Wednesday, 21 April 2021

A Week away in Clacton-On-Sea

After a series of lockdowns, we were all desperate for a change of scenery so I found myself online one evening looking at what our possibilities were for the Easter holidays.  The easing of restrictions fell at the beginning of our second week off and I nervously booked a caravan break for the four children and I.  With things liable to change at any point, I decided not to tell the children until the last minute but thankfully everything went ahead, so on the 12th April I found myself in a car on the motorway for the first time this year, heading to Clacton-on-Sea in Essex.

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday


parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

I booked with Parkdean and went for a slightly wider caravan than their basic option to give us a little more living space.  Our caravan had three bedrooms, a double bed for me and two twin rooms which the children shared.  The beds were very narrow (as you expect in a caravan) but the children all slept wonderfully.  There were radiators in each room which we appreciated on the cold April evenings and plenty of pillows and bedding.  The kitchen had everything we needed with a full sized oven and grill, microwave, toaster, kettle and fridge freezer.  We were assigned a caravan right by the park and other amenities which was ideal and we knew in advance where we were going so there was no check in process.  The whole week, I was impressed with the Covid measures that they had in place.  Everything was done through an app, including booking swimming and craft sessions and ordering click and collect meals from the restaurant. The whole park felt comfortable, clean and well maintained.

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

We spent a lot of time in the playground and I could order drinks to be delivered to the tables round the outside as I watched them play.  We did two swimming sessions which were 45 minutes long and with very limited numbers and we did two craft sessions which were capped at 7 children in total.  The park was around a 5 minute drive to the beach and we had two days out during our stay, one at Clacton Pier and seafront and one at Colchester Zoo which was roughly 30 minutes away in the car.

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

I was nervous about being away with the four children on my own, but we had the best week and they were all so well behaved (most of the time).  They thrived on the novelty and adventure of being somewhere different and having somewhere new to explore and it felt like the perfect detox after months of being inside more than we should be with far too much screen time.  I did take my laptop with some films so we could have some quiet down time when we needed to, but we were outdoors enjoying ourselves for most of the week.  All four children loved it and have asked to return there! The holiday park we stayed in was called Valley Farm

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holidayv


For me the key to solo travel with children is in the preperation.  My boot was packed with enough breakfast foods and milks for the week, two full dinners and lunch foods as well as snacks, so that I didn't need to take the children into a shop whilst we were away.  I had booked our tickets for Colchester zoo and looked up maps and distances so I was prepared.  Normally I am aware that I can pop out in the evening for anything I have forgotten but it isn't as easy without a second adult and I appreciated the time I had spent preparing and packing well.  This trip has made me realise how enjoyable it can be travelling alone with the children and I will definitely be booking more trips (although of course it is nicer if Ed can come along too!).
 
parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday


I will be writing about our days out in the area over the coming weeks too so keep an eye out if you are looking to travel to this area.

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

parkdean resorts, clacton on sea, family caravan holiday

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