A couple of weekends ago we were invited down to Rockley Park in Poole Dorset by Haven to experience a family getaway. Since going back to work at the beginning of this year after finishing my last ever stint of maternity leave family time is so important to me. I am always looking for new things we can do together as a family and also we try to spend a weekend away a month. When I am looking for a break in the UK be it for a weekend, a week or longer there are a few things which I look for. I am after a location near to the beach, somewhere that allows us to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and a good base to explore the local area. Ideally I would opt for self catering to give us as much flexibility as possible but with a pub or good restaurant nearby for those days when we can’t be bothered. On paper it sounded like Rockley Park ticked all these boxes for us. So what did we think?
Accommodation – Rockley Park
The accommodation surpassed all my expectations. I often envisage mobile homes like they were when I was a little girl. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We opened the door into a spacious and well thought out living area. With not one but two sofas, a flat screen TV (much to Monkey’s delight) and a stylish fire. Theres a fully equipped kitchen with a good amount of cupboard space.Three bedrooms, one with a double bed which had its own large corner vanity unit and enough floor space to put up a rather large travel cot. It was also an ensuite which took us by surprise as Monkey discovered it when he really needed to go! Having two toilets with a family can be a life saver. I liked the fact that there were duvets on all the beds rather than just blankets. Water pressure can be a bit of an issue in mobile homes, but the shower was hot and powerful.
Patio doors in the living area lead out onto a small veranda with a small table and chairs. It would be a lovely place to sit in the Summer months and enjoy a glass of wine.The accommodation was finished to such a high standard I was amazed and not how I pictured a mobile home. Having stayed on other unbranded mobile home parks and not had this experience before we realised what we had been missing out on with going with a reputable brand.
Activities – Rockley Park
There was lots going at Rockley Park, so much so we were spoilt for choice. Haven have realised that sometimes you need it all there in one place. So not only were we handed a schedule when we checked in but theres also a really handy app which lays it all out for you. We tried out a number of different things during our stay.
Our favourite by far was the Nature Rockz session where Monkey got to make an elephant grass head which he painted a metallic blue. We also got to go for a little ramble and look for animal prints in the soil. Getting out amongst the ferns was not something I imagined would be available as an activity. But Rockley Park has its very own rangers, who are fully trained and offer a whole host of different activities for your little ones to get involved with. All of which involve the outdoors.
In the centre we also made use of the crazy golf, bungee trampolines and play area. All of which were a huge hit. Kipper may have fallen in love with his little mini golf club! I had real trouble getting him to leave it at the end of the course. A number of the activities on site are free and a number you will need to pay for. Its possible to get an activity pass which works out great value for money.
I also booked Monkey into a Pre Ped session with the most enthusiastic instructor I have ever come across in my life! Neither of us were really sure what to expect but he helped him with his balance before giving him instruction on how to cycle without stabilisers. Monkey is so close to being able to do this, it was lovely to see his confidence grow.
Amenities – Rockley Park
Lets start with the pool. There is a slide for all those over 1m in height which ticked Monkey’s must have box straight away. There is also a smaller slide in the pool itself which is good for the little ones, although we didn’t take Kipper on it as I thought he was too little. There is a small splashdown area though with lots of water jets that he enjoyed and he liked playing on the steps which span the length of the pool. Its great that its on site as it means if the weather is bad you always have a fall back plan!
There are two restaurants and we were lucky enough to eat in both during our stay. The Harbourside which we enjoyed on the Saturday evening. This is a more formal al carte restaurant which is predominately fish based. Although there are options on the menu if like my husband you don’t eat fish. The staff were brilliant engaging with the children during the meal. There are activity packs for the kids, plenty of high chairs and kid friendly menu options. It felt like grown up dining which is something we don’t get to experience much with the kids. Plus the bonus of s short stroll home.
There is also a pub called the Mash & Barrel which we also ate in for lunch. I was most impressed by the large range of vegetable options for the kids and the vegetarian meals in general. Although it was pub food there were some nice alternatives on the menu. In the Summer I can imagine sitting outside next to the pool and enjoying the atmosphere.
There is also the Live Lounge which is where all the entertainment happens, both during the day and in the evening. Theres also a shop on site selling essentials and all important bucket and spades and all the necessary crabbing apparatus for a successful fishing trip.
Location – Rockley Park
When we are looking for a holiday location we try to select somewhere which allows us to visit attractions in the local area. Rockley Park has a beach which has lots of opportunity to go beach combing on one side and crabbing on the other. Monkey had a brilliant time find crabs and winkles. Kipper enjoyed digging in the sand. It was so relaxing just spending a couple of hours enjoying the water. The kids seem the most happiest when they are on the beach which means we are too. Placed near a nature reserve there are a number of country walks and trails which you can take and that we would have done should we have more time.
We really enjoyed our time at Rockley Park and would love to go back to explore the area more. It turns out that Haven have the prefect recipe for a family getaway and more than ticked all our boxes. You can watch our adventure on a little video I put together below, if you enjoy it please can you give me a thumbs up: