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A taste of natural Cornish hospitality; Jade Wright enjoys a lodge holiday getting back to nature in beautiful Cornwall.

Byline: Jade Wright

I'M still haunted by memories of childhood camping trips - tropical storms washing away our tent in the south of France and gales threatening to blow away our whole encampment in the Peak District left a lasting impression of nights under canvas.

But my mum has an insatiable love of the great outdoors. She's been telling me for years to forget about leaky undersheets and missing tent pegs - today''s campers are getting back to nature in style, with lodges, chalets, tepees, yurts and VW vans, she says.

Inspired by her enthusiasm I booked us in to a luxury lodge at Hoburne Doublebois in Cornwall. I figured it was a good bet - Cornwall has the best weather in Britain, the loveliest long sandy beaches and - a huge bonus for two avid gardeners - the Eden Project.

As soon as we arrived at Doublebois, I forgot any of my prejudices about camping and holiday parks - it's a an idyllic country hideaway of eco lodges, golf and pure relaxation.

On the edge of Bodmin Moor, near to surfing paradise Newquay, Padstow and the beautiful Cornish coast, it was the perfect base for our relaxing family holiday.

We explored the nature trail, played pool and skittles in the quaint games room and sat back on the decking of our traditional timber lodge, looking over the fields and hedgerows rolling into the distance.

The lodge itself was well-equipped, with a full kitchen, an ensuite bathroom and a comfortable lounge area. The staff couldn't do enough to help - husband and wife managers Tony and Gill Hughes gave us a really warm welcome - and some great advice on places to visit and tips on where to park when we got there.

Each day we explored the nearby attractions - it may be a long drive to Cornwall but once you''re there most of the attractions are relatively close together.

The highlight was undoubtedly Eden''s giant greenhouses, or biomes. They're a gardener's paradise where visitors can experience nature at its best. It's made up of two areas of huge biomes which re-create rainforest and Mediterranean climates, and there are also world-class sculptures, excellent cafes (there's a new bakery where you can watch everything being made and they do one of the best cream teas I've ever tasted) and gift shops with so many lovely things we wanted to buy the lot. It's also a great rainy-day attraction - but remember that whatever the weather outside it gets really warm inside the domes, so don't forget to wear layers so you can strip off to a vest and shorts in the tropical climes.

On sunny days, it's hard to beat St Ives, home to a Tate gallery, the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden and lane after lane of independent shops.

We sat and watched the world go by from outside The Sloop - a fantastic old fishermen''s pub built in 1312, complete with low ceilings, tankards hanging behind the bar and a comprehensive selection of Cornish ales.

By the end of our week away I'll admit I was a convert. The holiday park was friendly, convenient and full of things to do. Getting back to nature has never been such fun.


NATURAL BEAUTY: The Eden Project and Hoburne Doublebois
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 3, 2012
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