Our weekly parenting columnist, Kirsty McCabe, roadtests a Parks Resorts' weekend break at Heacham Beach Holiday Park in Hunstanton, Norfolk
Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside. And yes, despite the often inclement weather, that includes British beaches.
So, despite a chill in the May air, we packed our buckets and spades and headed to the Heacham Beach Holiday Park in Norfolk. It’s one of the 48 Park Resorts that can be found around the UK, many offering perfect spots for a family break staying in caravans, chalets or lodges.
We arrived late on Friday afternoon to our 'Gold' level of caravan, to find beds already made up with fresh white linen and the caravan clean, modern and well equipped. Our last trip away was a fabulous glamping adventure in Wales but I have to admit I do like having a bathroom, kitchen and a television. Not to mention double glazing, central heating and the all important WiFi.
While the wine chilled in the fridge we explored the site, checked out the shop and the children soon found the playground. They also spotted plenty of ducks around the site, and some very cute little ducklings! Ethan and Logan had to be dragged away from the playground to get ready for bed, with promises we’d get to the beach over the weekend.
Heacham beach in sunnier times...
Heacham beach is just a few minutes walk from the resort, with stunning views out to The Wash. We braved a cold northerly wind to look for shells and practise drawing letters in the sand, but in the end had to admit defeat and head back to the shelter of the resort and check out the heated swimming pool.
The pool was a huge hit with the boys, especially the separate children’s pool. And despite the number of caravans on the site it never got too busy. Both my kids were a bit unsure about the slide until I went down with them (any excuse for me to have a go!).
And it was toasty warm with the sun shining down on the mostly glass building housing the swimming pool. There are some classes on offer at the pool, such as kayaking, water walkers and aqua paddlers.
Back to nature
There are other activities on site for children too, including crazy golf, sports courts and daytime entertainment, including ballet and street dance at the Entertainment Complex. My boys are quite shy so we watched 'Pipsqueak' the mouse from a distance while eating at the Boathouse Tavern.
The reason for choosing Heacham wasn’t just the beach location but its proximity to friends that we hadn’t seen for ages. We met at Norfolk Lavender, which has world-famous lavender gardens, a plant centre, tearooms and a restaurant. More importantly for little ones it has animal gardens and an outdoor play area.
I’d like to say we had a civilised lunch in the restaurant but it will come as no surprise that we ended up in Farmer Fred’s Adventure Play Barn. This could well be one of the largest indoor soft play centres in East Anglia with plenty of slides, tunnels, rope swings, walkways and bridges. Even the slightly older kids had a great time.
The weekend went by so quickly, with our swimsuits barely having time to dry between our pool visits. When the wind eased we made it back to the beach and enjoyed an ice cream. And as the sun set it was time to hit the road and head back to the city.
A weekend break for a family of four staying in a Park Resorts Gold caravan costs from £200 per caravan for four nights (normally consisting of 1 Double, 1 Twin & Put-you-up). The gold caravans sleep 4-6 people.
For more information and to book, visit Park Resorts online, now
Kirsty McCabe writes her weekly column here on www.juniormagazine.co.uk. Follow us on Twitter: @juniormagazine to keep up with the latest news
"And, if you are in need of more, friendly, advice, have a read of some of my other columns..." Kirsty McCabe
Heacham Beach Park Resorts