Independent Families: 'Where can we go with our four-month-old baby for a relaxing holiday with good food and sun?'

Q. With years of independent backpacking under our belt we recently became parents for the first time and now are stuck for a holiday. As nervous new parents we have found many holidays for people with toddlers but none that appeal for those with babies. We'd like the holiday to be as relaxed as possible, sunny but not too hot, near a pool or the sea with some walking, and preferably great - and even organic - food close by. We were thinking that perhaps we should stay in Cornwall during September or early October, but are worried about the weather.

Leonora Lowe via e-mail

A. Travelling with young children can be a concern, especially for first-time parents. But many tour operators have begun to acknowledge these anxieties. Holidays at such an early age can also be hugely rewarding - time spent together away from home, with somebody else doing the hard work, would give you both some well-earned rest. Taking your child into a different environment - such as the seaside - also offers immeasurable rewards.

Cornwall is a good option for young families not yet ready to venture abroad but who still want a seaside holiday. It is, of course, difficult to predict the weather, but September temperatures average at a comfortable 15C. Best of all, it has a stunning landscape to explore and delicious local produce - particularly the fresh seafood.

Fowey Hall (01726 833866; is particularly geared towards families. A beautiful mansion set in a five-acre walled garden overlooking Fowey, it is within easy reach of many attractions including the Eden Project and the sandy cove at Readymoney. The hotel's Four Bears Den cares for babies as young as four months and up to the age of eight between 10am and 4.45pm, leaving parents free to enjoy the hotel's facilities, or explore the surrounding countryside. It provides activities such as face painting and cookery for older children and games for babies as well as cots and soft cushions. For adults there is a heated indoor pool, table tennis and in-room massages.

September and October prices start at £185 per double room, half board, including the Four Bears Den facilities. The restaurant's menu features local produce and fresh seafood, and the Palm Court is open for lunch and offers a more informal dinner menu. There are more options in Fowey town itself, such as Q, a chic but relaxed restaurant in the Old Quay House hotel (01726 833302; with a menu that features local produce, from Fowey River mussels and oysters to local poultry. Contact the Fowey tourist information centre (01726 833616; for further advice.

Another option on the South Coast is the Combe House Hotel and Restaurant in Gittisham, Devon (01404 540400; The Grade I-listed Elizabethan building is set within 3,500 acres of parkland, where pheasants and Arabian horses roam. It is also an excellent spot for countryside and coastline exploration - Sidmouth and the pretty fishing villages of Branscombe and Beer are a short drive away.

Combe House is child-friendly and will supply cots, warm milk and has local babysitters on hand. The restaurant has two AA Rosettes and Four RAC dining accolades, and makes considerable use of local produce, much of it organic. Doubles start at £148 including breakfast. For stays of two nights the dinner, bed and breakfast rate is from £420; babies in cots stay free of charge. If you wish to dine elsewhere, The Drewe Arms (01404 841267) specialises in seafood and is a short drive away in Broadhembury. It uses mostly organic produce and serves locally brewed Otter Beers. Contact the Honiton tourist information centre (01404 43716;

If you do decide to venture further afield, flying with an infant of four months is perfectly safe. However, you should be aware that the younger the child, the more susceptible they will be to dehydration and cabin pressure, so keep plenty of fluids to hand.

Club Med (0700 2582 932; has a new Baby Club Med service at a number of its villages, catering for infants between four and 23 months. Childcare equipment is available and there are special areas in the restaurant for young babies. For six days a week a fully qualified team runs the Baby Club Med programme, which provides care for your child between 9am and 5.30pm.

Club Med is an all-inclusive organisation, but the Village of Opio on the Côte d'Azur has much to offer more independent-minded travellers in search of relaxation. With a pleasant average temperature of 20C in September and early October, you can enjoy the outdoors by exploring the surrounding countryside.

Nearby excursions could include Antibes, with its Picasso museum, the medieval town of St Paul or the perfume capital of Grasse, all of which are within easy reach of the hotel. And you don't have to limit your dining options to the resort - organic restaurants can be found in nearby Cannes at Montagard (00 33 4 93 39 98 38;, or the hip Organic Canteen in Nice (00 33 4 97 07 26 26;

One week at the Opio Village from 1 October costs £1,436 for the three of you. This includes full-board accommodation, return flights to Nice from Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester or Birmingham on British Airways, transfers and use of the Baby Club Med facilities. Be aware that children under two years are not allocated seats and will be expected to sit on a parent's lap. Transfer to the Village takes 40 minutes.

Advice and information on travelling with infants at home and abroad can be found at

Send your family travel queries to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or e-mail

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent