When Airbnb got in touch and offered to pick up the tab on a holiday somewhere in the UK, we didn’t have to think too hard and chose a family holiday in North Cornwall. Clara and I have fond memories staying in Cornwall as we spent our honeymoon nearly 7 years ago. I also have great memories of visiting Cornwall for family holidays as a child.
I passed the task of finding our Airbnb property to Clara and was really pleased when she discovered a sweet renovated barn in Camelford. Camelford is a great little location with fab road links to all the main sites we wanted to visit such as Padstow, Port Isaac, Eden Project and The Jamaica Inn. Because we had chosen a property with a garden and plenty of space we were able to take Beau along for a small additional fee which meant we didn’t need to find him a sitter for the weekend.
We had chosen the Bank Holiday weekend to go away as we wanted maximum family time. Which is pretty tricky when we both work full time in offices, so a bonus day off meant we were able to enjoy a long weekend. We traveled to our Airbnb on Friday evening and enjoyed 3 full days packed with adventure and experiences. We also lucked out with the weather, which managed to stay warm and sunny all weekend.
On arrival our lovely Airbnb hosts has provided some home baked scones with jam and clotted cream, which were delicious. It was a really lovely touch and made us instantly feel at home. We’d also picked a property with a TV, WiFi and Netflix, which meant M was able to watch his favourite cartoons whilst we unpacked and gave Beau a little stroll round the grounds.
Due to our remote location in North Cornwall our nearest large supermarket was about a 30 minute drive away. This was fascinating to M as we drove through the countryside way past his bedtime to fill our fridge with dinner and snacks for an active 5 year old. Once we got back to the barn it was bedtime for all of us as we prepared for a busy day at the Eden Project.
The fab thing about booking an Airbnb is your hosts can provide a list of suggested attractions and locations to visit during your stay. The Eden Project was number six on their list of suggestions and was also somewhere we’d wanted to visit for quite a while. Bonus was we were also able to take Beau, though he wasn’t allowed inside the Biomes, there was still plenty of space for him to roam in.
We spent the full day exploring The Eden Project and loved it, so much so it really needs it owns post (coming soon). But if you find yourself in North Cornwall then I highly recommend a trip to The Eden Project. You can easily lose a day there and come away with so much knowledge.
Clara and I chose to eat local for dinner on returning back to the barn and discovered our hosts had suggested a fab little fish and chip shop just ten minutes from the barn. Once we’d put M to bed we enjoyed a film in the living room, which was great as we had no chance of waking M in his room. Usually when we stay away from home, M is quite close to our room at night so we end up having to sit in near silence once he has gone to bed. But staying in a home from home is perfect as we were able to enjoy each others company and many laughs without waking him once.
Sunday morning started with a lovely family breakfast round the table in the barn and some dancing with Beau. We then headed into Port Isaac for some ice creams and a stroll around the beautiful little village. The RNLI were having an open day so M got to try on an RNLI helmet and explore where they launch their boat. We then took a short drive to Padstow so that M could have his first attempt at bodyboarding in the sea.
A year ago whenever I tried getting M to join me in the sea he raced away fearful of what was lurking under the surface. This weekend he realised with his ability in swimming and the opportunity staying nearby to a beautiful beach, that he was keen to get in the water. Our Airbnb property handily provided a wetsuit drying area where some other guests had placed their bodyboards to dry, which spurred M on even more to giving bodyboarding a go.
Padstow is a busy town that offers a park and ride service which kept costs down and meant we didn’t have to spend ages driving around for a parking space. After we’d made the 30 minute walk to the beach (there were lots of stops), we got M into his wetsuit and he practically raced towards the waters edge. I thought M would be quite hesitant once actually in the water, but he surprised me by launching himself into the sea and swimming round me.
I made sure to hold onto the bodyboard whilst he got a grip on it and soon he was smiling and kicking his legs towards the gentle waves nearby. I felt so proud seeing the transformation our little man had made from the anxious boy we experienced last year. He looked so confident in his wetsuit and swam, splashed and body boarded until the water started to grow a little chilly. As we weren’t far from our Airbnb M knew we could get back to the barn and warmed up on the sofa whilst he watched the videos we had captured of him in the sea.
Our final evening in Camelford was rounded off with a trip to The Jamaica Inn. This is somewhere I remember being taken as a child, so I wanted to give M that memory too. It’s much smaller than I recall, but still full of the mystery of an English Smugglers Inn. We enjoyed a nice dinner and a little trip around the museum before it was time to get M into bed for our final day.
As Monday came around (far too soon) our plans changed slightly due to Beau being a bit of an anxious pup after a busy weekend. Our neighbours in the barn next door suggested we grab some breakfast at Port William in Trebarwith Strand, which has a gorgeous view over some rocks people were swimming off. We then began our journey home. On route we stopped by Launceston Castle for our last bit of sightseeing and bought M a brand new wooden sword and catapult so he could re-enact a medieval battle.
Impossible Project gave us a Poloroid 600 to take away with us and it helped me produce one of my favourite shots I’ve ever taken (above). I love how it manages to capture the memory and add some nostalgia to it.
We returned home quite rested and enjoyed every minute. Even though it seemed like we were on the go constantly, as we had a home to return to each night we were able to relax and recharge. We’ve already started planning our next trip and will certainly be booking an Airbnb. Make sure to check out the #TripsXYZ tag on Instagram to discover more families travelling to Airbnb properties across the globe.