Haven Holiday – It Was Fab!

We’ve been looking forward to going on our Haven Holiday for absolutely yonks and last week we finally got to go on it!

Florence was beyond excited as we set off a day early to go to Peppa Pig World at Paultons park which is close by to Rockley Park, our Haven Holiday destination! Once you book, access is given to a special website dedicated to your very own holiday and Florence and I have been logging in every day to see how many sleeps we have left and watch the video over and over again. I said it was all for Florence but really I was just as excited as her! After peppa Pig World and a trip to the farm on the morning of our haven check in, it was time to go and check in!

We had an earlier check in than normal due to us being booked into a Prestige caravan. They’re 12ft newer caravans with heating in the bedrooms and bathroom as well as homely decorations. A check in at 2pm rather than 4 was a definite plus as we didn’t feel like we had to spend time losing the whole day before we could arrive. As it happens we were having lots of fun at the farm we visited and didn’t end up at Rockley until 4 but I just know had we not had the option and we’d have somehow ended up twiddling our thumbs!

We had seen the pictures and were very excited to see in real life our little caravan for the next few days. Florence was super keen to stay in a caravan while I had my reservations, I’m so not a camping sort of gal! When we first arrived however and I was very impressed! This is not really camping as I imagine it and really it’s a little home away from home. The only time you’d know it was a caravan was when outside or very occasionally with a gust of strong wind (we were not lucky with the weather) you feel a very slight but not worrying sway! It was exciting!

Haven Holiday Caravan
All the mod cons you could want in very comfortable and extremely clean living spaces. We were missing a few bits from the kitchen which they immediately brought upon our request and our only complaint is that the fridge, although a regular size, didn’t have a shelf tall enough to take a bottle of wine!! (We coped – wine doesn’t hang around opened for long anyway right?). The television has a DVD player which is great news although we didn’t have time to watch anything on television really. I would suggest an option to be able to hire a fire guard, Jimmy was very keen on the fire and had we been cold I’d have been too frightened to use it!
Haven Holiday Caravan 1
Both bedrooms (Prestige means beds made up for arrival) had ample storage including a huge cupboard which could have been a tiny bedroom really in the master double. The room my Mum and Florence slept in was very small but perfectly formed and they were very cosy. Bathroom was ace with two doors, one from the landing and one from the master bedroom. I was super impressed with the shower, you’d never know you were in a caravan and again, both areas were superbly clean!

We thought our caravan was superb and they were all positioned very cleverly too. We were in an area of the park right near the beach and even though we weren’t in the front row but fourth, we still had a sea view! Each caravan has it’s own parking space and little piece of garden area too. We were most impressed!

And then on to our holiday. We had come of course mainly for the children and there were so many activities on offer it was hard deciding what to do first? We opted for Florence having a balance bike class as she has had one for a while now but has always been a little wary of it and not really enjoyed riding it. Within the half an hour class I could see her confidence had picked up dramatically and along with the other little girl in the class she had picked up a new and exciting skill!

Haven Holiday Balance Bikes
The cycling class along with a few others has a small charge but was worth it!

Other day time activities we enjoyed taking part in were the free ‘mini sports’ session and of course the swimming. I’m a big fan of swimming and Florence, like me, would always want to be in the pool as soon as you arrive anywhere. The first afternoon was super sunny and we even went in the outdoor pool!

Haven Holiday Mini Sports
‘Mini Sports’ was to give little ones a first try at archery, tennis, archery and other ball games like basketball and football!
Haven Holiday Mini Sports 1
Tennis was lots of fun and even Jimmy got in on the action!
Haven Holiday Swimming
Swimming was awesome and the indoor pool area has a fabulous splash zone, fun slide into the pool and a flume which was loads of fun but freezing to climb the stairs to! The pool is great for little ones and has a large area where Florence could touch the bottom. Outside in the heated pool and there is a dedicated baby pool which was perfect for having a little splash in! Life guards are very present and there are lots of them. I asked lots of questions and they were very polite and friendly!

I mentioned above that we had bad weather when we visited. We were just unlucky I guess and it was cold and windy for the majority of our stay… It really didn’t matter as we found lots to do but on the afternoon when we arrived it had been very sunny and the pool surround is stylish and contemporary making it feel a bit as though we were on holiday. We wanted to sit outside and try out the restaurant for which we had been sent a voucher. I’m so pleased we chose to do it on that day as alfresco dining at the Mash and Barrel restaurant was fab. Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures – I think I was so giddy with the sunshine – but we had the most delicious meal, my burger in particular was amazing and the children’s meal was good value, tasty and healthy! They had bolognese and both really enjoyed it. I was the only one who had a desert but as soon as my HUGE brownie and ice cream arrived everyone wanted a piece! It was a bit of a faff sorting out being able to sit outside and running a tab, no one seemed to know what to do with us wanting to do that but restaurant manager James Oliver swooped in and sorted it all out very smoothly. He was impeccable, had no idea I was reviewing and repeatedly throughout our stay asked us how we were when we walked past as he remembered us. Very helpful and polite staff and a lovely well priced meal!

Haven Holiday Mash and Barrell
A picture taken from the website as I forgot to take my camera to our meal! Sorry!

Florence and Jimmy also really enjoyed the organised ‘Kids Club’ activities with the ‘Seaside Squad’ characters! She’s a sucker for a giant character and the activities on offer were fab. Florence also enjoyed the 2p slot machines in the arcade! Day time things like crafts and a Punch and Judy show then in the evening a disco and games. The evening things start for children at 6.15 and until 7 it was perfect for my two’s ages. It got a little old for them after that but then we went back to our caravan for cards. We picked up some children’s card games like Happy Families and Snap at the on site Spar shop for under £1.50 each. We were lucky to have my Mum with us who was happy to babysit while we went back for another drink and on the Saturday night got to see the ‘Shane Richie Jnr Experience’. Just a random fact here, his Step Mum was in my class at drama school!

Haven Holiday Characters
Meeting the characters!
Haven Holiday Day Time
Slot machines and craft at the ‘Kids Club’!
Haven Holiday Evening
Evening entertainment fun!

The actual building is very modern and you can see it must have been refurbished fairly recently. It’s clean, attractive and inviting and all the staff, from those on reception to the bar staff, are helpful and polite! As well as the Mash and barrel restaurant there is a Papa John’s pizza who can deliver to your caravan and Cooks Fish and Chip shop which is new. We had fish and chips in our caravan one night and chose the special catch meal which was delicious with masses of chips. The fish was rather small but hey, the chips did make up for it!

Haven Holiday Surrounds
The building areas are modern, attractive and clean with lots of facilities!

You don’t need to go out anywhere as Rockley Park has lots to offer including a small beach area which luckily for us was just by our caravan. We did want to go and see some of the area though so drove to near by Bournemouth which was fun! Great beach and very well looked after! A highlight was the Peppa Pig land train!

Haven Holiday Bournemouth
A lovely day out and enjoying fish and chips in our caravan!

 

You can get out doors at Rockley too! There’s loads of activities for adults like archery and rock climbing but they have a nature reserve within the park and three play areas for children. We liked the one on the beach near the sailing school but there’s play equipment in the sports centre and by the pool area too. The smoking area and the children’s play equipment do seem to be in the same place which was a little odd and could be better thought out. There is an elevated seating area which is for over 18’s only and I think that would be far better as the smoking zone. Not only would the children not be near it but they wouldn’t have to see it either. I have to hold my hand up and say I do occasionally have a cigarette – I’m not a smoker as such these days but the odd one now and again so I can’t say I’m disgusted at people smoking but I do think it needs to be nowhere near or around children. I think my solution for the area would work better for everyone.

Haven Holiday Nature Reserve
Ham Common is home to the nature reserve!
Haven Holiday Play Ground
Lovely play areas with only a slight concern about the bouncy equipment near the pool which seems to be right next to the smoking area!

We had a lovely time at Rockley Park. It’s attractive, well thought out and the accommodation is fab! A great holiday despite the Great British weather being on typical form and we’d definitely go back. I am actually going to save up The Sun holiday tokens again when they come out and try to book another Haven holiday but this time in Norfolk, close to my Mum!

Thanks Haven holiday team, we had a great time!

Haven Holiday Bye Bye
The area our caravan was situated!

I was not paid to write this post but I was provided with the holiday accommodation, activity passes and a meal voucher for the purpose of review.