Last weekend in my role as an Approved Family Friendly blogger, we spent the weekend as a family at Hendra Holiday Park in Newquay. The reception staff are very friendly and helpful at Hendra, and had no idea I was there to review/assess the site, so I am sure that was the great welcome that all guests get.
They gave us a brilliant welcome guide when we checked in, which has all the information you could possibly need for your stay in it. Entertainment times and locations, discount vouchers for local attractions, a map of the park and of Newquay, telephone numbers and locations of hospitals and dentists, and much more.
I was especially impressed that Hendra care about seaside safety, and have included in their welcome book a guide to the flag system on beaches, to let people know what they mean and to stay safe by following the rules. Hendra even has their own television channel in the vans, to keep you properly up to date on everything that is on around the park.
This was our ‘home’ for the weekend…
As a teenager I used to work for a company that ran various shops on different holiday parks in the Newquay area, so I have worked on a lot of campsites. Hendra was even one of these sites for a short while, more years ago than I care to count! So it was odd at first to be back as so much was different.
Hendra holiday park is a ridiculously well looked after site, everything is clean, the grounds are looked after and our caravan was spotless. We had a 3 bedroom Gwithian caravan, although the boys decided they wanted to share. The same boys who were moaning not that long ago about not having their own bedrooms.
The caravan had everything you could need for a family holiday in it, including a blu-ray player, huge tv and a second one in our room, kitchen utensils, plenty of wardrobe space, plus loads more and even better two toilets. I would love to have the room to be able to fit a second bathroom in at home as it would save a lot of arguments.
Even the bathrooms were spotless, and the shower considering it was a mixer one was actually really powerful.
If you were staying at Hendra with small children or babies, they have an extensive list of items for hire to save you lugging a lot of stuff with you, or to save you buying a travel cot just for one holiday.
On our first night we ate in Mario’s Pizzeria, but having Harley with us who hates pizza we had been planning to get takeaway pizza and then pop to the chip shop takeaway that was next door to feed him. We didn’t have to though, as the friendly staff in Mario’s just pop next door for you and add it to your order. We ate in, which was much nicer.
By the way they don’t sell hybrid pizzas, I actually ordered a cheesy garlic bread for myself then stole a bit of Si’s pizza as well. The food was really tasty and arrived extremely quickly, which is always a bonus when dining with children of any age.
On the first night we checked out the entertainment, which a lot of younger children seemed to be loving. We enjoyed a couple of drinks, but didn’t stay as we were all worn out and although the entertainment seemed great with lots of younger children dancing, my two are a little too ‘cool’ for dancing these days. There was some more grown up entertainment starting later on, but we were after more of a relaxing break anyway.
This is the great thing about places like Hendra, you can pick and choose what you want to do and since the caravans aren’t right next to all the noise from the entertainment, you can choose to enjoy it or not. Our van was only a short walk from the centre of the park and we had a great nights sleep once we were back and settled in.
On the Saturday it was Fin’s 11th birthday, which I still find a little mad as it’s gone too fast! He ripped all his presents open first thing and then played football outside the van with his brother whilst I got all the swimming stuff ready.
Then we went swimming and the place we went swimming in was Hendra’s indoor pool, which is the best pool I have been to in Cornwall!
The indoor swimming pool has flumes, a rapids area, a toddler area with a toddler slide, a giant tap and more. The boys loved it, although the red flume was a lot faster than we thought! Hendra holiday park even has an outdoor pool that is heated, so despite it not being a boiling hot day whilst we were there, there were plenty of people enjoying the outdoor pool.
We went in to Newquay for a while on Fin’s birthday for lunch and a mooch around, although Fin’s birthday money didn’t get spent due to the lack of a Game store. There was plenty to do when we came back though, whilst at Hendra the boys loved playing in the playgrounds there and on the climbing wall.
They also enjoyed the 2p machines in the main amusement arcade and the one that was attached to one of the restaurants. There was a skateboard and scooter park for older children, so I did get told off for not packing their scooters.
We ate at The Venue on our second and last night, where Si had a huge burger and I had the best lasagne I have had in years. The kids meals were of a decent size as well and there was plenty of choice. Because Hendra are so child friendly, there are children’s options for food and drink everywhere which makes things easier.
Instead of going to the entertainment upstairs that night, we settled ourselves down in a quieter spot downstairs where Si and I had a few drinks (I may have struggled with the caravan steps on the way ‘home’) and sat and just talked.
No screens, no children – we didn’t abandon them, they just made some friends and went over to the playground with them and popped back to check in occasionally, or in Fin’s case have his finger prick blood tests done and be given lots of yummy snacks to keep his blood glucose up.
It was so nice to just relax and chat to Si, I am very guilty of neglecting him because of this blog. This week I’ve been awful with it as well, as I had so much to catch up on. However I am pretty much up to date so note to self make more of an effort, as I am lucky to have him and to be with someone who even 5 years on cracks me up.
Hendra is everything you could want from a family holiday, there’s so much to entertain the children that we didn’t get a chance to try everything on our weekend stay, the park has friendly staff, a 24 hour security and housekeeping number for any problems which I found reassuring, amazing swimming pools and food of such a standard that I need to embark on yet another diet!
There was even a Saltrock clothing store on site, which we couldn’t resist, and a mini supermarket with most things you could think of wanting to buy including fresh bread and pasties, plus a Morrisons really close by. There was a large soft play area for the under sixes and so much more.
I would highly recommend Hendra as a family holiday location and would like to thank them and Approved Family Friendly for a lovely stay.