If I was going to run my own travel awards, with categories such as most peaceful caravan location, comfiest bed and best use of fog, out of the three sites we have visited so far, Kelling Heath Holiday Park would definitely sweep the board.
Many people I know had already stayed there so when I booked a trip for my parents and Freya and I (Mark could only come for a day because he had to work) I was confident that it would be good. However, this is the first time I’ve come back from a break with Freya without feeling like I need another holiday on my own to recover.
Some of that is because she is getting older but I also liked the fact that there wasn’t a million different activities for her (and me) to go along to all day and night. She often had to make her own entertainment and while the weather meant it was mostly indoors, I think, had it been warmer (and we could see further than the end of the road), we would have spent a lot more time exploring outside. It was April, though, so you have to take what you can get.
That’s not to say there weren’t things to do, there’s lots. We just didn’t take advantage of all of them. We visited several of the outdoor play areas where Freya made some lovely new friends, there’s also an indoor area with a small soft play section and amusements.
Each day there were scheduled events; one day Freya had her face painted and another she made a mosaic (both cost extra). The only evening we went out was to see the children’s entertainer Stevie Spud who was absolutely fantastic. He had Freya roaring with laughter and she was thrilled when he invited her up to help with a magic trick. He also let her have a go at plate spinning at the end. A highlight for her.
We didn’t go along to any of the outside Acorn Events, which include things such as Kelling Explorers (welly walks, woodland rambles, pond dipping etc) for children aged three – seven. We did make use of the indoor swimming pool (there’s an outdoor one too, although it’s not open in April). I also used the fantastic gym. And all of that is before you even get to the 300 acres of woodland and heathland to explore on your own (there’s bike hire too, if you don’t fancy walking).
So while there are definitely things to do, it seemed less manic than we have been used to on other holidays. I felt like it was a chance to slow down and just breathe.
We stayed in a six-person caravan (two bedrooms plus a sofa bed, if needed) and it was really lovely. There are also lodges and it’s a touring site. Set among the trees, our caravan was so peaceful. Freya spotted deer out of the window on the first morning and there were rabbits and squirrels along with various birds. I’m sure I heard an owl one evening too. It was spotlessly clean and lovely and warm, thanks to the central heating.
While there is an on-site bar and restaurant plus a pizza place, we didn’t make use of it – apart from when Mark came to visit and he and I went for lunch (my cheese toastie was delicious). We either ate while we were out or we used the things we brought with us – and the caravan had a great oven along with a microwave – but we did make use of the shop, which stocks some great products, including a free-from section.
The camp is also ideally situated for visiting other places. We did a couple of day trips, including taking the North Norfolk Railway steam train, which stops at the site, to Sheringham. I’m not sure who was more excited about this, my dad or Freya. He said it took him back to the 1950s when his family used to get a steam train once a year to the beach. It was too rough to go to the beach but we enjoyed exploring the town – and it’s never too cold for ice cream.
We are already planning a return trip. Hopefully the weather will be better – although it could have been a lot worse this time (they were predicting snow at one point) so I won’t complain.