I do love an easy camping trip and they don’t come much easier than a holiday village! I must confess that just a couple of years ago, the idea of this type of holiday would have been my worst nightmare but the children absolutely love the activities and entertainment and if they’re happy (and exhausted), I’m one happy mummy.
We first visited Haven, Burnham-on-Sea, last September (2017) when investigating camping options for the low season. For a weekend away, we aren’t particularly keen to take the awning so having the option to visit a club house in the evenings if it is cold and wet, is appealing. With the children having the opportunity to take part in fencing, archery, shelter building, pond dipping, football, tennis AND swimming, the site was an absolute hit. This with the ease of anchoring ourselves to a table in the auditorium for a couple of hours in the evening, whilst Dougie and Heidi were entertained by the Haven mascots, we were able to see past our preconceptions and knew that this would be the first of many holiday village trips.
So, here we are, Spring 2018, at the end of the ‘low season’. Since last September, We’ve had a week in Ladram Bay, a weekend in Manorbier Country Park and a week in Pentewan Sands and now we are once again at Burnham-on-Sea. This weekend was planned sometime ago as some friends were due to get their new campervan in March. As it happened, they actually got it much earlier but they haven’t really had the opportunity, or the inclination (given the weather) to have a full weekend away until now.
We arrived on site on Friday evening having left Bristol around 4:30pm. Providing all is well on the M5, Burnham is an easy journey from our home town, making this an ideal weekend retreat. Although we had decided not to take our awning, our friends were keen to have a go at putting their’s up and as it was the same as ours, we were able to lend a hand. We were fairly quick to set up so made our way over to the clubhouse where we found a table and ordered pizza to feed the hungry troops. Although we hadn’t made it early enough to see Anxious, Ned, Polly and the rest of the crew, the family entertainment went on until 9pm so there was still lots for the children to enjoy.
The following morning, my friend and I donned our Lycra and headed off to the local Parkrun which was, according to the map, virtually on the site. I should have planned this more thoroughly as we left (late) through the wrong gate meaning we had to run almost a mile before we made it to the start line!
A truly fantastic Parkrun. The route was an out and back through a nature reserve, along the river and part way down the esplanade. I have to say, I haven’t always been that complimentary about Burnham but this was a beautiful route.
We met the rest of the troops at the main playground -there are many- before the older children started their archery/fencing activity. We later attended a forest schools activity making grass heads and of course, visited the swimming pool! The pool at Burnham is one of the best holiday park pools we’ve experienced. We also managed a little walk/bike ride around part of the Parkrun route in order to show off some of the beautiful scenery that we had found.
We were incredibly lucky with the weather. It was the first time this season that any of us had our legs out and we were pleased to have managed to get a BBQ in before the heavens opened and an electric storm started. We donned our jeans and made a made a dash to the club house.
The wonderful thing about the weekend being so jam-packed is that the children are absolutely shattered so we rarely have any problems from them at bedtime. Although I am equally as tired so turn in at the same time as them!
On arriving at the site, we were told that our pitch needed vacating by 10am but on the Sunday morning the warden said that we were okay until 11*, which made the morning quite leisurely. Once we were ready, we moved the vans to the car park and headed to the swimming pool once again. This time we had a much shorter session but we had booked the older children onto a glider activity, which prolonged their pool time.
Once again we had absolutely fantastic weekend all the better for sharing it with friends.
* The warden also informed us that we should not have had a pop up tent. I had seen signs stating no PUP tents but had naivety thought they meant dog tents! With two small children we use the pop up tent to store the car seats and am not sure what we would do without it. I would be interested to hear if anyone knows why some sites don’t allow PUP tents.