A slightly different perspective for Monday Money this week as I have just returned from a five day break in Cornwall with my boys. I wanted to share some of the ways we saved money. And also what we spent money on.
It was a holiday so I didn’t particularly scrimp and save, I am a huge fan of enjoying a holiday and spending what we want.
Where we saved
We decided to stay in a mobile home in a park two minutes from Marazion beach with a view of St.Michaels Mount. Its low season meaning that prices are low and you can part book your stay for less than one week. We booked a 4 person home for 4 nights at a cost of £210. A bargain I thought. Here are the details of the caravan park.
I could have booked a more expensive option for our mobile home, there were bigger and more modern options but I thought go or basic and see what its like. I did pay an extra £30 for them to supply the bedding. On reflection I should have taken our own sheets and saved that £30.
The mobile home was basic. It was fine for four days but you do get what you pay for. Our heater in the living room didn’t work, but they brought us a plug in heater within five minutes. And the shower, well, it was a hot for 1 minute, cold for 1 minute kind of shower. Last experienced circa 1988 when I went camping with my school.
Travel costs to Cornwall
So I looked into getting the train thinking that using my family railcard would save us a stack. Um no, the tickets would have cost around £170 for the 4 of us.
We drove. The whole trip including driving around whilst there was around 700 miles, which cost us £85 in fuel. We do save money here as we have a hybrid Toyota car. Of course this doesn’t take into account ware and tare on the car.
Plus we had a car there to take us where ever we wanted for the 5 days. Without the car there would have been taxi and bus costs.
Taking supplies with us
I took some essential supplies from home to save some money. I took toilet roll, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit and gin. On route to Cornwall we stopped off at Aldi and bought snacks for the journey and dinner for two of the nights we were there.
We had four full days in Cornwall and spent at least five hours every day at the beach. It wasn’t even that warm but the boys had loads to do. They made up so many games with the cheap beach football and tennis balls we bought the day we arrived. My favourite game was search for the stone heart. I found four this holiday, a good haul.
As I mentioned the nearest beach was a two minute walk from our caravan so we spent many hours on Marazion beach. We also drove to Sennen beach for the most beautiful sunset ever plus had a full day there the next day. We visited a completely empty Porthcurno and climbed down the cliffs to Porthchapel.
A Trip to St.Micheals Mount
This is a National Trust island off the coast of Marazion, you can reach it by foot on the causeway when the tide is out or by boat when the tide is in. Entry gets you a tour of the castle and a walk around the island. It was £15 for the four of us which I thought was incredible value for good couple of hours wandering the castle and learning about its history.
Of course there was a shop where they had the most beautiful sea flower sculptures. One of which I bought. The boys also bought stationery and Jack bought a wooden dagger! But I didn’t feel like this was an expense as it was such a bargain for the entry tickets.
Where we splurged
I love pasties, ice cream and cream teas. All essential Cornish delicacies that must be eaten!! We had pasties from Phelps on the beach, we stopped at Jelberts in Newlyn for the best vanilla ice cream with a dollop of clotted cream on top. We had fish n chips on the first night we arrived and the same meal was requested by the boys on the last night as well.
I had cream tea twice!! Brunch on two of the days was cream tea. Warm scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Yum. I highly recommend the cafe by the car park in Porthcurno for cream tea. One of the best I have ever had.
We spent around £200 (ouch) on food. But it was yummy and the boys got their fix of ice cream, pasties and fish n chips. (And so did I)
Day out at the Eden Project
On the way back from Cornwall I wanted to stop off at the Eden Project Biodomes near St. Austell. I havn’t been for years and wanted to see how it had changed and grown. And I totally wasn’t expected the entry price to be so high! £75 for one adult and three children!! That felt like a lot! Maybe because I am used to having vouchers for things like this?
We had a good look around, the boys thought it was too hot, which to be fair at 41 degrees in the rainforest dome, it was TOO HOT! We spent a good three hours wandering the grounds and had a fun time. Of course there was a huge gift shop and we managed to spend quite bit. Stationery (me, Dylan and Josh) and a spider world for Jack. Plus some fudge, cheese and pate to take home. Another £40 spent.
Parking can be expensive in Cornwall. We spent much of our time in Marazion where our parking was free at the caravan park. We did spend around £10 on parking at the beaches we visited.
We spent around £110 on bits from the gift shops. A big chunk of this was emotional spending from me. Wanting a pretty piece of sculpture or wanting some perfume or a pretty notebook. Ah well its spent now and every time I look at my purple sea anemone Ill remember our amazing five days in Cornwall.
I added up the total spend of the holiday, including everything, accommodation, travel, spending money we spent £800. I can guarantee that is A LOT less than Centre Parks would have cost in the Easter Holiday!
Enjoy the pictures! If you are thinking of a place to go on holidays do consider West Cornwall. Sennen, Penzance, Marazion all are the most beautiful places to visit. Give me a shout I can always recommend great places, I did live there for 18 years!