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Porth Beach Tourist Park

With the Easter holidays fast approaching we wanted to head west into the heart of vdub camping territory, Devon and Cornwall.

Heading roughly south-west we set out along the A4 then A340 to pick up the A303 past Stone Henge.

We were stopping over with friends near Crediton, Devon so rather than going all the way to Exeter on the A303/A30 we took the A372 and A361 west to Taunton then the A38 and A361 again to Tiverton, all fantastic scenic ‘driving’ roads with plenty of places for a pitstop and leg stretch.

We stopped for a short break just west of Othery on the A361 at Burrow Mump, a remarkable man made 14th century hill with the remains of a church on top and arrived at our destination at 4pm.

The next morning we set off around 10am again heading west toward Okehampton to pick up the A30 which would take us to within 10miles of our next stop, Porth where we were meeting up with family for a 60th birthday party at the Glendorgal Hotel, arriving shorty after midday.

The following day we checked into Porth Beach Tourist Park, a short walk from the hotel (shorter at low tide) and across the road from the beach.

Porth Beach is an open plan site, well laid out with excellent facilities and very reasonably priced. We were all setup within a few hours and with bucket and spade at the ready, all set for a day on the beach.

Porth Beach has a large pub, small cafe and an even smaller take away via a ‘hole in the wall’ directly onto the beach, all very convenient and reasonably priced which is just as well since there is no shop on the campsite.

The morning of our second day was once again spent lazing on the beach however in the afternoon we took a short walk out to Trevelgue Headland across a small footbridge to what is now known as Porth Island.

Trevelgue Headland/Porth Island has a rich history stretching back to 2,000BC with bronze age barrows, an iron age settlement and Roman ramparts and was one of the most heavily fortified headlands in Cornwall.

From Trevelgue Headland there are fantastic views of Newquay bay to the left, Watergate bay to the right and Porth beach below which becomes even more impressive with crashing waves on an incoming tide.

The following morning we were packed up and hitting the road again by 10am, taking a slow meander north east along the Cornish coast via Padstow and Polzeath before heading inland to Launceston, the A30, Exeter then the A303 and eventually home to Reading.

In all another fantastic trip, and a great campsite located so close to the beach. We will definitely visit again, but will make sure we have extra supplies packed to make up for the lack of site shop.

Newton Mill Holiday Park

Our next adventure was once again taking us west, but this time to Bath in Avon & Somerset, or should that be Avon, or Somerset or Bath & North-East Somerset, to visit friends and family.

We set off around 11am on Saturday and headed west for a gentle cruise along the A4 passing through the  several beautifully quaint market towns and villages, any or all of them worth a ‘leg-stretch’ pit stop – Marlborough, Beckhampton, Calne, Box and lots of others – and arrived in Bath around 1.30pm.

We pulled into the first of two sites we had planned to visit (Bath Marina & Campsite) for a quick look round to check facilities and prices and while it was certainly very well equipped we decided we would prefer a more rural setting for the night that was promised (via their website ) by Newton Mill Holiday Park just a few miles away.

Newton Mill also turned out to be the much less expensive option (£17 vs £27.50 at Bath Marina for 2 adults, a child of five, Tallulah the VW T2 and an awning) as well as being similarly equipped in terms of electric, water and toilets etc.

Within an hour or so everything was setup including our awning – although not a new awning it was only the 2nd time we had used it and the first time was a practise run in our garden! – so we went exploring. Newton Mill has lots of things to explore, great open spaces and woodland, a babbling brook, an excellent children’s play area (unfortunately not open when we visited due to some additional drainage work being done) and a pub!

After a quick kick around with a football and a nice meal with friends (all cooked in Tallulah although the pub was tempting…) it was time to test the showers and settle in for the night (it still gets pretty cold at night in March…) so with the awning all zipped up and our new heater plugged in we watched a DVD then had a wonderful nights sleep.

In the morning we woke to another beautifully sunny day, stretched, showered and went for another quick walk before cooking and eating breakfast and starting the ‘packup’. Everything went back into Tallulah in much the same way as it had come out the day before and after a short pause for a cuppa we were ready for the next leg of our journey into Bath for lunch.

The Hop Pole serves excellent food and happens to be opposite The Royal Victoria Park which has an amazing children’s play area so when we eventually persuaded our 5 year old that it was time to head home we loaded up and retraced our footsteps heading east back along the A4.

We saw the ‘white horse’ on the hillside east of Cherhill and stopped for a stretch at Silbury Hill, the tallest prehistoric human-made mound in Europe, and covered the 76 or so miles back to Reading in a little over 2 hours.

For anyone who might be counting that’s another 180 or so miles covered and a running total of 2 nights in our camper.