This is the third and final installment of our week-long holiday in Bude in North Cornwall, covering the second half of our stay at The Beach Haven and detailing the things we got up to. You can find part one here and part two of the blog here. We’ve been home for nearly two weeks now and it already feels like it was such a long time ago. It was lovely to look back over the things we did and the adventures we had as I was writing this and uploading the photos – I’m already looking forward to next year!
The busy-ness of yesterday’s antics (Northcott Mouth beach, a walk down Bude Canal, dinner out at The Bay View Inn) combined with a late night for our younger three girls took it’s toll on everyone this morning – the husband wasn’t feeling 100% and the girls were all very tired. They snuggled up on the sofa under a blanket in their pjs and watched TV, clearly not intending to move anywhere for a while, so I took the opportunity of having some peace and quiet to get some work done and answer some work emails that I hadn’t had the chance to do before we came away on holiday. I’m really not very good at staying inside all day though and it had brightened up a bit, so after lunch I suggested a game of crazy golf and everyone perked up 🙂 It’s a bit of a tradition now – we play a round every time we go to Bude. It’s only a small 9-hole course and some of them are actually pretty tough. Last year Mimi got a hole in one and this year it was Ella’s turn – she was thrilled! We had an ice cream afterwards as well of course – still on track to have one every day of the holiday!
I’m not sure whether it was the E-numbers in the bright blue bubblegum flavour ice cream that Mimi insisted on having, or whether she was just overtired from the last couple of days but she had an epic meltdown on our walk back to The Beach Haven. I eventually managed to calm her down and as usually happens after one of her big emotional outbursts she then glued herself to me for the rest of the day. Thankfully it was the only meltdown of the holiday from her (and there was only one from Lola too) and for that I am grateful – she did ever so well the rest of the time. We knew we needed something quite low-key to do when we got back to fill in the time before dinner and Ella had found Harry Potter Cluedo in one of the cupboards and was desperate to play it, so we did. It turns out that it was Peter Pettigrew in the Library with the Vanishing Cabinet 😉
Every year we stay at The Beach Haven in Bude I make sure we go for a day trip somewhere to explore further afield. Last year we went to Boscastle – we did an epic walk to see Pentargon waterfall (beautiful), visited the Museum of Witchcraft (fascinating) and had a wander round the town. The year before we visited Tintagel, which was utterly breathtaking. Obviously I hadn’t started my blog at that point, but if we ever do go back I’ll be sure to write a post on them. This year we had decided on going to The Eden Project. I’ve been wanting to go for ages but always thought it would be too far to go and worried that the girls might find it a bit boring. How wrong could I be?!
We had originally planned to go to The Eden Project on Wednesday, but because of the husband not feeling great and the girls being super-tired we postponed it a day and went on Thursday instead. It turns out it was actually the better of the two days weather-wise, so it worked out for the best. I’d planned ahead and ordered Tesco Clubcard vouchers using our points, so we got in for free which was well worth doing.
I could easily do a full length post on our day trip there – it really was incredible. As you drive down the long entranceway the two enormous biomes gradually come into view and as soon as I saw them I knew it would be worth the hour and twenty minutes it took us in the car to get there.
Because it was the Easter holidays, their Easter events were still up and running, so we joined in with the Eggstravaganza and played hook-a-duck, crazy golf using eggs instead of balls, splat-a-pult, an egg shy and an obstacle course. We arrived at about 10.30 and all of these activities took us right up to lunchtime – there was quite a long queue for the obstacle course because only two children could do it at the same time, but again, it was worth the wait. For lunch we headed to the space that connects the Mediterranean Biome with the Rainforest Biome. We got the three younger girls wraps and picky bits and drinks (5 items for £5.95 I think) from the kids section but they weren’t honestly overly impressed. If we go again I think we’d probably take our own food for them – they can be pretty fussy a lot of the time and it would be easier and less stressful to pack a lunchbox than trying to find something that they’ll like. As for the rest of us there was a big range of options – everything from cornish pasties to muffins & sweet pastries to hot meals that looked really delicious. We opted for snacky things as we were keen to get going and see that else The Eden Project had to offer.
Once lunch was done we headed into the Mediterranean Biome, which was just beautiful. I’m a sucker for both wildflowers and tulips and there were displays of both so I was pretty much in heaven. As part of the Easter events there were information points dotted around for the girls to look out for and they had a worksheet on which they had to draw the eggs of the creature that they were learning about from reading the information – they enjoyed doing that. We probably spent about half a hour to forty minutes wandering around before we headed back out and made our way to the Rainforest Biome.
(I’ll admit that we did get distracted by the ice cream shop on the way and had the biggest ice creams I’ve ever seen. With hindsight it would probably have been better to do this after being in the swelteringly hot Rainforest Biome!)
The Rainforest Biome was incredible. The size of it was jaw-dropping and it was a brilliant learning experience for the girls – every turn was packed with information boards, interactive activities and displays. It was so, so beautiful in there – lush greenery, fascinating tropical plants & flowers and even a waterfall. By the time we’d got to the top the girls were flagging a bit in the heat (definitely wear layers that you can peel off as you go around as it can get up to 35 degrees!) and weren’t up for climbing the stairs to the viewing platform so we sadly gave that a miss – I bet it would have been awesome to see the view from up there though and it’s definitel something we’ll be doing if (when!) we go back.
By the time we came out (we spent at least an hour in there), even though there was plenty more we could have seen and done, we decided to head home because of the journey time it would take us to get back. I think the girls had taken about as much as they could handle by then too and we’d have been pushing it if we stayed much longer. So we whizzed through the shop (soooo many lovely things – I could have spent a fortune in there!) and made our way back to the car.
As I said, there was so much more we could have seen and done – if we ever go back we’d start with those. I wanted to do the zipwire and other adrenaline-packed activities too but there just wasn’t enough time. Next time!
Our last day here 🙁 We’d planned to go swimming and bowling as the weather forecast wasn’t great, but it turned out to be much nicer than we expected so we decided to take advantage of it and be outside rather than inside. So we went for one last scoot ‘over the top’ from Crooklets Beach to Summerleaze Beach, stopping on the way to pop down to the beach itself to see the sea and have a final hunt for rocks and shells. Then it was one last wander around the shops and one final ice cream of the holiday (well, it would be rude not to!). The rest of the day was spent playing cards, chilling out and packing.
We didn’t have to check out of The Beach Haven until 10am, but from previous years we know that we end up getting stuck in terrible end-of-school-holiday traffic as we get closer to home if we leave that late. So, as on the way down, we left at 6am and said a sad goodbye for another year. We were blessed by being able to watch an absolutely stunning golden sunrise as we made our way through the lanes towards the motorway – there were lots of “Wow!”s and “Ooooh!”s from the backseat as they watched it morph from just a thin sliver of orange on the horizon to a sky full of dramatic clouds and beautiful colours.
Thankfully we had another good journey home (4 hours, plus a coffee break) and then I had the fun job of unpacking all the suitcases, sorting out all the washing, restocking the fridge & cupboards and collecting Pumpkin from the cattery. He was pleased to see us all 🙂 The husband meanwhile was happily reunited with his Xbox (such a big kid at heart) and the girls were thrilled to be back amongst their books and toys in their own bedrooms.
Please note: I have not been asked (or paid!) to write this post. All images, words, thoughts and opinions are my own, and I’ve included the links of the places that we’ve been and things we’ve done because we genuinely loved going there and doing them. I want to share them with all of you in the hope that you can enjoy them too if you are ever lucky enough to explore this beautiful part of the world.
If you would like to know any more about where we stayed or what we got up to you can follow the links in the post. Alternatively, feel free to email me for more info or leave a comment below – I do try to respond to every single one of you 🙂