IT was a first for me – finding myself in a queue for another queue.
We were lining up to buy entry passes to visit St Michael’s Mount when the ticket seller announced: “You do know it’s an hour’s wait when you get up there?”
That’s what happens when you’re in Cornwall for what we can all agree was The Best Summer Ever, last year.
There are masses of tourists crammed into every nook and cranny of every beach, cafe, restaurant, chippy, pool, museum and attraction.
Especially at the little tidal island topped with its medieval church and its castle and its two queues. (PS it was still worth it. Do go.)
Fortunately, my accommodation provided something of a haven.
In a large field just two miles south of Newquay lies the very comfortable Safari Lodges of Trevella Park, Crantock.
The small, relaxed park has the traditional static caravans and a choice of glamping options — including safari tents, geo domes and our residence for the week, a very handsome, upscale safari lodge.
Set over two levels the “tent” — it is actually made of canvas, albeit draped over a heavy wooden frame — can sleep two adults and three kids with a double downstairs and three singles up top.
My kids Reggie and Dot loved the upstairs, saying it felt like The Best Den Ever.
There is a decent stab at “all mod cons” — loo, shower (hot, powerful), hob, kettle, microwave and fridge. But do bring your own bottle opener.
There is a sitting room/dining area with plenty of space — and a not- terribly-comfy sofa. A gas heater keeps the evening chill at bay.
At the front of the tent is a huge deck with a table and chairs and one of those modular outdoor sofas.
Myself, my partner Caroline and our kids had spent every morning having breakfast outside looking out at the rolling hills (there is no sea view unfortunately, despite being minutes from the sea).
The park itself is quiet — a blessing after the crowds on the beaches.
There is no lively bar or throbbing disco, with just a few arcade machines hidden well out of the way, a heated pool, two small play areas and a mini golf course.
Its resident hostelry, The Piskie Inn, seats just ten people and is only open between 4.30pm and 9pm, Thursday to Monday.
But it is a lovely way to, ahem, rehydrate with a cold lager after a day slowly burning yourself on Crantock beach.
There is a small takeaway which does very basic meals and also a shop which is well stocked after the delivery man has been but can be lacking towards the end of the day.
Helpfully a good-sized Morrisons and a Lidl are a very short drive away, as is a McDonald’s.
Meanwhile, this being Cornwall Tourist Land there are more than enough options for keeping busy beyond the park.
We went to the Waterworld pool (£7.20 adults, £5-ish for kids) a short drive away in Newquay, which has all the usual slides and water features to keep everyone amused for at least 90 minutes.
It’s based near Newquay Zoo, which is also by all accounts worth a visit.
We didn’t go there and instead got our animal fix at the brilliant Wild Future Monkey Sanctuary (£9 adults, £6 kids over four) which has an awesome setting overlooking the resort of Looe.
Other worthwhile day outs include: The Lizard (there’s a cracking Cornish Pasty shop, Ann’s Pasties, in an unassuming house a short walk off the main drag); Land’s End (a bit tacky but worth it for the view); Padstow (Chip Ahoy chippy is worth a visit); and St Ives (get the train, the town is always rammed).
Plus the Eden Project, which is a fantastic way to spend a day if the sun isn’t shining.
It’s not exactly cheap — £64 for a family if you book ahead online — but you get a lot of bang for your buck.
The end of our holiday came too quickly.
Despite being there for a full seven days we had hardly scratched the surface.
So we will certainly be coming back.
See you in August, Cornwall — I hope you’ve saved me some more sunshine!
GETTING / STAYING THERE: Seven nights’ self-catering in a two-bed safari lodge at Trevella Park this August is from £1,386, based on up to five people sharing.
A three-night Easter weekend break arriving on April 19 is from £458 and seven nights arriving May 4 is from £530.
To book, see trevella.co.uk or call 01637 830 308.