IF you came back to work after Christmas feeling like you needed another holiday, I know just how you feel.

Well, actually I don’t.

This year my family and I started January on a chilled-out high, refreshed, invigorated and ready for the year ahead.

That’s because we simply ‘bailed out’ of the whole festive frenzy.

On Christmas Eve, instead of frantically hitting Tesco in search of gluten-free gravy and more presents we didn’t need, we jumped in the car and drove to a wooden lodge in beautiful Cornwall.

We didn’t cancel Christmas (the kids would have called social services if we’d banned Santa altogether) and we even took a little Christmas tree and a turkey with us.

But what we didn’t have was any shops, computers, iPads, satellite TV or Wi-fi connection.

Our lodge was at Hoburne Doublebois, just outside Liskeard.

While most of Hoburne’s holiday parks offer facilities like pools, shops and entertainment, Doublebois revels in its peace, quiet and simplicity.

Situated beside its own 9-hole par 4 golf course, there is also excellent fishing on the nearby River Fowey.

The park also has a games room which offers everything from a gym to board games, table football and snooker.

And if you really can’t cope without it, you might even pick up Wi-fi in there.

While Doublebois likes to keep things simple, it offers a variety of comfy accommodation.

We stayed in a Falcon Lodge, which was spacious and tastefully decorated and had one double bedroom with ensuite shower and TV, plus two twin rooms and a family bathroom with overhead shower.

This was the perfect size for the four of us, with an open plan but cosy lounge/diner kitchen area and all mod cons including a DVD player, dishwasher and washing machine.

Double glazed and heated throughout, we were snug as bugs in rugs.

As well as offering great accommodation in a beautiful spot, Doublebois is the perfect place from which to explore Cornwall.

Every day provided a new adventure, from seeing the breathtaking beauty of Tintagel, to wandering through the quaint streets of Polperro.

Looe was quaint and friendly, while Truro had a fantastic cathedral.

And Port Isaac was even prettier than it looks on the TV – although we didn’t bump into Doc Martin.

We also enjoyed a delicious fish lunch at Rick Stein’s in Padstow, mussels in St Ives and afternoon tea overlooking Fistral Beach in Newquay.

And while winter days are short, when night falls, Cornwall’s harbours are lit by twinkling Christmas lights and welcoming pubs with roaring fires, where we enjoyed good grub before making our way back to our cosy lodge for leisurely games of Monopoly.

So, if you’re considering an alternative to the Christmas chaos this year my advice would be to head for Cornwall and Hoburne Doublebois.



One of our favourite ‘hidden gems’, Carnglaze Caverns nestles in a beautiful valley near St Neot, on the southern edge of Bodmin Moor. Family-owned and operated, this former slate mine gives a unique insight into the material used to build so much of Cornwall. Handed a map, hard hats and some tips for making the most of our journey we ventured down a flight of 60 steps, 150m into the hillside and 60m below ground. We found magical pools, sparkling cavern walls and even an auditorium which has hosted bands like Fleetwood Mac.


national-aquarium.co.uk Just over the border into Devon, this amazing aquarium in Plymouth was built as a Millennium Project and left my children in awe. Huge tanks are filled with sharks, turtles and fish of all shapes and colours. Issues such as breeding programmes, sea pollution, over-fishing and conservation are explained for all ages and the fun and knowledgeable guides meant we left knowing so much more about our oceans and sea life.



We loved our ride on a steam train with Bodmin & Wenford Railway from Bodmin General. One of the BWR’s peculiar claims to fame is that it has the steepest sustained gradients of any steam railway in Britain (three miles of 1 in 40). This means you get the full effect of vintage steam hard at work. Personally I found sitting in a railway compartment of a 60-yearold steam train, watching the scenery gently slip by, very relaxing.



We visited on Christmas Eve and enjoyed the wonderful Meet Santa Experience. Hosted in a Christmas dome by crazy elves and the big man himself, it had a strong environmental message too. This former gravel pit, now adorned with massive biodomes, provided a fantastic alternative to the Christmas mayhem. We also enjoyed ice skating and an exhilarating climb up to the roof viewing platform in the rainforest dome – the largest indoor rainforest in the world.


A two-week stay in December at Hoburne Doublebois in Cornwall starts from £854 for up to six people sharing a Falcon Lodge. Short breaks are also available from £156. To find out more about this holiday, or any of Hoburne’s seven holiday parks, please visithoburne.com or call 01425 282358.

Holiday homes are also available to purchase from £9,995 – visit hoburne.com/ownership for more details.