As soon as Mr Z came out of school on the last day of school we had everything ready and set off straight away for our short break at Parkdean Cherry Tree! The children were all so excited to go and explore somewhere new. We went from Friday-Monday for a 3 night break. Parkdean Cherry Tree is in Norfolk nearby to Great Yarmouth and takes around 3.5 hours to drive from London depending on traffic.
We haven’t yet taken the children to a holiday outside of the UK. I find that breaks like these which are just a fairly short drive away are so easy and stress-free that while the boys are all young this is an ideal solution for us and we haven’t felt the need to travel much further afield.
Where we stayed
We stayed in an “Upton” caravan which is a new model for 2014. I have good memories of staying in static caravans on holidays as a child but this was more updated than the ones I remember and we were really impressed with it. The caravan felt much bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside and it was great for us! On other short breaks we have stayed in hotels (and once in a wigwam!) but that means all staying in one bedroom. The caravan has three bedrooms and this makes life so much easier when you want to put the children to bed and have a bit of child-free relaxation time in the evening. This caravan could actually sleep 6-8 people so it is pretty spacious.
The caravan has an open plan living, dining and kitchen area with a wall mounted TV and comfy sofas. The kitchen is fully equipped with an oven and hob, microwave, fridge and freezer which was really handy and made us feel that we had all our home comforts. It made life easy to be able to get the kids breakfast and warm up their bed time milk easily within the caravan. If we had stayed longer we would have bought some groceries and cooked meals in the caravan but as we only stayed a few nights we ate out a lot.
When we arrived we saw that some basic groceries had already been provided for us which we didn’t expect and that was a great welcome. The kitchen is also fully equipped with all tableware and cutlery that you will need.
What we packed
We packed plenty of books and activities to keep the children entertained when they wake up early in the morning, and just the clothes and toiletries that we needed. One of the good things about a holiday within the UK is that I don’t need to worry if we do miss anything as there is always a 24 hour supermarket nearby. There are 24 hour Asda and Tesco stores within just a few minutes drive from Parkdean Cherry Tree.
Activities Available on the Park
There are plenty of family friendly activities available to do for free at Parkdean Cherry Tree including:
- Swimming pools
- Soft Play
- Arcade games
- Mini Golf
- Children’s Clubs
- Fitness Gym
We didn’t even get time to try out everything within our 3 day trip, so you definitely wouldn’t run out of things to do.
Mr T and Mr R (age 4 and 2) had lots of fun in the indoor soft play.
Mr Z (5) was really keen to have a go at some of the racing games in the arcade and to try his hand at snooker which is something new for him.
There are two playgrounds; One for younger children and toddlers and one which is a more advanced adventure playground. It’s so convenient to have all of these nearby to the caravans to help fill any spare moments for the kids. The playground shown below is the younger children’s one.
I took Mr T and Mr R to the Tot Stars club which is aimed at children 4 and under, so perfect for them at age 2 and 4 years old. The session they attended had an Under the Sea theme with sand and water play available and a jellyfish hat making craft, followed by parachute games and a story time with one of the Parkdean mascots – Lizzy the Lizard.
Sid and Lizzie the park mascots also put on shows and run interactive family game shows, which we did not get a chance to see. There is a full schedule of activities and children’s clubs going on with a daily session for every age group.
The staff at the children’s club were very welcoming and it was a good way to keep the boys entertained and add some variety to their stay.
Here’s Mr T modelling his jelly fish hat!
After our first full day we took all the family for a meal at the Coast Bar & Kitchen which is in the main entertainment complex. The restaurant is very spacious, which is a definite plus for me. It’s no fun eating in a crowded atmosphere with small children especially when they are a little over excited on holiday, as that makes it hard to relax. The service was very friendly and plenty of colouring crayons were provided for the kids.
The menu in the Coast Bar & Kitchen was pretty varied. I didn’t expect so many options to be available but there was lots of choice, including plenty of vegetarian dishes and a children’s menu.
The children all got pizza and chips, some of them with corn cobs and some with beans.
Their dad had scampi and I got vegetarian lasagne.
There’s also plenty of choices for desert.
What to do in the area
There are a lot of options for days out nearby. First on our list was BeWILDerwood as I had heard such great reviews from other parents about this place, and we really enjoyed it too! Look out for a full review of BeWILDerwood coming up tomorrow and don’t forget to enter for your chance to win a family ticket to visit yourself!
We are always keen to find old castles or ruins to explore when we are visiting new areas so we found the the Castle Acre Priory which is an English Heritage site. Look out for my post with all our pictures from this day out on Sunday when I’ll be co-hosting the Let’s Have an Adventure Linky.
The nearest seaside to Parkdean Cherry Tree is Great Yarmouth so we went along for a quick visit and took the boys to one of the pirate themed crazy golf courses, Pirate’s Cove, which is by the seafront.
If we stayed for longer we would have also visited:
- Pleasurewood Hills Theme Park
- Burgh Castle
- Africa Alive
- Merrivale Model Village
- Hire a Boat on the Norfolk Broads
We had a really fun holiday. This was our first visit to a Parkdean park and we would happily visit again. It’s an ideal stress free holiday for families with young children, with very little planning needed and lots included on site. It’s always great to get away and make time for some family quality time away from the usual distractions of work and home life. The boys all really enjoyed themselves; Mr Z specifically told me to write that it was awesome!
I took lots of photos, too many to include in one post but if you follow me on instagram or check the #britishholiday hashtag on Twitter you can see more photos and updates that I shared while we were away.
If you’ve ever been on a Parkdean holiday, why not share your experiences with me in the comments. I would love to hear. Or if you are thinking about going to Parkdean Cherry Tree and have any questions that I didn’t cover in the review, please feel free to ask.
Disclaimer: We were invited to review Parkdean Cherry Tree and our stay and meal were provided free of charge. This does not affect our experiences or opinion.