If you, along with your nearest and dearest, are in the mood for a multigenerational mashup, a family holiday with all for one and one for all, be warned. Takes some serious planning, along with a few deep breaths, to keep things running smoothly. Especially when there are three generations involved. So many different shaped boxes to tick.
From grandparents, to grown ups, to grandkids, different strokes work for different folks. In our case, just to keep things ticking along nicely, we took a couple of dogs with us too. It does take some time to figure out what will work best for all the group but when it goes to plan, brings a warm glow to the heart of every single member of your clan.
I know this because that is exactly what we did recently. My dear wife and I went away with our grownup daughter, her husband, two of their small children and, two even smaller dogs. A multigenerational mix up that worked out wonderfully well. Big ticks all round.
Was easy peasy. we went to the bottom of the M5 and turned right. Kept on going until we were just into north Cornwall, a couple of miles inland from Bude. Which meant several things. Firstly, we had a lovely drive down, second we were close to the seaside pool, beach and shops of Bude and thirdly, supermarket satisfaction was always close to hand. The nearest place to pick up supplies was only 5 minutes drive away.
The Luxury Resort & Spa
We were staying at Whalesborough Luxury Resort & Spa. A self contained paradise for holidaymakers who fancy a taste of the highlife. You head up the drive, and find yourself in a patchwork quilt of gorgeous greenery, 450 acres of the stuff, with a sprinkling of beautifully built holiday villas and farm buildings, all leading up to a joyous swimming pool, gym and spa complex.
We were staying in the Farmhouse, a big old rambling maze of a place, dog friendly, sleeping 8 in four mighty fine bedrooms. It is jam packed with original old features and swish modern conveniences, turning it into a pleasure seekers paradise, with a bit of something for everyone, of all ages.
The sort of place where you can play hide and seek with the grandkids and genuinely get lost trying to find them. Only to discover they are in a room you didn’t even know existed. (Spoiler alert – that actually happened.) In short, it is custom built for adventures and good times. Most marvellous.
Rather than going through a long list of the delights on offer, thought I would keep a diary of our first few hours in the place.
A Day in the Life of a multi-generational Holiday
The day started early, too early, in truth. As two excited grandchildren raced around the upper corridors, taking it in turns to throw open doors, jump onto beds and shout loudly. Very loudly.
Two of the bedrooms have ensuites, with a couple of spare bathrooms dotted around and about elsewhere. We earned ourselves a few extra minutes in bed by sending the grandkids off to count how many toilets there are. Turns out, it’s six. Or seven. That’s how big it is.
Breakfast was in the large open plan kitchen, with wall to wall windows, far reaching views of a church tower amidst rolling green hills, and underfloor heating toasty enough to cook eggs.
The rest of the kitchen is filled with places to cook, chat or eat. Including a dining table built for 8. The cupboards and drawers had all the utensils you could think if, so the grownups set to work, cooking up hearty breakfasts all round.
Next to the dining table was a door leading out to one of the kids highlights, our very own hot tub. A taste of luxury they never tired of. Gave us adults plenty of time to finish our coffees, have a rest and plan the day ahead, whilst giggling and splashing filled the air outside.
Next on the agenda was dog walking. Which meant letting the dogs into the fenced off garden, watching them race around, chasing each other, their own tails and occasionally, a random tennis ball found on the lawn. So far, great success all round.
Swimming Pool & Gym
Two minutes stroll took us to the leisure complex, where we split up. The men took the kids swimming, in the large, airy and almost deserted pool, where we splashed, swam and played amongst the water fountains.
From time to time, I popped into the sauna or steam room for a rest.
Whilst the ladies went off for a spot of well deserved pampering. Getting a sea salt and oil scrub and a bespoke massage. Both of which were, apparently, just what the doctor ordered, each got top marks from the two highly satisfied customers.
On our way back to the farmhouse, we popped in to look at the farmyard. There were some extremely cute piglets, along with a whole load of free range chickens.
Most exciting of all, was a field filled with alpacas and, my particular fave, some pygmy goats. Who were very happy to wander up, say hello and maybe even get a back rub. A treat for the whole family, young and old.
By now, we had all worked up a healthy appetite, so strolled downhill to Weir restaurant, the onsite eaterie with a wonderful wooden playpark outside for the kids (big tick), a ping-pong table for the grown up kids (another big tick) and picnic benches in the sunshine for those that fancied a sit down. Big ticks all round.
We then went indoors and sat down to a superb round of sunday roast dinners. Filling, fab and fresh, with lots of ingredients sourced from the farm. We soon discovered the portions were so enormous, we had to take some tasty tidbits back to the dogs. More big ticks all round. Along with some serious tail wagging too.
When you’ve enjoyed a fine and filling feast, the only sensible options are snoozing, or strolling. We went for the sporty option and, following signs in the carpark pointing to Bude Canal, found ourselves strolling along a pretty and peaceful waterway.
With trees hanging overhead, birds chirping in the bushes and plenty of other dog walkers to keep us company.
Whilst we enjoyed the views and exploring the occasional lock gate, our kids and pooches had a whale of a time, running, racing and exploring.
The evening found the grown ups relaxing on squishy, cosy sofas in the living room. Chilling out in front of the woodburner, sipping mugs of tea, getting ready for the next round of excitement.
The reason the adults were able to chill out was simple, the kids had discovered the home cinema in the games room. They happily slouched in bean bags and lost themselves in silence, as brightly coloured cartoons danced across the enormous screen on the wall.
After a suitable pause, we set up the snooker table for a quick round of Pot Black, family style. When that proved to be too tricky for an eight year old, we invented our own game of snooker bowls. Much simpler, much shorter and much less likely to end in tears. Until I lost 4 games in a row. Sigh.
Out and About – Bude
Next day we took the short drive to Bude, with its wonderful sandy beach, exciting for those that like exercise, and with its streets full of shops, perfect for those that like knick knacks, souvenirs or sweets.
If you are looking for a family holiday that crosses the generation divide, bringing broad smiles and magic memories to all involved, from kiddies to grannies, then this place really has got everything you need. There’s enough space and action packed thrills to keep the high energy crowd buzzing. With enough cosy corners and quiet spots for old ‘uns to take a nap, before returning, refreshed, to the fray.
As we drove off, we all agreed we could not have wished for a more delicious weekend getaway, bringing three generations of family together, for fun, frolics, and a feast of treats. Turns out, heavenly holidays make for hugely happy families.
How much does it cost?
Off-peak week breaks at Whalesborough Farmhouse start from £2,345. Short breaks are also available for three nights from £1,680. Visit Whalesborough or call 01288 361940 to make a booking.
Are there any smaller or cheaper options?
A range of five-star gold cottages are also available including Moleyns and Eagles Nest, both sleeping six, which can be booked for a week from £1,259.
Cottages sleeping four include Middlehill and Longdown, which can both be booked from £1,050.
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