Caravan parks make the perfect
base for exploring. Who needs to go abroad?
1. Rookley Country Park, Isle of Wight
Join in the nightly family entertainment, watch one of the weekly firework
displays or just enjoy dinner at the Lakeside Restaurant and Terrace at this
sociable family-run caravan park. During the daytime, there are well-stocked
lakes, an amusement arcade and a heated pool to relax in - that is if you're not
enjoying the many delights of offer in the sea. The chocolate-box village of
Godshill, with its thatched cottages and tearooms, is a must see, while Sandown
is great for seaside seekers. If it rains, indulge in some retails therapy at
Newport, the Isle of Wight's most popular shopping centre. And there's
Carisbrooke Castle for history buffs.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week in a standard four-berth caravan from £190. See
call 01983 721606.
2. Trencreek Farm, St Austell, Cornwall
Meet Ant and Dec - the friendly goats at Trencreek Farm. There are also
chickens, donkeys, ducks and many other animals kept as pets at the farm. And
while they're undoubtedly the farm's star attractions, the park also has an
outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis court, fishing lakes, children's play
areas, games room, restaurant and takeaway. Away from the park, there's a wealth
of sandy beaches to choose from and historic towns, including the old
marketplace of St. Austell and pretty fishing village of Mevagissey. The Eden
Project is eight miles away.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week's stay at Trencreek Farm, sharing a six-berth caravan,
from £150. Book at www.surfbayholidays.co.uk or call 01726 882540.
3. Foxhunter park, monkton, kent
From its Italian marble statue to its waterfall pool, this park prides itself
on being a cut above your average caravan park. And with a beauty spa offering a
wide variety of treatments, a heated outdoor pool, an 18-hole putting course and
a club offering tribute acts and soul singers, it probably is. Outside, there's
the historic city of Canterbury, with its cathedral and The Canterbury Tales
attraction. You're also a short drive from Hever and Dover castles.
HOLIDAY INFO: Prices from £198.90 for a one-bedroom value caravan. Go to
call 01843 821311.
4. Brighouse Bay Holiday Park, Kirkcudbright, Scotland
SIP wine in the bistro overlooking the pool, chill out in the Jacuzzi, play
golf or take the family pony-trekking at this Scottish holiday park, in the
beautiful region of Dumfries and Galloway. Nearby there's the pretty artists'
town of Kirkcudbright, the mausoleum of national poet Robert Burns, Dundrennan
Abbey where Mary Queen of Scotts spent her last night on Scottish soil, and
Galloway Forest park with its red deer, wild goats and red squirrels.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week in a budget two bed-room caravan starts from £275. Go to
call 01557 870267.
5. Bainland Country Park, Woodhall Spa, LINCS
STEP back in time while enjoying 21st Century accommodation at this
all-singing, all-dancing family caravan pack. Nearby in Woodhall Spa you can
enjoy films like they used to be at Kinema in the Woods, one of the few
projection cinemas in the country. If offers music from an original Compton
organ and old-fashioned sweets. In the park itself, there's an 18-hole golf
course, a heated pool and nightly karaoke and tribute acts.
HOLIDAY INFO: Prices start from £290 per week for a six-berth caravan. Go to
www.bainland.co.uk or call 01526
6. Northfield Holiday Park, Borth, West Wales
NATURE lovers will delight in this peaceful caravan park which is something
of an oasis for those who want to escape from it all. It's small - only 13
caravans - but Northfield was the first in Wales to hold a Green Globe
conservation award and has achieved the David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award
every year since 1999. This is largely due to the park's landscaped gardens and
a variety of birds, butterflies and wildlife. There are nature cards so kids can
identify the wildlife. The village of Borth is just minutes away.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week's stay in a two-bed caravan costs from £115. Book at
or call 01970 871464.
7. Beverley Park, Paignton, South Devon
If you're looking for a one-shop shop caravan site, this is it. There's a
kids' entertainment room with lots of activities, the Lagoon pool and children's
pool, and Oasis Centre with indoor heated pool, spa bath and fitness suite.
Basically everything you might need is pretty much on your doorstep. Venture
further afield and enjoy the many delights of the English Riviera, from theme
parks to regattas to the Paignton Dartmouth Steam Railyway and the legendary
HOLIDAY INFO: From £205 per week for a two-bedroom caravan. Go to
call 01803 843887.
8. Oakdene Forest Park, St. Leonard's, Hampshire
SPLASH about in the heated indoor pool with flume, sunbathe on the outdoor
pool patio, or join the forest ranger on a nature activity at Oakdene Forest
Park. It's set in 55 acres of parkland bordering the Avon Forest. Venture into
the New Forest to spot the deers and ponies, or head to Poole Harbour and the
picturesque quay. Take the chain-link ferry to Shell Bay or go on a day trip to
the Channel Islands.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week in a two-bed Wimbourne caravan, based on four people
sharing, costs from £139. Book at
www.shorefield.co.uk/oakdene or call 01590 648331.
9. Solway Holiday Village, Silloth-on-Solway, Cumbria
FROM ten-pin bowling to family discos, it's unlikely you'll be bored at this
holiday park, which caters for the changeable English weather with little extras
like a novelty train and an animal farm. It's set in beautiful countryside,
perfect for exploring the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall. Nearby there is the
Lake District Coast Aquarium, where you can walk through a mock shipwreck, and
the 900-year-old Carlisle Castle.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week at Solway in a two-bed caravan costs from £179. Go to
www.hagansleisure.co.uk or call
10. Kessingland Beach, Lowestoft, Suffolk
Take a boat trip to the nature reserves on Bawdsey Island, see a play at the
moated Tudor mansion at Long Melford, or wander around the wonky village of
Lavenham with its 300-plus listed buildings. Hit the Blue Flag beaches or enjoy
the facilities at the holiday park itself. With an indoor heated pool and spa to
relax in, as well as the beachside show-bar, mini ten-pin bowling and sports to
enjoy, you're unlikely to sit still for long.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week at a six-berth caravan in Kessingland Beach costs from
£154. Further details at www.park-resorts.com or call 0871 200 6200.
11. Moorside Caravan Park, Whitby, North Yorkshire
If you prefer a site that's a bit quieter but no less luxurious, this park is
perfect. With only 126 caravans, you'll be able to enjoy the tranquility,
overlooking Saltwick Bay. There's family entertainment, a cafe, bar and a shop
on site. Nearby, the award-winning seaside resort of Whitby is an absolute must.
Famous for its links with Bram Stoker's Dracula, this bustling port with its
famous abbey is the backdrop for summer carnivals and regattas.
HOLIDAY INFO: A week's holiday at Moorside Caravan Park costs from £205 four a
four-berth static caravan. Go to
www.moorsideluxurycaravans.com or call 01751 477796.
12. Grannie's Heilan Hame Holiday Park, EMBO, Scotland
Right on the beautiful white sands of Embo beach, this holiday park offers a
seaside setting without the tackiness. You won't find any "kiss me quick" hats
here. But if you look hard enough you might just see dolphins and seals and in
the distance there are excellent views of Ben Bhraggie and the Dornoch Firth. On
site, there's an indoor heated pool, spa bath, crazy gold, basketball court,
children's clubs and a restaurant, while nearby you'll find John O'Groats.
HOLIDAY INFO: A two-bed caravan costs from £179 per week. Call 0871 641 0410
or log on to www.parkdeanholidays.co.uk
Source: Homes & Holidays