Thursday 8 September 2016

Our Adventure at Combe Haven

I knew exactly what I was looking for when I booked our recent trip to Combe Haven and we had a brilliant break at this caravan park. Travelling with four aged five and under can be challenging but the park seemed set up for families like ours and we loved how easy everything was, how much there was to do and how we had the weather on our side for once!

We chose a 3 bedroom prestige caravan which had plenty of space for the six of us.  The double bedroom had space for Cora's carrycot bed in and the two twin bedrooms were completely adequate for the boys.  We had one of the beds taken out to make space for Finn's travel cot and the staff were happy for us to bring our own. (If you want to hire one then you do need to book in advance as they are unable to accomodate you on the day).

The biggest issue we had was that although the caravan can sleep 8, there were only 4 chairs and four glasses for drinks, so we couldn't all sit around the table at once.  We made do though as well as eating picnic style on our blanket outside as the weather was nice.

The caravan had a great sized living area, perfect for scattering Lego duplo everywhere and for providing Cora with somewhere to lie and kick around whilst her brothers scooted outside.  Our caravan backed on to a small common area with logs and rocks where all the children from the local caravans played and it was brilliant to watch the boys scooting about with their new friends.  It was the community and friendships they made that reminded me so much of my own holidays growing up.

We picked a park with a decent sized indoor and outdoor pool although we only used the inside as it was a little chilly outside! Around half the pool is flat and suitable for children to stand up in and although it was busy the boys loved it.  The staff were happy for us to wheel the pushchair in so that when one of the babies was asleep they could stay on the pool side for us to keep an eye on them.  The pool sold all sorts of floats and rubber rings and we had a great time splashing and swimming.  (Cameras are not allowed by the water)

The boys need space to run and climb and Combe Haven provided it.  There were two main play parks, one set in the heart of the park with a ship climbing frame, zip wire and toddler area, and the other close to the entertainment hub and based around a large climbing pyramid.  Whilst the latter was less suitable for Finn in some ways, the sand floor meant he was happy digging and playing whilst his brothers climbed. 

Combe Haven also has lots of nature areas including a pond and bat boxes.  There are regular activities throughout the day including bug hunts for all ages and clubs for the older children like den building (Ours were a bit too young).  We ran out of time to explore properly, but we loved that there was something a bit different to do.

One of the biggest draws for me was the fact that Combe Haven run both fencing and archery classes for 3-5 year olds.  Many parks seem to seperate children as under 4 or over, but my 3 and 5 year olds are most confident together.  They absolutely loved the new experiences, it was easy to book onto, free to do and very quiet as well.  We tried out the messy art session too but the staff seemed to be getting a little bored of the activities so I don't know if they had been doing the same thing all summer.  The boys both enjoying creating though and proudly took home their fish and mobile.

We attempted to go along to the evening entertainment, but we arrived a little late and couldn't get seats.  It was so busy and with a newborn and an 18 month old as well as the bigger two boys, it just wasn't working out for us.  The boys were not too bothered to be missing out.

The entertainment complex included a Burger King and Papa John's as well as a pub style restaraunt and we enjoyed eating out at all three.  The arcades were a huge hit with both boys and they loved spending their pennies (and pounds) in the evenings.

There was a Spar shop on the premises too which was great value and we could pick up everything we needed for lunches, snacks and ice creams (they even sold multi packs of ice creams which saved us a lot of money!)

Whilst we wanted to make the most of the park and everything that was included in our stay, we also wanted to explore a little locally so we headed to Hastings for the day.  It is quite a large seaside town with a pebble beach and new pier (built after the previous one burnt down).  We had a quick wander around the town centre before disovering an underground skate park where we could watch older kids skate and scoot.  We went to the pier for a go on the carousel and to look out over the sea.  It was a windy day and the place was pretty much deserted and we loved having the space to run around.  

We really enjoyed our stay with Combe Haven.  There was so much to do and see in the park without spending any money and there were plenty of activities for older kids available at a surcharge.  The water walkers and pedal boats looked great fun and I know that in a few years it will be the climbing wall and den building that takes their fancy.  The age ranges varied with some clubs being for over 4,6,7 or 8.  Our holiday was relaxing, exciting and entertaining and we made memories that we will keep hold of.  I will definitely be booking to stay with Haven again and we would definitely consider revisiting the same park as it was a great set up for a young family like ours.

I decided to try something new and made a little video with clips from our trip

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