Holywell Bay in Cornwall
The sun glinted off the sea and I could just make out the first holidaymakers of the day heading over the dunes towards the secluded Holywell Bay. The day before, six-year-old Ben and I had spent the day with my wife Deryn and our three-year-old daughter Isabelle on that beach. It was just a 30-minute walk away from Trevornick Holiday Park where we were staying.
If the weather had been brighter we wouldn’t have needed to use the car for the entire week.
Our luxury static caravan was on a hill overlooking the campsite, with a spectacular view of the distant bay. It was the perfect place for Deryn and me to unwind with pints of Tribute Cornish Ale after the children had settled into their snug bedrooms.
When forced inside by weather, we had a large kitchen/living room to relax in, where the children could lounge about watching television in the mornings until we rolled out of bed. And when we did they wanted to do just one thing – swim in the heated outdoor pool, regardless of the drizzle.
As well as neighbouring Holywell Bay Golf Club, with an 18-hole pitch and putt that Ben loved and a full golf course, Trevornick has a softplay area, playground, restaurants and evening entertainment, though our little ones were too worn out to stay up for that.
Ben plays at the Holywell Bay Golf Club overlooking the bay
Ben learnt to bodyboard and Isabelle discovered the joy of burying me in sand. The bay itself, which featured in Poldark with Demelza, on horseback, galloping through it with the wind blowing in her hair, is stunning.
With dunes to one side and cliffs to the other, it feels like a hidden gem, the kind of place the Famous Five would have stumbled upon.
It was, of course, far from hidden with hundreds of holidaymakers bodyboarding, swimming and generally just chilling at the beach.
Despite warnings from the tourist board to avoid anywhere linked to Poldark, it never felt too busy. There was plenty of room between the playing and picnicking families to run around or have a football match. But what to do when the weather turns? Simple: visit the Eden Project.
After a half-hour drive, we entered this majestic cathedral to ecology with its vast plastic biodomes, tractor train, crazy golf and all manner of fun yet secretly educational activities. We were all particularly taken with a ceramic sculpture that blew smoke rings into the air, some of which you could jump up to try to catch.
A Trevornick caravan
The Project is most famous for its domes, including the Mediterranean Biome, a huge indoor garden that feels like you’re walking through a mini Earth, saved on an alien planet after the world has been destroyed.
The children loved spotting the birds pecking for grubs under the vegetation while my wife and I were fascinated by huge sprouting aloe veras and gnarled old cork trees.
On our last night we had the best meal of the week, at the Beach Hut in Watergate Bay, Newquay. With big windows to watch surfers, it was full of families enjoying hearty food. After all, the beauty of an active holiday is earning the right to indulge yourself.
Trevornick Holiday Park (01637 830531/trevornick.co.uk) offers seven nights in a three-bedroom Contemporary Chic static caravan from £725.
The Eden Project (01726 811972/ edenproject.com) £23.50 per adult; family ticket £55.
Cornwall tourist board: visitcornwall.com