Niall HamptonSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Niall Hampton
Some years have passed since I last towed a caravan around Cornwall, but I have lost none of my affection for this wonderful county. We were heading for Newquay, keen to see some rollers crashing in from the Atlantic coast, and to check out some hidden nooks and crannies.
Our outfit for this short trip was an Eriba Touring Troll 530 Ocean Drive, pulled by our long-term Vauxhall Insignia Grand Sport. Regular readers will see some coverage of both units in our August issue (Running Reports, p79) but if you don't manage to catch it, the Ocean Drive is a manufacturer special edition that was launched at the Stuttgart CMT show last January. Its distinctive blue colourways made it look at very much at home in our coastal locations, and in a county where the campervan may be king, I clocked many admiring looks for this compact and quirky tourer with its surfer-chic styling.
The last time I caravanned in Cornwall*, I had something a little more conventional – a 2011 Coachman Amara 570/6, towed by a Volkswagen Tiguan Match 2.0 TDI – and stayed at Hendra Holiday Park (Hendra Terrace, Newquay TR8 4NY; tel: 01637 875 778; www.hendra-holidays.com). This was also my base last week, and I was booked onto exactly the same pitch – an unexpected trip down memory lane. Hendra is a large park just outside Newquay and is one of those sites you don't really need to leave: there's on-site entertainment, a large indoor swimming pool and places to eat.
We had to venture beyond Hendra, of course, and struck out to Perranporth and its rather large beach, where the Tunes on the Dunes music festival was being set up. It was a shame we were a couple of days early, as the varied line-up would certainly have appealed to the PC posse. We were in the area to visit picturesque Trevellas Cove, but the approach isn't for the faint hearted. There are some steep hairpin bends and the narrow tracks require just a little bit of concentration. The reward for all this effort is the kind of Cornwall you see on BBC One's Poldark – some preserved former mine workings, dramatic coastlines and magnificent views of the sea. Returning to Newquay, we felt we'd deserved our evening meal at the Great Western Hotel. And what did we have? Cornish crab cakes, natch.
*It hadn't been finished back then, but make sure you check out the impressive new Victoria Roche Services on the A30 (St Austell PL26 8UF). It's operated by Cornwall Services and has everything one could possibly wish for in a services area. There's also a decent parking area for vans (pictured). It would have been remiss of the planners to have overlooked this vital detail in a county so popular with caravanners.
Read more about Cornwall in our Summer Special edition, on sale 12 July 2018.