Autumn camping at ‘cool’ Cliff House campsite, Suffolk

Don’t assume that camping season is over now that summer has gone. Make the most of this burst of autumn sunshine with a quick camping weekend here…

You can fall asleep to the sound of the waves at Cliff House Holiday Park in Suffolk. Located on a clifftop just outside the village of Dunwich and down the road from RSPB reserve Minsmere, this camping and carvanning site is a joy.

pitch amongst the trees at Cliff House
pitch amongst the trees at Cliff House

Set aside any sniffy preconceptions of the words ‘holiday park’ in the name – although this is a large site which welcomes caravans and motorhomes, it retains a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere without feeling overly commercial or bland (the site is listed in ‘Cool Camping Kids’ which proves its ‘cool’ and family-friendly creds).

You can pitch your tent amongst the trees in this 30-acre woodland setting, or just on the lawn outside the large Cliff House. You’re merely a minute or two away from the sea, accessed via steep steps down to the pebbly beach, with its wide view along the Suffolk coastline to Southwold and Sizewell.

Walberswick beach nearby
Walberswick beach nearby

One happy camper family

With all sorts of camper or caravanner welcome, you get a sense of a big eclectic camping family at Cliff House. Categories are roughly grouped together so tent-sleepers won’t be squashed between motorhomes, but a stroll from tent to reception takes in a myriad of outdoor living arrangements – tents (from small to large), campervans (vintage and modern), safari tents (permanently on site), even an Airstream campervan. Many take to decorating their temporary abodes with fairy lights and other glamping gear.

Facilities

Open fires are welcome so you can toast mashmallows into the small hours if you wish. All the usual facilities you’d expect from a large site are present (shower blocks, washing areas, playground for children) as well as an on-site bar/restaurant and shop.

the house at Cliff House Holiday Park
the house at Cliff House Holiday Park

The surrounding area

This is a beautiful part of the UK coastline (officially an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The area is dotted with pretty and interesting villages and towns including Southwold, Walberswick, Dunwich and Saxmundham. The aforementioned RSPB Minsmere reserve is minutes away and well worth a visit whether you’re a bird watcher or not. Recommended pubs serving great food and local ales include The Ship at Dunwich and The Anchor in Walberswick (who specialise in organic and biodynamic food, wine and beer including their own homegrown produce and guest craft ales).

Testing our camping gear

During our stay we tested a few camping bits and pieces focusing on the essentials of what any trip needs – food, light and a good night’s sleep!

The Coleman Durarest Raised Double airbed (£89.99, www.coleman.eu) provided, possibly, the most comfortable night’s sleep we’ve ever had on an airbed! Thick and sturdy, it properly raised us off the cool, bumpy ground, and most importantly, it stayed up all night for two nights! Packs away into its own little attached pouch, but as always, that was almost impossible once it was deflated!

The Coleman CPX Portable LED Table Lantern (£29.99, www.coleman.eu) was much larger than expected and provided enough light within the tent and outside. The dome shape emits a wide glow which was quite soft. It’s big enough to stand up solidly on a table or any patch of ground, and its handle allows it to be tied to a tent ceiling (watch your head!). Also attractive enough to use back at home in the garden, so double points for that!

The Campingaz 600SG Stove (£139.99, www.campingaz.com) – Now this is a fancy bit of camping kit. No more squeezing everything onto one flame, this portable camping stove has two adjustable burners with two sets of grill and burner parts. This allows you to have one of each at the same time (e.g. grill some freshly caught fish while boiling up the potatoes) or double flame (boil water for coffee alongside some boiled eggs) or double grill (barbecue time!). No more bending down low as this stove stands on tall telescopic legs. Lots of side and middle trays help you position food and utensils while cooking. All in all a great camping stove that would suit any garden-based al fresco cooking when you get home.

(Click on gallery below for full pictures)

[gdl_gallery title=”Camping” width=”165″ height=”170″ ]

Time to pack up the tent and spend a few nights under canvas before winter sets in!

 

 

Four amazing camping holidays in Croatia

Spectacular coastline, picturesque mountain villages and quaint seaside towns make the Istrian region of Croatia a stunning location for a holiday in the great outdoors. Guest blogger Manuela Kraljevic, of camping holiday specialists Arenaturist, picks four fantastic places to go camping in Istria, Croatia.

If you love the great outdoors…you’ll love Stoja

Stoja, Croatia
Stoja, Croatia

Stoja sits in a leafy area on one of the most picturesque stretches along the coast – a natural oasis of peace and tranquillity, yet only 3km from the town centre. Diving and sports are popular here due to the vast expanse of water surrounding the peninsula.

Wake up on the east side with the first rays of sun and a view of the fishing port, and head to the south and west sides in the evening for the sunset over views of the open sea.

A camping lot (or pitch) with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £9 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night

If you’re taking the family…head to Medulin

Medulin, Croatia
Medulin, Croatia

Located in a peaceful area on the sea just 10km from Pula and served by numerous restaurants, bars and cafés, Medulin has over a 1,000 lots and 121 mobile homes spread across 300,000m2. The region’s only sandy beach, Bijeca, stretches along the camp and is the main attraction for families with kids. There is a fun pool with waterslides, hiking and biking trails, and the Arenaturist sports centre in the vicinity. A large family park is also a part of the camp, with entertainment for the entire family.

A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £9 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night

For the epic camping experience…visit Kažela

Kazela, Croatia
Kazela, Croatia

Camp Kažela Medulin occupies an idyllic location in Istria, with amazing views across the Adriatic Sea. Situated partly in a wooded area, and partly in an open meadow, Kažela is Arenturist’s largest campsite, with 1,100 lots and 176 mobile homes.

The camping village is known for its amazing view of the Medulin Bay, where guests can enjoy spectacular sunsets every evening. Kažela offers spacious lots and a wide choice of facilities, including various catering, entertainment and sports amenities as well as sun bathing areas, while the youngest ones can benefit from the small water park.

A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £8 per unit, per night and £6 per person, per night

If you’re looking for peace and quiet…Tašalera is the perfect retreat

Tasalera, Croatia
Tasalera, Croatia

This small campsite is family-friendly with natural surroundings situated on the coast, opposite to Medulin. Guests can enjoy sunny lawns with sea views ideal for trailers and caravans, as well as more intimate pitches for tents in the lush pine forest. The coastline is rocky with many small coves providing sun seekers with their own private beaches. The facilities include a children’s playground and a volleyball court.

A camping lot with capacity for 1-4 people starts from £7 per unit, per night and £5 per person, per night

For more information on all campsites, including the Stupice, Indije, Pomer and Runke sites, visit: www.arenacamps.com

Cornwall Special: Eat, Sleep, Do in Poldark’s County

It’s not hard to see the beauty of Cornwall. The UK’s most southerly and westernmost county boasts the longest coastline at over 400 miles; its northern beaches are a magnet for surfers, its southern coast is dubbed the ‘Cornish Riviera’. It’s also the UK’s sunniest and warmest county hosting its only area of sub-tropical climate and over 1,500 hours of sunshine each year.

This unique county is also enjoying a resurgence thanks to a certain Poldark – the coast and countryside more than holding its own with Aiden Turner and the racing pulses of TV viewers!

Port Isaac
Port Isaac

At Goodtrippers, we’ve been seeking out the best of Cornwall – places to stay, where to eat and drink, and things to do. Whet your appetite with our 10 Cornish places to eat and drink with a sea view; discover the hidden gem of Perranuthnoe and western Cornwall; read our review of the new eco apartments at The Point at Polzeath; and explore three short walks that will get your heart pounding!

Contents:

10 Cornwall spots to eat and drink with a sea view

A bespoke Cornish holiday in Perranuthnoe

Surfing and sunsets at The Point at Polzeath

Cornwall: 3 short walks to get your heart racing

And don’t forget to catch our previous posts on Cornwall including glamping on Rocket Farm, 3 Cornish cottages for couples, and our Cornish appearances in 6 of the best yurts and bell tents, and 7 of the best…eco-friendly family days out.

If you’ve got your own recommendations for Cornwall, we’d love to hear them. Share them here, on Twitter or Facebook.

St Ives harbour
St Ives harbour

Surfing and sunsets at The Point at Polzeath, Cornwall

Cornwall Special 2015

For a great base for exploring the surfers’ paradise of the north Cornish coast, it’s time to ‘get to The Point’…

eco-friendly design at The Point at Polzeath
eco-friendly design at The Point at Polzeath

Sitting back on a private balcony, Cornish beer in hand, you can barely hear a pin drop (or a surfer splash) from The Point at Polzeath. This complex (‘resort’ isn’t quite the word) enjoys a priviledged position amidst farmland and its own golf course, a 20 minute gentle climb up from the coast.

The Point, which consists of a golf club, health club, restaurant and bar, has been hosting guests at self-catering cottages on its land for years. This spring, The Point opened a brand new set of seven luxury holiday apartments designed with eco-friendly credentials at its core.

Kebony-clad apartments at The Point at Polzeath
Kebony-clad apartments at The Point at Polzeath

Eco-friendly design
The apartments, designed by architects Laurence Associates, consist of four three-bedroom and three two-bedroom luxury units, located just a two minute stroll from The Point’s restaurant and health club. The building itself sits within a hill ridge, complete with a sedum roof and Kebony cladding, discretely blending with the surroundings. High quality building materials, including the acclaimed and sustainable alternative to tropical hardwood, Kebony, are used for the cladding and soffits – over time this material will develop a beautiful silver patina blending in with the surrounding environment even more. In addition, ground source heat pumps have been installed, which supply hot water and underfloor heating throughout.

Our apartment – Scandinavian style meets Cornish innovation
The Point’s owners Eva and Jeremy offer a very warm welcome and ensure everyone is in proper ‘holiday mode’! We stayed in ‘Viking’ (they’re all named after shipping forecast regions), a two-bedroom apartment on the west end of the complex which allowed for sweeping views both north and west. It was surprisingly spacious, light and airy inside with top-of-the-range fittings including the bespoke kitchen made by a local craftsman.

stylish interiors at The Point at Polzeath
stylish interiors at The Point at Polzeath

The interiors and furnishings are contemporary with a Scandinavian feel, including cool, mid-century upcycled furniture. For when you want to stay indoors, there are cosy and homely touches too with a wood burning stove, flat screen TV, wifi and a choice of board games. We made the most of watching the sunsets through the floor-to-ceiling windows or from our balcony with its uninterrupted view stretching down to Polzeath and Pentire Point.

Family-friendly extras
For those travelling with little ones, we’d recommend booking your bulky baby equipment with local hire company Babes & Bikes. They hire out kit such as highchairs, travel cots and buggies ensuring it’s already assembled at your accommodation before you arrive. A great help as this saved vital space in the car (and our own sanity from lugging around our own kit everywhere!).

Food and drink
As the apartments are self-catering, you may want to take a break from preparing your own food and try the on-site restaurant (which is also open to non-guests). Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus an all-day bar, make sure you try one of their specials nights – Thursday is Fizz ‘n’ Chips night (£15 for a choice of three fish with three batters, plus a glass of bubbly), or go for Steak Night on Friday (£30 for two steaks and a bottle of wine).

view from the balcony to Pentire Point, Polzeath
view from the balcony to Pentire Point, Polzeath

Facilities
The Point at Polzeath is known for its golf course so expect to see plenty of golf buggies trundling around during your stay, usually chased by Scrabble, Eva and Jeremy’s friendly spaniel. But don’t worry if you don’t play, there are plenty of other activities on offer including a swimming pool, gym, fitness classes and spa treatments (we tried a heavenly massage from Seventh Heaven). There are also plenty of walks….

The surrounding area of Polzeath
Ask at reception for a local map and advice about walks in the area. You’ll be walking across the golf course (watch those balls!) and down into Polzeath village (25mins) where a windy day with rough seas will attract surfers from all around. You can hire boards or book in for surfing lessons yourself if you fancy it. Otherwise, the coastal path will take you along Pentire Point to enjoy stunning views of the bay.

In the other direction, you can walk to the village of Rock (35mins) with its calm bay and ferry point over to foodie destination Padstow. Short drives from The Point take you to the historic fishing village of Port Isaac, and Tintagel Castle associated with the legend of King Arthur.

All in all, for a stylish Cornish holiday as relaxed or as activity-packed as you need, don’t mess about, just get to The Point!

Prices for an apartment start at £140 per night. Visit www.thepointatpolzeath.co.uk for full details including booking and use of the restaurant, golf course and health club facilities.

The Point at Polzeath is located at St Minver, Nr Polzeath, Cornwall, PL27 6QT

new apartments at The Point at Polzeath
new apartments at The Point at Polzeath