Holidays in a caravan are not for everyone, especially ones that are on all action camp sites, but our family love them. There is always something to keep everyone entertained from early in the morning or until late at night.
During the Easter holidays we travelled down to Combe Haven, St Leonards on Sea and spent 4 days in a caravan. It wasn’t a luxury van but was adequate for us and our needs. It was spotless, cleaned to a high standard and situated in a great part of the park.
Combe Haven holiday site is set on a hill, a very steep hill at that. The entertainment complex is at the top of the hill and our caravan was at the bottom, perfect for the boys to play around on their scooters and very close to an open space park for us to explore. There is a Nature reserve and access to the river reed bed, which is lovely to walk along and spot any wildlife. If you want all action, there is an indoor and outdoor pool, indoor climbing wall, golf course, roller skating rink, adventure park and activities all day long that is run by the Haven Mates. Plus lots of evening entertainment and shows to watch.
We are more of an outdoor family than an indoor one, so we don’t spend too much time out of an evening. We did pop into the Live Lounge one evening for the boys to meet the Haven Characters and have a little dance, but we mostly sat in our caravan playing games. The boys most of their time outside playing on their scooter or kicking a ball to each other. It was just nice to see them all get along and enjoy each others company.
Our van was a standard superior, which we found to be clean and tidy and very comfortable. We had heating in all bedrooms and bathroom. There was plenty of storage spaces and good size wardrobes in the bedrooms.
The first thing the boys did when we arrived was play Caravan hide and seek. With them being small they can get away with hiding in the smallest of places. I’m surprised at how many places they can find, they played for about an hour. Giggling away and having lots of fun.
A favourite place of the boys at this site is the outdoor play area, I just sat back in the sunshine and watched them play, using their imagination and being creative. Chasing each other around and defending their forts.
They could play in this park all day.
Although we love the park, there are a few things that we dislike (not to day that others would like it) We are not gamblers and do not like that you have to go past the amusements to get into the live lounge, this just encourages adults and children to spend more money. The live lounge opens at 5pm for bingo sales with eyes down at 5.30 followed by Go Tots and entertainment for the younger ones at 6pm. There is also another bingo session later on in the evening for the family. Thats 1 hour for the little ones to dance and have fun. I personally think that the early evening should be dedicated to the younger ones and then parents (if wanted to) could get them to bed at a decent time.
We do however love that it is situated on a hill and that there is lots of nature around for the children to explore. We have always found the park to be clean and picturesque
The boys also love the disco roller blading, this is an extra cost but so much fun. The session lasts for 45 minutes and is fun for all ages. It is a particular favourite of our eldest boy, I mean who wouldn’t enjoy skating around a hall to some tunes?
Combe Haven holiday site is about 2.5 miles away from Hastings. You could drive which takes about 10 minutes, but we walked along the seafront and it took us 45 minutes. Once you cross over the railway, there is a pathway that is safe for the chidlren to ride a bike along or just run along and be free next to the beach.
It’s our 4th visit to the park and I am sure we will be back again next Easter.
As a family we love to go on caravan holidays in the United Kingdom and we have been to quite a few Haven Holiday Sites in the past but have never stayed at Combe Haven until a few weeks ago when we visited the site for the weekend. As a Haven Ambassador we was invited along to Combe Haven to experience the holiday site and what it had to offer
What makes a holiday for us:
Good evening entertainment
A good selection of play areas that are safe to play in
Excellent tasty, healthy food
A nice size swimming pool
Location and setting of the park
Day time activities
A clean picturesque park
We was booked in for the weekend, arriving on Friday and departing on a Sunday but due to work we would have to leave on Sunday evening!
Combe Haven is roughly 62 miles away from where we live In London and even though we drove down on a Friday (leaving at 5.00) we arrived in good time, only taking us 1 hour and a half to get there. The park was easy to find as we put in the postcode into our satnav, although we did nearly miss the entrance as the site is just off of a residential road. Driving through the gates we were directed to a car park where we could park the car and walk just a short distance to the reception where we would pick up out keys to the caravan. The ladies in the reception were friendly and offered us lots of information, including a welcome pack, an entertainments guide to what was on and a map on which we was shown where our caravan was (lucky for us not too far from all of the action)
The caravan that we was in was a prestige caravan, located in valley view, we couldn’t park outside of our caravan (which is something that we would have liked to do) but the car park was only a short walk away and there are pavements to walk on that take you from the car to your van.
The caravan had a picnic bench just outside near the door, on a patio, which was perfect to sit down and enjoy a spot to eat and drink and look out to the views across the valley.
The caravan was wide and luxurious (i do believe that it was a new version) it was very spacious and stylish with lots of lovely interior fixtures and fittings. At the front of the caravan there were two big wide doors that opened up, which was lovely to have open on the last day when the sun was shining.
All of the rooms were light and airy and the furnishings were modern. The caravan was fully equipped with everything that you would need to make your holiday comfortable, kitchen utensils, pots and pans, gas fire in the lounge, central heating through out, TV and DVD player, bed lined and pillows are provided with the beds already made upon arrival, microwave and a lovely big fridge freezer. The caravan really was special and definitely home from home.
Once we were unpacked and the boys had a game of hide and seek in the caravan, something that they always do when we first arrive on a holiday, we sat down and had a look at the entertainments guide. Dad and Jak were very happy to see that Karaoke was on Friday and Saturday evening so we all got changed and walked the short walk down to the entertainment complex.
We walked past an outdoor multi-sports court, a lovely little play area set within sand and the outdoor pool, which may i add that the bowl slide looked amazing.
We were a bit hungry so we sat down in the Mash and Barrel and ordered a family combo to share and an extra plate of chips, we had to wait 15 minutes for our order so i took the boys next door into the live lounge where they showed off their dance moves until it was time to go back for some food.
Family Sharing Combo Tower £13.35
Prawn and filo twists, barbecue chicken wings, lightly
dusted calamari, crispy whitebait, potato wedges with
melted mozzarella, rustic garlic bread and tortilla chips;
served with sour cream, sweet chilli and barbecue sauce
We had a mini feast and it was enough to fill our bellies up. You don’t have to eat at the Mash and Barrel as there are other places to eat like Papa Johns Pizza, Burger King and a Spar shop that is open daily, stocked with lots of food at generous prices.
We made our way down to the Saxon Bar where the karaoke was, this is also the place where the indoor soft play area is and the bowling alley. While dad and Jak enjoyed a good sing song I sat down and watched the younger two boys playing in the soft play. It is advised that the area is for under 6 only but on a few occasions it was missed by the arcade attendant that some of the older children had got into it, once informed by other parents he was soon over throwing them out of the area. The soft play is quite small but ideal for the younger ones.
We love the idea of a Karaoke, sometimes we have visited other parks and although it was on the entertainments guide they never had it, Dad and Jak love to sing so it kept them busy for a while. It was a late night for us and we all attired back to the comfort of our caravan for a peaceful night sleep. Oliver had been provided with a bed guard (which can be hired from the site for a price) he chose to sleep in a bedroom with Joseph, Jak had his own room and Dad and I had the luxurious double bed at the back of the caravan which had an ensuite toilet.
After a very comfortable nights sleep (even Oliver slept through) we woke all fresh ready for the day ahead. We had a sport and splash activity pass which we could book onto 6 activities with, there is a full list of activities that you can book here With a selection of fun sports to choose from like roller blading, archery, fencing, pool party and Aqua gliders, it wasn’t easy for the boys to choose what to try out.
They eventually opted for aqua gliders, rollerblading (which is 2 for 1) aqua jets, turbo paddlers and fencing
Their favourite fun and games activity by far was the rollerblading disco, it was their first time at it and yes we did have lots of tumbles but it was all fun. All i could hear was the boys giggling away at each other when the other fell over. The rollerblading along with the fencing, archery and easy gliders are all set in an indoor multi sportsdrome, which brought back memories for Paul as he been here as a child and he remembered the rollerblading with his friends. With the music pumping and the lights flashing, the roller disco was a hit with all ages, it certainly was a very memorable 45 minutes. The boys came away with a few bumps and bruises and a fabulous memory that they won’t be forgetting (maybe just like their dad, they will return when they are older to sample the roller disco again)
Jak really enjoyed the aquajets and Joseph liked the aqua gliders, each activity lasted for 30 minutes and they were something that they had never done before, so it was great seeing them sample new things. Joseph did two activities in a row in the water and the only problem was after having lots of fun on the aqua glider and then going on the turbo paddlers, he found it a little boring as they didn’t go as fast as the gliders and you had to move the handle to turn the wheels, the faster you pedal the further you go in the water. He was quite cold from being splashed by the lifeguards with water and i think that he maybe lost some of his energy as he decided to get out of the pool early.
All of the activities need to be booked in advanced from the swimming pool reception, some activities have an age restriction on them but are available from the age of 4 upwards. A level 1 activity pass costs £40 for 6 activities and a level 2 pass costs £75 for 12.
Oliver is only 2 so he couldn’t join in on any of the activities so we took him to Rory’s adventure playground, this play area is amazing and the children could spend all day in there without getting bored, with so much to do and play on.
There was also many activities planned by the funstars throughout the day and into the early evening, like Z-stomp, Puppet show, imagine with Anxious, but as we only there for two nights and one full day we didn’t have time to experience them, although the boys did participate in an arts and craft session where the children got to make a hat from the materials provided by the funstars and once done they were all invited to stand up on stage to show them off to the adults.
There was some very creative hats (which i’m sure the parents did), 3 winners were picked for creativity and colour and of course it had to be a Frozen hat that won lol, who doesn’t like Frozen! My boys enjoyed getting messy with glitter and glue and Oliver learnt how to use a pair of scissors correctly (he just cut everything up)
In the evening we had dinner in the Mash and Barrel, we chose to eat from the Curry buffet that was on special that evening
The food was lovely but not spicy enough for me, although perfect for the boys.
To sum our weekend away in this post has been hard as we did so many things and there was so much more that we didn’t get to explore on the park and participate in, like pitch and putt, nature trails, outdoor multi-sports court
We will definitely be returning to this site in the future, especially in the summer so we can get to sample that brilliant outdoor space bowl, the park is clean and the staff are friendly and helpful.
We came away from our mini holiday with some special memories, want to know more about this holiday park or other Haven sites? Take a look at www.haven.com
The price of our 3 night break costs £254.50 which was in May Prices will vary throughout the year and you will be looking at paying roughly between £750-£1100 for a weeks holiday depending on the standard of accommodation during the Summer holidays.
We was supplied with a weekend away, including the activity pass and £4o vouchers to spend in the restaurant for the purpose of this review. We was invited along as we are Haven Ambassadors. All pictures and opinions are of our own.