Rock Stars for a Week: North Cornwall, UK

18 Apr

April 7-14 April, 2017
Okay we weren’t actual rock stars but hear me out – we stayed in Rock, became accidental TV extras and spotted three bonafide celebrities. More on that later. So yeah, we rocked it!

Stuart’s family have been going to Cornwall since Grandmummy was a grommet, so when she had her own children – Stuart and his two siblings – they too began the annual trek to Rock for a beach holiday.

Thus the fourth generation got their first taste of Rock as were 15 adults and two babies.

Baby care necessarily limited some people’s participation, but family members still managed an awful lot and we have the Tshirt to prove it! (Designed by daughter-in-law Jenny and produced in the UK.) Cool huh?!
Our agenda:

Surfing at Polzeath

Stand Up Paddle Boarding (photo by SJT)

Coastal Walking

Colin and Paul on duty at Stepper Point Coastwatch.

Kite Flying



Rounders (Photo by SE)

Cycling (The Camel Trail from Wadebridge to Bodmin is mostly flat and off road, fine for a trailer and even tandems!)

Table Tennis
Wine Tasting

Ferry Rides

Board Games (Carcassone, Articulate and Bananagram entertained our mob)

Pastie, Fish & Chips and Cream Tea Eating

Cornish Ale and Cider Drinking (Doom Bar and Rattler were the preferred tipples)

Unfortunately we didn’t get around to sailing, water skiing, wake boarding, mackerel fishing and kayaking. Next time!

If you’re looking for guaranteed family beach fun look no further.

Back to our rock star status. When we walked from Lundy Bay to Port Isaac we literally walked into a shoot for the new series, the eighth, of ‘Doc Martin’. They were shooting a scene with Joe Absolom (Al Large and Matthew Rose in Eastenders) and a new character played by Art Malik. Joe and Art walked and talked as they entered the chemist and then reappeared. We found a seat outside The Mote pub, got some drinks and watched the action. A young woman in a hi vis vest stopped foot traffic and instructed us all to act as though we weren’t watching a TV show being filmed. I still managed to sneak a photo of the actors. Should we appear in the final cut of the episode we can claim 50 quid each as our appearance fee.

Walking past Doc Martin’s house.

The other series that have boosted Cornwall’s international profile are ‘Poldark’ (the remake) and Rosamunde Pilcher’s German dramatisations of over 100 of her stories. 

The third star we saw was Gordon Ramsay. Strolling to the Rock ferry we saw Ramsay behaving completely out of character. Driving his huge, beige Range Rover he’d had to slow to pass a car that had stopped to let him pass. We witnessed his smile and cheery wave of thanks to the other driver. Apparently he has a couple of properties at Rock and is seen regularly. Not so Rick Stein. Two of our party dined at his seafood restaurant, imaginatively called The Seafood Restaurant, in Padstow across the Camel River estuary. Zero sightings of Rick.Rock’s Blue Tomato Cafe has the friendliest staff and best coffee.

All in all a highly successful family holiday continuing a tradition we hope persists for many generations to come.


Getting to Rock:
Ditch the long drive and fly into Newquay just forty minutes from Rock. We flew Flybe from Gatwick. They have the usual baggage allowance and good value fares.


We rented a small car from Europcar. Pick the smallest car you feel comfortable driving as the lanes are narrow and parking spaces minute.



We rented through John Bray, the longest standing holiday accommodation agency.

Eating and Drinking:

My preferred supermarket delivery is through Tesco as they’ve been great thus far. Online ordering is easy and you can pick your delivery hour.We cooked meals at home but we did have one group dinner at the St Enodoc Hotel where we were thoroughly spoiled. Check out their vegan menu and my two dishes. Outstanding food and service, great views and a full-sized billiard table! 


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