As first time visitors I wasn’t really sure what to expect when it came to Haven. We actually live fairly close to Primrose Valley site in Filey/Scarborough area, but as with everything when you live locally, we’ve never been, so when Haven asked us if we would be interested in collaborating with them to visit their most recently refurbished site; we were going in as complete newbs.
Now, I’ll be honest I didn’t expect Haven to completely surpass my expectations in the way that it did. We loved it and there was so much to do – it went far beyond the stereotype of Brit seaside holiday.
We stayed at Hafan y Mor in North Wales, surrounded by one of the most beautiful coast lines in the UK, with loads of things for the kids to do out and about oﬀ site. From Zip World (which you can read my review of here) to Castles and beaches galore to explore. Wales boasts a wonderful array of wildlife along its seas shores, something that even I didn’t expect, despite living near the seaside myself. We spent hours playing and rockpooling at Hafan y Mor’s own beach, sometimes late at night (9pm… but you know; that’s late when you’re 4) and sometimes when the beach was at its busiest and all the children came together to ﬁnd crabs, little ﬁsh and shrimps.
Hafan y Mor has recently been redeveloped by Haven, the company has invested almost £100million in sites across England, Wales and Scotland in a bid to revitalise and refresh their site to bring more fun to families. Haven is known for being the ultimate seaside staycation, but they have added so much more.
One such development at Hafan y Mor was the absolutely brilliant Dragon Lakes adventure village. Filled with brilliant activities for kids (and grown ups) there was something for everyone regardless of age and ability. We tried the dragon boat pedalo (we were terrible and managed to get ourselves moored twice but then we did let the 4 year old drive so I guess we could have foreseen that), and the kids tried a range of things. Toby tried wall climbing which was fantastic, and segways which has led to a rather expensive hover board request on the ole Christmas list because he loved it so much. Reuben also gave the segways a go, and whilst he loved it, his absolute fave was aqua jets in the swimming pool. Reuben is such a water baby, so I was really pleased to see a range of activities for him to do in the pool, he absolutely loved the aqua jets and having done them at other staycation locations I was very pleased to say that this particular activity was cheaper and much more fun for him with races and games as opposed to just swimming around in circles. Edith also had some fun in the pool with paddle boats – one of the best activities we’ve ever done anywhere. The pool staﬀ are so dedicated to make the sessions fun for the children, splashing with them, interacting and getting totally involved. It’s worth noting if you have more than one child that, whilst you need to be present to “supervise” your child, you didn’t actually have to get in the water with them. I did with Edith because I wanted to play with her and make sure she got the max out of the experience (plus I had Adam there to watch the boys – though they would be old enough to sit and watch a 25min session). No one got in the water with Reuben, Adam sat and watched whilst I went oﬀ to The Cove with Toby and Edith for the evening entertainment, which I will come back to in a minute. Edith also did the Mini Aerial Adventure which is aimed at children age 2+, under 120cm and wanting to try zip wiring and aerial adventures but are too small for the more grown up version. Edith LOVED this, in fact she asked every day to do again. It’s worth noting here that Toby was too tall for mini aerial adventures but not tall enough for the aerial adventure, so it would be really great to see if that could be changed or even if something could be developed for that in between height.
I said I would come back to The Cove – this is where the evening entertainment happens, from kids friendly bingo to game shows and shows out on for the whole family. We only discovered this on the third night as the description of the entertainment isn’t as comprehensive as it could have been, so we got a little bit muddled up. Not that we minded because we really enjoyed what we did do – playing at the beach and doing activities! Toby absolutely loved the evening entertainment though, and the highlight of his trip was watching Daddy take a “pie” to the face during the game show.
On a evening, after the entertainment or an hour of rockpooling at the beach, we indulged in a Papa Johns in the caravan, and on the nights we had already eaten we had a giant cookie! It was delish and such a lovely thing to do as a family – Papa Johns even deliver to your accommodation on site.
We loved the accommodation, it was spacious and well decorated with comfy beds and sofas. The kitchen was really well equipped for the most part, though tea towels were absent and it did make getting things out of the oven a little testing. I would love to see tea towels, dish cloths and bin liners included in the premium caravan, it’s the kind of thing that is so forgettable – though if you do forget anything there are several mini markets on site, which cater to every need.
We really enjoyed grabbing a meal from the mini market and heading back to have a chilled out dinner, but my fave dinner had to be at the Coast House. So many of my Instagram followers messaged me to let me know that the new restaurant was the place to go and it didn’t disappoint, though be warned service is quite slow but that just means you get to enjoy everything for longer. The Coast House is by the Dragon Lakes and is in the same building as the Pizza Deck, Pub, Cakery and the fabulous play zone. The kids had a blast playing and only came back to the table to eat their food and disappear again once it was polished oﬀ. Adam and I both enjoyed our meals, I highly recommend the ﬁsh tacos and Sri Lankan curry.
Oﬀ site there is so much to do, you’re so close to some wonderful beach locations and quaint little towns that you can enjoy. There are plenty of castles to explore and if you fancy it Portmeirion is a really well known location and total instagram hotspot, though we thought it was a bit meh for the kids.
All in all our experience at Haven was so much fun, lovely evenings and late mornings – what more could you ask for?