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'It seemed rather surprising to him that anybody could live in Devonshire without living near Dawlish,’ wrote Jane Austen in Sense and Sensibility, which we think shows jolly good taste on her part. We think she would also have approved of somewhere like the family holiday park Dawlish Sands a short stroll away from the beach at Dawlish Warren, hitching up her petticoat to run the race track in the arcade zone, jumping into the heated indoor or outdoor pool in a Victorian swimming costume and bonnet, or giggling coquettishly at the family entertainment in the Devonshire Tap clubhouse while lowering her fan to try and spot a Darcy lookalike. Or maybe that’s just us.
Twenty-first century families will find plenty to like at this Park Holidays site on the English Riviera too, with comfy accommodation in swish caravans, a Loopy Kids’ Club for little loopers to whirl about in, and Sky Sports and free wifi in the clubhouse (Sky and wifi packages are also available in your caravan for a reasonable additional charge). There’s also an adventure playground to properly tire the kids out, before you ‘challenge’ them (i.e. defeat them soundly) at the games in the arcade and amusement zone, then take to the sun terrace at the outdoor pool to bask in rays and grown-up triumph.
Accommodation at Dawlish Sands is in two or three bedroom caravans on different price tariffs, all with kitchen facilities, TV and linen provided. Foodwise, everything is laid on at the park: there’s a restaurant with takeaway for family meals and a mini mart on site. And if you do decide to venture off site, there’s a steam railway and cycle park right beside the park for puff or pedal sightseeing.
Dawlish Sands guests can also use the facilities at the nearby Park Holidays site Golden Sands, with heated indoor and outdoor pool complexes, an Adventure Land Play Area, and yet more going Loopy at the kids' clubs.
Tourist board rating
Open from 21 Mar to 3 Nov