Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall
The Super Pitches were upgraded only a couple of years ago and the hardstanding area was revamped. More space was created for awnings (which are not charged for). You can pick up Freeview on these pitches if you bring along a compatible TV. Along with the larger and even smarter Grand Premium pitches – of which there are 15 – you’ll get the VIP feeling staying here, as waste water drainage, lighting, fresh water, mains power and TV aerial points all come as standard.
The dimensions of each pitch on the park are on the site’s computer system, so when you book, you will be asked for your unit’s dimensions. This ensures you get allocated a pitch of the right size that has plenty of room for access and space to spread out. It is worth noting the reason behind the technology is fire safety. Hendra takes the security and well-being of its guests very seriously which means you’ll be staying on some of the largest pitches Cornwall can offer. But should you arrive and find your pitch too small, or you’ve spotted a space that looks just perfect for you, Hendra’s staff will do their best to accommodate. The site’s attention to customer service even extends to giving every family a 24-hour mobile number to call in cases of any queries – even minor ones.
While the touring pitch areas – and the bushes and flowers that give the fields shape and form – are immaculately kept, there is an air of relaxed tranquillity here. You’re in 85 acres of farmland and it’s hard to imagine you’re actually also only a mile or so from Cornwall’s top seaside resort. That quality, miles-from-anywhere, relaxed air is enticing – and reason in itself to come here. But there is another, even more exciting side to Hendra; the Oasis indoor fun pool complex.
Built seven years ago at a cost of £3 million, it is the largest in the South West and features tube-style water slides, a river rapids pool where water sweeps you around a course, and a curving arrangement of swimming pools all designed around having family fun. There’s a toddlers' area too for safe, shallow, splashy excitement with miniature slides and squirty creatures to play with. Hendra’s heated outdoor pool too is simply stunning, very Med in style and complete with palm trees.
Entertainment is totally family-orientated. There’s a Kids’ Club and the evening programme starts with fun for the younger campers. Magicians, hypnotists and a variety of bands are among the offerings, plus discos and talent shows to sing along to. Bowling, outdoor table tennis, nature trails, pitch & putt, arcades and air hockey are available too. There are also three separate adventure play areas all individually themed for different age ranges plus the superb Pirates’ Den indoor soft play zone. New for 2012 is a scooter and skate park which has a range of ramps and can be used by children with bikes, skateboards and scooters.
Showering arrangements are to a high standard and include a baby bath. A shiny-clean finish was in evidence throughout our stay; little wonder that among this park’s array of awards is a five-star Loo of the Year trophy.
When it comes to eating out, you can take your pick. There’s the Tavern restaurant (steak and ale pie, lasagne, for example), Mario’s Pizzeria in a quiet lawned area of picnic tables, plus fish and chips, burgers and hot dogs for quick snacks. And there’s a Costcutter supermarket on the site too.
There’s a strong environmental theme at Hendra that even extends to site vehicles being powered by electricity. Recycling opportunities are prominent and there is a programme of tree-planting on the 85-acre estate to offset your carbon footprint. In 2011 Hendra created a solar park that was one of the first large installations to go live in the UK. The 1.15 Megawatt facility provides 50% of Hendra's power and saves over 1,015 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.
Motorhomers wishing to leave their unit on the site will appreciate the bus stop outside the park – although, with Newquay only a mile and a half away, a visit there presents an ideal walk.
Hendra cultivates all its own plants and shrubs and the site is as proud of its neat foliar appeal as it is of its quality standard. It’s that high standard that extends to the park being rather picky about its clientele. It sets itself apart from the Newquay reputation for all-male and all-female parties of fun-seekers. You have to be a family or a couple to come here. And if you’re not, you may well be turned away at the gate. Sounds strict – but it works. Dogs are allowed but there are a limited number of pitches set aside for dog owners and some breeds are not accepted. It’s best to check before you book or set off!
So, if you’re a family or couple looking for a tranquil pitch environment with pool-splashy fun, food available, a bar to walk to so that you don’t have to drive, and a beautiful setting, it’s worth giving this little corner of Mediterranean style a try.
Hendra Holiday Park
Tel: 01637 875778