. As a family, we are pros at packing for a self-catering caravan holiday in the UK. There are essentials, luxuries and things you just can afford to leave behind. Below is our essential checklist for your self-catering caravan trip.
Looking for a quiet, secluded location with the beach on your doorstep without the hustle and bustle of some of the larger resorts. Millendreath Beach Resort, near Looe in the South East of Cornwall would be perfect. Here is our review.
Many of us are desperate to get back to travelling, to exploring familiar and new surroundings, but no one could have predicted that we would start this decade with travel restrictions and a global pandemic. So, I thought I’d share with you 8 of the most inspiring travel trends in 2021!
Our review of our Haven hideaway to Perran Sands Holiday Park in Cornwall including what to expect for the rest of 2020.
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 with easy reach of major 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.
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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 its own 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, its a killer!
One of the reasons we return to Perran Sands year after year is the amazing sea views. You really can’t fault the location to the local beaches, with Perranporth beach being just a short ride away. If you want more reviews the best place to check them out is Tripadvisor, overall it has a great score, and we’ve only ever had issues that were not a directly linked to Haven or the park.
Check-In & Finding Our Way Around
Check is always smooth. Like last year, check-in was inside the Dune’s Bar. An enthusiastic and friendly team member greeted us. 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 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 against 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 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 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 Johns 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.
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 cannot 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.
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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 do offer activity bundle passes 12 activities for £50 and 24 activities for £100. We’ve personally never used them, so I can’t comment, but they appear popular with other visitors and include archery and aqua gliders.
*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 are open to everyone from 9.30 am, and 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 large indoor 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 central 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 places 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 excellent coastal drives with the most amazing beaches, Porth, Mawgan Porth, Watergate Bay and Crantock, to name a few.
As a family who like a home from home, 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.
- 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 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 6.15 pm!
- If you are interested in activities, book in advance, you will be surprised how quick everything fills up.
- 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!)
- 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? Perhaps you are staying this year? Let me know if you have your comments to add.
Haven Perran Sands Holiday Park, Perranporth, Cornwall, TR6 0AQ