Saturday, September 1, 2018

Review of our First Holiday with Haven


Once upon a time  holidays  consisted of leisurely waking  up , leisurely strolling down to the beautiful  hotel lobby  for a beautifully  cooked breakfast and then discussing  over a cappuccino  where we fancied going  in the day; shopping, dinner, boat trips and of course  the odd cheeky nap.  But the main focus is on the word leisurely.Fast forward 6 years and our holidays have taken  a dramatic turn. No longer do we stay in grown up boutique  hotels ( not the place for grumbling 5 year olds and a toddler reaching the terrible two's) and yet I still refuse to relinquish the idea of a holiday  but if anything I come back more shattered after the family holiday, what with the mission planning for every activity  for each day, a contingency plan for when it typically pees it down all over your beautifully selected beach day and then the constant needing to move the pace on in the hope of stemming a preschooler tantrum. BUT then like an answer  from  above a Haven leaflet just plops in to my letter box, at first I dismissed it as I had no idea what it entails and just thought it would be an expensively priced caravan. But, then I decided to have a look  into it. Haven claims to be a holiday that includes all your on-site activities (and for more specific activities an activity  pass can be purchased at a reasonable price). For me the idea of having our  activities planned with no extra cost or an hours drive with squabbling  kids sounded like heaven but how would  it realistically  work out?? So we decided  to book a weeks break to the haven campsite  Craig Tara in Scotland.

 On arrival our standard 2 bedroom caravan had been upgraded  to a deluxe  3 bedroom at no extra cost to us. A lovely welcoming  surprise. It had a great spacious living area, well equipped kitchen and I was surprised that we had a big bathroom and a separate WC. Definitely not pokey!


Now, you have been forewarned the check in queue's are long and we decided that rather than queue up with very tired, bored and fidgety kids we would  have a little explore and see what the park has to offer. There is a great park on-site and the kids rampaged around this for a good hour and then we decided to brave the soft play which was pleasantly not busy and had a great selection for both kids ages. By that  time our check in que was much smaller! Well worth the wait.  We are used to tents so we were happy with any caravan but if you are apprehensive about a caravan don't  be! The quality and comfort is great and the caravans at Haven are very much like lodges. We had all the mod cons you could need and it was clean and well presented. You do need to make sure you bring a few extras such as washing up liquid, towels, kitchen towel, and toilet roll. But if you do forget there is the onsite Nissa shop with lots in stock.
 What we especially loved about Craig Tara was the fact the beach was literally a stone's throw away. A great way to start the morning and not to far to go when the heavens inevitably open.

 Our first stop was the pool and all I can say is WOW. My kids were beyond squealing with excitement and I have never seen my kids get changed so quickly (if only school mornings could be the same). There were slides galore, 4 different types of pools, a ridiculous amount of fountains and a great toddlers area also heated !!! You could literally spend the day at the pool and the fact millies cookies is next to it is a little added  calorific bonus.

 We did a range of activities from learn2swim lessons, water zorbing, nature ranger, paint a pot, gym tots and so much more. All the staff were great and so engaging with both kids. Ava absolutely loved the nature rangers Scott and Beth.


What is great is Haven caters for everyone and all ages. The evening  entertainment was also great albeit at times cheesy (but then who doesn't love a bit of cheesiness). The kids both loved the tots disco and the Pantomime had them both giggling. What also struck me is how reasonably priced the drinks and food are £2.00 to refill our slushy cup and £2.50 for a large popcorn.

 All in all we had a fantastic trip with minimal expense and zero driving once we had arrived. The kids were entertained from 9am until late and were way to tired to fight or squabble. We loved it so much we are already looking to book our next Haven break. Holidays have just been made that little bit easier. So Thanks Haven !!!!
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