We were desperate for some time away to just relax and enjoy being a family together, so we decided to check out Haggerston Castle caravan park in Northumberland, which is a Haven holiday park. We chose this park as we had heard good things, and it wasn’t too far away for Oliver being in the car. I hadn’t stayed in a caravan since I was very young, so I didn’t know what to expect and if we would enjoy it, but if we did, it would be a perfect as an extra holiday every year where children are catered for.
We left on Monday early afternoon after Oliver’s toddler group and we arrived there at around 3pm. The queue to check-in was LONG! But we didn’t realise there was a 3pm check-in and a 4pm check-in…we were 4pm. We decided to have a little wonder around the park and go for some food as we were starving! There is one main bar which serves breakfast, lunch and evening meals – the prices are OK for what you get, I do think some things were a little overpriced. The tastiest thing I had for dinner was a chicken salad with a blue cheese dressing – delicious! They offer children’s meals – breakfast, sandwiches, dinner meals, which can include a drink and fruit for a reasonable price. The park offers a wide range of eateries including Papa John’s and a Chinese buffet restaurant, which we went to one night.
We checked-in at around 4.30pm and our caravan was the furthest away to the main centre, but it was very quiet and was only about a 5-10 minute walk, if that! If we were to to go back, I do think I’d much prefer the further away ones to the ones sitting outside the main centre. The caravan itself I thought was a decent size, we were in a 3 bedroom and the interior was much better than anticipated and it was very clean and fresh. We unpacked and chilled out for a couple of hours. We were given a ‘What’s On’ flyer by reception which tells you everything you need to know about the activities available during your stay. Our flyer was Monday-Thursday, so if you plan on staying around on the Friday go to reception and grab another flyer for the Friday-Monday stays!
We decided to check out the Tots disco which started at 6.45pm, it was great for the kids and was SUPER busy. The kids had an absolute ball and I would definitely recommend it if you want to tire the little one’s out! Unfortunately Oliver didn’t get to enjoy it as it clashed with his bedtime (he is usually in bed for 7pm), I thought due to all the hilarity he might stay up a little later, but he’s in a routine now that he was exhausted! We left early and Oliver soon was in his PJ’s and snoring his little brains away. The following morning we went to one of three classes suitable for Oliver’s age (under 5ish). There was a sign and sing class which we went to, but Oliver likes to be on the move – so he didn’t sit at peace. I spent most of the time running after him. He loves crawling and walking about and just investigating things, but I would definitely recommend going to the classes, they are brilliant as the kids thoroughly enjoy them. One other morning we went to another music class and Scott and Oliver went on stage to help sing Old MacDonald had a farm – they were the pig. It was hilarious – Scott was mortified. They also ran arts and crafts classes, but we didn’t manage to make them. You buy an entertainment pass which allows entry into all of these things, I recommend purchasing before you go as I think it’s cheaper that way.
On the Thursday we decided to take Oliver to the Birds of Prey and Creepy Crawlies Centre which is inside the caravan park. There is also pony trekking and a ceramics place, but we didn’t go into either of those. We paid just under £20 entry fee and at 1pm you could see and touch the creepy crawlies! There is about 3 or 4 of these sessions per day. Due to the entry fee, make sure to go when you can see the creepy crawlies or it is a bit steep! As the birds are just in cages and you can see them all in under 10 minutes. The people who took the session were lovely and brought out two animals at a time, from millepedes to spiders. Oliver managed to touch a snake but again he just wanted to roam around so didn’t show much interest, but the slightly older kids (and the adults) loved it. The staff are lovely and when Oliver is a little older, we will definitely go back.
We used the on site swimming pool twice during our stay. There is two large swimming pools, one with a chute and a jacuzzi area which children can go into if supervised. We stayed in the one pool both times, so I’m not sure what the differences are. Oliver absolutely loves swimming and he had a great time. This was also included into the price of your passes.
The site has so much to offer for all ages including trampolines, shooting, segways and a lake situated in the middle where you can rent swan or dragon pedalos amongst other activities. There is also a soft play centre but it was a bit busy and too old for Oliver I thought, so we didn’t use it. And of course there was an amusements arcade which Scott enjoyed chucking his loose change into. On the Friday we handed in our tickets from the machines and Oliver got some top quality goodies – haha!
It was a great few days away as a family and Oliver had a great time which was the whole reason we went there. It would be perfect for him over the next few years with all the different activities and things to do. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I only had my phone with me and the camera isn’t great as it’s my back-up as Oliver smashed my iPhone screen (tear!).
I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any child-friendly holiday destinations in the UK and beyond, please leave a comment and let me know.
Much love, Natalie xx