Travel

Our England Vacation

Cornwall with Kids

As I mentioned, we just got back from Cornwall, England, where we were visiting my grandmother and a dozen other relatives. We spent the week eating our weight in salt-and-vinegar chips, walking on cliffs and flipping out over my niece’s adorable accent. Here are a few photos, if you’d like to see…

Our England Vacation

The view from our rental house. (Some relatives stayed with my grandmother, but the families with kids stayed here so she could have some peace and quiet!)

Our England Vacation

Our England Vacation

Our England Vacation

From my grandmother’s tiny town of Polruan, you can take an orange ferry across the harbor to the slightly-larger-but-still-tiny town of Fowey. There’s a small pool next to the ocean, and when the tide isn’t too high, kids can splash around. I remember doing it when I was six years old!

Our England Vacation

A selfie on the ferry.

Our England Vacation

This baby food made me laugh. English food gets a bad rap, but I think it’s delicious. Jacket potatoes, fish and chips, sausages and mushy peas… We went to the local pub for lunches (and pints of beer) almost every day and it was so good.

Our England Vacation

During our trip, Anton turned three! (Here’s his birth photo — he still has that lovely, slightly mischievous demeanor:) We had an enormous cake, which took all 20 of us the whole week to finish.

Our England Vacation

Meanwhile, Toby and his cousin Bo fell in love with each other on the trip and decided to get married.

Here’s a video where they plan their life together. (How cute is her accent?)

Our England Vacation

Our England Vacation

Our England Vacation

One afternoon, we went to Lantic Bay, the beach near my grandmother’s house. To get there, you walk along a winding cliff path, then hike down zig-zagging paths to the rocky beach. It’s really beautiful, and my aunt actually ran into the freezing water to swim… and then ran right back out :)

Here’s Anton running on the cliffs.

Our England Vacation

By the end of the trip, we were all exhausted but glowing. We miss you already, Cornwall. xoxo

P.S. Our past three England trips — Toby and Anton look so little!

(Photos from our iPhones. Beach shot from Camilla.)

  1. Little Anton running into the distance of that beautiful scene – wow. Just beautiful. Thanks for sharing, Jo!

  2. Amy says...

    So beautiful and looks like such a sweet family time! Ever since seeing the movie “About Time,” I’ve wanted to visit Cornwall :)

  3. Sounds and looks like such a lovely time. Glad the sun was out as well.

  4. Victoria M says...

    Please tell me what that cake is! I’m English in New York and miss home a lot but feel if I could recreate that I would feel a little closer :)

  5. Oh my heart, Toby and Bo!!

    “We’re going to have five babies!”

    “Let’s do eleven!”

    The little dears. So wonderful that your family had this time together!

  6. Kathleen Heffner says...

    My dream is to someday go to England! It’s so beautiful there! Your boys are getting so big! It’s hard to believe Anton is 3! Thank your for sharing these beautiful pictures!

  7. Sasha says...

    What a beautiful place and fun adventure. Just looking at old pics of a summer trip with my girls when they were three and five, such happy times. But I totally agree chaotic and not very relaxing. I always felt I needed a vacation, at the end of family vacation. But when you look back, some of the happiest of memories.

    Just something to look forward to, I still travel with my daughters, almost 18 & 20 now, 100% fun and very relaxing. 20 yo is dreaming of Spain with me next summer, doesn’t that sound lovely?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      spain would be incredible!

  8. Katie says...

    How lovely! Family time is the best time. Looking forward to a beach week with all my cousins in one house this month :)

  9. It looks like you have a fantastic time! Everything looks so beautiful and magical. It must just lift your heart up to see your children interact with family!

    XO Helen @ http://www.KaleidoscopeSpinning.com

  10. Tamsin says...

    I seem to recall Toby and Bo fell in love and decided to get married last year too. Nice they get to do it all over again! xxx

  11. Tiffany says...

    I’ve been to Iceland and Cornwall in a day, fab. Bo and Toby, priceless.

  12. emma says...

    Looks lovely. A shame Brexit will make it so much more difficult to live in the UK (again) – I miss it a lot, especially the weather – it’s never too warm :)

    Your rental looks lovely! So difficult to find ones which are decorated tastefully. I’m still curious: Didn’t you & your family move this months? Can’t wait to see what it’s gonna be next, your apartments were so different, but always so cozy & stylish!

  13. Glad you had a good time. I love Cornwall – we got engaged, had our honeymoon and now go on family holidays there every year. That playground in Polruan has one of the best views!

    I remember coming across your grandmother’s house one year on a trip :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh wow that is so cool. and i agree about the playground!

  14. We just returned from Cornwall. Such a beautiful place. Fowey is one of our favorites. Thanks for sharing your trip!

  15. I rarely make it out of London whenever I visit the UK, but I recently made a trip out to the Welsh coast, which was stunningly gorgeous (the baby lambs were super cute too). You’ve just inspired me to see Cornwall as well – it looks like you had a marvelous time!

  16. Lenka says...

    Such a nice part of the world. I hope you managed an afternoon tea at the Fowey Hall. they gardens are great and just right for kids. It must be great to returning there on regular basis.

  17. Toby’s so ambitious when it comes to parenthood! ahaha! So cute.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha, yes, spoken like someone who has never had a newborn ;)

  18. Wow, looks like a beautiful nature! You can even hear the sea and birds in the video! :) The ferry-picture; you look so happy! Sign of a good journey! :)

  19. Meghan Ulloa says...

    This vacation looks lovely. However, I have a pressing question. Any tips on how to adjust little ones with the time change? We are heading to Germany again in a month and sleeping was a disaster last year. My daughter will be 2 and a half. She never adjusted last year and I’m sort of dreading the trip. We are also on the west coast so it’s an even bigger transition. Tips are welcome! Thanks so much for sharing your photos. :)

  20. Love your pictures! I’ve also got family in England (and Scotland) that we used to visit fairly often when I was little so seeing the pictures of your kiddo’s reminds me so much of visiting my Grandma.

  21. Susanna says...

    Joanna, thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. Would you recommend a trip to Cornwall even if you didn’t have family in the area? Is there enough for young kids to do? My boys are about Toby and Anton’s ages. Honestly the idea of going to Cornwall never crossed my mind but your pictures are beautiful! Cheers!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hi susanna, great question! i love cornwall and it’s one of my favorite places in the world, partly because of its natural beauty/charm and partly because my family gathers there. if you live in england, i would definitely say to visit. but if you live in the US, it’s pretty hard to get to (fly to london + a 4-5 hour drive), and the weather is unpredictable. so i might recommend perhaps choosing a place with a somewhat similar vibe — maine maybe? or cape cod? or small towns in northern california? hope that helps!!!

    • Kathryn says...

      I’m not sure where you’d be travelling from, but we headed down to the South West (from the North West of England up near Manchester) for the majority of my childhood summer holidays, doing Cornwall, Dorset, and Devon, and never ran out of things to do! England is well castle-d, for one, and National Trust and English Heritage places often put loads of children’s events on over summer (if you can find jousting or a tournament nearby, go!), plus various museums and animal parks and aquariums, and if you go along to the Fossil Coast, dinosaurs, and then there are the beaches and everything that comes with them. As long as you are not expecting it to be sunny, utilise the first sunny day for your most wanted outdoor activity, and remember that the sea will probably be freezing, it’s lovely.

    • There’s loads to do for young children Susanna – even if it is raining then there are places like the Falmouth Maritime Musuem, Eden Project and Tate St Ives, Lost Gardens of Heligan, lots of National Trust places. Also adventure parks and so on if those are to your taste. Can’t recommend Cornwall more – we go there every year :)

  22. Sydney says...

    Oh how I know about those adorable accents. My cousins were all raised in England and they were just adorable when they visited. And their cute little clothes! Gah! Takes me back.

  23. Uma says...

    I’ve always associated Cornwall with Daphne Du Maurier since she lived there and set a few of her books there. The king’s general and I think Rebecca. And isn’t Manderley based on her home in Cornwall?

  24. Andrea says...

    We have two nephews in England (one not quite talking yet), but the accent is just the best. His American cousin does a great imitation. ;)

  25. Melanie Price says...

    Oh wow. So, so beautiful!! Cornwall is now on my bucket list. Cheers!

  26. amy says...

    welcome back!! I missed you in blog land but am so glad you had (what looks like) a glorious vacation. Your family is so beautiful. Happy 3rd birthday to Anton! I remember when he was born!

  27. Quinn says...

    Cornwall looks like it has the coziest, homiest feel. The movie About Time with Rachel McAdams made me fall in love with Cornwall, it’s been on my travel bucket list ever since! Your photos are lovely, Joanna. I’m so glad you all had such a great time. Thank you for sharing!

  28. Looks like such a charming place! (Another item on my travel bucket list, ha!) It’s so wonderful that you’re able to go back and visit and stay in touch with your family across the ocean. xo

  29. Kaitlin says...

    Bo and Toby are so sweet. She looks exactly how I would imagine your daughter would look.

  30. Roxana says...

    Hahaha!
    “We’re going to have five babies!”
    “Yeah! Let’s do eleven!”
    “Let’s get a giant car to fit all of them in!”

    Hilarious. And adorable.

    Your boys are both SO cute!

    My son (who just turned 5. . . sniff, sniff) and his soon-to-be cousin (who is 8) are planning to get married. How precious is childhood?!?

    Lovely trip. Looks so beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

  31. Erika says...

    That video of Anton running – sun, breeze, sea, paradise. My dad is a geography professor and my family swapped homes (and jobs) for a year with a British family when I was about Toby’s age. As a result, it’s home to some of my favorite childhood memories! Such a magical place. I even inadvertantly developed an accent. Ha! I have such a deep connection to England now and try and get back as much as possible. Hopefully next year with my now 5-year-old! I totally agree with your comment above – traveling with littles isn’t always easy, but boy is it worth it.

  32. Nina says...

    Such beautiful pictures and wow, the scenery there. Toby is getting so grown up looking! And those flag pants…looks like something Mick Jagger would have worn oh so long ago. So…are you holding the camera or is Alex in your selfie? I ask because SO often it seems like the woman (with the shorter arms most often) is the person holding the camera and I can never figure out why that is…why not have long armed man do it? seems more logical to me. is it that men don’t want their picture taken so the woman is forcing them? just seems like we could all get better pictures if we used the arm that was longest.

  33. Christina says...

    Thanks for sharing a peek into your family hols, Joanna :)
    My brother and his family (my kids cousins) live in Devon, and we don’t get over there nearly often enough. You made me smile and miss the motherland with this post! XO

  34. So lovely! I adore Cornwall and have had many happy holidays there. I wanna go back now haha! Glad you had a great time :) x

    Polly Cat Contemplates

  35. Allegra Liu says...

    So sweet! What a lovely family you have.

  36. Hope says...

    That video is adorable!! And I love the name Bo for a little girl-may I ask if it is short for a longer name? Thanks!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s actually her middle name. her first name is Ophelia. so pretty, right?

  37. Erin says...

    PRECIOUSNESS!!!

  38. It looks so lovely! Been longing to visit the uk since forever, and I’m Dutch so it’s practically next door.. And I’ve always wondered; are you related to the writer Robert Goddard? I believe he’s also from Cornwall.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      ooh i’m not sure! maybe? i’ll ask my dad!

  39. Hey Welcome back Joanna…. glad to see that you had wonderful trip. England is one of those country people are talking about a lot… Brexit ha!

    This pictures remind me..I gotta book a vacation to England :D

    Thanks for sharing!

    http://www.thedailyweeklyblog.com

  40. Oh my goodness that video oh Toby and Bo!
    It looks as though you had a wonderful vacation. You are much braver than I ! I wouldn’t dream of putting my two on a plane! (3 and 5 by December)

  41. Oooh, I’ve wanted to visit Cornwall since my first read of Rosamunde Pilcher’s The Shell Seekers. Your pictures only make me want to go more!

    • Stephanie says...

      As I was reading Joanna’s post I was trying desperately to remember the name of this book. Thank you for remembering for me :-)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you for the recommendation! going to check it out!

  42. Rose says...

    You mean an “usie,” on the ferry.

  43. Kelley says...

    Wow! It looks like a wonderful trip with great weather! Would you be able to share the brand of your frames in your selfie picture on the ferry? They are beautiful and I am on the hunt for a new pair! Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes! warby parker. they make great larger frames.

  44. Carly says...

    I love how you somehow always manage to find a rental that perfectly fits your aesthetic.

  45. jenny says...

    I think next time you go there you have the read the classic ” The mists of avalon” by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I don’t normally love fantasy/historical fiction but this 1000 page book will knock your socks off and it would be very cool to read it where it took place.. Cornwall during king arthur times. A love story.. but complex and richly written.. w powerful female heroines. People say it is the story of king arthur told from a woman’s point of view. It is glorious. I have read it in both english and german and will take it with me if I ever go to Cornwall! Best would be in the fall when there is rain and storms… Now I really hope no one corrects me and tells me it is not actually Cornwall! : )

  46. That looks like such a fun trip! So beautiful! “Let’s have 5 babies!” Haha! They have no idea what they’re talking about. Kids are so funny. I love your blog. I read it a few times a week! :)

  47. Looks so amazing! How is traveling with kids? I don’t have any yet but travel a lot and always tell myself that I will continue to do so in the future. :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s definitely chaotic and not very relaxing (at least in our experience) but i really love it :) you see such different sides of their personalities and it’s so much fun.

  48. Josie says...

    So is it true? Life with two kids gets easier when the youngest turns three? I remember that post of yours well.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my goodness, YES! so funny that you left this comment because i was just thinking about this last night.

  49. Courtney says...

    I’m so interested-just because your family is there and you know where to stay-but would you consider doing a post if people wanted to visit this area and don’t know a thing (like where to go, what pubs are the best, what pubs you love) I would enjoy that!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      absolutely! we always stay in polruan and fowey — where my grandparents live — and haven’t explored much of cornwall, funnily enough! but i would love to next time. and i would be happy to give recommendations for our little area.

    • Kate says...

      Us English folk could recommend some places too if needed! X

    • Rosie says...

      Ooh I am always happy to recommend places- some English readers could do a guide to! I’ve been going to Cornwall every year for 26 years and although I’m a Londoner born and bred, Cornwall is my adopted motherland! If you make it to Cornwall, St Ives is a must, such a magical and arty town.

  50. Katy says...

    I’m so glad you had a wonderful holiday and they’re beautiful pictures!
    Your post brought back so many memories, I grew up near there and miss it so much (I only moved away a few months ago and am waiting for the homesickness to subside!). My cousin is getting married just up the road from Fowey, next weekend, and I’m counting down the days until my feet land on Cornish sand again.
    PS. Rock-pooling is THE best beach activity!

  51. oh toby, ever the romantic…. :)
    we missed you in blog land. welcome back.

  52. I love how there’s only one wine glass left on the shelf. Sign of a good trip!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahahaha good eye! ;)

  53. Allison C says...

    Wow, what a beautiful place! I am so curious as to how the jetlag was with kids? We are contemplating visiting relatives in Sweden next summer, which would be amazing, but I am curious as to how my 6 yr old boy will do with the jetlag… Thanks!!!

  54. Kathleen says...

    I used to vacation in Fowey when I was little and still lived in London! My family went at least three times! It’s such a lovely, charming part of the world.

  55. What a lovely holiday- thank you so much for sharing! The wedding planning had me cracking up. My 5-year-old twin daughters have been planning their wedding(s) since they were 3! The groom changes depending on who they fancy at the moment (it used to be daddy but that has changed). The details they come up with are incredible.

    XOXO, Amy @ Jeans and a Tea
    http://www.jeansandatea.com

  56. Wow, you had sun!
    That last photo is utterly precious.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, for the first four blissful days! we were totally thrilled since the forecast had predicted rain. the last few days were foggy/rainy, but still nice.

    • olma says...

      But the combination of a few days ago sun and then some rain is the ingredient for “SPECTACULAR!”
      Fantastic!

  57. So beautiful! Can’t believe Anton is three!

  58. Mary says...

    Thanks for sharing! What a gorgeous spot.

  59. Sarah says...

    Let’s do eleven!
    And that video of Anton running down the cliff! So sweet.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      “let’s do eleven!!!” that was my favorite part too :)

  60. lexi says...

    It’s so Poldark! Anton should get cast to run on the cliffs in the next season.

  61. Colleen says...

    can you please take me with you next time? it looks so wonderful…

  62. Stephanie says...

    I absolutely, positively love how often Toby wears his stars and stripes leggings. Thank you for indirectly portraying how children should be allowed to be children.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s a really touching comment. thank you, stephanie. xoxo