Jill Nash discovers the glorious Cornish countryside is a perfect active family getaway.
Set in the heart of Cornwall’s rolling countryside, approximately half an hour from Newquay, is the newly developed luxury lakeside Retallack Resort. The resort offers an incredible range of luxury self-catering options for every budget, starting from £504 per week per family, you can’t get better value for money. You can choose to bed down in a two-bed hotel suite or a premium-style lodge with a steaming hot tub and terrace. Each lodge has its own sundeck, complete with outdoor furniture and BBQ, and the lodges are designed with wide glass windows to make the most of the Cornish scenery.
With little ones in mind, the lodges come readily stocked with essentials – from cot beds to plastic plates – and the kitchen cupboards with coffee, tea and basic provisions, which make the first night an easy transition. Further supplies can be picked up nearby (or delivered from) local supermarkets and topped up with the on-site small shop selling local jams, bakery goods and tempting bottles of Tarquin’s gin from a local distillery. There are also the usual food delivery companies, which will bring hot meals to your door from a range of local eateries.
At the centre of the resort, there’s a children’s play area with a zip line and an outdoor ‘Shipwrecked’ playground, and for rainy days, the indoor ‘Den’ is very handy too. During the school holidays, there are organized woodland activities, arts & crafts, and cookery classes to keep them busy. There is also a ‘Little Den’, a fully managed crèche with qualified childcare experts (costing £5ph).
For more grown-up indulgences, the spa presents an extensive menu of pampering facial, body and cosmetic treatments designed to relax, revitalize and rejuvenate using marine-inspired products. The small but stylish spa facilities include a relaxation area and treatment rooms – all linked to the pool, gym and eucalyptus steam room.
Drink & Dine
Having gained a great reputation amongst visitors and locals, The Lookout Restaurant is an informal bistro-style venue with a locally sourced, Mediterranean-inspired menu. With an emphasis on using the best seasonal ingredients the South West has to offer, The Lookout produces an ever-changing menu and even offers a takeaway service, so food can be ordered and enjoyed in the comfort of your lodge if you fancy a night in. The restaurant is open 9-11pm and offers generous portions of children’s food, from mini mezze boards to sausage pasta bakes. The Lookout also has a little terrace over the FlowRider surf school, so you can be entertained by the surfers testing out their skills. During the afternoon, it is the perfect spot to enjoy a Cornish cream tea or relax in the sunshine at one of the al fresco tables.
Located on the lakeside waters edge, next to the waterpark, is a small beach café, where you can grab a café latte and a hot bacon bap before enjoying one of the adrenaline-fuelled activities.
Explore & Experience
Families looking for an active getaway won’t be disappointed at Retallack. Open all year-round, it is Cornwall’s only FlowRider, giving you the chance to surf the crest of a wave whatever the weather and whatever your ability. Combining the experience of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding, this is the coolest new sport around. By generating a sheet of water no more than three inches deep, the FlowRider’s waves are safe and easy to ride, giving you and your kids a chance to learn to surf in totally safe surroundings. The instructors will have you standing up in no time and riding the waves like a pro. Riders must be over 107cm tall, and prices start at £25 pp for 60 minutes.
Both kids and adults will love the giant Aqua Park, an inflatable assault course on the lake (open March-October). The course includes a giant trampoline, catapult, water wheel, ‘stepping stones’ climbing wall, slides, blast bags, challenging balance beams and lots more. Race your friends around the course, watch them wipeout, try and beat the obstacles, and hurl yourself into the water. It is so big, it can take up to 100 people in one session, so it’s fantastic for birthday parties, hen weekends and large families. Sessions cost £15 pp and include wetsuits, buoyancy aids and lifeguards on watch for safe and fun experience. The Aqua Park is open to anyone over the age of six, but children under the age of 11 must be accompanied by an adult (one adult over the age of 18 in the water per three children under the age of 11).
On site, there is also a system 2.0 wake cable for those looking to hone their wakeboarding skills or, for a change of pace, try Double Water Zorbs and stand-up paddleboards (SUPs). If you want to enjoy all the watersports, you can purchase a 7-day pass from only £25, giving you access to sessions on the Aqua Park, FlowRider, Wake Park, Water Zorbs and SUPs
A short 10-minute drive away from Retallack, you can hire bikes and try The Camel Trail – an 18-mile, largely traffic-free, surfaced and virtually level multi-use trail, which provides access to the beautiful Cornish countryside along a disused railway line between Wenfordbridge, Bodmin, Wadebridge and Padstow. You can find more information here bridgebikehire.co.uk or by calling 01208 813050.
For those wanting an authentic Cornish experience, then head to Healeys Cornish Cyder Farm. Located near to Newquay, it’s a family-run farm where there’s plenty of family fun. You can join a guided tour, where you’ll be taken on a journey through the press house, jam factory, museum, distillery and cellars before climbing the cider vat and enjoying an aerial view of the modern cider production halls. Finally, the kids will love the tractor ride through the beautiful orchards.Add in the signature afternoon tea and make it the perfect Cornish day. See healeyscyder.co.ukfor more details.
For week-long stays, it would be beneficial to travel by car, allowing you the freedom to explore the region. Driving takes approximately six hours from Manchester. For a short stay, hop on a one-hour flight to Newquay from Manchester Airport, which is 15-minutes away from Retallack. There are regular flights throughout the summer with Flybe.com