Earlier this year, the Daily Mail published the findings of a study they commissioned which looked at priorities for an ideal family holiday. More than half surveyed said they find it stressful trying to find somewhere that is suitable for the whole family with worries about whether the accommodation and activities available are right for children. Over 80% specifically said that making sure a destination or resort is child-friendly is their main priority when booking a holiday.
Well, here’s how Cornwall – and Broomhill Manor, measures up against the ideal family holiday criteria:
1. Pretty beaches.
Bude and the surrounding area has a great selection of wonderful sandy beaches with a dramatic coastline from Sandy Mouth and Duckpool in the north, to Widemouth and Black Rock in the south. Part of the North Cornwall Coastal path, the closest beaches adjacent to Bude town are Summerleaze, with its picturesque fishing harbour and natural sea pool and Crooklets – famous for its Surf Life Saving Club, and located at the top of the town. At low tide, you can walk along the sand from one to the other and admire the spectacular coastline.
No flight needed here (for UK residents!)– just pack up the car and go! Ideal when travelling with families and young children. The journey time from the Reading / Guildford area is 3 ½ hours (in ideal traffic conditions) and most guests arrive here within 5 hours door to door – no 2-3 hour check in times, no making sure you stay within your luggage allowance and at least if there’s a fractious child within earshot, you know it’s your own!!
Swimming pools are a great hit with children and adults alike – in fact almost 1 in 3 says it is an essential requirement. At Broomhill Manor we have a tropically heated indoor pool which is popular all year round – especially with parents of younger children getting used to the water and learning to swim. And in the main summer months, we also have a heated outdoor pool with surrounding sunbathing area – a real sun-trap which certainly got lots of use in 2014!
And of course at Summerleaze beach is Bude Sea Pool which (as its name suggests!), is filled from the sea and is an excellent facility to enjoy sea swimming but in a more controlled environment.
Most people stay at Broomhill Manor for the safe and relaxing environment where kids can get some freedom to explore the grounds and have fun. There is a bar on site and we often run family quiz nights in the summer months. Children tend to soon meet others and make their own entertainment – cricket, football or rounders on the lawn, hide and seek around the play areas, bouncing on the trampoline and frequent use of the indoor games and play rooms! And meanwhile, mum and dad can relax around their BBQ or wallow in the hot-tub – a bit of well-earned peace and quiet!
We moved to North Cornwall over eight years ago when our own children were young, to give them the life style that Cornwall and Broomhill Manor offers and we know what fun children have here, playing in the grounds, riding the horses and meeting new friends! In fact our 12 year old son is particularly popular with visitors when it comes to ball games on the lawn! We provide free use of any baby and toddler equipment you need including cots, high chairs, bed bars, socket covers, blackout blinds, booster seats, baby baths, baby monitors, potties, toilet steps, changing mats….. the list is almost endless! Broomhill Manor is specifically aimed at providing family holidays and giving the whole family a great holiday experience. It usually applies that if the children are happy, you will be happy too!
Bude is a great destination for children of all ages with many activities, suitable for junior/ teenage children
Or if you fancy a day not doing much at all, there are lots of on-site facilities where children can swim (indoor and outdoor pools), horse ride, trampoline, play tennis, pool, table football, table tennis, have an archery lesson and generally let themselves go in the grounds. Particularly for toddlers there is a sandpit and an under 6’s playroom with lots of early learning toys.
There are organised clubs in Bude and at the beach for sports tuition including surfing, kayaking, abseiling, tennis, mountain boarding and each summer, the RNLI organises Swim Safe in the Sea Pool to enable children to develop safety awareness in the sea and on the beaches. Although there are currently no formal Kid’s Club at Broomhill Manor, we are in the process of setting up a Pony Club and will keep you posted on that. Broomhill Manor’s village-like atmosphere and extensive guest facilities means that guests’ children make friends quickly and form groups with children of similar ages and interests. Many guests who visit, say that Broomhill Manor affords the most freedom their children get all year to develop some independence!
8. Play areas
Bude has many recreational areas including traditional play parks, pitch and put and the skate board park at Crooklets. On site at Broomhill Manor are many play areas suitable for children of all ages from toddlers, through teens and to adults, who are also tempted to have a go on the trampoline! There are swings, slides, climbing areas, play houses, a tennis court and a sand pit – not to mention the huge front lawn – perfect for team ball games
Cornwall is well served by specialist local food producers who provide a wide range of delicious foods using home reared or locally sourced ingredients. There is a local farmers market from May to September and generally a high local interest in excellent quality food – so much so that the very first Bude for Food Festival was an amazing success and is now an annual festival! Besides the range of specialist local food shops, there are also some great restaurants serving a variety of international and local cuisine. On site at Broomhill Manor, we offer an in-cottage dining service with home-cooked meals individually prepared for you by a local chef and delivered directly to your cottage. We can vouch that they are delicious!
10. Shallow sea
The beaches at Bude have wide expanses of sand which slope gently to the shoreline with clean, shallow water suitable for swimming. Most of the beaches are RNLI patrolled from May to the end of September, providing safety advice and guidance for parents and children alike and maintaining a watchful eye on holidaymakers to make sure they observe the tides and basic beach safety.
So all in all, I think Bude and Broomhill Manor stack up pretty well against the criteria for an ideal family holiday – and in the recent 2014 Travel Awards, Bude received the Bronze Award for Best UK Coastal Resort, so we are not alone in our view!