Friday, 2 August 2013

Quarryfield Campsite- Cornwall

Forget foreign holidays and package deals, with budgets for families being squeezed ever tighter holidays are very much at the bottom of most people's agenda.

However, the Lazy Girl and family have found a great place to staycation which is sure to provide a great holiday on a tight budget.

I'd never been to Cornwall, unlike Gadget Dad, as during my younger days we used to camp in my Dad's hometown of Leith in Scotland. So, when I was asked to be a member of Actimels Family Network to help Littlest connect with some sunshine, Elder persuaded me to go to the South West.

We are a family of campers- I spent many a childhood holiday either at Guide camps or in a Trailer Tent, and Elder is an old school festival dweller. We packed our tent and camping equipment and found ourselves at Quarryfield, an independent campsite in sleepy Crantock.

Crantock is as close as I can imagine Britain was like in the 1950s before our lives all became consumed with technology and TV. It's quaint, quiet and great for families.

There are many campsites in the area to choose from, but we found Quarryfield to be a great small alternative to its massive neighbours.

It's very simple to find from the main A road, with signage pointing you along a tiny country path. You can smell the seaside from the road, but don't worry about traffic blocking you in- drivers are polite and friendly, and there was barely a car in the area. There is certainly a different pace of life here!

The campsite offers one field for tents, campers and caravans too, with the choice to have electric hook up or not. We chose not to as we wanted to spend our time having fun, not checking back into the modern world!

The campsite has great, safe facilities within walking distance of the field. There is a large, clean toilet and shower block (one male, one female) with free to use hairdryers and universal plug sockets. The showers are open from 7am in the morning and provide a basic, hot shower- the press and water comes out kind seen at most swimming baths (possibly the only thing I would change, but not of major importance).

There was also facilities to wash up, have clean water and a fridge freezer for campers to use- we used this and not once did anything go missing. The whole site is kept spotlessly clean by campers and the staff alike.

Another freebie was the huge swimming pool- we nearly missed it as its built below ground level, but it was so worth it once we found it. It has a small baby pool, a big adult pool, is clean and well maintained, and there were plenty of loungers out for us to use. It's kpt safe at night with a cover. It's also only for use of campsite dwellers- everything has its own lock system to keep others out- and was secure and warm as anything! So good in temperatures that reached 33 degrees.

Other facilities are a small shop for groceries, sweets and wetsuits, a pub and restaurant (don't be put off, it was quiet) serving a huge variety of meals, a wash room with three large washers (£3 per use) and two huge dryers (50p for 10 minutes).

For the kids who aren't into swimming there is a modern park which can be seen from all angles of the small field, and from the toilet blocks too.

The spaces for camping are big, meaning you can stretch out, and you can park your car right near the tent too. This was handy as we forgot our camp chairs, so the Mini did end up doubling up as a lounge! At night it is quiet, but well lit enough that you can find the loo in the blackest of nights. 

There is also a night watch man which reassuringly keeps everyone safe, and who makes sure the strict 10pm no noise rule is adhered to.

From the field you can view Crantock beach, which is a two minute drive away. This beach has just won a best undiscovered beach award in the Radio Times and is well looked after by the National Trust. You do have to pay for daytime parking (non-National Trust members pay £5 a day, after 5pm its free, and compared to the beach at Newquay (£1.90 per hour) this is reasonable), but there are toilets, a small kiosk and they put buoys out daily showing where it's safe to swim. Small canoes and boats are welcome, as are body boards, and we found small crabs when the tide went out. There is a cafe just across the bay- accessible by foot when the tide is out or by boat when it's in, that gives stunning views of the surrounding, as well as tasty local produce.

It's a great area for families, walkers and dog lovers- pets are welcome on the campsite. 

I cannot recommend it strongly enough. It's a hop skip and jump by car to Newquay, and the attractions Newquay has, such as Newquay Zoo- where we had a day trip.

Prices are £7 per night for tents and tourers, with electric hook up £3.50 extra per night. A tip is to bring your own cooking stove- there is an Asda, an Aldi and a Sainsburys a few minutes drive away in Newquay and a small shop selling fresh bread, bacon, sausages and tinned food in Crantock village (a minutes walk from the site). Not to mention excellent fish and chip shops too!

If you are stuck for holiday inspiration, try Crantock and camping at Quarryfield- we loved it so much we're moving there!

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