UK: Caravan Parks - tried & tested
Posted On: 14/10/2016
By: Scouse Bird
When you're after a weekend getaway, it's always tempting to 'stick with what you know'. Choosing a new place to stay or camp can be a bit of a minefield; there's so many things to consider so you just end up going to the same place and seeing the same sights. Yawn. Here's my tried and tested Caravan Park list in England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland with all the info you actually need to know.
PROS? There's load of amenities here; golfing, crazy golf, boating lake, beach, outdoor pool, shop, club, restaurants; you name it, it's got it. The setting, on the picturesque Mersea Island in Essex, has just the right amount of remoteness - you're bang in the middle of the countryside but civilisation isn't far away in the car if you're out for the day. The onsite club has plenty of entertainment on - expect to see ex X-Factor contestants and other acts up to that standard. You can pitch a tent here, bring a tourer, or stay in one of their luxury static caravans - and if you totally fall in love with it, you can pitch a static there all year. The food in 'The Granary' restaurant is fab, just like going to your local pub. There's half board options (breakfast & dinner) which start from around £16 per day for adults and there's a takeaway service for pizzas etc - so if you don't fancy cooking, you don't have to.
CONS? The phone signal is really bad there and the wi-fi is chargeable. If you do pay for the wi-fi, it's not great, I found it to be just as intermittent as the phone signal.
WI-FI? As above, but if you're eating in The Granary they give you free wi-fi in half an hour blocks and that's much better quality. You do have to keep asking for more wi-fi when it runs out though.
GOOD FOR? Great base for exploring the likes of Layer Marney Tower and Colchester. Perfect place to bring the kids because there's loads for them to do. Basically it's the site for you if you want to 'get away from it all' but still have your home comforts.
SHOP? Yes, next to Granary.
CLOSEST TOWN(S)? Colchester.
PROS? It's close to Liverpool so if you get an early dart from work on a Friday, you can be there eating your tea by 5pm so if there's an unexpectedly nice weekend you can take advantage and be away in no time. There's absolutely loads to do there and it's very much geared towards kids. The caravans for hire range from the standard to the seriously luxurious; Coleen Rooney has a caravan there. It's close to loads of places in North Wales, and as we know, North Wales is boss.
CONS? It's very commercialised and like I say, geared towards kids, so if being round a load of kids ain't your thing then you might want to stay away from the entetainment complex side of things but, to be fair, the caravans are fit.
GOOD FOR? Families and quick getaways.
WI-FI? Yes in the main entertainment buildings. Phone reception in the actual caravans is ropey at best.
SHOP? Yes. There's a Spar and even a Papa Johns that delivers straight to the caravan.
CLOSEST TOWN(S)? Prestatyn, Talacre.
PROS? The classy caravan park is anything but tacky. Children are welcome but it's not built around children so you won't find amusement arcades and play areas and screaming kids running round; instead you'll find gorgeous modern caravans and lodges (which are probably nicer than your house) and some of them even have their own hot tub and Wii console, so bring your games. It's open for 10 months of the year so whether you're after a summer break or you fancy a little Xmas break with some friends - the hot tub makes it perfect for all weathers.
CONS? Not really geared towards kids if you're looking for a family break. Very much an adult park.
GOOD FOR? Couples retreats, classy hen do weekends.
SHOP? No, but there is a spa.
CLOSEST TOWNS? Abergele.
Coming in 2017
Coming in 2017