Are you looking for great-value summer holiday ideas? Holiday parks can be a great way to save money as they're self-catering and offer facilities such as pools, kids' clubs and play areas.
Are you looking for great-value summer holiday ideas? Holiday parks can be a brilliant way to get away and save money. They’re self-catering so you can bring all your own food and drink, plus many of them have excellent facilities on-site included in the price from swimming pools and saunas to mini-golf and tennis. Many parks are set in lovely countryside or by the sea so perfect for (free) trips to the beach, walks and bike rides.
We’ve added high-season sample prices as we assume you will go on holiday during the summer holidays. Of course, they will be cheaper in May, June and early July and after the school holidays so if you can get away off-season or during May half-term, you can save even more.
Prices correct at time of writing (May 2013) and are subject to availability.
What’s there: Woolacombe Bay, Golden Coast, Twitchen House and Easewell Farm are the four holiday parks which fall under this holiday park group. All located in Devon, they offer lots of different accommodation options ranging from caravan homes to luxury lodges. Best off all, 40 free on-site activtiies are included in the price of a stay and the choice is impressive. Activities included in the price include tennis, mini golf, steam room, sauna, kids’ clubs and use of indoor and outdoor pools. Woolacombe also offer activities you can pay extra for such as their surfing simulator, high ropes course, bowling and 9-hole golf course.
Sample prices: 7 nights from 27 July at Golden Coast for a family of four staying in a Bronze 1 bedroom apartment costs from £499. 3 nights from 19 July costs £259. These are online prices which include a £10 web discount.
More information: Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks
Where are they?: Away Resorts have four holiday parks in the UK – Mill Rythe Holiday Village on Hayling Island near Chichester, Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight, Tattershall Lakes Country Park in Lincolnshire and Barmouth Bay, the newest park and first in Wales.
What’s there: Each park has its own features. Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight has a secluded beach, glamping area, original 1930s vintage caravans and pools. Mill Rythe on Hayling Island offers half-board accommodation and live music devised by West End musical directors while Tattershall Lakes Country Park has five lakes, ideal for watersports such as jet-skiing, banana boating and kayaking. It also has a leisure complex with spa, pool and gym and is set in 365 acres of parks and woods. The newest park is Barmouth Bay (pictured) which opened this year in Talybont, north Wales and is located by the beach and against the backdrop of Snowdonia National Park. All parks are part of the MyActive scheme for children aged 3+ with activities such as pool snorkelling and body zorbing, while MyPlay activites include potter and nature discoveries.
Sample prices: Seven nights in a 8-person holiday home at Barmouth Bay from 12 July start from £229. Seven nights at Tattershall Lakes Country Park from 27 July from £491 staying in a holiday home sleeping 6.
More information: Away Resorts
What’s there: On the north Norfolk coast, bordering the Holkham National Nature Reserve, this holiday park has a selection of caravans and lodges – the caravan homes are the best value if you’re looking to save money. From the site, a short path leads onto the long, sandy Wells Beach where beach huts can be hired. Also near the park is the pretty town of Wells-Next-The-Sea and Abraham’s Bosom, a boating lake thought to be one of the only land-locked salt water lagoons in the UK. Cycling is a great way to explore the area. Other attractions and facilities include the miniature gauge railway next to the park operating an all-season service to the town, 9-hole pitch-and-putt and bike hire. There’s also an onsite cafe and shop.
Sample prices: A four-night midweek (Mon-Fri) or weekend (Fri-Mon) break staying in a 2/3-bed caravan holiday home in high season such as July costs up to £402.
More information: Pinewoods Holiday Park
Where are they?: Parkdean have 24 holiday parks in the countryside or near the coast in Scotland, Wales, Dorset, Devon, Hampshire, Norfolk and Cornwall.
What’s there: Facilities vary but many parks have indoor and outdoor pools, shops, restaurants and nightly entertainment. White Acres in Cornwall (5 miles from Newquay) has 13 course fishing lakes, heated indoor pool, an adventure play galleon (pictured) and kids’ clubs. Mullion Holiday Park is located in an Area of Outstanding Beauty on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, perfect for family walks and picnics. All budgets are catered to as they offer a range of lodges, caravans and camping options.
Sample prices: Seven nights for a family of four in a self-catering Veryan caravan at Mullion Holiday Park costs from £331 for the weekend/midweek from 21 June to 25 July and £464 from 26 July to 29 August.
More information: Parkdean Holidays
What’s there: Part of Shorefield Holiday Parks, these two family holiday parks are close to each other near the New Forest. Oakdene (pictured) is set in 55 acres of parkland and is the only holiday park on the south coast which offers the Go Active itinerary (in conjunction with Hoseasons) and is especially great for cycling. It now offers Balance Ability sessions using balance bikes (for children aged 3-7) for £4 an hour – other activities include den-building, body-zorbing and water pedlerz. It also has a heated pool, 34-metre flume, gym and spa as well as a cafe and bar. Nearby is the smaller 7-acre Forest Edge Holiday Park whose guests can use Oakdene’s facilities including the Go Active programme. Accommodation ranges from caravans and budget chalets to lodges and bungalows with BBQ, private garden and hot tub.
Sample prices: A 4-berth Wimborne Caravan for up to 4 at Oakdene or Forest Edge costs from £399 for one week in July. A short break (3-night weekend or 4-day midweek) costs from £282. Prices are the same for Shorefield Holiday Park on the other side of the forest, with accommodation in a Danestream or Brockenhurst Chalet.
More information: Shorefield Holiday Parks
What’s there: Handily located near Morecambe Bay and an hour’s drive from the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and Forest of Bowland, Holgates Silverdale is great for families who like to be outdoors as there are lots of beaches, cycling routes and easy walking trails such as the climb up to the Pepper-Pot’ at Silverdale. Also popular is pond-dipping at Leighton Moss Nature Reserve. At the holiday park itself, accommodation is in 6-person caravan holiday homes and on-site facilities include a heated pool with bubble pool, turbo seat and spa pool, sauna/steam rooms, putting green, games room, soft play and two outdoor adventure playgrounds. There’s also a bar, restaurant and shop.
Sample prices: A 4-night midweek or weekend stay between 26 July and 29 August costs £464 based on six people sharing a caravan holiday home.
More information: Holgates Silverdale
What’s there: This independent holiday park is located around the Tamar Valley on the edge of Dartmoor on the Devon and Cornwall border. It’s perfect if you want to get out and explore the countryside which is full of walking and cycling trails. Onsite, there is an indoor pool and sauna plus weekly archery, water walking’ in a giant see-through beach ball (Sundays in high season only) and free family foraging walks. They also offer outdoor table tennis, a pétanque (boules) court. With a full spectrum of accommodation options from innovative camping pods (pictured) to static caravans (as well as pitches for campers), it is exceptionally good value. If you like to take your dog on holiday, Woodovis is particularly appealing as the nearby woods are perfect for dog walking.
Sample prices: A camping pod costs from £45 per night (sleeping two adults and two small children) while a super pod costs from £50 per night (sleeping four). The holiday homes (caravans, sleeping six) cost from £239 per week or just £34 per night.
More information: Woodovis Park, Devon
What’s there: Hoseasons has numerous holiday parks across the UK from the award-winning Ladram Bay in Devon to Innes-Maree in Scotland’s northern Highlands. 16 of the Hoseasons parks are also part of Go-Active Breaks, the biggest activity breaks programme in the UK. One of these is Talacre Beach in Prestatyn in Flintshire, Wales. Archery, raft-building, circus skills and sea scooters are some of the activities available at an extra cost. The park also has an indoor tropically heated pool, gym, spa and newly refurbished Country Club bar and restaurant complex. The park has two- and three-bedroom caravans and lodges (pictured) which sleep 4-8 people – some even come with private outdoor hot tubs.
Sample prices: In July, short-breaks start from £385 and a week’s stay from £535 per accommodation.
More information: Hoseasons
What’s there: Located on the coast at Stranrear in Dumfries & Galloway, the views of the coastline are impressive from this family-run holiday park. Its Park Cafe is renowned for its homemade breakfasts and cakes while the onsite Lighthouse Bar has a great collection of whiskies! There is also a tennis court, bicycles for hire and wakeboarding and kitesurfing on the beach. Onsite, there’s a playground, two games rooms for children, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, TV room, shop and wifi. Caravans have digital TVs with DVD player, fully equipped kitchens and come double-glazed with central heating.
Sample prices: A static caravan which sleeps six people costs from £400 in July which works out at £9.52 per person, per night, based on six sharing.
More information: Sands of Luce Holiday Park
Where are they?: The clifftop Ocean Edge (pictured) overlooks the Irish Sea on the edge of Morecambe Bay. Regent is also close to the beach and Morecambe promenade. Both parks are run by South Lakeland Holidays.
What’s there: Both holiday parks have indoor heated swimming pools, saunas, soft play areas and outdoor sports. They also have a brand new Kids Club for 2013 called The Buzz Club featuring new mascot, Buzz the Bumbaloo, for under 12s and activities such as DJ workshops, crafts and cookery. The parks are ideally located for exploring the surrounding countryside and seaside too.
Sample prices: A short break in July (3-night weekends/4-night midweek) starts from £153 in a 2-bed standard caravan at Regent Park or from £177 in a 2-bed superior caravan. A seven-night stay in July start from £387 in a 2-bed superior caravan at Regent and from £467 in a 2–bed superior caravan at Ocean Edge.
More information: South Lakeland Holidays