This summer will be our third holiday in a row in Cornwall, with one Christmas in between. We make the long trip from the west of the Netherlands to the southwest tip of England with three little boys in the car. Here are ten reasons why.
1. Cornwall is Beautiful
It is probably reason enough that Cornwall is arguably the most beautiful county in England. It has rugged coastlines, perfect sandy beaches, hidden coves, lots of history and so much for the children to do from amusement parks to animal parks and steam trains to walks in the woods. In fact, in a recent poll Cornwall was voted the most family friendly place in the …. WORLD! (LINK: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/article-2607702/Grab-buckets-spades-Cornwall-voted-family-friendly-holiday-destination-world.html)
2. A Parent’s and Child’s Paradise
We discovered a children’s paradise where mama and papa get to chill too. This summer will be our third year at Glynn Barton Cottages (LINK:http://www.glynnbarton.co.uk/). It’s a place where we feel like we have a holiday too, and if you have young children you know that’s a big thing to say.
Glynn Barton is nestled in rolling green hills with the kind of on-site entertainment that my three boys talk about all year round: animal feeding and egg collecting; nature workshops; an indoor games room full of board games, toys and DVDs; a soft play centre; a swimming pool; toddler ride ons; a tennis court; table tennis; a maze and a trampoline.
Because the kids are entertained and happy it gives my husband an annual opportunity to paint his masterpieces and I love the writing time I get there.
Best of all, when the children are sleeping soundly after a hard day playing, mum and dad have a beautiful view and peace and quiet to accompany a well-deserved glass of wine.
3. Speaking English
For three weeks my three Dutch sons are immersed in the English language – like an annual crash course. The vocabulary they pick up on their Cornish holiday is invaluable.
4. British Culinary Delights
My sons sample British culinary delights that they miss out on the rest of the year. I’m talking Cornish cream teas, fish and chips from Rick Steins in Padstow (LINK: http://www.rickstein.com/Steins-Fish-and-Chips.html), crumpets and cheddar cheese.
5. Socialising British Style
The boys get to play and interact with British boys and girls on a daily basis.
6. An English History Lesson
My Dutch family learns about life in Cornwall as it was. Mining was, historically, Cornwall’s lifeline and remnants of the mining industry litter the Cornish landscape.
In 2013 we visited Heartlands (LINK: http://www.heartlandscornwall.com), which was a fabulous day out – entertaining and educative for all five of us! Many more mining sites, such as Poldark tin mine (LINK: http://www.poldark-mine.co.uk), are on our ‘to visit’ list as our boys get older.
7. Cornish Coastline
Cornwall’s coastline is something special. There is something to suit everyone’s tastes but what particularly mesmerises my Dutch family are the rock pools and cliffs – neither of which you see on the Dutch shoreline.
8. The Little Differences
They sit in a car whilst we drive on the left hand side of the road. They notice that there are two separate taps over the bathroom sink (instead of a mixer tap which is more common in Dutch washrooms). They handle coins, which are unfamiliar to them. They experience all the little British differences first hand.
Driving around they see rolling green hills, no matter which direction we go in. The biggest hills they see at home are invariably the speed bumps on the roads around our house. We constantly hear them uttering ‘wow’ about the scenery in Cornwall.
When I was little my family holidayed in Cornwall too so there is a nostalgic element to the holidays I now take in Cornwall with my little Dutch family. I have so many childhood memories from our Cornish holidays and to think years later I visit the same part of England with my own three children is an amazing thought. I know for sure that they too will have fond childhood memories of holidaying in Cornwall.
Bio: Amanda van Mulligen (LINK: amandavanmulligen.com) is a freelance writer. British born, she was whisked off to the Netherlands on a promise of a windmill wedding and now raises three sons with her Dutch husband. She writes about expat life, about living life in a second language and an alien culture, about all things parenting and on the topic of highly sensitive children over on her blog
Expat Life with a Double Buggy (link: http://lifewithadoublebuggy.blogspot.nl).
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/ExpatLifeWithADoubleBuggy