Summer Holiday 2012 Hendra Holiday Park Newquay Thursday 21st June to Sunday 1st July 2012
Our normal reviews are generally for weekends away, breaks of 2 nights, occasionally extended to 3 or 4 nights if taken over a bank holiday weekend.
These reviews are relatively easy to write with the only major difficulty being stopping them from becoming too long.
This holiday was a 10 day break and I was very conscious that a full report of each days events would become a little laborious for you the reader so I have decided instead to summarise as much of the holiday as possible.
The Journey Down
We originally intended to leave home after work at about 5pm, travel beyond Avonmouth and possibly get to a motorway service for between 10 and 11 pm. The plan was to spend the evening in motorway service and travel onto Newquay the following morning.
In reality Polly's exam finished at 10.30am and we managed to get away from work at 11am and left home at 12.00.
I set the cruise control to 55mph, by far the lowest top speed for any of the many journeys to Cornwall and ironically had the fastest journey down ever. We had no hold ups whats so ever, not even around Avonmouth which we reached by 4.00pm. We continued to Taunton Deane services, which had been one of our options for an overnight stop and arrived there by 5pm. We stopped for nearly 2 hours while we had something to eat and contemplated whether or not to stop there for the evening. It was too light, too early and too boring (made worse by no TV signal) so we decided to travel onto Exeter Services, the end of the motorway and last services.
Again we arrived there in good time. After the briefest of looks around we very quickly decided we didn't like Exeter Services, it didn't have a good feel and we had no intention sleeping in such a place.
I rang the Camping & Caravan Club THS(Temporary holiday Site) stewards and ask if it would be okay to arrive that evening at about 10pm. Not a problem at all was the response and again after making good time we arrived on site at 9.30pm.
We arrived at about 9.30pm. Travelling time 7 ¼ hrs, Rest Time 2 ¼ hr, Total Journey Time 9 ½ hrs
We have stopped in a static caravan on the Hendra Holiday Park on a couple of occasions and liked it so when we saw that the Camping & Caravan Club had been allocated part of the site as a THS over the period we wanted to be away it was ideal.
Stopping on the THS was no different to stopping with Hendra direct, same pitches, same electric hook up, same toilet and showers and use of all site facilities. The only difference been was the cost, for me H and Polly to stop through Hendra the cost would have been £28.50 per night, through the C&CC on the THS it was £13.00 per night per unit with electric regardless of how many people or pets were in the unit. A huge saving of £15.50 per night for us but for a larger family and for those with a dogs which through Hendra are charged £4.50 per night an even greater saving.
The Hire Car
With the money we had saved through the C&CC we had decided to look into the possibility of hiring a car for a week and in hindsight, given the weather we had, this was to prove an excellent decision. If it was just going to be me and H then a car wouldn't have been necessary but with a sixteen year old recovering motorhomerphobe to keep entertained it was to prove invaluable.
Through Cornwall Car Hire we got a deal which worked out at just £17.00 per day for what was described as an older car with a 1.4 engine. Because it was not a 2012 registered car any insurance excess would cost us just £200 as opposed to £500.
We made the booking and arranged for the car to be delivered to Hendra at 12 noon on the first Saturday and it was to be collected at he same time one week later.
The car delivered was an emerald green Citreon C3 on a 03 plate, it was covered in small dents, the front passenger door lock was missing and there were a couple of cigarette burns in the rear upholstery.
The chap that delivered it explained that we did not need to note any of the dents and that other than a major bump we had no need to worry where as if we'd got a newer car then we would be responsible for any small carpark door type dents and a £500 excess. The passenger door lock missing didn't stop the central locking working and for 17 quid a day it was well worth it.
During the week we did 450 miles and visited 10 locations in Emma Emeroid, as she became affectionally known due of her colour and on account of, after driving Myrtle, you got the feeling your bum was only millimeters from the tarmac.
On the Saturday the car was to be returned the sun was shining and we so wanted to take the opportunity to spend some time on the beach, only our second visit of the week to the beach, but we didn't fancy taking the bodyboards on the bus. We made a quick phone call to Cornwall Car hire to see if the car was available for one more day and to see how much it would be. The car was available and the cost was just another 17 quid, bargain.
Everybody in the C & CC THS area were very friendly.
There were 2 caravans at the entrance to our field that were occupied by the 2 couples that were stewarding for the period of the THS. These were Sandra and Peter and Janet and Ed. Peter seemed to be the alpha male of the stewards and took his roll seriously. A handsome chap approaching the autumn of life Peter spent most of the time in nothing more than shorts and sandals, topless usually being the order of the day. Peter was bronzed rotund chap with very unproportionally thin legs.
On the day we took delivery of Emma Emeroid and parked her on our pitch we had a visit from Peter within just a few minutes because he'd seen a strange car arrive onto the THS. This kind of personal security and assurance is just amazing and a big plus and a credit to the people that give their time to organise these things.
There were a few families like ours with post school teenagers and a few families with pre school children but as this was still school term time there weren't many school age children.
The majority of the units on site were occupied by retired couples and a group of campers I hadn't realised existed. These were people who spent most of the summer on the road moving from one rally or THS to another and who could blame them, what a life they were living and looking very well on it indeed.
Many were away for 3 months at a time and one friendly couple we spoke to from Yorkshire were away for June, July and August and only returning home in September for their grandsons 21st birthday.
A lovely couple opposite us were George and his wife from Northampton. George was 78 and referred to by all his grandchildren, some of which visited at the weekend, as the boss. George put many younger people to shame as he made full use of the swimming pool and went up and down all the fumes with his grandkids. We spoke to Mrs George a lot to but due to Georges strong Northamptonshire accent we never really caught her Christian name but know there surname was Lee, I think.
Like I said earlier George had a very strong accent and not every word could be understood and I had to operate a satalite style pause before replying while I worked out the jist of what he'd said before I replied.
On the first day we were there George came over to purely make conversion and break the ice I think and mentioned how few seagulls there seemed to be about compared to other years.
The following day George had us in stitches as he came over and uttered a few words, I initially picked up on the words "today, wife, out, seagull, blob, dan-her," I soon worked out that a seagull had blobbed all down Mrs George while out in Newquay earlier in the day!
The Journey Home
I spoke to Edna and paid our bill of £130 for 10 nights the evening before we were due to leave and asked what time we needed to vacate our pitch the following day. Anytime around 1 o’clockish would be ok I was told which was another huge bonus given that with Hendra's depature was by 10am.
By the time we'd refuelled at the local Morrisson's it was 1.30pm by the time we left Newquay.
We had one hold up on the way home on the M5 between junctions 8 and 7 and were held up for about an hour.
By the time we reached the first services on the M42, the first after our hold up, we were well ready for a stop and stayed there for about an hour.
We arrived home at about 10.30pm. Travelling time 8hrs, Rest Time 1hr, Total Journey Time 9hrs.
Thursday 21st June: Travel and arrive site 21.30, got stuck in mud. Visit to site arcade.
Friday: Move Myrtle to new pitch, Cadac cooked full English, stay on site and walk to Morrison's. Visit to site arcade.
Saturday: Cadac full English, Take delivery of the hire car (Emma Emeroid), visit Newquay, 2 x Pasties(1 x savoury 1 x sweet), Visit to site arcade. Pizzas from Mario's for supper.
Sunday: Cadac full English, Visit Falmouth and St. Mawes. 1 x Pasty 1 x Cream Tea,
Visit to site arcade.
Monday: Visit Newquay, ate out at the Fort, Visit to site arcade.
Tuesday: Tried to cook pancakes on the cadac, turned out a cross between pancakes and naan bread (Pan Naans) visited Boscastle, Tingtagel and Port Isaacs, 1 x Pasty 1 x Cream Tea, 1 x BBQ, Visit to site arcade.
Wednesday: Visit to Padstow, 1 x Pasty, 1 x reunion with old school friend, Visit to site arcade.
Thursday: Croissants for breakfast, Short visit to the beach, Visit to Newquay and meal out at The Fort, Visit to St. Ives, Visit to site arcade.
Friday: Croissants for breakfast, Visit to Lands End, BBQ, Visit to site arcade.
Saturday: Visit to the beach, visit Newquay, 2 x Pasties, Visit to site arcade.
Sunday 1st July: Cadac cooked full English, Visit to site arcade to collect prizes, Return Emma Emeroid (Hire Car), depart 13.30, 1 x Pasty, Arrive home 10.30PM
Nights Away: 10
Days with rain: 8
Days with sunshine/hot weather: 9
Days wearing long trousers/jeans : 0
Days wearing shorts: 10
Days with a hire car: 8
Miles Travel in the hire car: 450
Visits to the beach: 2
Getting stuck in the mud: 1
General Weather: Changeable
Cornish Patsies consumed: 8 (6 x Savoury 2 x Desert)
Cream Teas Consumed : 3
Cooked Breakfasts on the Cadac: 4 ( 3 x full English 1 x Pan Naans)
Old school friends met: 1
St. Mawes: 1
Port Isaac (home to the Doc Martin TV series): 1
St. Ives: 1
Lands End: 1
Sennen Cove: 1
Prizes Won In The Arcade:
2 Penny Shove Machines:
Plastic Cars: 14
Key Rings: 27
Plastic Pretend Compasses: 1
Chewy Sweets: 1
Sponge Pants Square Bob Pencil Sharpener: 1
Plastic Treasure Chest: 1
Rubber with a Treasure Chest On It.
Rank Ticket Token Machines:
Remote Control Helicopters: 1
Ceramic VW Camper Money Boxes: 1
Hubba Chubba Giant Lollies: 2
Hello Kitty Mugs: 1
Money Spent In Arcade: I Daren't Think!