Having completed two Tuff Enuff events in 2015 I was excited to hear of a new event in my home town – even the thought of having a dip in the sea in the middle of February sounded “fun”!!! However, it didn’t quite match the experience of the other two and felt more like a run with a couple of obstacles thrown in (sorry!). Both Jacobs Ladder (111 steps!) and the pillow jump off the ramp were good additions to the standard Tuff Enuff arsenal but it seems like there was a lost opportunity to add a lot more activity around Pendennis and the Hornworks. I was surprised that the first cargo net was at Gyllyngvase Beach in the final activity zone – rumours were that a number of obstacles were removed due to lack of marshals but it would have been easy to locate nets or hay bales near directional stewards in the moat. By the time we came through the sea element of the event had been cancelled (quite rightly as the currents were extremely strong) however, I had been under the impression that there was going to be an alternative water obstacle for those competitors that didn’t want to swim or if conditions were not suitable so I did feel robbed of the chance to get absolutely freezing cold (sounds mad I know). Being the first year I am sure the organisers have learnt a lot of lessons – it has such potential to be a really great race.
I would still recommend Tuff Enuff on their home courses at St Buryan to anyone who would like an active challenge but for me to do another urban race I would need a few more guarantees that the promised obstacles and challenge would materialise.
Paradise Park has been a family favourite of ours since moving back to Cornwall, we must have been there over 10 times in four years so if repeat visits are a recommendation then they must be near the top! The penguins have always been a highlight – there are two feeding slots – the morning one seems to be quieter so it is worth getting there in time as only nine children can be chosen to throw fishes. If you are not lucky enough to get chosen then there is the chance to pat a penguin after the show (if they are in the mood!). The other really good experience is the Flight of the Rainbows where you can buy some nectar and feed the little parrots – they are extremely tame and are quite happy to land on your head so be prepared!
The return tickets offer good value at £3.50 each and during each holiday there is a different trail or something extra (however, be warned the tickets have an expiry date!). Annoyingly though there are a number of different things that require you to pay extra including the goats food, train rides and parrot feeding (this is a bug bare of mine) and if you go in the summer make sure that you take a pair of socks if your little ones are in summer shoes or you will have to shell out even more to go into the indoor play area.
However, I would recommend a visit to anyone with primary or preschool aged children – it is a good attraction to go to if the weather is dull as most of the animals can be seen from hard standing ground and you can always warm up in the Jungle Barn.
We are regulars at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall as your ticket entitles you to return as many times as you want for a year. At £35 for a family it is not a cheap day out but considering how often we go back it is an absolute bargin! The current Viking exhibition isn’t as good as the previous Search & Rescue and my two still gravitate towards the RNLI boat, jetski and life-raft which they can climb all over.
Every holiday the museum puts on trails and craft sessions which the kids love and they can play with glitter to their hearts content! Today the craft included these “Nebular Jars” – both my 5 & 7 year olds were able to make these unaided (always a bonus!) and they turned out really well. The museum was also host to a huge Space Odyssey planetarium dome which included an amazing virtual tour of the International Space Station to learn about Tim Peake’s mission. Once again another great day out at the NMMC – we are so lucky to have it on our door step.
I never get as much time as I want to be creative and what better place to release my inner artist than at the St Ives School of Painting whose studios over look the stunning Porthmeor Beach (I’ve decided to share a picture of the stunning view rather than my efforts). I signed up for a 2-hour printmaking workshop as part of the St Ives September Festival. It was great fun – Liz Luckwell was a patient and informative tutor and there was a vast range in talent in the room from beginners (me!) to some seriously talented individuals but it didn’t matter. I definitely want to go back and try some other mediums – and check out that amazing view again.
Recommended by some of my mummy friends these shows sell out so you can’t hang around and wait for the weather forecast before deciding to catch one of these outside shows. Going at the end of the summer it was dry but muddy underfoot but to be honest that just added to the experience. And that is exactly what these shows – are they are not just a performance but an experience – I’m not sure who enjoyed it more me or the kids which goes to show it really is a family outing – I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for children under 5 but there certainly is no age limit. We enjoyed the Blackbeard’s Heart so much we booked to go again to see the winter show. This is an absolute must for everyone. 10/10
After weeks of bad weather the Mousehole lights switch on had a perfect forecast and so we decided to check out the display and sing some carols at the same time (the only trouble was nearly 5,000 other people had the same idea!). It was too busy – the queues to get food were over an hour – you were squeezed in around the harbour and there were delays getting the lights switched on. So it wasn’t really the best experience however, the lights were impressive and it will certainly be worth a return journey in the future – we just might avoid the actual switch on!
Food, markets, Christmas what isn’t there to love about that combination! I managed to get to the festival early and was lucky to get a seat to watch the amazing local boy Nathan Outlaw open the 8th Padstow Christmas Festival alongside the lovely Daphne Skinnard from BBC Cornwall (I would love her job she just seems to get invited to all the fun things). It was busy and the weather was rubbish but there was a lovely atmosphere and I would totally recommend a visit (but perhaps don’t do your shopping – the prices seemed more expensive than other markets selling the same products). Oh another thing – they empty the Chefs Theatre after every demonstration and you need a ticket to get in – just make sure you plan who you want to see before you get there.