After a year of lessons, exams and schooling came to a close, the boys and care workers at Hillcrest Poppy Lodge got the chance to relax and unwind on the scenic coastline of Cornwall, between the lively beach towns of Newquay and Padstow.
Following a long drive they all arrived at a bunk house surrounded by rolling hills which was a short walk away from a sheltered cove. The bunk house was a large stone built building that housed 14 people, with a large lounge, dining area and military style kitchen – perfect for the group to call home for their holiday.
On the first day, shortly after unpacking and settling down, the group took a day trip to Padstow, a beautiful beachside town with many bustling seaside cafes, restaurants and shops to visit. The weather held out as boats came into the harbour and groups of seabirds hovered precariously above, looking for an easy meal. The boys enjoyed (and protected) their fish and chips, a Poppy Lodge tradition.
Afterwards, everyone had the chance to unwind with some well-earned independent time around secluded Padstow town, with many of them eager to spend their pocket money on the famous Cornish fudge, pasties and ice cream on offer. After a long day, a rest was needed and we decided to head back to the bunk house for a good night’s sleep.
As everyone awoke for the second day we headed to The Eden Project. The boys enjoyed a day of rain soaked mini-golf, before heading on a trip to Mars, learning lots of fascinating facts about space travel and the future of the human race, finished by racing toy space buggies around the surface of Mars. After a wet and windy day, the weather started to brighten up, so we drove to St. Ives for the boys to have some more independent time at the beach. St. Ives is a larger town than Padstow and the group enjoyed spending time at the different shops, followed by a delicious ice cream.
The third day had surfing on the agenda and everyone was keen to get in the sea, regardless of the conditions. A surfing lesson with King Surf in Mawgan Porth took place. Everyone had an amazing time splashing around with lots of the boys managing to get up on the board. Everyone was very supportive of each other and pushed each other to persevere. The day finished with a BBQ, a game of cards and lots of fun board games.
On the following day, the group had planned to go on a coasteering trip but the weather had different ideas, so instead everyone went surfing again because the boys loved it so much. It was a similar couple of hours of fun and thrills with more of the staff and boys managing to conquer the waves. Afterwards we all headed to Newquay for a meal and enjoyed dinner to celebrate the end of a fun and successful trip.
On the route home we stopped off at the ATV centre in Cornwall for a chance to brave the track on quad bikes. Luckily the weather was beautiful and the sun beat down as three of the boys sped round the track. They all had a lot of fun taking on the turns, bridges and bumps.
Overall the trip was very successful, with lots of activities completed that both pushed the boys past their comfort zones and provided lots of fun and excitement. We also spent a lot of time relaxing and enjoying the food, scenic views and nature that surrounded us around the beautiful Cornish coastline.