Humongous holidays - ten top holiday parks for the summer
You know the feeling. Trying to book somewhere for a holiday that’ll keep you, your partner, your three year old, your nine year old and your teenager all happy without too many meltdown rows and the teenager skulking in the corner all weekend with their DS. Add in the fact that the weather is sometimes a little inconsiderate, meaning that the promised two-day Peppa Pig World odyssey is now off limits to the three year old and the nine year old can’t learn how to surf, and it’ll be tears at bedtime all round. And that’s just the adults.
You can book your holiday anywhere in the UK and Ireland according to what leisure activities are near your site, but if you want to really ensure there’ll always be plenty to do for everyone in the family, holiday parks are a good option. They’ll have activities on site for all ages, from kids’ clubs to evening entertainment, and most of them will have a restaurant or takeaway too, so no need to walk to the local bar in the rain for dinner and a pint.
It’s not all staying indoors, though – holiday parks have enough outdoor activities on offer too for when the sun does make an appearance (it will of course decide to shine for the entire week just as you’ve arrived with the car boot loaded up with brollies and wet weather gear). You could even discover you have a budding champion in the family, such as 14 year old Claire Noonan who landed the title of UK & Ireland junior archery champion only 18 months after she first tried the sport at Craig Tara Holidays in Ayrshire.
Convinced? Good. Here are ten of our most popular holiday parks:
Newton Mill Holiday Park, Somerset: Just a couple of miles from the World Heritage City of Bath, Newton Mill has plenty to do for all ages whatever the weather. The park’s a David Bellamy Conservation Award Silver winner and has award-winning showers and loos, always a plus even if the kids won’t be that impressed by it. There’s a converted mill with waterside terrace which also has a conservatory and indoor bar restaurant, a well-stocked shop, wifi and takeaway food. Pitches are for tents, tourers and motorhomes, with electric hookup available.
Summer Lodge Holiday Park, Cornwall: This Newquay park is a short drive from the surfing beach with plenty of other watersports available to try nearby. On site, there’s plenty to do if you’re staying indoors, including kids’ clubs, a games room with pool tables, and a clubhouse showing the latest sports on the big screen, or there’s Newquay Zoo just four miles away if you fancy a day trip. The park also has evening entertainment, a takeaway, wifi and a food shop. Pitches are for tents, tourers and motorhomes, with electric hookup available.
Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall: Another Newquay park, Hendra has won several awards including Cornwall’s Holiday Park of the Year and Loo of the Year. There’s enough to do here to keep everyone busy no matter what the time of day – pack the kids off to do some karaoke or treasure hunting at the Hippo Kids’ Club or let them loose in the indoor pool complex with flumes, geysers and waterfalls, then take in the evening entertainment with comedians, bands and cabaret. There are also bars, restaurants, takeaway facilities and a fully-stocked supermarket on site. Pitches are for tents, tourers and motorhomes, with electric hookup available.
Lady’s Mile Holiday Park, Devon: An award-winning park at Dawlish in Devon, Lady’s Mile is a mile from the Blue Flag beaches of Dawlish Warren and has two other beaches close by. You might not get to the beach with all the facilities available on site – take your pick from the games room, bar, indoor pool, restaurant, fitness centre, takeaway and evening entertainment, or just tell the nine year old that ‘surfing’ means browsing the net with the free wifi. The tent, tourer and motorhome pitches here are all grass with electric hookup.
Grondre Holiday Park, Pembrokeshire: A holiday park with a difference here, set in the grounds of an eighteenth century manor house and seven miles from Oakwood Adventure and Leisure Park. Grondre has a pool, amusement arcade, football playing area and a tourist information centre open 24 hours a day so the kids can direct you about day trips. There are non-electric tent pitches for tents available as well as electric grass pitches for tourers (no motorhomes are accepted).
Coast View Holiday Park, Devon: This Teignmouth park overlooks Lyme Bay a few minutes from Shaldon village, and has loads of leisure on site including a bar, restaurant and indoor heated pool complex with a soft play area. The park also has a shop and a play park with assault course for older kids as well as an enclosed outdoor play area for younger ones. Non-electric grass pitches are available for motorhomes and tents.
Callow Top Holiday Park, Derbyshire: There’s plenty to do at this award-winning Derbyshire park: an amusement arcade, family discos, live bands, quiz nights and bingo in season, on-site supermarket, inn selling pub grub, indoor pool, TV room, café bar with pool tables and satellite TV, and even a micro-brewery selling Callow Top’s own Bad Ram real ale. There are non-electric pitches for tents, part-serviced hardstanding spots for tourers and motorhomes, and holiday cottages sleeping up to five or seven.
West Bay Holiday Park, Dorset: Another award winner, West Bay Holiday Park in Bridport has a beach on its doorstep as well as plenty to do on site – there’s an indoor pool with separate toddlers’ pool and full-sized flume, kids’ clubs with activities for toddlers to tweens, amusements, a climbing wall, family evening entertainment, shop, off-licence, cash machine and a bar and café with harbour views. West Bay has serviced grass pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes.
Whitecliffe Bay Holiday Park, Isle of Wight: Activities are inventive at this Isle of Wight holiday park, with metal detecting on the beach one of the options on offer for the kids. The evening entertainment is top-notch too: touring shows from the West End and outdoor cinema in the summer evenings. Whitecliff Bay also has an indoor and outdoor pool, Jacuzzi, adventure playgrounds and mini golf. Pitches are for tents, tourers and motorhomes, or take the hassle out of packing much by renting one of the Whitecliffe bell tents sleeping up to four.
Woolacombe Bay Holiday Village, Devon: Pitch up to this park at Woolacombe Bay for tennis, pitch and putt and crazy golf on site as well as indoor and outdoor pools with water slides, free kids’ clubs including one for teenagers, evening entertainment including cabaret and discos, and a sauna, steam room and spa bath at the on-site Romano Spa. Prices in July start from £31.64 a night for an electric pitch booked for two adults and three children. The park has basic grass pitches and electric grass pitches for tents, tourers and motorhomes.
To look for a holiday park on Pitchup.com, enter 'holiday park' into the Search box on the top left of the homepage; you can then search by location such as parks in Scotland, Wales or France, or look for parks according to leisure and amenities on site, leisure nearby, theme, rules and dozens more. There should be enough above to keep even the sulkiest teenager, crabby kid or grumpy other half entertained, but don't forget to pack the umbrella - and the sunscreen, just in case.
Updated June 2013.