Three Toddlers, a Caravan and Cornwall

I must admit, as we sat in the car en route to Cornwall at the start of our recent holiday, I felt a little bit of apprehension. The last time we’d been to Cornwall, almost ten years ago, we’d spent a rather large amount of time hiding away from the inclement weather in a tent on the beach. And this time we had Baby Lighty in tow. And his two little cousins. All to be herded together within a caravan. Was this going to be a recipe for disaster?!

Now I may be sounding like a little bit of a holiday snob right about now, but I can promise you I’m not. I love a staycation, and feel like this country has some stunning places to offer the British holidaymaker. I also spent a large amount of my career working in travel, and as such have travelled the world and stayed in all sorts of places, both plush and less so; not to mention that I spent a lot of weekends in youth hostels and randomly rented apartments during my year abroad in Austria. But I hadn’t holidayed in a caravan since I was a toddler myself, and I just didn’t know what to expect to be honest. And – let’s face it – I’d also never looked after three children under five before, either.

So as we journeyed down towards Land’s End, the soundtrack of The Wiggles firmly embedded in my brain as we played the CD at Baby Lighty’s request yet again, I felt a little bit of trepidation. Was this actually going to feel like a holiday?

We arrived after a long journey, with a stop at the National Trust’s Dyrham Park en route. And I have to say, first impressions of the caravan had me pleasantly surprised. It was relatively modern in décor, and it also had the luxury of a hot tub! It didn’t, however, have the luxury of space, and shock horror for a blogger…it didn’t have Wifi! Still…I had three toddlers to help look after, when would I have the luxury of time for Wifi, anyway?!

And indeed, the toddlers got stuck into caravan life, tucking into their first-night BBQ and jumping in the hot tub, although at first sight of the hot tub, this did elicit the question from Baby Lighty of, “Granga, what doing in puddle?” I guess to a two year old who has never seen a hot tub before, seeing their Grandad sat in a small expanse of water sunk into the ground would look like they were sat in a puddle!
Still, a fully equipped caravan wasn’t enough to allay my fears about the Great British Summertime. Would this be another week sheltering in a tent on the beach? The next day – and our last day of the holiday, too – were proof that sometimes, just sometimes, the British weather can come up trumps. We spent a lovely day on the beach at Carbis Bay, and later on in the week at Sennen Cove. The children had great fun running around, building sandcastles, splashing in the sea and flying kites.

Three toddlers, a caravan and Cornwall

Flying kites!

Three Toddlers, a Caravan and Cornwall

Sennen Cove

We also wanted to do a bit of sightseeing while we were down Cornwall way. It’s a long way to go from our home in Essex, and we wanted to make sure that we saw a bit of the local area. We therefore decided to make use of our National Trust membership and visit St. Michael’s Mount. We walked across the causeway as the tide was out, with the toddlers making sure to splash in the puddles left behind by the low tide, and look on in wonder at the creatures in the rockpools. Once over on the island, Nanny and Grandad Lighty took the children back to the mainland to make use of the playground and have a bite to eat while Mr Lighty and I took the childfree opportunity to visit the ancient castle.

We also managed another National Trust visit on our last day to Trelissik House, and during our return journey we visited Knightshayes. On each and every visit to a beautiful property, we’ve been amazed so far by how much of it our two year old has taken in. Of course, the likes of the children’s treasure trails and play areas will always help with such visits, but it’s lovely to feel like we can do these visits still, visits which were very much a part of Mr and Mrs Lighty’s holiday repertoire pre-Baby Lighty.

Somewhere that Mrs Lighty had wanted to visit for a long time were the Lost Gardens of Heligan. I’d read so much about it back in my travel days, but hadn’t managed an actual visit. And as it turned out, visiting with three toddlers in tow worked pretty well. There’s lots there for the children to see and do, including a farm, children’s play areas, beautiful meadows and woodland for them to explore and, of course, the possibility of finding the famous giant.

Three Toddlers, a Caravan and Cornwall

Exploring the meadows at the Lost Gardens of Heligan.

Obviously, as well as culture and beach days, we had to make time for FUN! We therefore prebooked a day at Flambards theme park. On arrival we were slightly concerned that there wouldn’t be enough for Baby Lighty to do there. But as it turned out, Baby Lighty was just about tall enough to go on a fair amount of rides. He even managed his first log flume and rollercoaster, although Mr Lighty was given strict instructions that if he felt like he was losing the Go-Pro or the child, he was to save the child!!

The children really did have so much fun, and it was lovely to see them enjoying new experiences. Of course, this often made for slighty hyper, over tired toddlers once we were back to the caravan. I’m not ashamed to admit that a couple of times after we’d been out for dinner, we changed Baby Lighty into his pyjamas before the car journey home so that if he was asleep on arrival back at the caravan we could put him straight to bed and Mr Lighty and I could have a little bit of a breather! Three under five in a caravan is hard work; both on site at the caravan park and out and about. I take my hat off to all of you mamas of more than one!

Three toddlers, a caravan and Cornwall

Having lots of fun…

Three toddlers, a caravan and Cornwall

…and making lots of memories!

Cornwall I such a beautiful destination and I feel like we had a good mix of fun and culture. However, I’m not sure I’d do a caravan holiday with that many littles again. Or perhaps it wasn’t the fact of the caravan itself, and more the need for a caravan park with child facilities such as a park or swimming pool on site. Still, from the children’s perspective, they simply had the best time. I loved seeing the holiday experience through their eyes.

But as we drove away from the caravan and from Cornwall, I think Mr Lighty summed it up pretty well. He turned to me as we made the long journey home and said, “I don’t think we’re ready for another child yet, are we?”

No, no, definitely not. After all, where on earth would we put them should we do another caravan holiday?!

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80 thoughts on “Three Toddlers, a Caravan and Cornwall”

  1. I love Cornwall. We may go a bit later this year after the summer hols. There’s so much to do there! We took our little one to the Lost Gardens too and it was fab. I’ve never done a caravan holiday, sounds like a good adventure! #dreamteam

  2. It looks like a fabulous holiday! Im always amazed at the weather in Cornwall…it seems to be always sunny and we have enjoyed lots of amazing breaks down there. We love Sennen! My teenagers love the surfing there and its a great place to go in October too as the sea is still warm. #Dreamteam

  3. What a lovely post and huge respect we could not cope in a caravan with our three boys 7,6 and 18months but I want to do a Cornwall holiday maybe a rented house for us ?? #dreamteam

  4. It sounds and looks like a lovely holiday. Cornwall is beautiful! You are braver than me caravaning with 3 littles though!

    Gorgeous photos and a lovely post.


    1. I definitely agree with you about a caravan park with children’s facilities and wifi, and if we were to do this again, I’d definitely opt for one like you describe. #DreamTeam

  5. This is my kind of holiday! We did a caravan in Cornwall for the first time last year and are heading back again in October. We used to go to Flambards, and lots of the other places you’ve mentioned, as kids so it’s really fun to start taking my little one now!

  6. #dreamteam I say YES to this, all i can see are lovely family memories being made – they call this happiness lovely and you’ve got a perfect caravan recipe for success. Enjoy – plus you are super brave considering another babe!

  7. I love Cornwall and have spent many happy holidays there myself. I do not however, love caravans. I have gone on some lovely caravan holidays but having spent 4 months living in one while in between houses I have sworn never to set foot in one again!! Glad you had a lovely holiday though! #dreamteam

  8. A hot tub and St Michael’s Mount. You can’t ask for a better holiday. I love caravans. As a child that the only type of holiday we went on. We actually had a caravan holiday booked for July but had to cancel due to me being poorly. The kind lady has offered it to us later in the year if I can manage after my surgery in a few weeks. Lovely post. #DreamTeam

  9. I love Flambards! Cornwall has so many lovely places to visit, it makes me sad that i havent been for a year and its only an hour and a half away! Loving your holiday pictures #dreamteam

  10. I love Cornwall, it’s such a beautiful part of the country if the weather is good. I’ve always wanted to visit the lost gardens as well, but haven’t made it there yet. You are brave taking 3 toddlers on a caravan holiday, well done!! #dreamteam

  11. Hi, you can’t beat a holiday in Cornwall. It’s great that you made the most of your NT membership St Michaels Mount is a great place to visit. Oh and you can’t beat a bit of cow watching, Chloe #DreamTeam

  12. Cornwall has such beautiful landscape – I’ve never been myself, so basing this on pictures, but we’re keen to visit one day.

    Three under five sounds like a lot of work at the best of times, much less in the confines of a caravan! All in all, in sounds like you had a lovely time away. #DreamTeam

  13. We really need to do some venturing around the country! I used to go to Cornwall all the time as a child to my Popa’s house in summer and it was great. Holidays are just so expensive aren’t they whether you go abroad or do a staycation! #dreamteam

  14. I’d love to visit Cornwall and your photos are stunning. I think even I could manage a caravan holiday if there was a hot tub involved! You certainly packed a lot in to your time away and it sounds like you all made lots of lovely memories x

  15. When I read the title I though you must be mad!! He he.. we are camping for the first time this weekend! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  16. Ah I love a caravan holiday but then I’ve only ever taken one! ? and parks with pools and kids entertainment are brilliant. Little Man was in the pool everyday in our recent holiday. It’s nice to get away though isn’t it and Cornwall is beautiful. #DreamTeam

  17. Ah I love Cornwall, I lived in Falmouth for the best part of a year doing my post grad. I’m in Norfolk now and it’s just sooooo far for us so we haven’t been back. I’d love to go with my toddler now though. Looks like you all had a fab time, but yep, I’ve never been in a caravan either!! I’m all about the hotel or cottage (with wifi!) now with kids #DreamTeam

  18. We had a fleeting visit to Cornwall a few weeks ago to stay with the in-laws it is a beautiful part of the country but we had LOADS of rain whilst staying. Thanks for linking with #ExplorerKids Sarah

    1. We had loads of rain the first time we went nine years ago, this time round was such a better experience! Thanks for hosting #ExplorerKids!

  19. I love Cornwall (though I haven’t been there for ages – time for a revisit I think) and going in a caravan is just makes it so much more fun! Dyrham Park is absolutely stunning! Shame on the no wifi – but like you said… with kids around you wouldn’t have time anyway. I’ve never been to St. Michael’s Mount before and I really should go and see it one day, I’ve heard so many good things about it. I love the photo of your little man at the meadows at the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It is beautiful! Errr… Flambards theme park – looks scary!! You are so brave! lol! 😉 Thank you for letting us go traveling with you. I enjoy reading that. Hope you like reading on the #ExplorerKids linky too and hope to see you again tomorrow! 🙂 x

  20. Popped back to say thank you for linking for #MyGloriousGardens this month. I didnt say in my previous comments but we live very close to Dyrham Park and you have captured it beautifully in this picture. My round up post will be posted soon. xx

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