Theres no doubt about it, camping is a fantastic option for those families on a budget, who want to get away during the school holidays. Camping wasn’t my first choice, but it was our realistic choice financially this summer. So we were brave, and at the last minute booked a week camping at Mother Iveys Bay Holiday park in Cornwall. I rarely look anywhere else but Cornwall for a family staycation. Those who read my blog will know I’m a big fan of Cornwall! To add to the excitement our best friends and their kids decided to book with us!
I’ve stayed at Mother Iveys Bay Holiday Park before, pre kids, with the hubby in one of their lovely caravans. In fact, we visited a few times pre kids, and loved every visit. I would say the cost of hiring a caravan is slightly more expensive than other parks, but personally I feel it’s worth it, as it’s set in such a beautiful place. The price of a caravan was slightly out of budget for us this summer, but we’re definitely planning on returning and staying in one of their caravans soon.
We booked our holiday on line via the website www.motheriveysbay.com with no probs. we booked a camping pitch in ‘The Meadows’ for 7 nights. You can choose different pitches, with or without electric/water hook up, but the price obviously goes up if you choose a pitch with electric and/or water. You can also choose to just turn up and pitch up wherever is free and pay on arrival. We chose to pre-book a pitch on the perimeter of the field near to the toilets and showers, without electric or water. We pre-booked to ensure we could be close to our friends. The cost for the week was £234. We also paid and extra £40 to park a second vehicle (will explain why later!).
Mother Ivey’s Bay is about 10 minutes from well known Padstow on the north coast of Cornwall. The holiday park is set right by the sea with its very own private beach. A lot of the caravans have sea views and ‘The Meadows’ where we camped had a lovely view across to the sea. We travelled by car from home, which was about an hour and 20 minutes, so not too long, which was great for the kids.
We decided to take two vehicles as we couldn’t fit all the camping gear in to the car! So we paid extra and took the hubby’s van too. Of course that meant we could take as much as we wanted! A good thing and not such good thing! Blimey, we had so much stuff!
The kids were amazing on the journey down. My daughter slept the whole way (whoop) and my son watched a DVD on his in car DVD player (one of the best purchases ever). So the journey was quiet for me! Hubby had gone on ahead in the van with all the camping gear. On arrival (following the traffic stand still at the entrance – but we will skip over that!) it was just as I remembered, but busier – it was our first trip there in high season. The place had hardly changed, it still looked in great nick, neatly cut grass, flowers in amongst the walls, clean looking caravans and friendly staff. Despite my hubby leaving before us he pulled in to the car park at Reception just after us, so we all went in to Reception together. We were met by happy and friendly staff who instructed us on how to get to our camping pitch.
We arrived at our pitch in ‘The Meadows’ to see our friends in the next door pitch with their tent half up and kids running around. It was so lovely to see them and all the kids were super excited. Our pitch was right by the shower and toilet blocks, bar one pitch in between. Perfect for the kids needing those last minute wee’s but not too close, so as to avoid any unwelcomed smells! The view was amazing, you could see the sea from our pitch (although the tent entrance faced side on). It really is beautiful there, perfectly positioned.
Once the tent was up (less hassle than I was expecting) we enjoyed exploring the site and familiarised ourselves with where to wash up, etc. and then we took the short walk to the beach (about 5 mins) and the kids enjoyed running in and out of the sea as the waves chased them – such a highlight for me.
Unfortunately on our first night, my son was sick in the night (literally) which was a bit of a low point and I felt so bad for him being ill on holiday. This introduced me to the on site launderette, which was great – lovely and clean throughout, so I didn’t mind spending an hour or so in there! Poor boy spent the next day asleep under the parasol on the beach – one out of the two days spent on the beach – such a shame for him.
The weather could not have been any more perfect those first two days, and we spent every moment on the beach (other than the visit to the launderette of course!). The first day we spent on Mother Ivy’s own private beach and it was as lovely as I remembered, a beautiful golden sanded cove. The second day we walked round the coastal path to one of the smaller quieter coves, which are so pretty and worth the walk. It was lovely waking up early on those sunny mornings and watching the sun come up with a mug of warm coffee and a blanket round your shoulders. Perfect.
I tell you something, I’ve never spent so much time outdoors, as I did camping. If the weathers kind, you are literally outside from the minute you get up to the minute you go to bed. No telly, no wifi, just the outdoors and the company. I loved it.
On the third day, unfortunately the weather changed and it rained (a lot). Our spirits weren’t dampened though and we went in to Padstow for a potter and some lunch (love that place). We went to the lovely ‘Cornish Arms’ for dinner on the way home and sat outside during a break in the weather.
After a while you get in to a bit of a camping routine. Get up (early), put on Uggs, walk to toilet block, go for a wee, put the gas stove on, make coffee, put the kids Wellies on, make kids breakfast, get dressed (a shower if you can manage the effort), walk to the washing up block to do the dishes, etc. For some reason it took us forever to get ready to go out in the mornings! I think it was the logistics of everything. I also got used to not having a shower every day and not having cleanly shaven legs! You can’t worry about those things when you camp!
After the third day of persistent rain, camping wasn’t fun anymore and we decided to call it a day and go home early. I think this is when some more on site facilities would have been useful, particularly for campers, like a bar/restaurant to keep warm or a swimming pool to entertain the kids – although you can swim in the sea in the rain as your wet anyhow! But what makes Mother Ivys Bay special in part, is the fact that it doesn’t have these facilities – it’s just you and the beautiful setting.
Its a shame that the weather put a slight dampener on our trip (excuse the pun) but it didn’t put me off camping and it certainly didn’t ruin my experience of Mother Ivys. Mother Ivys is one of those hidden gems and a beautiful place to stay. We’ve already tried to rebook but unfortunately their caravans are all full in half term (couldn’t quite face camping in late October!).
Mother Iveys Bay is as beautiful as I remember and I’m so pleased we returned. It’s a perfect place for families looking for somewhere a bit quieter. The fact that it is set right on its own private beach is a big bonus. I wouldn’t recommend it for families who prefer somewhere a bit more lively with on site entertainment (as there is none – other than nature itself) and they have a rule about there being quiet between the hours of 11pm and 6am (they have a guy walk round at 11am to check!). I actually liked this rule, it made it a bit more civilised and great for young kids needing a decent nights sleep (and adults!).
We will definitely be returning, maybe camping, maybe in a caravan, and I’m looking forward to it already.
Please visit the Mother Ivey’s Bay website here
Please also see my other post about our camping trip ‘My Top 10 Tips for camping’
Please not this is not a sponsored post.