Well, the summer holidays are almost over, 1 day left before my little boy Zac goes into year 2. He has missed his friends but is not in any rush to go back. My daughter Skye starts her new school this Thursday, it's a special school that helps children that struggle to attend a mainstream school due to certain circumstances. If anyone has been following my stories, Skye has spent the last two years in and out of the hospital or stuck in bed ill with very severe Crohn's disease. It's been tough on her as she's missed a very important part of her life and has become very lonely and all her old friends very rarely keep in touch. I hope that this new school will help her to make new friends and that she will be able to be a teenager again.
How has your summer holidays been with your children? I usually find that It's far too long to occupy them and I wish it wasn't so long. This year, however, I was grateful as I spent the first 3 and a half weeks in another city hospital with my daughter, separated from my little boy after I had promised lots of days out together. He coped amazingly and didn't moan and just got on with it. We did manage to enjoy the last 3 weeks of the summer holidays together and our week in Cornwall was lovely.
Boscastle is a village and fishing port on the north coast of Cornwall, England, UK. We visited Boscastle in the early evening and we loved the picturesque harbour. The long narrow valley runs down to a steep and rocky entrance to the raging sea beyond. I found the perfect spot on the rocks to meditate overlooking the sea with the sun going down and the crescent moon shimmering over the ruins. As you can imagine though there was no time for that and Zac and Skye wanted to continue to explore. The village is located in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the medieval harbour felt full of magic and history, especially as we visited at sunset. There is a museum of Witchcraft to visit to add to the magic, although we didn't visit this as it looked tiny and seemed overpriced.
My children loved this holiday experience and I'm so glad that we visited Cornwall. I had visited a few times as a child and have wanted to go back for ages. We haven't wanted to risk going on holiday in England due to rubbish British weather and usually go abroad. This year we definitely didn't want to risk being too far away from home in case my daughter got ill again so it was the perfect time to try it. We will definitely be visiting again but will stay in a different part so we can explore other areas.
The beaches in our area were so pretty with constant waves they were perfect for surfing. I loved teaching my little man to bodyboard, we had so much fun catching the waves and he soon learned how to feel the wave and catch the break. I had experienced bodyboarding from my yearly childhood holidays in Angelsea Wales and it was lovely to share his first experience with him. My daughter Skye had experienced bodyboarding before when we were in Wales she joined in for a while but it made her stoma a bit sore. She was quite happy however to swim off with her cousin, also 14 and check out the Cornish surfer boys...
We visited a few tourist spots during our week. My favourite was Saint Nectan's Glen which was nestled in an area of woodland in Trethevy near Tintagel. We all thoroughly enjoyed the mile walk picking blackberries along the way whilst admiring the natural beauty along the Trevillet River. Skye and Zac have never visited a waterfall before and they were so excited.
It was quite a long walk for my daughter Skye, and I was a bit worried that it might be too much. I was, of course, told off by her for being so worried, she really wanted to do the walk so I agreed and said we would just take our time. She hasn't been able to exercise at all for the last 2 years and it had only been 4 weeks since her operation. She found the up and downhill parts hard but pushed on through and enjoyed being able to join in with everyone else. I was very proud of her and enjoyed her achievement.
We had coffee and cake and a rest at the restaurant where you pay to enter the waterfall. When we had purchased our tickets they offered us the choice to borrow some welly boots. We were advised to wear them as it was very muddy and wet on the walk down to St Nectan's Kieve. Zac thought this was brilliant and couldn't wait to wear the boots, we all joined in and wore them too.
The steps were quite slippy and we had to be careful on the way down but it was worth the risk to see the spectacular sixty-foot waterfall through a hole in the rocks. The site is believed to be "one of the UK's most spiritual sites, it certainly felt very spiritual and I would have loved to had time to meditate here. Zac and Skye, however, wouldn't have wanted me to do that, they get embarrassed by my ways and are always calling me a crazy hippie.
The trees had dream catchers, crystals, and ribbons tied to them. The rock walk by the waterfall had people's memories and wishes wrote on them, it was all very magical. There was a money tree that Zac found amazing and he left a penny in the tree and made a wish. We all sat and took in the peaceful feel and natural beauty while Zac splashed around in his wellies and built rock towers. This day was truly wonderful, it was so lovely to see Zac and Skye enjoy the natural beauties of life. We have been to Florida for the last 4 years, I was worried that Cornwall would seem dull to them. They enjoyed this just as much!
Another beautiful place we visited was Tintagel Castle a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island adjacent to the village of Tintagel, North Cornwall. It subsequently saw settlement during the Early Medieval period, when it was probably one of the seasonal residences of the regional king of Dumnonia. A castle was built on the site by Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall in the 13th century, during the Later Medieval period. It later fell into disrepair and ruin.
The castle is also associated with legends related to King Arthur and Merlin. This made the walk so much fun for my son as like most children he loves a good story to add to the adventure. The walk was very dangerous and not advisable for people who are scared of heights. My sister in law and her daughter just couldn't do the step steps, they were too scared they would slip and they don't like heights. We desperately wanted to do it and we very carefully climbed the steep steps. It was tough but not as bad as it had looked I didn't take my eyes of Zac and Skye and made them hold our hands. Skye did amazingly well, we walked and climbed well over 2 miles this day and Zac didn't moan about walking once. The views were breathtaking and Zac kept saying how he wants to explore everywhere in the world as it's so much fun. We finished our day off with a lovely meal in The King Arthur's Arms in Tintagel, the service and food here was great.
Our favourite beach in the area of Cornwall we were close to was Trebarwith Strand. The 800m of sandy beach is contained by sweeping cliffs and there are natural caves that can be found at low tide. The sandy beach becomes completely covered at high tide and can only be accessed over rocks. We hadn't thought of the tide times when we first arrived and had to wait all morning till we could get on the beach. So a bit of advise while visiting the Beaches in Cornwall, check tide times!
We had a little look around the tiny village of Treknow that leads down to Trevarwith Strand to pass time as we had paid to park our car for the day. Lots of other people had done the same and the small village on Trebarwith Strand was filling up with people and was becoming very crowded. Whilst we were waiting we all needed to use the toilet, this was our first experience of Cornish toilets and it was very grim. The toilets were absolutely disgusting charging 20p to use them and they were certainly not kept clean. Even the disabled toilets were charging 20p and my daughter's special toilet key wouldn't work. This was a problem at all the places we visited I wish the UK would sort out the UK toilets, what must tourists think? We had to go and pay for coffee and cake in a little cafe so we could all use the toilet in there instead. Is very annoying as we had paid £6 to park all day and the toilets should have been covered by this amount.
Once I'd got over my cross moment and had a coffee a big piece of extremely high-calorie cake we made our way onto the beach. At first, we all huddled together on the tiny bit of sand that we could find that was being uncovered as the tide was going out. This was a bit too close for comfort to all the other people, but it didn't take long before more sand was uncovered and everyone found their little part of the beach. It was exciting watching the sea go out and discovering more of the beach. The waves were constant and not too fierce so it was perfect for bodyboarding. We explored the caves and rock pools and the sand was lovely for building sandcastles and dams.
On our last full day, we decided to visit The Eden Project near St Austell as my sister in law had wanted to visit. It was an hour and 15 mins from our cottage so it was the furthest we had travelled all week. The Eden Project complex is dominated by two huge enclosures consisting of adjoining domes that house thousands of plant species and each enclosure emulates a natural biome. The biomes consist of hundreds of hexagonal and pentagonal, inflated, plastic cells supported by steel frames. The largest of the two biomes simulates a Rainforest environment and the second, a Mediterranean environment. The attraction also has an outside botanical garden which is home to many plants and wildlife native to Cornwall and the UK in general; it also has many plants that provide an important and interesting backstory, for example, those with a prehistoric heritage.
If you like plants then you'll love it, but I would rather visit places and see them in their true environments. Some of the information was very interesting but nothing I hadn't already read about. Zac and Skye were brilliant and didn't moan once, but when I admitted to finding it all a bit boring they laughed and said they hadn't wanted to sound ungrateful as they knew it had cost us. I was so proud of them both for making such an effort and not complaining.
Don't get me wrong it wasn't terrible, It's very clever what's been done but it just wasn't for me. When we had all admitted to our boredom we couldn't wait to leave and get by the sea. We left early afternoon and found a beautiful beach near St Austell and enjoyed our last swim in the Cornish sea.
We will definitely be visiting Cornwall again!
What did you do this summer? I would love to hear your holiday experiences. Pop a comment below or leave a link to your holiday post so I can have a read.