507. That’s the approximate number of times Freya has asked to go back to the caravan since we returned home on Friday – and, in all honesty, I can’t say I blame her.
This year, having been to the same site five times in a row, we (me, Mark, Freya and my mum and dad) decided to live life on the edge and go somewhere completely different.
When I say “completely different” I mean still in Norfolk, a 10 minute drive away from the previous site and with the same company but, other than those things, the location was entirely new to us (unless you count that my mum and dad brought my brother and I on holiday there 35 years ago and then it’s not new at all).
Anyway, I’m pleased to say our big gamble paid off and we like this site (Haven Seashore, Great Yarmouth) better than the other one for a number of reasons – not least that the beach seemed much more accessible for my old mum.
I think it might be rammed in the school holidays but last week there appeared to be just the right amount of people so it was neither too busy nor like a ghost town.
Our three-bedroom caravan with a little deck was immaculate and in a great position with the shops, amusements and live lounge a walk one way and the pool, the sea and the restaurant in the other direction.
Freya had a blast in the swimming pool (they also had a splash zone we didn’t get time to visit), at the various play areas dotted around, in the on-site paint your own shop (she made what she thinks is a cow but is actually a hippo), in Great Yarmouth itself (via the little road train from our site) and, of course, at the beach.
It’s amazing to see how much more content she was just to play in the sand (and wash stones) this year. We visited the beach most mornings and then again before bed.
The caravan site is next door to Yarmouth Racecourse and there were two afternoons of racing on while we were there. As we discovered, while looking through the wire fence, two of the longer races each day come directly past the caravan site side so we got to see them (or hear them first of all) right next us.
I found myself feeling really relaxed for the first time in ages. I was able to do a lovely couple of 5K runs first thing in the morning along the front (it was fairly breezy too so I was pleased with myself).
It helped to work off all the tasty meals we had in the restaurant (I still took Freya’s food on holiday, just to be safe, but we cooked it and took it with us each day).
Mark and I took a stroll to the beach each evening after Freya had gone to bed (my mum and dad volunteered to stay with her) and then, most nights, just sat and watched the sunset. Heaven.
We were so lucky with the weather, too. The previous week it had rained almost solidly but we only had one dull afternoon (and we’d been on the beach from 7.15am that morning and it was glorious) and the only time it rained was as we were packing up to go home – it’s like it was telling us to stay.
Best of all, it is only a 40 minute drive from Norwich so there was no waiting around at airports and then flying (shudder). That’s not to say I don’t ever want to go abroad again (I love to travel) but it’s just so much easier and possibly cheaper to stay close to home at the moment (and when you already live in Norfolk, why leave?)
All in all a lovely holiday.