cream teas!
If you are holidaying on a budget then you can’t go wrong with a day at the beach. Pack a picnic and you’ve got a whole day of fun ahead of you for free. You could try surfing, climb some sand dunes, build sand castles, explore some caves, collect some pebbles and shells, explore the rock pools. All will provide hours of fun and if you park a little further back from the beach you can also save money on car parking.
There are lots of other ways to have fun on a budget:
- Walk the coast path. Take some snacks and drinks to keep you going and some binoculars for bird watching. Have a look at the South West Coast Path website for some inspiration.
- Make the most of any free activities. Check out museums and libraries before you go to see what they have on offer
- Design your own nature trail and set off to try to spot everything on your list.
- Discover local heritage. In Cornwall this should definitely include mining. There are lots of old mine relics that you can visit for free. Wheal Coates Mine near St Agnes is in a breathtaking location and well worth a visit.
- Explore the Camel Trail on your bike. This is a fantastic day out and you can hire trailers if your little ones are not up to the 18 mile ride. Don’t worry, you don’t have to do the whole trail, it is broken down into sections.
- Explore endless fishing villages and seaside towns. Even if you are just window shopping you can always make a note of something you would really like and put it on your Christmas list!
- If you can stretch to National Trust Membership this is so worthwhile for a holiday in Cornwall. There are numerous NT properties in Cornwall and Devon. With their membership you get free entry to all of these properties (both gardens and houses) and also get to park in any National Trust Car Park for free. Their properties are family friendly and during the holidays there are nearly always special events like trails or crafting activities.
The Trevella Holiday Park website has a great section on their website called ’50 Great Adventures’ which will give you LOADS of ideas for things to do in Cornwall, most of which are free.
Finally, here are some pictures of our camping holiday this year. We stayed at Higher Trevaskis Camping Park. We loved this site because it is very quiet and child friendly. The owners will go out of their way to make sure you have a great holiday. Whether that’s ordering you a paper for Sunday morning or supplying you with the latest surf forecast! The washing up and bathroom facilities are the cleanest I have seen and it has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere. There are no bars or clubhouses, just good old-fashioned family time. As you can see, we had loads of fun.