Family Holiday Haven for October break or 2016 – near London – mobile-tastic!
I wasn’t a mobile home/holiday camp person.
It wasn’t me.
Some accommodation fell through in London, we were desperate.
We found Haven Holiday Park in All Hallows, Kent – an hour’s drive from London.
We gave it a chance.
It was wonderful.
I am a convert.
You should go. 🙂
My preconceived, outdated idea of a mobile home was a draughty, desolate space with hard beds in cramped conditions. Our Haven mobile home was simply ace.
Our caravan was far bigger and more luxurious than many hotel rooms I’ve had the misfortune of staying in, and cosy and homely too. I think ours was newly decorated as it was faultless. The living area, dining area and kitchen were open plan, there were two twin rooms (one for my mother in law and the other for Mr Toddler) and one double room (for me, Mr Husband and Mr Baby to share). All the bedrooms were very snug but that wasn’t a problem as the storage was well thought out and as long as we can fit both babies in the bed for morning coffee we’re happy (Mother in law doesn’t join us thankfully, though Mr Toddler does often snuggle in with her).
When camping or staying in caravans, mobile homes or riverboats I do usually expect a totally piffling amount of pathetic, tepid water to dribble onto my head from the shower. Washing your hair seems unlikely and basically I start to wish I was at home. The shower here had it going on – it was Hot, Hot, Hot and blastin’. Happy days. I felt at home in a mobile home, you can’t really ask for more.
I’ll stop obsessing over the accommodation now.
We stayed in a Superior 3 Bedroom mobile home but whatever type of accommodation you choose bear in the mind the price also gives access to good onsite facilities – the indoor pool was cool, the two outdoor pools were brilliant. You’re not allowed to take photographs poolside but trust me, we were lying on the sun loungers, splashing around, watching big kids hurtle down a slide. We lucked out with the weather which made a huge difference. There’s lot of kids activities – some free, some cost extra – and lots of sports zones such as archery, a fishing lake, tennis courts, kart hire etc. You can rent lots of extra goodies to make your stay more comfortable too, from deck chairs to giant jenga, and overall the security and staffing levels were high.
The restaurant was super child-friendly because pretty much everyone staying here has kids, and we ate at 5pm before attempting the ‘go to sleep’ mantra and holiday-wine-o’clock commenced.
There was evening entertainment each night which we didn’t attend because we’re pure anti-social – we have two children under two, same thing. Again I don’t think this type of entertainment is me (karaoke etc.) but who knows, right now ‘me’ is changing so much after having babies- I’m sure that in a few years if my boys are singing their wee hearts out to the Proclaimers or Abba I’ll burst with pride.
The whole place felt like a giant cul de sac where kids are free to run and play and scoot and peddle, transporting you back to the vibe of the 1950s with all the comfort of 2015.
The All Hallows site is on the coast at the mouth of the Thames. Aside from the organised entertainment and facilities Mr Toddler spent a good 40 minutes throwing pebbles in the sea demonstrating that simple pleasures count for a lot.
Nearby is the castle town of Rochester on the river Medway. This isn’t bucket list stuff but it was good to venture out and leave the holiday park to visit a piece of England I wasn’t familiar with. We had a picnic in the sun in the grounds of the castle, ate ice cream and played in the park.
When we returned to the park the staff were notably welcoming and so were the other guests. Good mood central.
I met one woman on holiday with her newborn baby and three (yes, three) other children. Her husband had to work so, rather than cancel, she’d taken the holiday alone, so to speak. If by any chance at all she is reading this I salute her. 🙂
You can book to stay three nights (arrive Friday, check out Monday) which we did, or stay a week.
There’s a shop onsite for basic grocery shopping.
The kitchen was well equipped but there were no towels, dishcloths or toilet paper provided and I wasn’t expecting this. I don’t mean soft, fluffy bath towels (we had brought our own) but I hadn’t thought to pack a tea towel, hand towels for the toilet or a dishcloth for the kitchen. Live and learn.
If travelling with infants then the double room was just big enough for a bassinet for Mr Baby, and to get a travel cot into one of the twin rooms for Mr Toddler we had to gently up end a bed and place it on top of the other bed to create space – but it worked. Travel cots are available to hire if you can’t bring your own.
Haven offers 35 holiday parks around the coast so you can find one that works for you geographically.
Logistics – we’d flown from Aberdeen to London City with FlyBe, picked up a very reasonably priced hire car at the airport, spent two nights with relatives in London before heading to Haven. And yes, we’d happily visit another Haven holiday camp.