Perran Sands Review 2019

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For those of you who don’t know, Perran Sands is a Holiday Park owned and managed by Haven Holidays (Bourne Leisure). For total transparency this is an independent review, I have not been gifted or paid in any way. We were however gifted a voucher towards our holiday from Family Fund. You can find my previous post about Family Fund and what they do here.

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 this year we had squeezed in an overdue trip to Disneyland Paris!

About Perran Sands

Perran Sands is an average size holiday park in North Cornwall, in a small seaside town named Perranporth, it’s pretty much the surfing capital of Cornwall! It has its own 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!

Perran Sands

Check-In & Finding Our Way Around

Check is always smooth. Like last year, check in was inside the Dune’s Bar. We were greeted by an enthusiastic and friendly team member. He confirmed our accommodation and pointed us in the right direction of where our caravan would be. The good thing about Perran Sands is that it’s extremely easy to find your way around, the signposting is very obvious. If you do 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 against Haven and their standard of caravan, 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 we could move. Thankfully we were moved to a three-bedroom prestige caravan, with a partial sea view for four nights (we had to cut out 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 bedroom, plenty of storage, radiators (believe me it was cold for May) and plenty of space for a large family to spread out.


On-Site Facilities

Let’s talk about food: Like most holiday parks, there are some great facilities onsite 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 the new addition of an outside lazy river. Two bars ‘The Dunes bar’ which was closed during our recent trip and the ‘Live Lounge’ where the main entertainment is.

We have eaten on previous visits at the Surf Bay, it’s a cross between a Harvester and a Beefeater. Good quality food, with a bar located outside. You are unable to pre-book so you can expect a wait during busy times 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, good 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 in. Haven do offer activity bundle passes 12 activities for £50 and 24 activities for £100. We’ve personally never used them, so I can’t really comment but they appear popular with other visitors and include archery and aqua gliders.

The swimming pools are open to everyone from 9.30am, I would suggest arriving early as we queued for over 45 minutes to enter due to the sheer volume of people in the pools. There is one inside a large pool, a separate slide, a smaller toddler pool and a large outdoor pool with lazy river. It was too cold to venture outside this year but the lazy river is extremely popular and worth investigating.

Aside from the main park, there are surf lessons, football pitches and plenty of parks dotted around and if you are more for arcades and pool tables, the Live Lounge area has that as well. During our visit, there were large extended families, with lots of younger children.

If like us you prefer to venture further afield, Perran Sands placed you at a great location as a base. You are an 8-minute drive away 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, supermarkets. Truro is by far the largest town at 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 amazing coast drives with the most amazing beaches, Porth, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and Crantock just to name a few.

Top Tips

As a family who like the home from home feel, Perran Sands offers us the option of eating in or eating out while not feeling obligated to eat on site. There are so many options from camping to beach houses, from glamping to chalets. Over our previous visits, we have stayed in various types of caravan class so there is a budget for everyone from standard to platinum with decking.

  1. Booking early can save you ££££. We often book nine months in advance and save 25%. Sometimes up to 50% depending on the offers available.
  2. In peak season months (July/August) you will often queue for everything from getting into the Live Lounge to accessing the launderette. So it’s best to get there early to avoid disappointment as Summer 2017 we couldn’t even get into the main Live Lounge to get seats at 6.15pm!
  3. If you are interested in activities, book in advance. You will be surprised how quick everything fills up.
  4. There is so much to see and do in the local area, from zoos and waterparks to railways and theme parks (Flambards is A…mazing!)
  5. 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 people.

So there you have it, next time you are considering 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 own comments to add.

If you like what you read, please stick around and check out my other posts, I have posts ranging from careers to family life. I aim to post on Monday’s and Thursday’s! I say aim, as I juggle family life with working Monday to Friday so sometimes the time runs away with me!

Trip Planning 2019

Trip Planning*All opinions are my own, I have not been sponsored, paid or gifted any items in respect of my views and opinions.*

As a family, the one thing we budget for is our annual summer holiday ‘stay-cation’. I made a decision that after having our son that we would have a ‘proper’ holiday and not three nights in a Premier Inn on the side of the A38 (Not that there’s anything wrong with a Premier Inn, love them in fact). Becoming a family of four in 2010, it changed the dynamic of our road trips, hotel stays and general days out. We needed more room, more belongings and more time to explore, suddenly we didn’t have the option to rush around.

Thinking forward to 2019, I have compiled a list of a few family trips I would like this year. If they are booked, I will include who we booked with!

1. Perran Sands, Perranporth, Cornwall – Haven (Granted awarded from Family Fund)

2. Disneyland Paris – Magic Breaks

3. Beach trip – My family live by the sea, so always an excuse for a visit!

4. Theme Park – Considering Alton Towers or Drayton Manor – neither of our last two trips were successful!

1. Perran Sands – Perranporth, Cornwall

Perran SandsAfter much research and having stayed with smaller parks, I wanted somewhere in the North of Cornwall. Near the beach and with excellent facilities. I think ‘Haven’ came up in one of the searches and I found ‘Perran Sands’. It had recently undergone a renovation and had on-site perks that other places didn’t. This year will be our eighth visit. We are however mixing it up this year and our usual ‘summer holiday’ will be in the Spring Bank Holiday half term.

We are still staying at Perran Sands and booked it through Haven and for the last few years we have been awarded a holiday voucher from ‘Family Fund‘. Thomas was diagnosed with a long term/life-limiting disability around the age of three and since he started school we fund some of our annual summer holidays with the help of the grant, like so many families if we didn’t receive it, we just wouldn’t be able to go. I will talk more about Family Fund, but I wanted to dedicate a whole post to them, the grant, the booking process etc.

For the first time this year, we have booked an adapted caravan for seven nights, in a prestige class. We usually pay more for platinum with decking but last year we couldn’t use it and as we wanted two breaks this year, we opted for the cheaper class. There isn’t a lot of difference, I’m just a little bit of a travel snob!

We have always been quite lucky with our caravan choices and on booking made requests that have pretty much been granted but last year we had a few issues (by no fault of Haven) and felt safer knowing that what to expect.

If I’m honest, my husband is the big Cornwall fan. Like most places. We’ve had some good times, some bad but we made the most of it. However, the reason it is earlier than usual is that I have been saving my pennies for ‘Disneyland Paris’ and I cannot wait!

2. Disneyland Paris

It seems like a lifetime ago that I actually booked our trip to Disneyland Paris! We’ve been twice previously, once as a couple in 2004, as a family in 2015 and again this year. I booked it through Magic Breaks back in the beginning of 2018 and were due to go in April this year but due to some family circumstances we had to move it to August (I was gutted). We will however get there! The photograph below was from our last trip! Unfortunately, my son was a little overwhelmed and cried. Poor Woody pretended to cry along too before this photograph was taken!

Meeting WoodyNow the booking!!!

We have booked a three-night stay on site at Hotel Cheyenne, our little boy is obsessed with Toy Story and Woody so we couldn’t not book into the Woody/Cowboy themed hotel. Our original booking, I booked for half-board plus to try out the dining plan but on moving dates, we got free half board essential dining which is still perfect and saved a bit of money too! We also get the extra magic hours which we’ve never used before, so that will be exciting.

As I booked the trip so far in advance the Eurostar wasn’t taking bookings. When they opened the dates, I left it a few months not realising and now they are more expensive but then having moved our trip our daughter moves up an age bracket and becomes a Youth so it’s all relative. But next time I will book the moment they appear!

I am going to write two separate planning posts, one on our trip to Cornwall and then the Disneyland Paris trip. We have a lot to consider with a disabled son, especially with packing, travel and days out. I will also be adding packing posts and reviews! Please follow my blog or twitter for updates!

Anyone else planning any 2019 trips? Maybe you have some tips of your own to share! What are some of your favourite places to visit in the UK?

Thanks for Reading…