We have been to France for the last two years holidays, but unfortunately funds dictated this year that we had to stay put in England. I trawled through the Hoseasons Brochure for weeks trying to find the best site for my girls (now 3yrs old), and finally deciding on the Vauxhall Holiday Park, Great Yarmouth. My final decision lay on the Park itself and not the surrounding area, and we were not disappointed! However, no matter how hard we looked we couldn’t find a quaint town anywhere for nice gifts and souvenirs nearby. But the beach at Great Yarmouth was only a 5 minute drive away, this was clean and quiet and there was plenty to do along the sea front, come rain or shine. The park was situated on a busy main road, so earplugs may be necessary for the light sleepers, but on a whole it was an enjoyable stay.
The Vauxhall Park itself was a fantastic choice, with plenty to do for kids of all ages. The kids club ran from 10-12am then again 1-4pm so even with the grim weather there was plenty to occupy the girls. They put on picnics, BBQ’s, nature trails, and competitions, or the kids could just play with the toys at their own leisure. They got to meet Louie and Lola on numerous occasions which they enjoyed immensely, and even mummy got a cuddle from Louie. The site also had two small soft play areas suitable for little ones that mine used at least once a day, and the tropical water world was amazing fun. The onsite restaurant surprisingly sold great food and at reasonable prices, they had speciality nights like Chinese, Italian, Indian and a Calvary on a Sunday. The staff in here was very helpful and friendly, and as this is the only area that supplies the free WiFi, I was there most evenings to post my Blog. Be warned though that it closes around 8.30-9pm as I was caught short a couple of evenings because I arrived a little too late. The evening entertainment was also surprisingly good. They could all sing and dance very well, and the humour was actually funny, (although mum and I had normally had a glass of wine by this point!) The shop on camp was basic but fine for top ups, and there was plenty of large supermarkets within a 5 minute drive. The only disappointment for me was the outside play area, it was very dirty and where kids had come down the slides they had left an indent in the wood chippings that had filled with water from the awful weather we had had. This in my eyes could have been solved with and extra bag of chippings thrown into the holes, a quick and cheap solution!
Our caravan was a Vauxhall Swan, apart from it being right on the side of the main road this was the best caravan I have ever stayed in. It was clean and tidy, but the fact it had a double ensuite room at the opposite end to the two twin rooms was great. It is the first caravan I have been in that had ALL the mod cons, a fridge, a freezer, a microwave, a TV with freeview, fully heated and the most amazingly powerful showers. If we could have picked it up and moved it away from the road, I would have been happy to stay there forever! The only downside was there was no outside decking area or seating area, although we would have only used this a couple of nights due to the weather, it would have been a perfect touch to a fantastic accommodation.
We took a few days out to explore the surrounding area, but I wasn’t impressed with what we found. I was hoping for quaint picturesque villages and towns but we found none! Maybe we were looking in the wrong place? However, there was plenty to do and here are a couple of my favourites. The Broads Tours paddle steamer which you can get from Wroxham is a very good value for money trip. It cost us £8 each adult but kids under 5 are free, and you are on the boat for approx 90 minutes. It takes you past all the beautiful riverside houses and was a lovely relaxing experience. The horse and carriages along Great Yarmouth sea front are also great value at £15 for a 20 minute ride, and our driver Billy treated us like the princesses we imagined we were. Although we didn’t do it, the Donkey rides were very reasonably priced at £2.50 a ride and the little road train was a hit with the girls. The girls also loved the picnic in the sand dunes at Caister on Sea, a day where the sun finally shone on us. All in all a great family holiday, a fantastic Holiday Park, plenty to do, but wasn’t overly impressed with the surrounding area.