It was set to be the HOTTEST Easter Weekend we’ve had in the UK, and with temperatures hitting 27 degrees, we thought what a perfect opportunity to spend Easter in Devon! Curtesy of Visit South Devon, we had a 3 night stay at South Bay Holiday Park in Brixham, which is one of the John Fowler Park sites.
South Bay Holiday Park
Set amongst the South Devon hilltops high above the Harbour town of Brixham, the South Bay Holiday Park is a family friendly Caravan and Challet site which is safe and beautifully kept. South Bay boasts a variety of activities for children including a fantastic playground, plenty of green space, a basketball hoop, crazy golf, mini arcade and indoor and outdoor pools. The on-site supermarket caters for all of your needs and is reasonably priced.
The main clubhouse plays host to regular Bingo games, children’s entertainment, a licensed bar and ‘Chef’s Corner’ restaurant for dining inside as well as offering a take-away option.
The caravan we stayed in was a generously sized 3 bedroom which could sleep up to 6 people, so we actually had a spare bedroom! The boys shared a twin room, while our master bedroom had a small en-suite. The family bathroom was compact and the kitchen and diner was kitted out to the highest standard with all mod-cons including a dishwasher and microwave. This particular caravan model also had in-built speakers with the option to plug your devices in for the surround sound- perfect for entertaining! The one downside was that there was no wrap around outside terrace- that was probably the only thing we would have LOVED, so that we could have al-fresco dining as the sun sets and the boys could play out as we watched on.
With it being the Easter Bank Holiday, the site was full with families, which was wonderful for the children. We’ve stayed in various Caravan Sites over the years and the evening entertainment is usually one of the fun perks when you’re in a Holiday Park. I have to say however that the entertainment side of things did leave us feeling a little underwhelmed. The reps lacked in a bit of oomph and every night once the Bingo was finished, many people left the clubhouse, leaving it half empty and not the buzzing atmosphere we would have expected. Whether this was just because it wasn’t the peak of the school holidays and we weren’t quite experiencing their full itinerary, I don’t know.
Stanley and I spent a couple of hours at the indoor pool on our first afternoon which was lovely. There is a small toddler pool that adjoins the larger and deeper swimming pool and the large glass bifolding doors open directly out onto the outside terrace with outdoor pool and water slide. This area was closed for cleaning during our stay, but we didn’t mind as I think the water would have been far too cold to swim in!
The boys LOVED the crazy golf activity. Even though this area is the most tired looking and needs some maintenance and bringing up-to-date, the kids loved nothing more than hitting the golf balls along the track and it’s got the most stunning views of Brixham down below!
South Bay Holiday Park is in the most perfect location with some impressive views. The staff were lovely, helpful and friendly, the park itself was very well kept and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay. A big perk for staying on this particular site, is the short walk through the Holiday Park which leads you to steps giving you DIRECT access onto St Mary’s Bay….a tucked away beach cove perfect for some rugged beach action with the kids!
On Saturday morning we packed up our beach bits and headed along to Goodrington Beach, only a 15minute drive away. The weather was already 18 degrees at 10am when we arrived and the beach was already filling up quite swiftly with other families who had the same idea! The outlook is stunning, set within a large cove, with an impressive steam train backing onto it and an epic looking water park.
Easter Sunday we woke up and went to explore the village of Babbacombe. The Cliff Top Railway was an exciting experience overlooking the most picturesque beach of Oddicombe. The sea was turquoise in colour and the sun was beaming down. The rugged backdrop is pedestrianised and means you can walk the scenic route along the base of the cliff between sandy Oddicombe Beach and the pebbled Babbacombe Beach. It’s a stunning area and we wish we could have spent even longer there but we had plans to visit the Babbacombe Model Village, back up in the village so we took the Cable Car once again back up the cliff.
Babbacombe Model Village
Babbacombe Model Village is set among 4 acres of superbly landscaped gardens, full to the brim with beautiful flowers and foliage. The boys were thrilled to be the giants among this teeny set-up. Every corner you turn there is an intricately displayed model village, most of which is based on real life places of interest. The village has been open since the early 1960’s and portrays English life and culture over the last 6 decades. In fact my favourite model village was the 1960’s Chalet Camp…barely unchanged, as it is one of their original models!
If like me, you love all things miniature, then this is the place for you. Miniature dwellings, famous landscapes, train tracks and tiny villages with detailing to be admired by all. Lots of animatronics, moving pieces, sounds and plenty going on…it’s a place that you need to walk around slowly in order to absorb everything you’re looking at! In addition to the model scenes a-plenty, there is also coin operated water boats and cars for you to drive, as well as a hut with crazy golf to enjoy!
After our tour of the Model Village, we headed inside for the 4D Theatre experience. Totally unprepared for what we were about to do, we got handed some 3D glasses and shown into the cinema room with lots of other people. A viewing of ‘The Lost World’, a 12 minute animated movie about Dinosaurs. Not only this, but an experience to test ALL of the senses in the dark! The cinema seats moved with every dinosaur STOMP, air blew into our faces as the explorers ran through the desert island and the odd spray of water came as a huge unexpected surprise!!! The boys loved it, although Stanley wasn’t sure if he was scared or not hahaha!
We thoroughly enjoyed the couple of hours we spent leisurely walking around this pretty Model Village in Babbacombe. The ‘Gullivers’ Tearoom there serves Devonshire cream tea’s, refreshments and has a lunch menu to dine wither inside or outside on the rooftop terrace. And don’t forget the gift shop which has an array of fun things for the children as well as collectible dolls house miniatures which I totally fell in love with!
Visit their website HERE for further visitor information, and make sure to spend some time in the village and down on the beach if you can!
River Dart Country Park
Set among 90 (yes NINETY!) acres of Parkland and Playgrounds, the River Dart Country Park is hands-down a MUST visit for family adventures, located within the Dartmoor National Park in Ashburton, South Devon. In all its breathtaking beauty, it is home to meandering lakes, an abundance of wildlife, park attractions to suit all ages, Camping and Touring Holiday Park and also boasts an impressive collection of ‘Tourism Excellence’ Awards to be very proud of. In addition to this, they take their environmental responsibilities very seriously; their very own Hydro-electric Generator uses water from the river to help sustain them for 8mths out of the year therefore reducing their electricity consumption during the peak seasons.
The River Dart Country Park welcome day visitors as well as Tourist and Holiday-makers wanting to stay on site. Their Camping and Touring site has excellent facilities and means you can have access to all thats on offer 24hours a day! There is also the Holne Park House set among the grounds of the park which offers comfortable ensuite rooms on a bed and breakfast basis ranging from £95 p/night.
River Dart Country Park is the setting for all things adventure and the best outdoor activities for everyone. Tree houses, play forts, assault courses, zip wires, high ropes, swimming lakes, canoeing, kayaking, zorbs, caving, pony rides, rock climbing, inflatables, bike hire and MUCH MORE. We tried our hand at canoeing as a family which was wonderful. Harry and I shared a boat and Tye shared with Stanley. The boys , donning their wet-suits, had some water fun in the Lake (which was admittedly freezing cold!) and on the giant wooden pirate ship. Harry and Tye braved the heights and took on the challenge of the high ropes in the treetops. Harnessed safely, Harry still found it quite terrifying and Tye admitted his legs felt like jelly!!! The playgrounds are vast and accommodate for all ages from toddlers through to adults. There really is something for everyone and you won’t stop smiling and laughing. Such a thrilling day, one that we will never forget. We can’t wait to return again in the near future.
Visit the River Dart Country Park website HERE to explore more. You won’t be disappointed!
Over the years we’ve been to Devon a handful of times, more often simply because we’re driving through to Cornwall. However this was our first family holiday in the South of Devon and one that we will treasure. The Devonshire countryside and coastline is to be admired and adored and we did just that.
Visit the official South Devon Tourist board HERE to discover many more of the hidden gems within the South Devon area. We’ve only just scratched the surface and are very much looking forward to uncovering more fantastic family destinations and attractions in the near future.
by Laura xx