When I was young we didn’t have many family holiday’s making those that we did have even more special. The holiday that holds the fondest memories is the trip we made to Haven Holiday’s Primrose Valley site when I was a ‘tween’, I had an amazing time! Once I had my own children I knew I wanted them to experience the happiness I had felt so their first holiday was a trip to Haven. Over the years we have visited several of the camp sites with our most recent being a return to Primrose Valley in Filey, a real trip down memory lane for me!
Often caravan holidays get a bad rep, being like Marmite, you either love them or hate them. Of course, like everything in life I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but our experiences over the years have only strengthened my belief that what Haven offers is one of the best family holidays around. With something for everyone old and young I wanted to share the reasons why I think Haven rocks.
The Haven holiday parks are all perfectly positioned in prime locations with easy access to beaches, local attractions and stunning scenery. Primrose Valley is a perfect example of this, literally a stones throw from the beach which can be seen from the window of the check in desk! Plus it’s only a short drive to the coastal towns of Filey, Scarborough and Whitby which are crammed with attractions and places of interest.
Not everyone will want to venture off the site, let’s face it there’s plenty to keep everyone busy without having to, but it’s fabulous to have easy access to fantastic local amenities.
The kids love to swim, so the fact that every Haven site has a swimming pool is great for us and even better news is that it’s completely FREE! Each site we have visited has a completely unique pool, but all have had a water slide or log flume ride, which of course needs to be tested a billion times! Primrose Valley has two separate pools in different locations on the park and one even has an outdoor pool – fabulous for the warm weather we have had this year. The main pool has an amazing splash section specially designed for younger kids where they can turn the water valves on and off to their hearts content – put it this way Mum and Dad experienced a LOT of splashing! If we let them the kids would spend all day in the pool, coming out like shrivelled prunes, but eventually hunger wins, and they reluctantly drag themselves out! It’s a inexpensive way to keep the kids entertained for a few hours which is always great!
If you want to keep the kids busy then you are covered at Haven! There is a full activity schedule running every day with something for toddlers to teens. Whether your child is arty, sporty or interested in nature and the outdoors you will find something suitable. Most of the activities are bookable and on a first come, first served basis however we have always been able to book our first choices. Best of all is that lots of the activities despite being bookable are free! Leo took part in Archery and fencing during our recent holiday which were both FOC and he thoroughly enjoyed trying something new.
There are activities that are chargeable too which range in price from £5 to £20 and over the years we have tried and tested a few of these too. The girls particularly enjoyed the Ariel Adventure at Haggerston Castle in Berwick which despite being £20 each was more than worth the fun they had – not sure I had fun watching them literally swing through the trees though!
The activities are there for you to take or leave depending on how busy you want your holiday to be. For us we enjoy planning our week when we arrive and attempt to fit in some new experiences for the kids that they may not normally get to try, but also being sure to leave some down time too!
Alongside the activity timetable there is also a full range of entertainment for everyone including panto shows, puppet shows, quizzes, Bingo, cabaret and much more. It may at times be bordering on being a bit cheesy, but isn’t that the fun of these kind of holidays?
Despite our best intentions we are often too busy during the day to catch much of the children’s entertainment, but what we have seen has been perfectly pitched for its audience. Whilst we would like the sun to come out and play every day we must be realistic living in the UK and expect the rain. The daytime entertainment programme provides the perfect distraction to keep the kids occupied when the weather isn’t so kind.
We love to head down to the show bar in the evening for a few drinks and watch the shows and we always find there is a fantastic variety with something different every evening. The singers this year were truly amazing, they did a show called Festival Anthems and not only were they incredibly talented, but they had the whole place singing along too!
The Seaside Squad
I’ve saved the best till last! When I holidayed at Haven all those years ago there was just Rory The Tiger and Bradley Bear entertaining the kids by themselves, but times have changed, they now have a whole squad! Anxious, Polly, Ned and Greedy have been added to the gang and the kids just love them – well the girls did when they were younger it’s not so cool as a teenager, although they go along with it for the sake of their brother!
The character’s have their very own shows, activities and of course the all-important photo opportunities. We always try and do the character breakfast too which is a more relaxed way for the little ones to meet them whilst Mum and Dad get a yummy cooked breakfast – everyone’s a winner!
The Seaside Squad really make the holiday for the kids, I know the girls have some fond memories of their visits to Haven and the characters are always the focal point when they look back. We have over the years assembled our very own ‘cuddly’ squad at home thanks to the vast array of merchandise that is available on site – you may need another mortgage to afford it, but to see the kids happy it’s worth it!
As I write this we have only been back a couple of day’s and already the kids have asked if we can go again next year and I have been pricing it up online! For us Haven provides everything we as a family look for in a holiday and at a realistic price – as a family of 5 it would cost us a fortune to holiday abroad every year – and we can’t wait for our next trip to begin.
Have you stayed at any of the Haven Holiday sites before? I would love to hear about your experiences so feel free to leave me a message below!
*This post is NOT sponsored by or in collaboration with Haven, but has been written purely because we love it!