An unexpected caravan holiday on Devon’s sunshine coast has probably changed my view of staycation holidays for life.
Like most Brits, I’ve holidayed in the UK, and stayed in many caravans along the way – some shoddy, some not so shoddy, but at least there’s never a dull moment. From the drunken memories of an 18 – 30’s caravan site in Newquay as a not-quite-old-enough-to-be-there teen, to more recent jaunts as a family of four to the Barmouth seaside in October; my caravan history has been a mixed and interesting experience.
It’s hard to go through life in this country without coming into contact with this great British tradition at some point – and if you have managed this then hats off. For some, it’s a part of life, for others, like me, it’s something you go back to every once in a while to remind yourself you are, in fact, British and proud, and can handle anything. Even a tin can as a room, a periodically flushing toilet, and living off beans because you daren’t light the grill.
Well, those days are officially over, because, there’s a new wave of lodge-come-caravans that are going to make you think differently about it all.
We were invited to try out one of the newest models to come from holiday home manufacturer Willerby, it was part of the New Wave range on site at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park on the famous Devonshire Gold Coast.
‘Glama’ – van
Its hard to call the 2017 ‘New Wave’ model a static caravan, which of course it is, because there’s so many luxurious additions which give it serious appeal. It’s everything from the coastal themed interior design to the comfy sofas, wall-mounted flat screen TV, the fully-integrated kitchen and the large retro 60’s fridge-freezer. It’s the spacious rooms, the freshly-pressed bed linen and ample wardrobe space. And it’s the large decked exterior, with picnic bench seating and large family-sized barbeque. The heating comes on at the touch of a button too, and warms the entire caravan, thanks to the radiators in every room.
There really are so many comfy conveniences and mod-cons that it makes a stay so much more pleasurable – and once you get inside you feel as settled as if you were at home. Heading out for a jam-packed day of activities or beach-combing with the knowledge that you’ll come home to one of these ‘New Wave’ caravans makes it so much more enjoyable!
If I could guarantee the updated comfort of one of these caravans every time, I think I’d be happy to escape for staycation holidays and weekends much more often. The only thing left to decide would be where to go.
Location, Location, Location
We were sent to Woolacombe Bay in Devon which is a lovely part of the world – the beach has been voted the best in the UK on Trip Advisor – and the town and atmosphere is happy, relaxed and above all family-friendly. There were no visible drunken stag parties falling out of beachside bars or pools of sick forming in shop doorways – and it doesn’t surprise me, it may be beautiful, but it’s not exactly an easy place to get too, although well worth it once you do.
The park itself is one of three in the area, all with facilities that could keep an army of children entertained at any time of year – from an on-site cinema, to bowling, restaurants, arcades, in-door and outdoor swimming pools and play centres, and so much more.
If you’d like to venture out of the parks, then there is a list of local attractions as long as your arm. From theme parks, to wildlife centres and Exmoor Zoo; you are not short of child-friendly activities nearby. We managed to fit in a visit to The Big Sheep, which is one of the area’s main highlights and is great fun for kids with lots of rides, animals and activities. We also visited Watermouth Castle, which has a fabulous view over the bay and a huge hidden theme park at the back – you must have a go on the toboggan run. And the Combe Martine and Wildlife Dinosaur Park had lots of animals, birds of prey and a dinosaur attraction – winner, winner with two little boys in tow.
A nice little upgrade
As a nation, we love a cheeky little upgrade, if it’s affordable, of course, and why not? We’ll take those premium seats at the cinema for a few extra quid; we’ll go for more leg room on our budget flight because we made such a saving on the fare; and we’ve entertained glamping because it means we can still straighten our hair while pretending to rough it at a festival. Well now we can fully embrace the caravan holiday once more. Because the aptly-named ‘New Wave’ caravan will provide all the glamour you’ll need.
We stayed in a 2017 ‘New Wave Willerby’ model at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park. Visit Willerby UK for more details.
A stay at the Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks starts from as little as £79* for your whole family. Call 01271 872 368 for more information.