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A couple of weeks ago I told you our first impressions of our recent holiday to Hengar Manor. Today, I shall give a more detailed review.

Hengar Manor is a well maintained country park near Bodmin and the village of St Tudy in Cornwall. We visited during the first week of September, so it while it was fairly quiet as most of the schools had returned, there was still a full programme of activities and entertainment running.

We travelled by train to Bodmin Parkway and got a taxi from there to Hengar Manor. If you do this, I would recommend calling the park to ask for the number of a local taxi driver; the fare on our return journey home was £10 less than our outward taxi.

As I said in my first post, check in was quick and easy. We were given all the information we would need about the park itself as well as a thick envelope of leaflets for attractions in the locality and indeed, further afield.

There are a few activities for children of Harry's age (four years old) but most of them are for slightly older children, five or even seven years plus. This was not an issue for us because we simply just wanted to relax together before Harry started school the following week but a family geared more towards activities may wish to check with the park prior to booking. We did take Harry along to Balanceability. An instructor led activity would usually be a good chance for parents to grab a peaceful cup of tea and slice of cake in the café. However, Harry had been (and still is!) going through a rather clingy stage so I remained with him, hoping to give him a little more encouragement to take part. Balanceability, as the name suggests, is about giving children confidence on balance bikes. Harry has one and has never particularly taken to it, largely using either his Microscooter or regular bike with stablisers, largely because they give him the speed he desires to keep up with his peers. We found the instructor very encouraging and I felt she really did try her best to get Harry involved from the outset. The activity has given him a little more confidence to practise with his balance bike more.

Balance bike confidence.
Balance bike confidence.

The main attraction for Harry and something we used every day was the swimming pool. Access to the 25 meter swimming pool is free and with a Jacuzzi, slide and separate baby pool, it is perfectly suitable for a week's break. We (somehow!) forgot Harry's arm bands but our worry was short-lived as they were sold at reception. There is also a small shop on site from which we bought an inflatable for Harry to play with in the pool. As Hengar Manor is a decent base from which to explore many attractions of Cornwall, I cannot imagine the pool gets overly busy even during peak season. There is also a crazy golf course and a nine-hole pitch and putt course.

As we do not have a car, we could not go to a local supermarket to stock up on food and so we ate on site each night, except for one. One night we picked up some frozen breaded chicken and chips from the shop and ate at our accommodation. Other nights we used the on-site restaurant or pub. It wasn't until we arrived at Hengar Manor that we realised we could have, in fact, submitted an on-line supermarket delivery which reception would have received for us. Well worth noting for any future visits. The pub menu was varied with something to please most tastes and the food was as expected from an average pub. That said, I did think that the vegetarian options were somewhat lacking with just two options of either a veggie burger or vegetable curry. There was also an Italian restaurant called Morellos on-site. This had a very limited menu but what they did have was very nice and excellent value for money. I would recommend pre-booking as the restaurant is small and both times we ate there we saw people turned away as they were fully booked. One of those nights the husband went to book a table and was told he didn't need to as they were quiet; I am glad he insisted!

There was entertainment each evening. Every evening started with a couple of games for the children followed by family entertainment for a couple of hours. From around 9 pm the evenings would finish off with a family disco.

A selection of evening entertainment
A selection of evening entertainment

We were sad to leave for home. All through our stay we were made to feel incredibly welcome, it felt like the staff right across the board genuinely enjoy their jobs.

We will definitely return and next time, with a car so that we can explore Cornwall further!

Disclosure: We paid in full for our holiday. However, we did receive an upgrade in exchange for a review. All opinions are honest and our own.

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Well, the summer holiday seems have flown by. It only feels like it was Harry's last day at nursery yesterday and we had a long seven weeks stretching ahead, with no real plan of how on earth we could keep an energetic four-year-old boy entertained (or at least occupied) all day, every day. Somehow, we are on the last day of the break before he starts in Reception. Quite where the weeks have gone I don't know.

A couple of weeks into the break we decided to investigate the possibility of a holiday. We needed somewhere that wasn't too far from a train station and had activities on site due to not having our own car. The husband and I also wanted somewhere that would be relaxing and we didn't want to be surrounded by crowds of people. We had a budget in mind (including our travel costs) that we couldn't go over.

Whilst musing on Twitter, someone suggested I take a look at the Hoseasons website. I had heard of the company before but assumed that they either wouldn't be able to offer what we wanted or, if they could, it would be over our budget much like other holiday companies I had looked at. I am so pleased I did look despite my initial misgivings and found Hengar Manor.

For less than £300, I found self-catering accommodation for a full week. I was worried that the company considered the first week of September as off-peak, as many schools weren't returning until the second week, and that therefore there would be no entertainment or activities. So, prior to booking I tweeted with Hoseasons and was reassured that an activities programme would still be running and that yes, there would be evening entertainment. I was emailed a copy of the activities programme and advised that evening entertainment is changed on a weekly basis. Even before booking, I very much got the impression that nothing was too much trouble.

Hengar Manor

That vibe continued through our holiday. We got a train to Bodmin Parkway and then a taxi from there to Hengar Manor. There was a long, sweeping drive from the main road to the reception which certainly added to the sense of feeling secluded and truly getting away from it all.

Phil at reception was warm and friendly (something we soon found out was common with all the staff at the site) and check in was a quick and easy process. As we didn't have our own car, Phil offered to help us with our luggage to our accommodation, which the husband refused and said we could manage with the map. Once leaving the reception area, another member of staff (whose name I didn't manage to get) offered to help us despite going in the opposite direction. This offer of assistance we did take!

We were really impressed with our accommodation. It was light and airy, spacious and super-clean. The husband thoroughly inspected all the rooms as he always does (a bit of a clean freak is my husband) and couldn't find a single fault,. I am afraid you will just have to trust me when I say that is a rare thing indeed, although the fact that he is a chef should give some indication! We were also provided with a welcome pack; soft drink, a bottle of wine, chocolates, pasta and a few other bits, although I got the impression that is something the owners of that villa provided rather than being standard with the accommodation.

Hengar Manor

After a thorough inspection and unpacking our cases, we sat outside the villa for a cuppa to absorb our surroundings and a sense of calm descended, all we could hear were the birds tweeting and the ducks quacking. Any misgivings that had remained with us disappeared; Hengar Manor had made an excellent first impression!

We paid in full for our holiday and any associated costs for activities. However, we were given upgraded accommodation in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions remain our own.