For those who don’t know, Perran Sands is a Holiday Park owned and managed by Haven Holidays (Bourne Leisure). Haven has a variety of holiday parks across the UK, with two in Cornwall. Perran Sands and Riviere Sands, in Hayle. Both are located near beautiful Cornish beaches and easily reach significant family attractions. This is an independent review; I have not been gifted or paid in any way. We were given a voucher for our holiday from the Family Fund. We are a family of four, and this was our seventh year staying at Perran Sands, but the first time visiting in May Half-Term and the first time trying an adapted caravan. This is usually our annual summertime holiday in July, but we moved it forward. This is our Perran Sands Holiday Park Review.
About Perran Sands
Perran Sands is an average-sized 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 sandy beach with access from the park, but please be advised due to the stairs, it isn’t suitable for wheelchair users, pushchairs or those with mobility issues! Believe me, after a day at the beach; it’s a killer!
One of the reasons we return to Perran Sands year after year is the fantastic sea views. You can’t fault the location of the local beaches, with Perranporth beach just a short ride away. Tripadvisor is the best place to check them out if you want more reviews. Overall it has a great score, and we’ve only ever had issues that were not directly linked to Haven or the park.
Check-In & Finding Our Way Around
Check-in is always smooth. Like last year, check-in was inside the Dune’s Bar. An enthusiastic and friendly team member greeted us, and he confirmed our accommodation and pointed us in the right direction of our caravan. The good thing about Perran Sands is that it’s straightforward to find your way around; the signposting is very obvious. If you find yourself lost, staff members are often on hand to point you in the right direction.
As a side note: This year, we booked an adapted caravan for the first time; however, our son, who has special needs, was not impressed. This is not reflected in Haven and their standard of accommodation; it was neat, tidy and had direct access to the park, but unfortunately, he likes his routine, and he didn’t settle. So I spoke to reception to see if there was any possibility of moving. Thankfully they moved us to a three-bedroom prestige caravan with a partial sea view for four nights (we had to cut our trip short). Our caravan was located at the top of the park in an area called ‘Pentreath View’ and, ironically, right next door to the caravan we stayed in the year before. I have included a few photographs of the standard below.
Our caravan included: Microwave, dishwasher, hob, cooker and hood with fan, fridge with small freezer, digital TV with DVD player, Bluetooth sound system, ensuite toilet, TV in the bedroom, plenty of storage, radiators (believe me, it was cold for May) and plenty of space for a large family to spread out.
Onsite Facilities at Perran Sands
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 John’s Pizza, mini supermarket and laundrette. There is a large entertainment complex, including an indoor and outdoor swimming pool and an outside lazy river. Two bars, ‘The Dunes bar’, which was closed during our recent trip and the ‘Live Lounge’, where the primary entertainment is and just the spot to unwind late into the evening.
On previous visits, we have eaten at Surf Bay, it’s a cross between a Harvester and a Beefeater. Good quality food, with a bar located outside. You cannot pre-book, so you can expect a wait during busy times, but you get to eat in the ‘camper’ if you are lucky. Great atmosphere but busy! Always busy.
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There are two takeaways onsite ‘Cooks’ Fish & Chips and Papa John’s. Both can be busy at times but convenient. Papa John’s even delivers to your caravan! Both offer a decent meal and right-size portions and are 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 offers activity bundle passes of 12 activities for £50 and 24 activities for £100. We’ve never used them, so I can’t comment, but they appear popular with other visitors and include archery and aqua gliders.
*Notes* Update for 2022. I have excellent authority that Perran Sands no longer offer activity bundles, and it is now all booked on a first-come basis through their new app.
The swimming pools are open to everyone from 9.30 am, and I suggest arriving early as we queued for over 45 minutes to enter due to the sheer volume of people in the pools. One large indoor pool, a separate slide, a smaller toddler pool and a large outdoor pool with a lazy river. It was too cold to venture outside this year, but the lazy river is extremely popular and worth investigating.
Aside from the central park, there are surf lessons, football pitches and plenty of play parks dotted around, and if you are all about arcades and pool tables, the Live Lounge area has that as well. There were large extended families with lots of younger children during our visit.
If you prefer to venture further afield, Perran Sands places you at a great location as a base. You are an 8-minute drive from Perranporth, where you will find shops, bars, food outlets, ice cream and quaint gift shops. Newquay is only a 15 – 20-minute drive away, where you can find a large town, restaurants, bars, and supermarkets. Truro is the largest town, just 25 minutes away, with its beautiful cathedral, cobbled streets and Primark (sorry, I’m a sucker for a bit of shopping). There are also some excellent coastal drives with the most amazing beaches, Porth, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and Crantock, to name a few.
As a family who likes a home-from-home, Perran Sands offers us the option of eating in or out while not feeling obligated to eat on-site. There are many options, from camping to beach houses, from glamping to chalets. Over our previous visits, we have stayed in various caravan classes, so there is a budget for everyone from standard to platinum with decking.
- Booking early can save you ££££. We often book nine months in advance and save 25%. Sometimes up to 50% depending on the offers available.
- In peak season months (July/August), you will often queue into the Live Lounge to access the launderette. So it’s best to get there early to avoid disappointment, as, in Summer 2017, we couldn’t even get into the main Live Lounge to get seats at 6.15 pm!
- If you are interested in activities, book in advance using the app; you will be surprised by how quickly everything fills up.
- There is much to see and do in the local area, from zoos and waterparks to railways and theme parks (Flambards is A…amazing!)
- Get up and out early; in peak summer, you can imagine how busy places get. We’ve struggled to park in Newquay in August due to the number of people.
So there you have it; next time you consider a ‘staycation’, maybe Perran Sands is worth a look. Perhaps, you’ve previously been? Maybe you are staying this year? Let me know if you have your comments to add.
Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park, Perranporth, Cornwall, TR6 0AQ