This year we had our summer holiday in Devon at a site we have visited before in 2010 and 2018. We knew what to expect but there were some surprises along the way.
The first surprise was our caravan. I booked last year by phone and they did ask if we had any particular needs and I told them I was a wheelchair user. When we arrived we finally found our selected caravan, or rather the parking spot for it. It was so far down the hill we could barely see it from the car. There were steps, a ramp and more steps to get down to it. We went straight to the reception centre.
They were really good and soon found us another caravan. This one was an upgrade but it also had one less bedroom so someone had to sleep on the pull out bed in the living area. At this point we just wanted to unpack and get settled in so we agreed. The caravan was directly opposite the complex and right next to the circus. Our hopes of any kind of peace were gone. We did have a sea view, but only just if you look past the circus tent. This was taken from the caravan window.
That’s rather a long photo I know, but just look at that blue sky and it was like that mostly every day!
The caravan was nice, we had a full size cooker and fridge and even a dishwasher. The main bedroom had an ensuite toilet and loads of storage space as well as an extremely comfortable bed. As we were so close to complex we didn’t have to drive there which was a bonus. I can’t get up most of the hills in this park in my wheelchair, so any further away and we have to drive. The downside was the hill directly outside the caravan. It was only small but so steep I couldn’t control the wheelchair down it by myself, so I couldn’t go anywhere without help.
We spent the first evening in the complex getting a take out and playing in the arcade.
Day Two, Exmouth, a Meal Out and a Bad Night
We decided to drive into Exmouth on the second day, it was a beautiful day and it meant I could get right next to the beach (at the camp site I had to view the beach and sea from a cafe on a cliff because the ramp down was too steep.) We had chips by the beach and then some delicious ice creams. Me and Boo chose smoothies instead and they were very nice.
The Kids found a Sega arcade which was full of fun games and we spent an hour in there. The girl’s were loving Mario and Sonic at the Olympics, and Luigi’s Mansion. While the Little Man and Dad enjoyed some air hockey.
In the evening we went for a meal in the Mash and Barrel on the campsite. The meal itself was ok, but the desert that I shared with Star was really tasty.
Day Three, The caravan, the market and the boat trip
The desert also seemed to be our downfall as I think it may have made Star poorly. She was up several times in the night and the next day spent most of it lying on the sofa in the caravan.
Because Star was unable to go out we decided that today could be the day that Graham, Boo and the Little Man took a boat trip. Star gets sick on boats and I can’t get on, so it made sense. First, we had to go over to the shop to get supplies for the day. When we walked over we found there was a lovely little market with lots of goodies.
With food in the caravan it was safe for the others to leave me and Star and we spent the day relaxing. Later in the afternoon Star felt a little better so I told her to have a shower. She really brightened up afterwards and wanted to go to the market. She wasn’t well enough to go alone though and I couldn’t get out without my wheelchair which was in the car. By the time the other’s got back it was too late, but it was okay because the market would be back again on Sunday. We decided to spend the evening in the Beach Side Cafe which looks out over the sea. Star couldn’t eat anything but we still had a nice evening and she was happy because she could use their internet to talk to her boyfriend.
Day Four, the Birds and Deers
The third day of our holiday and Star was feeling better so we decided to go to World of Country Life. It’s right next to the Haven park but as I am in a wheelchair we had to drive there. I wrote in detail about World of Country Life back on our last visit in 2018. The kids were younger and enjoyed more of the play areas than the animals. This time, although the Little Man enjoyed the play areas, the girls were more interested in the animals. We even managed to catch the Hawkridge Bird’s of Prey display which was utterly fantastic (providing you are not scared of big birds because they do get really close.
We had lots of fun feeding the sheep and goats and looking at the Memory Lane Museum. But the highlight of the day is the Deer train. It’s quite simply a tractor that pulls carts of people out into a field of deer and then you are given feed and the deer come running over to poke their heads in the cart and feed from your hand. We even got to see some baby deer which was lovely.
I think I took hundreds of photos at The World of Country Life. It really is a lovely place to visit.
When we got back we ate in the caravan before spending a little time in the arcade in the evening.
Day Five The Thieves
We had decided to have a quiet day at the holiday park. I got up early and gave the caravan a good clean. Then the girls decided they wanted to go over to the complex by themselves. Boo had her purse taken from her handbag by some teenagers who then took her money off her card. I hate those new change machines in the arcade where you can just swipe your card and get £10 with no pin required. They tried it several times but thankfully I was only transferring a little money each day and they only got £20 off it. We reported it but heard nothing more from security. Boo and Star were really upset and it took a while for them to calm down. Thankfully they did manage to regain a little confidence back though. Especially when we returned from reporting the incident with tickets to the circus!
We spent the evening with a walk on the beach for those that could, and sitting on the cliff top watching the sunset.
Day Six, Another trip to Exmouth, The Circus and a surprise from Family
Day six didn’t start too well. I’d become a little overstressed. I’d wanted to go to the beach and was becoming frustrated at being trapped by my disability. I’m not proud, but I am honest. The afternoon we went out for a lovely meal in Exmouth and little shopping where I found a gorgeous crystal ball. It made me feel a little better. Plus we had the circus to look forward to.
While we were in Exmouth, and able to get some mobile connectivity, we saw that my nephew and his wife and daughter had just booked into our holiday camp. So we arranged to meet up with them later.
The circus was a big highlight. It was so much fun and really exciting. We had ringside seats.
After the circus we went to the complex to grab a pizza and meet up with my nephew.
Day Seven, Last Day at the Beach
Today we got to go to the beach again. We had chips right by the seaside. Spent a little more time in the Sega Arcade, watched a live band playing songs from The Jam, and then had ice cream at the sea front while The Little Man and Graham went for a paddle. I guess it’s time for some seaside pics!
Our last evening we spent playing bingo with my nephew and his wife before our final meal in the complex.
Apart from a couple of hiccups, everything went really well. There were definitely lots of lovely memories made and we had a wonderful time. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect. I would so like to live by the sea side, the air feels so much better there, fresher and less sticky.
We had planned to visit Crealy Theme park during our visit as it was less than an hour away. However, after losing a day because of Star’s illness it was something we had to drop. After reading Victoria’s review on the Sooty Land Experience at Crealy I wished we had made the effort.
Have you been on holiday this year? Did you stay in the UK or fly off further afield?