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haven family fun
Haven Holidays in general
Member Name: Callee
Haven Holidays in general
Advantages: Lovely scenery, lots to do, great value for money
Disadvantages: Depends on your accomodation - some caravans look a little dated
I felt the need to review Haven as I read through a few of the negative reviews and was compelled to try and get the balance a little better. I have taken my children to a Haven every year since my oldest daughter was born (2000) and we have mostly loved it.
Dont get me wrong I am not saying all the parks are great but I have stayed in Hafan Y Mor (our favourite), Presthaven Sands (Hmmm), Primrose Valley and Hopton being a few of them. For the purpose of this review I will be concentrating on Hafan Y Mor.
We stayed here this year in March when it opened, in May for a weekend and then again in July (we are actually considering another little break there during the October half term if there is still any availabilty).
The park itself is quite easy to find and our drive from Liverpool is a relaxing and very scenic drive along a coastal road for most of the journey at Chester, we join the A55 and A5. Join A487 to Caernarfon, then A499 to Pwllheli. Then A497 to Pothmadog. The Park is on the right, approximately 3 miles out of Pwllheli. On the way you also drive 'through a mountain' which our girls love.
Hafan Y Mor is located in Pwhelli and is an old Butlins site which I have seen change over the years, and has recently had a complete overhaul which I must say was needed. Our last stay we hired a log cabin through a private website and I cannot compliment this enough, we had a veranda with patio furniture and a BBQ, bunk beds in one of the girls rooms and a triple bed in the other (a double and one single, which my girls pushed together so they could all sleep in a huge bed) and the living room had all the luxuries you would find at home such as a leather reclining couch, dvd player (along with DVDs the owner leaves for guests to use) and a lovely big dining table.
The park itself is lovely and well spaced out and they have several shows on during the day and night so it depends what type of family you are and what you enjoy but there really is something for everyone, our baby loves the character shows and her favourite is Anxious the elephant - this is where it gets expensive. Last time we were there she wanted everything pink and Anxious which cost us an absolute fortune. Another thing worth mentioning is when you are here although it is cheaper to book a week here than Butlins I find we tend to spend a lot more than when we go to Butlins as they put machines, little rides and arcades in the boardwalk where the little ones are so you are constantly being asked 'mum can i have this, mum can i have that'.
The food here is ok as they have a Papa Johns pizza, Burger King and fish and chip shop, they also have the mash and barrel which serves pub type food. We have eaten out here once or twice however I normally go to the local Asda which is about 15 mins away and get our shopping from there - word of warning though, each time I have gone there is trolley wars and car park anger. The Asda car park is tiny and given that most of the tourists tend to go there (possibly to stock up on their alchohol because the Haven bar prices are quite expensive) there is just not enough space. I have been shoved about in that supermarket many a times in fact next time I go I am seriously considering wearing a little personal protective equipment :) but thats another review.
On site the activities available include learn to swim (most ages but separated into groups)
Imagine with Anxious 0-8 yrs
Junior Archery 6-8 yrs
Jump Rope: Family
Aqua Gliders 5-7 yrs
there is so many more activities to mention and it is worth noting that some activities do incur additional charges.
I have always found the local residents to be very nice even given the fact they have car after car driving through their lovely scenic peaceful villages, and if you need any local tips they are always more than willing to advise. The same can be said for the staff back at the site, they always try to involve you in the shows and I did once have to get up on stage (very reluctantly but I had drank a couple of glasses of wine which did help) and 'hula hoop' against the most competitive dad I have ever saw, this man was relentless I thought I could 'hula hoop' until I saw him go - I dont think that sight will ever leave me!!!
Even when walking home at night after the shows, and as I mentioned maybe a few glasses of wine ;), the delight doesnt end because we have spent many a night looking up at the stars, the sky here at night seems to be so clear and you can see hundreds of stars and combined with the fresh air and beautiful scenery, you just want to stay that little bit longer.
All in all Haven will always be one of my fondest memories, and my daughters love this place so much so that once they were doing a news book in school about their favourite holiday and rather than putting somewhere more exotic we have been to such as Mexico or Disneyworld, my 8 year old listed Hafan y mor as her favourite.
Summary: A brilliant holiday which memories are made from.