This year is unlike anything we have ever lived before, with lockdowns, homeschooling and sheer confusion not only from the general public but businesses as well. We decided we needed a change of scenery and continued with our Haven hideaway to Perran Sands Holiday Park in Cornwall. This is our annual trip and our home from home. Here is our review of what to expect for the rest of 2020.
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About Perran Sands Holiday Park
Read more about planning a post lockdown holiday
Perran Sands is a large holiday park in North Cornwall, in a small seaside town named Perranporth, it’s pretty much the surfing capital of Cornwall! It has a private beach which is accessible from the park, but please be advised due to the stairs it isn’t suitable for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues! Believe me after a day at the beach, its a killer!
Post lockdown at Perran Sands
In May, Haven announces that due to government restrictions they were looking to offer a new type of booking. A well-deserved break without the facilities called a Haven Hideaway. We arrived on the eve of Storm Francis, which was extremely entertaining, as the exterior surrounding our caravan flooded, it was our own personal swimming pool.
Back in February 2020, we booked a seven-night stay in July in a prestige caravan unfortunately due to the lockdown restrictions we had to move it to the end of August and shorten it to a four-night stay due to the price difference. On moving the break, we were told that we would be booking onto a Haven Hideaway. It meant that we would have limited access to facilities; however, should the lockdown restrictions be eased by the government, we would have the opportunity to upgrade for full use of the facilities. I’ll break it down:
A Haven Hideaway is essentially:
- Access to the takeaways
- Use of the mini-market & launderette
- Booked activities excluding swimming (subject to availability)
- Use of the arcade if open
- Use of beach (weather permitting)
- Play parks if open
I do want to mention that during various communications with Haven (not Perran Sands) we were told different things, my husband was told during one live chat that we wouldn’t have the opportunity to upgrade because Haven had changed their minds. Now we like a quiet break, however with a disabled child who is unable to access the beach, take part in the activities, access to the swimming pool was our go-to activity! An activity that we had no access to. Had this been communicated on moving our booking, we probably would have moved it to 2021! It works for some families, just not us.
Things to do close by include Camels Creek Adventure Park.
Checking In for your Haven Hideaway
Checking in has been made COVID-19 safe this year, with a sequence of emails starting seven days before confirming how checking in will be managed. I found I preferred this system.
We checked in online, and we pointed towards a NEW Haven check-in app, this is different than the general information app. Four days before (email went to junk), I confirmed our arrival and registration number. The app then gives you a checking in ‘arrival’ time and a letter. We were given C.
This means that you need to arrive at this time. We were given 2 pm – 3 pm for check-in, it was a little early for us, but it was okay. The day before arrival you will receive another email confirming your accommodation and where it’s located. Now, the app crashed. I think because so many people were logging on to find out their accommodation. But I received an email version with a map and our location and number. I’m hoping they keep this as there is a great benefit to knowing exactly where you are situated.
On arrival, you are greeted by a Haven team member with a clipboard who will confirm your accommodation location. It’s on to security who pass you a map and then it’s on to find the accommodation.
Arrival for your Haven Hideaway
Due to COVID-19, you locate your accommodation and if it is cleaned and checked there will be a strip across the door, you remove this, open the door and find an arrival pack with your key, security hanger (for vehicle). It looks like the type that hang on hotel doors, it is required to stay in the vehicle at all times. Once sinde you are also required to check-in to your accommodation using the Haven app that you used to chck in before unloading your vehicle.
Onsite Facilities Available for Haven Hideaway
I was very impressed with how organised the site was. The staff were excellent. There was signage to remind you to wash and santise your hands and keep your ditance. We did find this hard at times as large family groups were mingling by the park in the main complex. I appreciate they were in a group, it made it hard to walk around them.
It was very well organised, and lots of guests wearing masks, and we never felt unsafe. Haven were very prepared.
Let’s talk about food
Like most holiday parks, there are some excellent facilities on site including The Surf Bay Restaurant, Cooks Fish & Chip Shop, Papa Johns Pizza, mini supermarket and laundrette. There is a large entertainment complex, including an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and an outside lazy river. The ‘Live Lounge’ where the primary entertainment is and just the spot to unwind late into the evening.
As we were on a haven hideaway, we had access to the takeaways. I made an online order for Cooks, thinking it would save me time if I preordered but had to wait in the standard queue, so I didn’t quite understand the benefit.
We have eaten on previous visits at the Surf Bay, and it’s a cross between a Harvester and a Beefeater. Good quality food, with a bar located outside. You couldn’t book a table through the app; you had to speak to a host. We opted not to eat there this year, so can’t comment on the booking process but if you are lucky, you get to eat in the ‘camper’. Great atmosphere but busy! Always busy.
There are two takeaways onsite ‘Cooks’ Fish & Chips and Papa Johns. Both can be busy at times, but convenient. Papa Johns, even deliver to your caravan! Both of which offer a decent meal, right-size portions and not hugely expensive compared to nearby Perranporth.
Keeping the little ones and big ones entertained
The advantage of a holiday park is that they offer an array of things for young and old to get involved with. Haven offer access to their bookable activities via their app. Activities include archery to junior Segways; these did sell out quite fast, so it is worth booking early.
*Notes* Update for 2020. I have it on excellent authority that Perran Sands no longer offer the activity bundles. It is now all booked on a first-come basis through their new app.
The swimming pools were open and available to full access guests; this wasn’t very clear, as mentioned with our many communications with Haven. We managed to book two swimming slots which were mistakes and promptly cancelled by Haven. I did speak to a lovely guy at the swimming pool desk, who was apologetic, the poor guy was getting a lot of angry customers and was a credit to Perran Sands.
The Main Entertainment/Live Lounge
We didn’t have the fun passes so couldn’t access the main live lounge, but hears from a team member that you had to prebook tables. We were able to access the arcade area, which had a one-way system, which at the time was impossible at times, but it meant one way in and one way out. They limited numbers, but it still felt busy, Thomas, however, was happy having eight goes on the fire engine.
Final Thoughts on Perran Sands
Perran Sands Holiday Park has been our home from home for nine years now. Post-lockdown we needed a change of scenery and Perran Sands is an excellent location for exploring the local area. It did feel like we were abandoned and forgotten in our caravan, I guess in hindsight we should have moved it to 2021 so Thomas could experience his usual swimming pool madness. This isn’t a reflection on Perran Sands; the staff are always so welcoming and accomodating. It is more a personal reference that having a child with learning difficulties means we had to adjust our familiar experience. Perran Sands have dealt with the Covid-19 restrictions amazingly.
If you are interested in finding out more about Perran Sands holiday park in Cornwall or wanting to check out their latest offers. They have just announced they are staying open throughout November 2020 for the first time. Prices are starting as low as £99. To soak up some last-minute sea air, book now to escape to your Haven during September or October.
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Perran Sands Holiday Park, Perranporth TR6 0AQ. Tel: 01872 573551