Family fun down on the Cornish coast

The Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall
The Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall
Breakdown workers preparing to haul out of the sea one of the cars involved in an accident on the Havant by-pass

THIS WEEK IN 1970: Havant by-pass cars plunge into the sea

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GARETH BETHELL heads to the UK’s most southerly point and finds a hotel that’s fit for all the family - including the dog

When David Cameron moved a cat called Larry into 10 Downing Street, I was a bit worried.

That’s our moggy’s name and I didn’t want anyone thinking we’d done it as a tribute to the prime minister.

So when Dave went on a family holiday to Cornwall in August, I considered changing my plans for fear of looking like a copycat.

But while I don’t agree with a lot of things Cameron does, I can’t fault his idea of a nice place for a break.

The Lizard peninsula in Cornwall might be more than four hours in the car from Portsmouth, but the journey meant we had plenty of time to imagine the views waiting for us.

Unfortunately, when we arrived, imagining them was all we could do.

The heavy mist and rain meant that we couldn’t actually see the sea view our hotel offered.

Thankfully, by the afternoon the weather had cleared and from out of the grey emerged panoramic views across the lovely Mounts Bay and 12 acres of landscaped gardens which surround the gleaming white building.

Perched on the cliff tops, The Polurrian Bay Hotel was relaunched in July having undergone a major make-over.

It’s now aimed very much at families, with children under 12 staying free in their parents’ room, a ‘den’ full of activities as well as an indoor and outdoor pool, tennis court and outside play area.

Having said that the place is still stylish, with echoes of its heyday as a classic 1950s seaside hotel.

The surrounding area is also great for families.

Lizard Point is the most southerly point of mainland Britain and worth a visit.

Those who like their naval history might know that the first sighting of the Spanish Armada on mainland Britain was from here on July 29, 1588.

The area is also well known for its serpentine stone, a dark green rock that is veined with red and white and there are a number of organised walks where you can learn more about the surrounding geology.

A couple of miles away is the picturesque Kynance Cove, which is hidden away by towering cliffs.

This must be one of the prettiest places in Cornwall. It’s owned by the National Trust and popular with everyone from photographers to surfers.

Back at the hotel there’s plenty to keep the family occupied no matter what the weather.

And it’s not just the children that are sorted. They’ll even let you take your beloved pet dog on holiday with you which adds to the relaxed, friendly feel.

And while the hotel prides itself on being child-friendly, there’s plenty for the grown-ups.

There’s a spa that offers a range of treatments.

I went for the 55-minute deep tissue massage while Anna had an exotic coconut rub and ritual wrap, which involved her being wrapped up in something like tin foil but left her feeling blissfully relaxed.

The restaurant uses fresh, local produce to create a Mediterranean-inspired menu.

My partner had the scallops to start while I went for mussels.

For our mains we stuck with the seafood and while I went for fish pie my partner had the pollack.

Nearby is the The Old Inn at Mullion, a bustling, traditional pub with lots of dark wood that offers old favourites like sausage and mash and fish and chips and the lovely St Austell Brewery beer.