Saturday, 29 June 2019

Weekend Break at Rockley Park Haven with AirBnB

Sometimes you really need to just get away from it all as a family to appreciate what you have. This year we have been away quite a bit but not ever just the four of us. Joe and I went on our cruise, I went to Alcudia with my family for my sister's birthday and we have had a few overnight stays in hotels for family events. All of these trips though and I felt like we just needed some quality time as a family. 

I made a promise to myself that this year we would plan more breaks with the kids and the first one was a trip to Dorset for a few days. I had already priced up Butlins, Centre Parcs and Haven with them all coming in higher than we wanted to spend. Being the back end of half term it was expected but with them all coming in between £600-£1000 for a long weekend (I mean seriously £1k for a weekend?!) I took to AirBnB* to find a self catering holiday home. 

I found lots of cottages and apartments that were lovely, there was a fab one in Somerset we liked but actually we all love Dorset so I had a look down there and came across the perfect little caravan in Poole. It was privately owned but based in Rockley Park Haven site. We got 3 nights for £200 which was such a good deal. We have been to Rockley Park a few times and it was the place Joe proposed to me all those years ago. 

We love the site and with Callie still being quite little we didn't think we would use the facilities (pool, clubhouse, entertainment) a lot so a private caravan without the extra cost of these was perfect. You can pay extra for entertainments passes at the below prices but given Callie is terrified of the characters and isn't overly confident at swimming yet it just wasn't worth the money for us. 
  • 3-4 Days - Adult - £35.20  Child (under 15) - £17.10 
  • Day Passes - Adult: £10 | Child: £5
Instead of buying the passes we spent our evenings on the beach before heading back for dinner and bed. The beds were suprisingly comfortable in the caravan and it was really quiet where we were. We have stayed at many a Haven site in the past where the evenings are spent wide awake listening to drunk people wandering home from the clubhouse. This being a private home we were tucked away down the hill from the entertainment complex and hardly heard anything at night. 

The caravan was immacculate and nicely decorated. We had plenty of bedding, the kitchen was well equipped and the personal touches of toiletries, milk, tea and coffee on arrival were what we usually miss when going on a caravan holiday. The little details make a huge difference. We also had some Dorset Tea and Biscuits as a welcome gift which were yummy!

Just down from our caravan, which had a beautiful sea view, was the private beach. This is a fab addition Rockley Park have as well as access to a nature reserve which we didn't get round to visiting. The beach though has a little cafe for getting hot drinks and ice creams, a park and area perfect for crabbing! We found the perfect time to visit was about 5pm when the tide had gone out and you could explore the rock pools. There is a boat club down there too with a huge list of activities which can be booked directly with Haven at an additional cost. 

Despite not having entertainment passes we could access the onsite shop, parks and takeaway places. We have had chips from the onsite fish and chip shop on previous visits but got a Papa John's this time. We were quite disappointed as it wasn't anywhere near as good as ones we have had in the past and Joe's pizza was wrong. It wasn't cheap either so we were glad we had stopped at Asda in Poole on the day we arrived to get supplies to cook our own dinner the rest of the break. The kitchen was well equipped so perfect for knocking up a quick pasta dish or jacket potatoes. 

I would definitely recommend checking out Luxury Holiday Homes Dorset if you are in the area and AirBnB for other privately owned caravans in the future. We will probably be heading to Somerset in October if I can find a good deal again. 

Where are your favourite places to visit in the UK? 

Let me know in the comments and we will add them to our list! 

*In order to be completely transparent this post isn't in collaboration with AirBnB but I have included a code which allows you to get £25 off your first home booking. And £9 to use toward an experience worth £36 or more. I then get a discount off my next booking with each referral. As I say this isn't in collaboration with the brand it is just a link I was given when booking! 

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