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Was good a long time ago!
Member Name: lak11
Date: 29/01/10, updated on 04/02/13 (297 review reads)
Advantages: Cheap breaks can often be found
Disadvantages: Food, accommodation, entertainment etc.
I have been going to Pontin's Pakefield, holiday centre, near Lowestoft, Suffolk for over 28 years. When, as an extended family there were three generations to cater for we went, very often, as a large group to Pakefield in Suffolk. It used to be great holiday centre in the 80's and 90's, but now I would go as far as to say that it is a dump and I will have to find somewhere else for a family get together.
There used to much more to do here, both inside and out. The Crocodile Express mini train could be seen regularly taking children and parents around the grounds. There were trampolines and a great adventure playground which even boasted a small boating lake for the children. Now all that remains is a small adventure playground, smaller every time I've visited in the last few years. Pontin's really have allowed this place to become run down. What was once an inviting, entertaining place to go, now has an air of desolation and neglect hanging over it. Such a shame.
I find the food almost inedible and I'm really not fussy. Also the dinner time is too, early ending around six to six thirty, depending on the season. I like to start my dinner around seven. If you don't get to the dining hall early- ish there will be very little choice. You'll be lucky to find cutlery or a tray to put your meal on. The queues for the jacket potatoes isn't worth waiting in.The food is served on a self service basis and it really is like a large canteen. no tablecloths! It's usually half board but it's hard to get anything reasonable to eat for lunch at the centre so be prepared to go out and spend. There are no cooking facilities in the chalets, only a kettle. When I first went to Pakefield for their new year break they made an effort. When you arrived at reception you were offered a glass of sherry and there was an air of celebration. The dinner hall was decorated with tablecloths, crackers and candles on the table. Now there is none of that. In fact you'll be lucky to find sherry served in the bar.
The drink is expensive and often they only open one bar out of three.
The entertainment has been the same for years. In our family we now have children watching the 'Dayglo' puppets doing exactly the same thing that their parents watched when they were children!
The Bluecoats used to be good but now seem to just show off! They aren't often very good. While people are singing in karaoke some bluecoats can be found rolling around on the floor playing with the children and talking. Not very polite for those on stage. I don't think they can be very well trained.
Accommodation isn't too bad, if you get a good price for your holiday, but it's far from perfect. The sheets and duvets are not large enough for the beds. Also the chalets are not very clean. I've yet to find one with a bathroom door that locks.The showers aren't much to right home about, and the bath is a shower tub. I don't mind this but many people complain. They are well heated though.
The camp overall seems run down and dreary. there isn't much to do during the day.
As I have said, I used to go here for New Year (and other times of the year) with a family group but they won't take children now at New Year, which, I think is terrible, as this place made it's money from families with children for many years and now they are picky as to when children can be welcomed.
I can't see Pakefield staying open for very much longer as it really does seem as if it is being run down on purpose. I think in this day and age people expect much more from a holiday.
This review may be read on Ciao by AnneLorraine1
Summary: Only go if you're on a tight budget or you only want to use this centre as a base.