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A staycation favourite, Cornwall continues to provide the ideal location for families of all shapes and sizes, says Ryan Chart
Having enjoyed a wide range of holidays across the UK, Cornwall was surprisingly one place myself and my partner Lily had never visited before. It is impossible to ignore the buzz around family holidays in this West Country favourite, so we made the decision to head down for a long weekend and experience it for ourselves.
We drove down in a Tesla Model S, and what a great decision this turned out to be. We were concerned that the charging of an electric car for quite a long drive was going to be a problem, but thanks for the intuitive in-car touchscreen, we simply entered our final destination and the journey was a delight, passing a host of English landmarks, such as Stonehenge. There is a plethora of in-car entertainment to keep the kids satisfied including Wifi and Spotify, and parents can rest assured they’re driving one of the safest cars on the road.
After stopping off a couple of times along the way for snacks, toilet breaks and obviously some Tesla Supercharging (about half an hour each time), we arrived at our first resort, Una St Ives. Located in Carbis Bay, with stunning views, calming tides and gorgeous beaches, there is more than enough to keep the little ones entertained. Una St Ives is a modern, community-style resort with a laid-back feel. Families will love the luxury eco-lodges and impressive spa and pool.
The lodges have all the essentials required for a family holiday, along with additional treats such as your own private hot tub, balconies and family changing rooms. In the heart of the resort is Una Kitchen – a striking Mediterranean-inspired restaurant with a traditional wood fire oven. After a long day out on the beach, walking or simply relaxing at the pool and spa, Una Kitchen produces fantastic local food to bring your day to a close. As we went to leave Una the next day, we couldn’t help wishing we were here to stay longer!
Having charged the Tesla up at the Supercharger in Launceston before we headed towards Una St Ives, we had nothing to worry about when getting back on the road to head to our next stop, The Olde House, in Wadebridge, a farm-come-holiday resort that’s been family-run for three generations. The Model S has the longest range of an all-electric production saloon on the market and with beaming sun, the scenic drive again was a delight.
As we approached The Olde House, we loved the authentic farm feel with beautiful stone cottages, cobbled roads and still-operating barns. We were greeted by Shaun, the 3rd generation of the Hawkey family that currently runs the holiday side of the business with his wife Jaime. We had arrived on the perfect weekend for kids to jump right into farm life –Lucky Lambing!
Amongst the huge array of farm-holiday activities kids can dive into, such as visiting pets corner and playing with a range of child-friendly small animals, to farm tractor tours and bird watching, Lucky Lambing allows children of all ages to experience the miraculous start of life. Children get to hold the tiny baby lambs and have their photo taken for Facebook, posted by their even more excited mums! This merely scratches the surface of activities to do at The Olde House.
But this isn’t a novelty farm-holiday – this really is what is says on the tin. Penpont Farm has been running for over 100 years and continues to serve the locals with fresh produce. The benefit of visiting The Olde House is that families can experience true farm life, but within a holiday setting. The beautiful stone cottages have the feel of a farm house, but with modern interiors and plenty of family options. Not only this, but the Hawkey family have also recently finished a brand new development in the middle of the farm – a state of the art indoor leisure centre with pool, spa and kids games room.
Dragging ourselves away from The Olde House, we fired up the Tesla once again and set the satnav to The Headland Hotel in Newquay, surprised to see that we still had plenty of charge to arrive without needing to stop. Sat atop a stunning cliff-top overlooking Fistral Beach, The Headland Hotel is an old-school Cornwall-style hotel.
Our room had impressive sea views and we loved our room with thoughtful touches including a small vintage radio already playing in the corner of our room and complimentary Cornish clotted cream fudge.
The Headland has two fantastic restaurants, one being the double AA rosette-awarded Samphire – slightly more formal, and the Terrace – a little more laid back. Keeping families at their forefront, both restaurants offer a tailored children’s menu to ensure the little ones are satisfied, yet still get to enjoy traditional local foods. They also have beautiful spa facilities with a huge range of treatments available. With Fistral Beach literally at your doorstep, kids can enjoy learning to surf at one of the best surfing spots in the UK.
As we left the next day, we couldn’t help but feel that it had passed way too soon. The afternoon spent driving back in the Tesla really was a dream – passing miles and miles of beautiful countryside and listening to our favourite podcasts, the time flew by. We had to make a couple of stops at the Superchargers on the way back, but to be honest if the car was petrol, we still would have made those stops regardless to stretch our legs and grab a coffee and something to eat. The Model S really was a huge part of the holiday and it was an extremely reassuring car to be able to rely on. And we’re already planning our next, longer trip to Cornwall.
Una St Ives
A 2 bedroom eco-lodge to sleep 4 starts from £110 per night.
Visit the Una St Ives website for lodge choices and bookings
The Olde House
From £177 per night for a two bed cottage sleeping four
Visit The Olde House’s website for cottage choices and bookings
The Headland Hotel
There are a range of family options, starting from £130 per night, bed and breakfast
Visit The Headland’s website for room and suite choices and bookings
Tesla Model S 100D
Range: 393 miles (NEDC)
0-60 mph: 4.2 seconds
Price: Starts at £78,850 (before incentives and petrol savings)
Find out more at Tesla