Just come back from a long weekend family break at Ruthern Valley Holidays. We were especially lucky with the weather for May and had four amazing days of glorious sunshine. Centrally located near Bodmin in Cornwall, Ruthern Valley is just the most perfect base to see the best of Cornwall. Whilst we were there we visited some stunning blue flag beaches on both the north and south coast and train mad Alfie's favourite, Lappa Valley.
Ruthern Valley itself is a haven of tranquillity, where the kids can enjoy the space and freedom of the beautiful surroundings. The place was just blooming with bluebells and other numerous wildflowers created the most amazing carpet in the woods. The wooden camping pods were set amongst this backdrop and it was not hard to see why Ruthern Valley has such a dedicated following of campers looking to escape from the rat race. The pods, a few had their own private glade, are basically tent free camping. Secure, dry and with heaters there is no danger of having to securing flapping canvas in the middle of the night and also removes the hassle of packing up damp tents. And there is an electricity supply.
The next step-up from the pods were the wooden wigwams which also provides a family of up to 5 with foam mattresses on bunks, lighting, heating, microwave, fridge and kettle - a few mod cons for your glamping adventure.However for some families you just can't beat a night under canvas and if we lived within a few hours from Ruthern Valley our tent would certainly become a permanent fixture on the camping field.
We were lucky enough to stay in a two bedroom wooden lodge. All the kids were amazingly good sharing a bedroom with bunk beds and a single. The kitchen was well equipped and thoughtful touches were the child friendly plastic crockery. Decor was simple and comfortable - everything had been well thought out. Andrew kindly showed us how everything worked so that we were never short of hot water or heating. In the lounge the sofa could convert into a bed to accommodate a further two guests. The large sliding patio doors of the lounge led to the outside decked area and were complete with table and chairs. Alfresco dining was a real treat with such an idyllic setting.
Nicola and Andrew who are the masterminds behind Ruthern Valley have two young boys themselves so are well versed in what a young family needs for a memorable holiday.
Nicole says "we just simply wanted to get back to basics and let the location sell itself". And indeed it does. There are no flashing disco nights, no cheesy bingo callers and no pubs but what you do get is a real feeling of getting close to nature. Within two minutes of arriving we had spotted a robin, a chaffinch and a squirrel. For the children Emily, Hannah and Alfie the twice daily visits to feed the resident pigs and chickens certainly kept them entertained with Emily personally naming each pig and each feathered friend.
The playground was set away from the holiday accommodation so there was no fear of annoying your fellow neighbours with children's excited banter. Nicola and Andrews's oldest son James(7)took the girls on a treasure hunt to find a hidden trail of letters dotted around site and once they cracked the code were rewarded with a victory sweet from the on-site shop. The shop stocked your basics so was very handy when on arrival for that much needed first cuppa. The eggs of course were freshly laid from the chickens and locally produced bacon and sausages went down a treat.
All in all we are already yearning to go back. Next time we will definitely hire bikes as the Camel trail is nearby and would be perfect for child friendly cycling and the bikes can be delivered direct to Ruthern Valley. I would also like to thank Nicola, Andrew and their two boys for being the perfect hosts - charming, friendly and helpful. I think we should book that tent pitch.....