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Harts Holiday Village (Isle of Sheppey, England)

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Address: Leysdown / Isle of Sheppey / Kent / England

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      03.09.2008 12:27
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      Nice but nothing amazing, caters for all

      We've been to this holiday caravan park now for 4 years in a row. Our prime reason for staying in this particular one is that it is near relations so it combines two things into one for us. Getting to the Isle of Sheppey was pretty straightforward for us as it's just off the motorway and well sign posted. Over the last couple of years the island has had a lot of money spent on access to it as it's had a massive new bridge built to get to it. Previously one had to queue to go over a much smaller bridge that could be raised to let shipping through, so there could be a good 1/4hr wait at times and rush hour well don't go there! Having got onto the island they've upgraded the first set of roads one comes across also and so they're a new set of big wide roads/dual carriage ways, roundabouts and traffic lights. This makes getting to Leysdown (the small town where the caravan site is) very simple. It's a 10 minute drive having got onto the island and round the initial set of junctions. You drive through pleasant but "nothing special" type of farmers fields on a small A road to the town of Leysdown. Having spotted a set of small shops it's a right turn into the caravan park amongst these. The park has been investing steadily each year in upgrading it's facilities. It's nothing amazing overall but we weren't ever short of things to do in our 7 day stay. The staff are averagely polite and useful. This year they had done a big revamp of the reception/bar/cafe/swimming pool area. The swimming pool This consists of three small pools. One is a spar that only over 14 year olds are allowed in due to the chemicals apparently. There is a combination of two small pools linked together one higher than the other with a short slide (4ft) inbetween them and it's a nice warm bath temperature all the time. There is a slightly bigger pool (but still small if you're used to your local baths!) that has a shallow end (waist deep for an average adult) and a deep end a tall adult can just stand up in it. There are nice new showers, toilets and changing rooms. There is also a very shallow paddling pool outside - way too chilly for me even though I was told the water is now heated too, but I imagine it's lovely in really hot weather. The inside pool room's temperature is pretty hot most of the time so no problem taking babies etc. The life guard is a lovely lady and very chatty, helpful and friendly :) The bar has been given a nice modern feel much needed face lift and is now a decent bar and cafe, all kept nice and clean with pleasant staff. There is a small area of slot machines etc in this building too. There is a small play area for children including baby/swings and a climbing frame only suited to say over 4s ideal for 7+s and teens love it. There is a couple of small items more suited to toddlers. The caravans themselves range from 8-10 birth (I think) with three different sizes of length. We've tried all 3 and they're all fine, perfectly nice, nothing outstanding. As far as cleanliness goes we found evidence of a few areas clearly not having been routine cleaned such as underneath the seats, down the back of furniture but nothing untoward. The beds, fridge, oven, shower room were all spotless. We noticed that the biggest caravans had been upgraded to having flat screen tvs. They all have hot and cold running water, eletricity points, gas and tvs. You can get various additions at extra cost to make life with babies/toddlers easier but I can't remember what they are now. We were offered in a leaflet that if we booked up next year's holiday whilst we were still there we would get it at this year's prices. In another leaflet in tiny small print there was an offer for £60 off for the period we were planning on going in next year too so instead of £399 we booked it for £315 - well worth haggling for! This was for the smallest type of caravan and we checked that if we wanted to we could upgrade to a bigger one at a later date. The town itself is a classic small seaside town with quite a few small shops selling all the basic food stuffs along with the standard seaside holiday requirements, buckets and spades etc. There's a couple of pubs, restaurants etc. and a large range of arcades with entertainment to suite everyone. The beach was great as it was only a 2 minute walk to get off of the caravan site and then a 5 minute walk to the beach. It's mainly broken shells and pebbles, but at low tide there's a good 5 minutes walk across soft wet sand to the sea and even there it's shallow for a long way out - watch out for blackish sinking sand though! There were good beach side facilities, toilets, showers, refreshments etc. As far as other holiday makers were concerned it seemed pretty busy when we arrived as it was the August bank holiday weekend and the site had laid on extra entertainments, like bouncy castles and off site there was a fair there open during the day. The other local fair didn't open until 5pm, and caused some noise. A couple of nights we were disturbed by noisy neighbours in the early hours but we've not had this at all before so it's just the luck of the draw I guess.

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