It’s late May and I have the hot ticket for the season.
I’m in a trailer park with my two year old son – and more importantly my mom can join us.
Five days after the government allowed two families to take a break together, we drove to Haven’s Hopton Holiday Village on the Norfolk coast, just south of Great Yarmouth.
Forget 5H hotels in Rome or luxury resorts in the Maldives, this Covid year means we all want a caravan on the coast with fresh air and social distance from the neighbors.
Haven has been leading the charge since early last summer, when it was one of the first UK holiday companies to introduce security measures against Covid and flexible booking.
There are contactless drive-thru check-ins, cleaned-sealed trailers for each new customer, and bar drinks delivered via the app. But the number of cleaners in some high-use areas is astonishing.
The indoor pool has hour-long slots, reserved online to limit swimmers, and changing rooms are cleaned between each session.
The same goes for most business areas. The Soft Playground has similar booking times, as does the Marina Bar where the nightly entertainment shows take place.
We stay in a three bedroom Prestige caravan. The size and comfort are impressive, especially in the open plan kitchen / living room and master bedroom.
The two twin bedrooms are small, with enough space between the beds to fit in. But there is clever storage for clothes.
This is the seaside vacation manual in English. Yes, partly because we ate fish and chips, visited a game room and bought a piece of stone, but also because it rained. . . a lot.
But we didn’t get stuck in the vacation home playing board games.
At 1 p.m. on Saturday we are exhausted, having already seen a toddler song show, having gone for a swim, and visited an arcade game room and gentle jungle gym.
In four hours, we integrated more activities than in the last six months, thanks to consecutive blocks.
There’s more to come too, with an afternoon beach walk and an evening show at the Marina Bar Holiday Village, featuring a musical piece about a pirate and a mini-game.
The shows are designed to entertain all age groups, while punters can order drinks at their table through the Haven app, or purchase take-out pizza or fish and chips to eat during the show.
This is only a fraction of what is on offer. There are go-karts for hire, Segways, archery, firefighting and den-building workshops, mini-golf, and a range of arts and crafts activities. for kids, to name a few.
We’ve been nonstop since 9am every day of our long weekend and barely made a dent in the list of available activities.
In fact, we were so busy on our first two days that we didn’t even make it to the beach, which is insane given its beauty – a long stretch of sandy coastline with the Great Ferris Wheel as a backdrop. Yarmouth. the distance.
Granted, the weather has also been too bad to bother, but when the sun finally shows its face, we bring it back to the beach armed with buckets and spades.
And my boy, is it worth the wait. Building sandcastles in the sun and dipping our toes in the (frozen) sea is even more magical than usual after the darkest of winters.
Action-packed entertainment programs are great for families who want to keep kids as busy as possible.
But it’s also every vacationer’s worst nightmare, which is why Haven launched two vacation options this year: the Stay And Play and the Stay Basic.
The Stay And Play package is more expensive and includes all activities such as indoor and outdoor swimming, soft games, and evening shows.
It’s worth noting when you can book the activities as they are very popular so you’ll want to jump in as soon as they become available to book online.
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The Stay package allows guests to enjoy a caravan while touring the surrounding area, as well as visiting the on-site Papa John’s mini-market, chippy and take-out, or reserving a table at the Garden Restaurant.
While we took the plunge straight with the full package, vacation park newbies may want to take advantage of the no-frills package and figure out if it’s the right kind of vacation for them.
With the 37 Haven Parks located on some of Britain’s most scenic coastlines, you can’t really go wrong.
STAY THERE: A three-night stay at Haven’s Hopton Holiday Village in Norfolk for a family of four in standard accommodation starts at £ 201 in total, arriving on 11 June.
The price for a Stay + Play stay is £ 256 total for standard accommodation and £ 295.50 for luxury accommodation, both arriving on 11 June.