Staying at Dove Cottage in Mousehole, Cornwall
Whilst holidays are supposed to be relaxing and enjoyable, there's always some stress involved. Car breakdowns en route, lots of Are we there yet?'s, traffic, accidents, realising you've forgotten something important 50 miles from home, the list goes on & on. When stress is something that comes all too easily to you, it can start to ruin that feeling of bliss that you feel upon booking a getaway.
After a mad journey (around 5/6 hours), we arrived at Dove Cottage in the beautiful harbour village of Mousehole (not far from Land's End). We'd suffered an almost breakdown, 3 unscheduled stops (kids!) and an accidental detour through Dartmoor National Park (which was gorgeous, just not with a screaming baby in the back). We were so relieved to finally open the little grey door of Dove Cottage and I only hoped there were no teething or settling-in problems, and that we could finally, finally start to enjoy ourselves.
We opened the door to the most beautiful living/dining area, immediately feeling comfort in place of stress. The table adorned with scones & jam, a bottle of wine with glasses, mugs and hot chocolate sachets as well as milk and cream in the fridge, welcoming us after such a long day. We hadn't been to a shop thus far and didn't plan to that evening so it was lovely to have everything we needed until we could make the trip (wine = necessity).
Each and every room was decorated so beautifully, in the most serene white and beach-themed decor; we found everything we needed (highchair, bed guard) as well as things we didn't know we needed (a beautiful array of toys for the little one's - a wooden letterbox of which my youngest loved so much we've bought him one for his birthday). Upon entering the kid's room (bunk beds), I saw the book The Mousehole Cat propped up on the shelves and suddenly I was transported back to my own childhood. A play I'd been cast in at primary school, a play I felt such nostalgia about upon remembering, a play about a very special harbour village that turned out to be Mousehole; it was such a lovely start to a wonderful few days.
I couldn't imagine a better place for my littlest to experience the sand & sea for the first time; the harbour has a small beach that was never too busy and it was lovely seeing the local kids jumping into the harbour and swimming each evening. The village is small, with a couple of cafés, a local pub and a couple of small shops, but it's the perfect place to hole up together as a family and just take a breathe from the monotony of everyday life.
There's no parking available at Dove Cottage, but there are 3 car parks within walking distance - two that cost £3 for 24 hours but are smaller and a larger one that's £9 per 24 hours but is usually emptier. We were lucky enough to grab a space each time in one of the smaller car parks but a few times we nabbed the last space. In peak season, I imagine the larger car park would be a better option to ensure you can get a space.
I know it's nice to switch off entirely sometimes but we found that having wifi and Netflix was oh-so handy and kept us all occupied each evening. I've never felt more comfortable and at home in a place that isn't, and I loved every second of our time away, especially in Dove Cottage.