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Great holiday for dogs, can be good for people with enough work.
Haven Holidays, Craig Tara Holiday Park (Ayr)
Member Name: broxi3781
Haven Holidays, Craig Tara Holiday Park (Ayr)
Date: 25/05/10, updated on 14/08/10 (419 review reads)
Advantages: Very nice swimming pool, fun kids shows
Disadvantages: high prices, some rude disinterested staff, crime
I'm giving Ayr 3 stars but that is being quite generous. It does have some really good points, and the fact I've gone back every year says something, but it has some very bad bits as well. I've included a guide at the bottom to make the most of your holiday there.
Great swimming pool.
Fun kids character shows.
Very affordable accommodation if you book online using Haven's half price holiday deals.
If you do pay for the most expensive caravans, you will get good accommodation, but no dogs.
Many lovely nearby attractions.
A huge beach, muddy and full of sea weed, but great for dogs. If you walk far enough( about 15 -20 minutes) past a rock outcropping on the right (facing the ocean) you'll find a lovely much cleaner secluded cove, but watch the tide as I'm not sure if you can get back at high tide. It also requires a bit of climbing.
The best selling point to me is being able to take the dog.
Horrible prices for almost everything in the park. £64 got us about 1 1/2 hours entertainment at the funfair for two children, although the youngest just walked about while the older played golf. £30 got an hour in the amusements only because the baby played alot of games without tokens and we spent nearly half the time filling out forms to get a refund whenever a broken machine just ate the coin.
If you are unlucky enough to get an awful caravan, you may have to pay extra to change.
It is very much a party spot and loud all night parties are common, as are shouting drunks walking back to their own caravans at night. Don't expect the best night's sleep.
The so called children's daytime entertainment is a joke - a rather bad one. Even things you pay extra for, like the Teddy Bear's Picnic are not well done. You see Bradley the bear walk past and then get handed some crisps, an orange, a tiny cup of juice and bread-sticks - not even a sandwich.
Some of the staff can be very rude, especially if you dare to interrupt whatever game they are playing on a mobile phone.
It appears to be quite high crime and security is not at all adequate to deal with the situation. On my visits I have seen horrific assaults on youths due to adults mistaking them for fans of a rival football team, a fellow brandishing a knife running about screaming about slashing tyres, and found drug paraphernalia in one caravan. I also had a mother and son team attempt to pickpocket me. They failed and it was only travel brochures folded up that looked the shape of a wallet anyway. At least one other woman was pick pocketed in the place though and crying as she had no money left at all.
Also if ever there was a place to make you despair of the future of the human race, this is it. Parents screaming at their "useless piece of_____ children for asking money fora chip while they are busy polishing off another pitcher of beer. Children as young as one, dirty and crying eating garbage from the floor while Mom drinks ( and then shouts the head off the poor security guard for not watching her child who wandered outside into a road). Of course it isn't Haven's fault, but its depressing.
My survival guide:
Never display valuables, lock everything and but travel insurance that includes theft.
If you aren't in the most expensive caravans, bring a plug in heater. Heating in most other ones is completely inadequate.
As soon as you get settled nip down the road to Iceland and buy all of your messages. It will save you a fortune over shopping or eating in Haven, and better food too.
Buy the £25 activity pass. You get 6 fun activities like walking in a giant hamster ball in the pool, inflatable jet skis, bike hire, roller disco etc...
Well worth the money and cheaper then any other entertainment in park.
Other then activity pass and pool spend as little time as possible in the park. Right next door is "The Heads Of Ayr Farm Park" which is absolutely brilliant. You get a full days entertainment rain or shine for one reasonable price. We always go at least twice and its money well spent.
There is also a lovely adventure park on a beautiful sandy beach in Ayr, which is free. Right next to it is Pirate Pete's once of the best indoor soft play areas I've ever seen. They even do a funfair in summer.
Less then 1 hour away is Louden Castle, funfair rides all day for one reasonable price, but the height restrictions mean my sons cant go on anything good and they enforce them to the slightest fraction of an inch, so check the website and get out the measuring stick before you go. Also check opening dates as it isnt open year round.
If you don't mind traveling a bit further try M&D's Amazonia and the Glasgow Science Centre.
As for adults , keep in mind I don't drink myself, but there is a bar/ restaurant with a children's playground, movies and games on the road into camp. Also the City Hotel B+B in Ayr has a bar with lovely atmosphere, if you like nice and quiet. Even if you pay for a taxi you'll save money over drinking in Haven.
Summary: Low priced accommodation, best used as base to explore nearby attractions.