“ Holiday park in rural Dorset - for more information please go to http://www.haven.com „
Littlesea Holiday Park
Holidays can be quite expensive, so for the past few years, we have taken the opportunity that 'The Sun' newspaper offers with the £9.50-£15.00 holiday deal. We have been to a few different places in the UK and had varying degrees of hospitality through this Sun deal, though we have learnt to do a little more research before booking with the Sun as some holiday camps are certainly not even worth the reduced price you pay on this deal. Others, though, are fantastic.
Last year, we went to the South East coast to a Pontins holiday camp and regretted it the moment we arrived there. This year, we decided to revisit a place in which we knew we would be happy; Weymouth. Myself and my husband took our very first holiday here (though not in this holiday camp) and both fell in love with the area, so going back here with our three year old little girl seemed perfect.
Littlesea holiday park is a Haven camp site suitable for both those who want to stay in a caravan there or take their own caravans and tents with a full electric hook up in the touring area.
When we went, for some odd reason, the council in Weymouth had decided to shut of many roads and complete road works and changes at the beginning of summer! This played havoc with the directions to the camp site, especially when the sign posts where taken down or scrubbed out! Luckily, after we finally found the site after a couple of wrong turns, I was able to pick up the roads easy enough. One thing to remember about the area is that there are a number of one way streets which are apparently quite new. My mum had gone to Weymouth the week before us and the new one-way streets played havoc with her sat nav, not to mention the changes being completely different on out old road map!
Littlesea Holiday Park,
Littlesea is near the outskirts of Weymouth. If arriving via car you will need to turn off of the A35 to Dorchester on to the A354, both of which are fast roads and reasonably well sign posted. At the second roundabout along this road, you will find signs to Portland. Follow this road and if they have sorted out the sign posts and roads by the time you go, you should see little brown signs for Littlesea Holiday Centre. The first time we went, I believe this is where we went wrong as the sign post had been taken away. If this is the case with you, continue to follow the signs to Portland and take the B3517 down to the end. You will see Lynch Road, though this has now been changed to a one-way street so you will need to go straight over at the traffic lights and down Benville Road. Take a right and then an immediate left down the other end of Lynch Road and follow this to the end and you will reach your destination. If you do find yourself going through the main sea front area of Weymouth and towards Portland, do not worry. Simply take the A354 down Rodwell Road until you see Wyke Road on your right and follow that all the way down, or alternatively take Chickerell Road. Each will bring you back on track towards Lynch Road.
The nearest train and bus station is in the main part of Weymouth, about three miles away from the park, so you will need to book transport from the station with your luggage. Check with the park before hand as they do run a Littlesea specific bus service which we saw in the park and in Weymouth sea front and so you may be able to catch this.
Do not be put off by what looks like an industrial road. This IS the way to the holiday camp and certainly has NO reflection on the beauty of the camp itself!
Let me now take you into the camp itself!
The first thought that came to mind when we entered the gates was just how huge it looked! There were caravans everywhere, though certainly not in a disorderly fashion. Everything was laid out so well and the beauty of the site hit us straight away. There were fields and trees everywhere surrounding the camp site, and at the far end of the site was a beautiful view of the sea. The camp advertised the sea view a little wrong, though, in my opinion. Although a wonderful view, it was not really a private site beach it claimed. The sea we could see was a large slipway off of the main sea. You could not cross the channel of sea to the main part without going all the way towards Portland, and the beach was certainly not one you could sit and build sand castle on. It was a little muddy in places and there was a lack of it to really call it a beach. This said, though, it was wonderful to be right next to this, and if anything, I think I was happier being near the channel opposed to the main sea. We took a little walk before we got our keys up a path right in the camp and through some fields and was able to bask in the view of the main sea, though at the time it was very windy so we didn't go too far. Luckily we didn't, really, as we found out later on Google Maps that it was a very long walk to get anywhere that way! The main car park on the site is quite small, though luckily we arrived early so was able to secure a space. We made our way to reception to let them know we were there, though unfortunately our checking in time was not until 4.00pm which is very late considering you have to leave the caravan on day of departure at 10am! Even so, the staff were very helpful and took our mobile numbers in case our keys were available sooner, and we were able to make ourselves at home with any and all the amenities in the site.
In comparison to the size of the site itself, the main complex is actually quite small. Positioned slightly towards one side of the camp instead of in the centre, it is a lot closer to some than others. We were slightly worried when we found that our caravan was quite close to the complex as with a young three year old with us, the concern of late night noise from the club house was a worry, though it seems that the complex is well and truly noise resistant as we never heard anything!
As you go through the main reception doors, you will be greeted with a very small area with literally a reception desk and a shared toilet. To the right is a large walkway going downstairs to where everything is. As usual, you will find a reasonably large arcade area, complete with children's rides and a tiny soft play climbing frame. There is a stand-alone pizza stand just outside the main lounge, bar and restaurant which is quite large. You are able to look through to the main indoor swimming pools from the arcade and go in through one of two doors in to the main Spangles Showbar Clubhouse.
The main complex also spreads quite far around the building outside. There is a separate entrance to a Starbucks Coffee house and also a small Spar shop. You will also find a large outdoor pool with significant decking area near to a reasonably sized mini golf course. A large decking area with beautiful seats and tables is set outside the restaurant which overlooks a small playground and also the lovely view of the sea. There is also a second playground further down for older children (and even adults were seen playing here!). All of this area is enclosed by fencing and is only accessed via the inside of the complex. On the other side of the complex building, you will find a fish and chip shop and the sports area which includes tennis courts, an archery range and a multi-sport court. These can all be accessed from the main camp.
For us, with a three year old, the evening entertainment is important as we like to be back on the camp site for when our little girl needs to go to bed. A few years back, she was able to fall asleep easily in her push chair whilst we continued to enjoy the adult later night entertainment. Unfortunately, this is not the case now and so we have not been able to see much of the adult entertainment as we prefer taking our daughter back to go to bed when she is too tired to go on otherwise the following day would be a mix of sun, sea and tantrums!
The main children's entertainment began around 6pm each night after an hour of bingo. As there is only one club house, everything happens back to back and so you find a lot of parents with young children playing bingo just so they can secure themselves a front seat next to the dance floor. After the first night where we found ourselves too far back to allow our daughter to go on the dance floor without us, we started going in at the end of bingo and managed to get a seat right at the front every night. It is not a large club house by any means, though it is quite long with a raised seating area at the back which fills in later on as adults only start to fill in. The dance floor itself is quite small with the stage being at the back and also able to be pulled out on to the dance floor.
I was quite impressed with the children's entertainment. There is a team of larger than life characters associated with Haven holidays such as Bradley Bear, Rory the Tiger and my daughters favourite; Princess Anxious. These characters take it in turns to be present each night throughout the 6pm-9pm evening slot (as well as in the day with various activities). The children get to meet these characters personally and have a photo taken with them with options to purchase at the end of the stay, as well as watching and joining in with them with shows and activities.
Some of the children's entertainment we saw included Polly's Fancy Dress Party and Greedy Gorilla's Birthday Celebration which all the children were invited to dress up and play party games with prizes and certificates being handed out. I was extremely proud of my daughter joining in for the first time and coming third in musical bumps against two ten year olds! There were also two really fantastic shows; Rory and the last Dragon and also a pantomime of Aladdin with some great children's music. (A pantomime in the summer is a little unusual, though my daughter and ourselves loved it). The children's entertainers were present throughout the whole three hour slot and were brilliant with the children.
We did manage to see a little bit of the adult entertainment, though unfortunately not enough to be able to give a full description or opinion. What we did see was interesting and entertaining, though not very unique in my opinion. Among the adult entertainment were game shows which involved the audience, visiting acts such as the two girl singers we saw who were really brilliant singers and even interacted with the children still on their feet! By looking at the entertainment guide at the site, though, I felt as though the children's entertainment was much better than the adults so I do not think we missed much!
Within the club house you also have a small shop which sells a variety of merchandise and food. I was surprised how reasonable some of the prices were. We purchased a glow stick for £2.00 and a small cushion with Princess Anxious on for £5.00 for our daughter. There is also a photo area where children are able to have their photos taken, as well as any other photos you may wish to have such as baby shots and family pictures. Prices start from £6.99 for one large photo. The bar prices were average pub prices at £3.20 for a pint of beer. It was quite a large bar and well staffed so there was rarely a queue at the times we were there.
Daytime entertainment is a whole different picture. As we spend most our times off site, we did not participate in any activities, though we did consider putting our daughter into mini archery which was a free event, though unfortunately she was too tired the morning it was on! Daytime activities start at 8am and go throughout the day until 6.45pm. There is a whole range of activities for both children and adults which include archery, fencing, swimming, circus school, arts and crafts, tennis, magic, football, pool inflatable and walking on water, character shows, water polo, roller derby and much more with separate groups for children and adults. The childrens clubs are free, though the sporting activities range in prices;
For the sporting activities, you purchase groups of sessions which start from £36 for six sessions. Some activities are free such as mini archery for 3-5 year olds, though most you do have to pay for.
The swimming pools are lovely with two heated indoor pools as well as a large outdoor pool with sun area.
*FOOD AND DRINK*
As already mentioned, there are a variety of different places to eat and drink on the site. As well as the bar in the club house, there is also a bar in the main lounge/restaurant area which is also of average price. We did not purchase any food from the pizza stall or fish and chip shop, though these were average prices as well. Starbucks Coffee was more expensive than coffee bought in the main restaurant so we avoided this too.
The main restaurant was quite a large area, with seating on two levels and a lounge area to the side which included a pool table and dart board. There is a set of large glass doors leading to the large decking area which overlooks the sea. The bar covers a full length of the room and is split in two as to whether you want to purchase a meal or just drinks.
We ate a few times in the main restaurant and I felt that the prices were really good in comparison with other on site restaurants we have been to on other holidays. The first time we ate there we had some lunch which included a children's sandwich selection including crisps and a juice, an adult sandwich and a panini. The cost of this including two beers, and a coke came to around £14. The dinner we ate there did not come to much more, falling in at £18 for two burger meals and a children's spaghetti Bolognese with drinks. The food itself was spectacular in taste, though the dinner for the adults was a little small to what we were expecting.
*SHOPS, SERVICES AND AMENITIES*
The Spar shop is extremely small, though it sells all the basics at reasonable prices. There is a Tesco Express about twenty minutes walk out of the site if you wish to have more of a selection. The Spar offer a range of fresh and frozen food as well as everything else you would find in a small corner store. There is also a small laundrette on site as well as adequate phone boxes and cash machines.
The amenities are extremely good, with wheel chair access to every part of the site both outdoor and in the complex. There are well kept toilets all around the complex as well as baby changing facilities.
Littlesea offer a whole range of different accommodations to suit everyone's needs. There are specially adapted caravans for wheelchair and disabled access, and a range of budget suitability from budget to platinum. Caravans come in a choice of two to three bedrooms and size of caravans depend on amount of people staying there and what budget choice you have chosen.
When booking through 'The Sun' holidays, you are automatically given a standard caravan. You are able to upgrade if you chose to, though we have always been happy in standard caravans.
I have to admit that I have stayed in bigger standard budged caravans at other parks, though the space in our caravan was adequate for two adults and a young child. The living area was the main place in which I felt was a little too small, though in past caravans the sofa was able to be converted into a bed and in this one, as far as I could see, this was not possible. There is no separate space for a table either, and with a large round table at one side of the sofa with one stool supplied, it did not give a lot more sofa room or flooring in this area. The kitchen part was also extremely small and you could barely squeeze past someone standing there to get to the bedrooms which made it difficult. The bathroom was a decent size with a toilet, sink and excellent shower. We had two bedrooms; the main bedroom was the master one with a small double bed, wardrobe, shelving, cupboards and small dressing table. The smaller bedroom had two decent sized single beds which could be pushed together which enabled us to sleep better without worrying that our daughter would fall on to the floor! This room was very small, though a cupboard to hang dresses in was still forced in over the end on one bed as well as a cupboard higher up. Storage in the whole of the caravan was very good with cupboards and shelves all over as well as hidden storage under the sofa.
When we first arrived at the caravan, it was nice to see everything clean and tidy, though perhaps a little too fresh for our liking as the carpets were soaking! Our television did not work either, though we went down to reception who sent someone up there straight away which was great.
Obviously I can not comment on other types of caravans here, though if you follow the link below then you can see for yourself the types of caravan available;
Adapted caravans; http://www.haven.com/parks/dorset/littlesea/accommodation/adapted-caravans.aspx
There is also a small area looking over the sea for camping and touring caravans which takes 120. There are fully accessible electric hook-ups and a heated shower block with a warden checking around throughout the day and night.
As already mentioned, we were lucky to go to this holiday site via 'The Sun' holidays which cost us £15.00 per head based on four sharing (£9.50 per head off peak). You also have to take into consideration whether you will pay extra for bedding to be supplied (we take our own) and also any concessions such as the passes.
The up-to-date price list can be found at the link below;
All holidays are self catering and range in price considerably;
Weekend breaks start from £235 for a standard caravan at the end of March all the way to £885 for a platinum caravan in August.
Midweek four night breaks start from £195 for a standard caravan at the beginning of October to £1045 for a platinum in august
Seven night holidays start from £355 beginning of October in a standard caravan to £1425 for a platinum August break.
Certainly worth looking in to 'The Sun' holidays!
IN AND AROUND LITTLESEA
Being only a few miles from the main sea front of Weymouth, there is plenty to do literally on your doorstep. Littlesea offer a bus ride from the park to the sea front though we did not take this opportunity up and could not find whether it is free or how much you may need to pay so you will need to find this out beforehand. Apart from the lovely sandy beach with water sport options and a fun fair, you can also find a wide variety of places from a great sea life centre which features a whole host of water animals both in and outdoor, the lovely harbour with Nothe Fort on the other side, as well as many café's, bars and restaurants. Portland is only a few miles further and is certainly worth a visit, though do avoid windy days!
Going a little further afield, you can visit the historic market town of Dorchester which is around eight miles from the camp site and hosts numerous (very small!) museums, Maiden Castle and Higher Bockhampton where Thomas Hardy was born. Abbotsbury is also eight miles away where you are able to visit farms, a swannery and subtropical gardens.
Travelling a little further, though well worth a visit is Lulworth and Wareham where you can visit a small castle as well as spending time in the beautiful cove before walking up a hill to another beach where you are able to see the famous Durdle Door. Also, try to visit Smugglers Inn on the way back for some fantastic food and beautiful walks. You will also find the amazing Corfe Castle in Wareham and Monkey World just outside Wareham in a small place called Wool.
Of course, you also have Poole 24 miles down the road, and also the busy but great Bournemouth (28 miles) which offers even more to visit.
This is only a small selection of places nearby to the camp site, and you are really spoilt for choice with things to suit all ages. We have always loved this whole area and fully recommend it, even if you do not stay at this caravan park.
I have been to many caravan parks in my life, though I have to say that Littlesea is certainly one of the best. Not only is the camp site beautiful, it also offers so much in the way of entertainment for all ages. Apart from the annoying road layout, the camp site is well positioned between a whole host of different attractions, many of which we have visited more than once. I know that I will be going back here the next time we are down this way, and certainly recommend that everyone take a little look at this great site if you are planning a visit to Weymouth!