For the latter part of May half term, to incorporate James’ birthday, we travelled to Cornwall to stay in a Snoozebox at the Eden Project’s very own branch of the Youth Hostel Association. Our journey from West Sussex began fairly early and was unfeasibly long; I’m unsure where we went wrong but instead of arriving around 2pm, as expected, it was closer to 7pm.
Having driven for hours through mist, drizzle and cloud, we were pleasantly surprised to find Cornwall cloaked in a microclimate of sunshine and warmth. We checked in with the friendly staff at the YHA reception desk then dragged our bags to our Snoozebox before heading back to the communal area for a well earned drink and rest.
I think my favourite part of our trip was watching the children make friends so easily; within minutes they had found other children to play with and could be heard laughing and having a great time. They ran off to explore and found a rope swing, which was the height of excitement.
It is always lovely to see your children running around making friends, playing, especially outdoors. We were blessed with beautiful weather and friendly fellow guests, both of which enhanced our stay.
YHA Eden Project itself was, admittedly, not quite what we expected. Both the rows of Snoozeboxes and the communal marquee were situated beside the car park, which was made of gravel and, essentially, the only space in which the children could play within sight. Of course, being children, there was a lot of running around and I nervously awaited the first skinned knees. A play park, or even a grassy area, would have been a welcome addition. However, there was a nice park not too far down the road, which we spent some time at.
I had been looking forward to staying in a Snoozebox ever since our booking was confirmed and the upcycled shipping containers were certainly different to anything we have stayed in before. On the downside they are, whilst fully functional, very small and quite cramped. Inside, there is a double bed above which sits a wall-mounted television, single bunk beds, hanging space for clothes, drawers to keep valuables and clothes in and, behind a sliding glass door, a toilet, sink and shower.
We were comfortable enough, though I did find it quite restrictive insomuch as once the children were washed and ready for bed, there was very little for us to do. Usually, when we stay in a family room or a small apartment, we settle the children and then I will do some work or we will watch television or something. Without wifi, I was not able to work during the evenings and, being in such close proximity to the children, we could not turn on the TV until they were asleep so as not to disturb them. Of course, this did not stop them from making their own entertainment.
I think if we had visited without children it would have been nice to stay at the bar until late, where there was also wifi if I needed to work. As a result, I am drawn to say that YHA Eden Project is not especially child-friendly; however, the children actually had a brilliant time. I think it could be made a little more family-friendly in places but really it is a lovely place to take little ones.
Cornwall is a beautiful place to visit and we enjoyed a couple of great days out. Due to being so close to the Eden Project – a mere free shuttle bus ride away – it seemed silly not to spend a day there. There was lots to see though not huge amounts for children to actually do (a decent park, again, would have been welcome – my children are very active!). A full review of our day at the Eden Project will follow.
I think our favourite day of the holiday was spent at Perranporth beach. Unfortunately, the boy was not feeling too good that day, but Miss J had a brilliant time, paddling in the sea, climbing Chapel Rock, and practising gymnastics on the sand.
Happily, the boy perked up enough to build a sandcastle!
Our overall experience of Cornwall was great, and I would love to return to visit a few more of the beaches on the north coast as well as Lappa Valley and Land’s End. YHA Eden Project makes an ideal base from which to explore, and is affordable too, with Snoozeboxes available to stay in from just £39.99 per night during peak season.
Our top tips for a stay at YHA Eden project are as follows:
Plan meals in advance – we expected a cooker in the kitchen area but were met with microwaves and a kettle, which did affect our dinner plans a little. Food (bar snacks aside) isn’t available to order onsite but takeaways do deliver, which is worth remembering.
Pack light – there is not a lot of space inside the Snoozebox so try to keep luggage on the small side.
Bring a book – or a pack of cards; something to occupy you once the children are in bed.
Thank you for hosting us again, YHA, we are already looking forward to our next visit…
We received a complimentary four night stay at YHA Eden Project for the purposes of this review; all words and photography are our own.