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Float, float on...it’s easy to get carried away in the warmer months by the Lazy River at Thorpe Park Holiday Centre, part of an array of watery frolics that includes head-spinning flumes, a scream-inducing SplashZone, a roomy heated indoor pool, water walkers, aqua jets and more.
This leafy Haven site near Cleethorpes is not just for water babies, however. It also has a lovely nine-hole golf course, a temptingly tranquil fishing lake, a climbing wall and zip wire, crazy golf, tennis and multi-sports courts, and bikes for hire. You can also walk straight onto the beauteous beach through Thorpe Park’s manicured grounds.
Top notch for a lively break with the kids, Thorpe Park Holiday Centre has free children’s clubs for all ages, run by Haven’s bubbly FunStars, who also put on pantos and other kids’ shows in the early evenings. You can eat on site - there’s an all-day service at the Mash and Barrel lounge bar, plus a range of takeaway restaurants - and the park’s busy ShowBar is the main attraction in the evenings, with live music, comedy, cabaret, dancing, magic shows and the like. Young Bear Grylls in the making can get stuck into the wildly entertaining Nature Rockz activities run at the park. From bushcraft to building shelters, pond dipping to beachcombing and bug safaris, children can learn and experience all sorts. Most activities are free but a small charge may apply to some.
Buy an Activity Pass in advance to get the best value rates for the pay as you go activity sessions (all the evening entertainment and quite a few of the other facilities are free, but there’s a moderate charge for things like the aqua gliders and golf club hire).
Tourist board rating
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Convenience store nearby
Public transportation nearby
Propane/gas cylinders available
Leisure on park
Bar or club house
Indoor swimming pool
Outdoor swimming pool
Amenities on park
Ice pack freezing
Parent & baby washroom
Pick-up from public transport
Horseback riding nearby
Indoor pool nearby
Leisure/theme park nearby
Touring and motorhomes
Full hook-up sites
Water hook-up points for tourers
Barbecue grills allowed
Commercial vehicles allowed
Dogs allowed all year
Single-sex groups welcome
Student groups welcome
Large (51-200 sites)
- Coach stations
Cleethorpes: High Street Coach Stop
— 3.8 kilometres
3.8 kilometres New Waltham (NE Lincs): Station Road Coach Stop — 4.7 kilometres
4.7 kilometres Holton le Clay: Louth Rd Coach Stop — 5.0 kilometres
- Train stations
Cleethorpes Rail Station
— 3.8 kilometres
3.8 kilometres New Clee Rail Station — 6.2 kilometres
6.2 kilometres Grimsby Town Rail Station — 6.8 kilometres
- Ferry ports
Hull Ferry Terminal
— 29.7 kilometres
— 23.9 kilometres
From the M180 take the A180 towards Grimsby and Cleethorpes. Once in Cleethorpes town centre follow the brown Pleasure Island and Holiday Park signs to the park.
There’s plenty of see and do in Cleethorpes beyond the beach, pier and prom. Clock towers, pretty gardens and nuclear bunkers feature on the Cleethorpes Heritage Trail, a great way to explore the history of this bustling resort.
A short stroll from Thorpe Park Holiday Centre brings you to the Pleasure Island Theme Park, which has a raft of rides for all ages (and levels of courage), plus family shows featuring sea lions and birds. The steam-powered Cleethorpes Coast Light Railway is a fun way to travel along the shoreline; one of the signal boxes has been turned into a teeny tiny pub, and there’s also a Brief Encounters tearoom.
In next door Grimsby, visitors can take a tour of a fishing trawler at the National Fishing Heritage Centre, which recreates the glory years of the area’s fishing industry.
Elsham Hall Gardens and Country Park makes a good family day out. Aside from the stunning gardens, there are aviaries and an animal farm, an art gallery, and a small museum, and the park also regularly hosts seasonal events and activities such as paintballing.
The huge fortified gatehouse of Thornton Abbey is another popular place to visit, and in the summer, the neighbouring Abbots Garden has a huge maize maze and 'pick your own' fruit fields.
Further afield, you could tour some of the pretty villages dotted along this uncrowded stretch of beautiful coast, such as Crook Bank, Moggs Eye and Saltfleetby, or hit the stunning city of Lincoln, for a rooftop tour of the awe-inspiring cathedral, a canter around the Norman castle, or a bit of retail therapy.
For wildlife, head to the Gibraltar Point Nature Reserve near Skegness, a top spot for birdwatching, or to Donna Point, near Mablethorpe, to see the large colony of grey seals.
If you haven’t had your fill of rollercoasters and rides, the Fantasy Island park in Ingoldmells (Skegness) has plenty more, and it’s worth a mention that many of them are indoors, too.
- The Deep (31.7 kilometres)
- Ferens Art Gallery (32.5 kilometres)
- Far Ings National Nature Reserve (36.0 kilometres)
- Maister House (32.1 kilometres)
- Gunby Hall (41.5 kilometres)
Find local routes on the National Cycle Network - over 12,000 miles of cycling routes.