Last Easter I took the children to stay at Park Resorts Naze Marine, Walton on the Naze with my sister and our kids, we booked one 3 bedroom caravan and all stayed together – 2 adults and 6 children.
We survived our first holiday together, and had a blast (Ruth isn’t actually my sister, regular readers will know I always refer to her as such as we see each other all the time and have been friends for so long). The kids all loved spending a long weekend with their cousins and us girls had a much needed and well deserved break. That was my first visit to Naze Marine, (Ruth’s been going for 14 years) we then headed back with our husbands in October last year this time with separate caravans.
Last weekend was time for our now annual ladies and kids holiday, one caravan with 6 children. We had booked and paid for our holiday a few months ago, Park Resorts however very kindly upgraded our caravan to an extra wide one and arranged for an earlier check-in, we arrived and headed over to the owners suite where Lee greeted us warmly, gave all the kids drinks and us ladies a much needed coffee after our drive to the site – driving with children no matter how prepared you are is always a little noisy and stressful for parents. We had been placed on the owners side of the camp, a nice distance from the club which meant it wasn’t noisy when everyone leaves in the evening but close enough for the kids to head over to the amenities on their own at times.
What I love about this site is that you can park the car up upon arrival and not have to move it again until you check out at the end of your holiday, everything is within walking distance. The beach is less than a 5 minute walk and the town very accessible on foot – only a 10/15 minute walk, there is a Co-op and Tesco in the town as well as pharmacies, shoe shops, cafes, charity shops and your usual small seaside town shops selling all manner of bits and bobs.
Walking a little further takes you to the pier which is the kids favourite thing about leaving the site. You can buy wrist bands for the kids for £10 each which allows them to ride all the rides all day long as many times as they like – and boy do they get their monies worth. Because it is never very busy the kids can stay on the rides for another go straight away and never had to queue more than 5 minutes for any ride. You can take a picnic and eat while there or buy hot food inside. Back in October the children managed an impressive 4 hours on the rides, this time we managed around 3 as we wanted to go to the beach for a while too, with our children aging from 4 years to 14 years there was something for everyone, and the older ones are amazing at looking after their younger cousins meaning I only had to ride the Walzer once this time.
The weather was amazing this weekend, the kids donned shorts and T-Shirts and even paddled in the sea for some time. They had a great time building sand castles, digging holes, playing ball games and Frisbee.
There is a park just outside the camp which the kids love as it has more to do than the playground inside, climbing frames and bigger swings and equipment geared for older children, although they were also happy enough climbing trees, playing ball and playing in the on-site play ground.
The arcades featured heavily this weekend, the children all had pocket money which they could spend as they wanted to, limited to a little each day otherwise it would all be popped into the 2p machines on day one – it’s amazing the pull these machines have for children, Emmy had one too many strops when I wouldn’t top her money up at the end of the day when she used it up too quickly – they just love the freedom though, they went with their older cousins while we prepared lunches/dinners.
The pool is a lovely size and as long as you get there just before it opens you can have a great swim/play. It is heated and Harry can even stand up in the deepest part which meant I could relax a little and join in with their ball games in the water. It does get very busy however and only has one toilet which I feel needs addressing as it just isn’t enough for the amount of people inside the pool area.
Park Resorts has actually recently merged with Parkdean to now become Parkdean Resorts, this means there are now more holiday parks to choose from under the one company, I didn’t notice any real changes on site due to this merger except for the entertainment – SKC is no more (Sparky’s Krew Club), Sparky, Sparkle and Narky have teamed up with Lizzie and Sid from Parkdean’s entertainment crew for a new look entertainment – the club dances have changed and since we last visited this site last the entertainment team have all changed, sadly we weren’t impressed with this team, the games were different and while all our children were desperate to join in and get onto stage on our previous visits only the youngest two wanted to join in this time around.
This of course wasn’t a bad thing for us, we took the children to the early children’s entertainment and then left when the bingo was played to head back to the caravan where we played card games (shit head, 21s and Uno) stinky pig, dominos and the children rekindled their love of colouring books – they barely watched TV at all, phones weren’t really an option as the reception is poor and WiFi (top tip – don’t bother paying for WiFi access as it will only work in the clubhouse – I wasted £8.99 to access my emails which I couldn’t even open).
With so much fresh air and outdoor fun, the children (and adults) all slept very well and even slept in which is always welcomed on holidays.
We self-catered our whole holiday to keep down the costs and all ate so well, there is of course an on-site shop and bar/restaurant but we didn’t need to use this on this holiday.
Well be back again at the end of the year I think, it’s not yet booked but the kids are already asking to go back.