We have just come back from the most FABULOUS little break in Newquay, so I thought I would tell you all about it and all my hacks, tips and advice for making the most of your staycations this summer!
We’ve been to Newquay before, in fact we stayed at exactly the same place just off Fistral Beach called The Esplanade Hotel – and what a hotel it is! We loved our little trip to Cornwall back in 2018 so much that I included it in my book Mummin’ It as the BEST place to stay with your kids and it hasn’t let me down this time round, if anything it’s had a glow up!
The Esplanade Hotel is designed with families in mind, kids are at the forefront of everything the hotel does, as well as making sure that grown ups get to enjoy their break too! Little touches like awesome activity packs when you arrive for each child that include a colour-it back pack, a build a bear teddy to build in your room, diy colour in sunglasses and an activity pack with felt tips make the stay what it is. It doesn’t stop there – buckets and spades in the rooms make it clear that the beach is your next stop – you can even ask for beach towels to take onto the sandy playground so no worries if you forget your own. One of my favourite room touches is the “bar” for kids which contains sachets of hot chocolate, mini marshmallows and sachets of squash for little ones who don’t drink water. There is even child-friendly shampoo and body wash in the bathroom from Child’s Farm, so no worries about packing your own!
Whilst the rooms are truly wonderful and ideal for kids (Toby spent ages sitting watching the surfers out of our bedroom window!) the rest of the hotel seems to have nailed it even more. Free cookies and milk in the reception area around 7pm for bedtime, excellent dining options for kids in the restaurant (where the food is amazing), a swimming pool complete with toddler pool, hot tub and sauna for parents and a 30 person cinema that shows 4 films a day. There is a sports play area, outdoor play area and indoor play area where Toby revealed he’d been taught how to play pool and started teaching Reuben! As if all of this doesn’t make it sound like a dream location, there is a surf shop next door that offers surfing lessons for all ages and abilities right down on the beach, directly in front of the hotel. Fistral beach is one of the UK’s best rated beaches, and it’s so easy to see why – the rockpooling, the surfing, the pale sand and beautiful blue waters. It was absolute heaven for my little explorers.
On our first day we had a few hours on the beach rockpooling and then headed to the swimming pool, followed by a later dinner and play before heading off to bed. Reuben had managed to take a complete dip in the rockpools with his last clean pair of shorts on the journey, but the hotel came to the rescue with their free guest laundry room which has everything you need to wash, dry and iron! On day 2 we spent the majority of the day enjoying the beach, playing in the pool again and then finished our post-dinner and play off by watching Jurassic Park in the cinema! It was absolutely wonderful and oh-so much fun. On our final day, we made a mistake. I booked us tickets to go to Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium, and if you’re looking for something to entertain your little ones for the day: this is not it. It wasn’t so much that it wasn’t good, it was… but it was small, and it took us longer to find a car parking space in Newquay town centre (which has the worst set up I’ve ever come across for a seaside town… and I live near Scarborough!) than it did to make our way around it. On the note of parking, you can book a space for £15 per day at the hotel and I strongly recommend you do and WALK everywhere or drive wayyyyy out of town. If you’re anything like me, Newquay will reduce you to tears trying to park there and I lost count of how many people said they had been put off returning to Newquay because of the town centre and massive fines for parking. It’s such a fun place, so 100% not to be missed, but my advice is to park away (ideally at the hotel) and then walk.
My plan for a 2 night stay in Newquay:
- Spend time on Fistral Beach before checking into the hotel
- Check in after 3pm, enjoy settling into your room then head to the pool for an hour.
- Eat dinner around 6pm (pre-book!) and make the most of the play areas.
- Take a stroll along the sea cliffs or walk along the beach
- Grab some milk and cookies for bed!
- Have a delicious breakfast in the hotel
- Head to the pool for an hour
- Head down Fistral Beach for a day of rockpooling and fun
- Grab Lunch at the seaside cafe on the walk down from the hotel – I loved the pilboy sandwich.
- Have a family surfing lesson!
- Head back to the hotel for more pool time or to relax a bit
- Grab dinner in the hotel (try the cookie dough bake – YUM!)
- Settle down for a movie in the cinema!
- Enjoy a last breakfast & play
- Visit the pool one last time – check out is 11am so plenty of time to have a shower and get packed up
- Head into the town centre for a look around, a stroll on the main (very busy) beach and visit Lusty Glaze – we missed this as it was closed but everyone recommended it!
- Grab some lunch in the town centre or for a classic, fish & chips on the promenade.