The week before the end of the Summer Holidays, Ross, Grace and I took a trip to Coast View Holiday Park in Shaldon, Devon to review it’s suitability for an Approved Family Friendly Accreditation. More of that in a bit!
The hour and a bit journey from our house took us across the very picturesque Shaldon Bridge, taking you into the town of Shaldon itself. A short drive up the hill meant we found the Park quickly and easily. It was well sign-posted (a real bug-bear for me if it isn’t!). The first thing that you see is the club house and indoor swimming pool (although Helen told me that she would like a ‘Wembley roof’ on it one day!) followed by the main reception area.
We parked the car and ventured into a clean, tidy and welcoming reception and we were met by Angie who then went and advised Helen Brenton, our contact, that we had arrived. We got the keys to our unit and Helen walked us up. Upon entering our lodge, I quickly noticed how clean and well-appointed it was. Then, you look out the window….the view of the bay and sea beyond is stunning – what I wouldn’t give to wake up to that everyday!
Leaving Ross and Grace to explore, Helen showed me around the Park and explained all the amenities to me. I saw the lovely cafe/club house which is open at specific times of the day. Inside there are plenty of chairs and tables, sofas, a TV area – with more sofas, a bar, a dancefloor with staging, a small shop AND a games room full of arcade machines and a pool table. On the board to the entrance I was also pleased to discover that they offer evening entertainment and, on the evening we were there we would see Ozzy D.
We then visited the pool and the soft play area (which is for under 10s but I wouldn’t mind going on!). On exit, the First Aid policy was put to the test when poor Grace fell over and cut her knee. Angie cleaned the wound and gave Grace a plaster. Helen and I then set off up the hill (great exercise!) to look at the campsite facilities and further outdoor activities. There was a playground with crazy golf course beyond. Just in front was a fabulous block for the campers with showers, toilets, a family wet room with baby changing facilities, shower and toilet, a washing up area for all those dirty camping dishes and a laundry room. We then walked to the campsite up the hill. The views are utterly stunning. Helen told me that she often walks right to the very top just to take in the view and you can understand why.
After my meeting with Helen, I was free to join in the fun with Ross and Grace and our first stop was the pool – we had a fantastic time in the beautifully clean water (another bug-bear of mine – unclean swimming pools!) and then we popped back to our chalet before a drive down into Shaldon and a walk around Ness Bay. Again, there are no words except absolutely stunning. The area is quaint and picturesque. We bought ice creams topped with clotted cream and walked along Ness Bay. Grace collected shells and then we reached the pretty town.
On the drive back to the Park we realised just how close we were. A piece of advice – don’t drive to the bay, walk! You’ll save on parking costs! We then got ready and went off to the clubhouse for our dinner and that evenings entertainment. We chose to sit on the edge of the dancefloor so we had prime viewing position. We ordered a starter to share of Nachos then Grace had ham, egg and chips, Ross chose rump steak and I opted for chicken melt with barbecue sauce, cheese and bacon. The food was well-cooked and tasty. We also decided to go for puddings! Grace and I had chocolate fudge cake and Ross went for sticky toffee pudding with custard.
The entertainment was superb and gave us something to watch whilst we were eating. Ozzy D was an absolute hit with the kids and had them running, shouting and laughing (I am certain the parents were sitting there appreciating the fact that he was keeping them entertained and wearing them out at the same time!). We took part in the bingo – a first for Ross and Grace – and didn’t win but we had a great time plus found it a great learning tool for Grace. Once Grace came out of her shell, she volunteered to go up and take part in a magic story of a princess choosing a prince! With this section over we set off back to our lodge.
We sat out on the balcony for a little bit to look at the stars and then put a very happy and tired Grace to bed who fell asleep almost as soon as her head touched the pillow. Then Ross and I were set for bed too.
The next morning we had a game of crazy golf before popping back into the clubhouse for breakfast. Again it was well-cooked and I loved the idea of pricing the items individually so you could choose whatever size breakfast you wanted. Once eaten we were ready to check out and head for home.
I have to say that I really felt a sense of ‘home from home’ at this park. Helen told me that families meet each other at the park and come back year after year and I find that no surprise at all. She has seen the kids play with each other as they grow up. The season opens at Easter and closes at the end of the October half term. Outside this time, the caravans and lodges which are owned are still able to be used by just the owners. There is a great opportunity to purchase a unit and then hire it out for use, where the park charges a management fee to care for and clean it.
If you are looking for a high-profile Center Parcs type of holiday then this isn’t for you! BUT if you are looking for friendly service, a homely feel, stunning views and great days out within easy reach then I highly recommend Coast View Park in Devon. I am happy to endorse them for Approved Family Friendly. Tell them I said hi!
With thanks to Approved Family Friendly and Coast View Parks for providing accommodation for a one night stay as well as evening meal and drinks for our family experience.