Should have gone to Mallorca: The Great Southwest road trip

Having cancelled a family holiday to Mallorca due to Covid-19, Mark Piggott embarked on a road trip with his wife and kids from London to Cornwall... with mixed results

Wednesday 25 August 2021 21:30
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<p>First stop on the trip: Stonehenge </p>

First stop on the trip: Stonehenge

As keen travellers in our former lives, my wife and I didn’t see why a little thing like parenthood should stop us. We’d already done Trips Down Under, the US and Canada, most of Europe… then came Covid. Last year all we managed was a desultory few nights on a leaking tub with a leaking potty on the Broads; this year, we swore, would be different. After all, Daughter, 17, rarely wishes to be seen in our company; this could be our last big family holiday, ever (I do have a tendency to over-egg things – and I don’t even like egg).

In a panic, we booked a week in Mallorca; then, as the reality of vaccination passports, Delta variants and quarantine costs sank in we double-panicked and cancelled, losing our deposit. Daughter was delighted: she was horrified at the thought of slumming it in a Spanish high-rise. Son, 14, was less pleased; he’d relished the thought of “wild swimming” (or as we 50-somethings call it, “swimming”), sandy beaches, chorizo. Both are dismayed when we reveal our alternative: to Cornwall and back in a battered but trusty C4 also taking its final adventure. It’s a diesel, and in a few short months will be sent to live up country.

“It’s not a staycation,” I explain. “A staycation is where…”

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