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Family seaside holiday

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Family seaside holiday


We are two families of 4 with young children (including babies). We are visiting friends in South London from Canada and are looking for a seaside holiday to relax.

Can someone explain what a holiday park is like, and what the various types of accomodation mean. Is a caravan like what north americans call a trailer? If so we are looking for something a bit more comfortable, with self-catering.

Are there places we can get to by train or do we need to hire a car? (we are open to the latter if need be). We'd like to be within 2 or 3 hours of south London.

Can you recommend specific places for us to look into? I am overwhelmed and confused by the amount of options out there. We would also be interested in renting a cottage on the beach.


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Basingstoke, United...
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1. Re: Family seaside holiday

Caravans can be quite luxurious these days. They are often on large parks with bars, swimming pool, entertainment, etc. if that is what you like to do. You would probably want 2 caravans for 2 families.

However, many families prefer to book a house or flat for the week. Suggest you look at websites such as Cottages4you, Blue Chip Holidays or Helpful Holidays. Or you can book direct with owners through Holiday Lettings. They all have some larger places for 2 families sharing.

Bournemouth and Weymouth are popular family resorts with nice sandy beaches. Both can be reached by train from London and have good local transport when you get there.

Sussex also has plenty of self catering accommodation but beaches tend to be stony.

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2. Re: Family seaside holiday

Yes, a (static) caravan is like a trailer. Most holiday parks also have chalets or apartments as well. Essentially a holiday park has lots of entertainment and activities on site. Eg waterparks, evening shows, restaurants etc. Many of these activities are included in the price. Some well known holiday park companies include Butlins, Pontins, Centre Parks (more up market I believe but I've never been there) and Haven.

If you want to rent a traditional cottage, just Google holiday cottages + area of Uk you are interested in. There are thousands of possibilities.

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3. Re: Family seaside holiday

Hello! The Kent resorts have decent sand and most of them are on the railway and not too far from London. Birchington, Westgate,Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Deal, and Hythe are all names to consider.

Edited: 31 March 2013, 21:06
Hampshire, England.
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4. Re: Family seaside holiday

Caravan = motorhomesandcaravans.com/wp-content/uploads…

Mobile Home = neighborhoodlink.com/images/…mobil.jpg

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5. Re: Family seaside holiday

Although I have not stayed Sandhills at Mudeford Quay is an excellent location and has some lovely static homes. Tripadvisor reviews tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g190800-d1…

A lot of owners rent out direct so a bit of googling may help if you are interested.

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6. Re: Family seaside holiday

we used to love Weymouth when the children were younger, the beach is good, there are lots of things to do and it is within easy reach of the New Forest and several other good places.

We used to hire a caravan for the week, the advantages of a caravan site being that children can run around, there is usually a playground etc, evening entertainment on site and a swimming pool.

Stowmarket, United...
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7. Re: Family seaside holiday

Holiday parks can range from quiet and peaceful right through to lively kids focused.

Butlins parks are the biggest and usually offer the mist facilities. The have a butlins hotel onsite.

Pontins parks are a cheap version of butlins, not even sure they exist anymore.

Haven and park resorts, both offer a large variety of park types across the UK.

Centre parks, these are usually set within forest, bit better quality, more focused on active activities, sports etc. Good range of non caravan accomodation.

Please note most parks charge above average for food and drinks, and not all activities are included in price of holiday.

Nearest places to london to consider are Essex coast (parks are mainly around clacton on sea and southend). Also Kent coast, South Coast.

A tiny bit further and you have Norfolk Coast.

Bit further will see you in Dorset Devon Cornwall and Wales.

Most will be doable by public transport, but a car will give flexability to get off site and see local castles houses etc.

If I am honest, and just my opinion the traditional seaside towns have seen the glory days and now looking very worn out, main due to cheap air travel, couple if wet summers.

And moving on the weather, you may get a week of amazing sunshine, more likely you will get cloud and rain.

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8. Re: Family seaside holiday

Pontins are now owned by Britannia, the absolutely WORST Hotel Chain in the UK. The resorts were, um "tired" prior to purchase, and under Britannias helm, have not improved, it seems - some have deteriorated further, and Britannia's standard of care for their properties is legend for awfulness.

Give them a miss, if you value your health.....

(See the TA reviews.......)

Basingstoke, United...
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9. Re: Family seaside holiday

Have been to Butlins just the once - would never return even if I was paid! Only go if you want to be surrounded by loud chavy extended families and their out-of-control children.

The food in there (Minehead) was expensive and low quality.

The "comedians" totally unsuitable for family entertainment.

"Red Coats" looked like they couldn't be bothered to be there - particularly those doing the kids entertanments.

Tenterden, United...
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10. Re: Family seaside holiday

For a traditional seaside holiday then Weymouth would be a very good choice with its lovely beach and interesting harbour plus plenty to keep the family occupied.


I did a trip report on our visit just before the Olympics last year which may give you some information.


Alternatively if you want a more organised holiday then you could look at Potters in Norfolk, which has a very good reputation. The only drawback for this is getting there from the nearest train station. My brother and his family have visited a few times.