Reflecting on a year at Haven!

It’s no secret that we Rock ‘n’ Roller Babies are big haven Holidays fans and we’ve been on two this year with plans to go next year too! I love writing about our trips there and here’s a little guest post from another family who are Haven fans too! Enjoy!

Reflecting on a year at Haven!

After visiting three different Haven parks this year (and the third one twice), I thought it’d be a sound idea to put down my thoughts on each.

So, why on earth would somebody have four UK holidays in one year? It’s a good question.

Our answer is because we really do love it…all 11 of us. We used to be a 10 but my sister’s just welcomed her new-born son to the world six months ago.

We wanted to have some quality time involving everybody…without leaving the new arrival and his mum behind. And we’ve been holidaying at home as a group for the last five years.

Blame my dad. He’s always preferred caravan and camping holidays (with a bunch of things to do), over lazy trips abroad.

I like both to be honest. But it’s all about keeping the old guy happy. And to be fair, the kids absolutely go nuts about it.

Anyway, here goes…

1. Reighton Sands – Eastertime

Right on a clifftop looking out across Filey Bay, this one’s definitely one of our fave locations.

filey bay

The staff are dead friendly and even though it was freezing over the Easter break, they had loads of indoor activities going on for the kids.

I remember the strong smell of bleach when we arrived in the caravan…but I guess that’s what you want! Clean doesn’t even describe this park. In comparison to every other place we’ve stayed, I’d have to say this is the most spotless I’ve ever seen.

It kind of reminded me of the Isle of Man (if you’ve never been – just go to see how litter-less the streets are).

All in all, this was a proper snug holiday to start our year. Limited by the harsh weather, we made the most of things using the kids clubs, using all our slummy in the 2p arcade and exhausting all of my dad’s board games (which I’m now glad he insisted on bringing).

Most of the country was caked in snow at the time but we dodged that, thankfully.

I’d give the experience a 7 out of 10 due to the lack of sunshine…but that time of year, we couldn’t have really expected anything better.

2. Golden Sands – Summer Holidays

Unbelievable.

We got lucky with the weather and it made such a difference. We got to do everything we wanted to on the park and off it. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience for the money.

We took my brother’s dog with us and she was loving it! The beach is literally right across the road and the four-legged nutter was straight on the sand dunes at the first chance. Yep, she did make it to the sea too and got soaked, on a number of occasions, but the laughs were well worth the mess I suppose.

The park itself was everything we wanted from Reighton Sands but couldn’t make the most of because of the weather. Dad was in his element on the fishing lakes and we must have had pizza for tea three nights in a row, it was gorgeous.

The kids got to do Go Karting, abseiling and I lost count of how many times they rode the big slide into the outdoor pool. They had a ball.

My own personal highlight was being asked for my ID at the Mash and Barrel bar – it made my year. I spent most of the evenings here with my sister and the baby, who also seemed to enjoy the atmosphere (as much as I could tell).

I’d give this holiday a 10 out of 10 for sure. I can’t really put into words just how much better the sunshine made everything. We’ve booked our 2014 holidays at Haven already – fingers crossed for another sunny one (click that link to get to Haven’s advance booking page).

cleethorpes pier

3. Thorpe Park – Summer Holidays (again) & October Half Term

Right, let me explain this one. My partner and I escaped to Thorpe Park at the tail end of the summer holidays. It was our proper quiet time without the little ones (dumped them on dad and his board games) and it was just what we needed.

We got a late deal on a luxury caravan and didn’t plan a thing.

When we arrived, the lady told us about all the best walks to go on and some sneaky quiet spots on Humberston Beach. She knew what type of holiday we were after straightaway.

We didn’t really get involved with the main complex but we did rent a couple of bikes for a ride along the beachfront. I was knackered in minutes. But it was lovely.

In all honestly, we made a bad call on going to Thorpe Park without the kids. This is 100% the best park out of the three for them.

After they went crazy over the slide in Golden Sands, we just couldn’t let them miss out on the enormous ‘SpaceBowl’ slide that splashes into a ‘Lazy River’. Plus, there is paintball available on-park and our eldest son is definitely at that age!

space bowl thorpe park

So, we returned during the October half-term with just the four of us and let the kids run wild. We think they’re burnt out enough now for us to have a calm Christmas. Wishful thinking, I know.

I’d say 8 out of 10 both times for different reasons.

Have you been to any of these parks or any others you’d think we’d like? Give me your best tips in the comments.

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14 thoughts on “Reflecting on a year at Haven!

  1. I’ve only ever been to one, Littlesea in Dorset. My sister’s boyfriend’s brother (still with me?) has a caravan there. To be honest we didn’t really do an awful lot but had a lovely time nonetheless, the views are lovely!

  2. The best holiday we’ve ever been on with the kids was to Haven’s Rockley Park. There was something for them to do every day and every night and plenty for us to do too.

  3. I’ve never been to a Haven park but am a hhuge fan of caravan holidays. We go every year and because they are local can sometimes manage a few times a year. To be honest we are at an age where money i s very tight so a holiday abroad is out of the question really. But the camp sites are so much fun that I don’t think we are missing out.

  4. We went to Haven for the first time this year, Devon Cliffs. We all absolutely loved it, they make perfect holidays for big families with all the entertainment keeping the children happy we can relax a bit. We will certainly go again and Thorpe Park sounds wonderful xx

  5. I used to go to Primrose Valley and Blue Dolphin with my Grandparents when I was younger! I loved it! It was only an hour journey (we had to go on the bus) and we always had an amazing time!

  6. I am yet to do Haven, but it looks fab!! Golden sands is close so I think we might give that a try 🙂 Great post, Love it! x

  7. I used to love going to Haven when I was a kid, went to a few and either borrowed a chalet or caravan or took our trailer tent. Lots of fun, and looks like I should consider going with my children.

  8. Wow sounds like you all have beem having a great time! Id definately like to try them out with my hubby and kids.

  9. We used to go to haven every year When I was little and I have the best memories I can’t remember which ones but they definitely in either Suffolk or Norfolk as the journey wasn’t to far I took my kids on a uk holiday this year at the haven orchards park and we loved it friendly staff weather was amazing so out door pool was packed and the kids got to do loads of activitys with the pass I purchased I would really recommend it.

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