If you’re looking for a UK holiday by the coast with loads to keep your kids entertained Rockley Park in Dorset could be just the ticket.
The Haven resort is situated on the heathland of Ham Common nature reserve and overlooks Poole Harbour so there’s plenty to explore and the views are fabulous.
The park has direct access straight down to the beach where you can try out watersports as well as a play park on the sand for the little ones (there’s also conveniently a cafe too) – and the holiday resort itself will have you spoilt for choice with things to do.
Just 10 minutes outside Poole itself on the south coast, Rockley Park is fabulously positioned for getting out and exploring the Jurassic Coast.
Kids won’t be bored at Rockley Park
But if you want to relax on the site, rest assured your kids won’t be bored.
We went for a three-day weekend in May and my boys – aged 3 and 23 month old twins – loved it.
We were in a three-bedroom Prestige caravan with decking overlooking the water which was perfect. The best bit was its enclosed decking outside which meant my twins (who like to escape given the slightest of chances) could potter around outside but not get out. Cleverly the lock on the gate was on the outside so they couldn’t have got out even if they’d sussed the lock as they couldn’t reach it. It’s the little things – but that made a huge difference to being able to relax knowing they were safe.
The main bedroom had an ensuite toilet, and there were two twin rooms. We’d asked for the beds to be removed in one of the rooms to fit two travel cots in – which Haven was happy to do, and there was plenty of room.
The living area had a dining table and we’d hired two high chairs for the twins (you can also hire cots and bedguards). The kitchen had all the useful stuff (except a dishwasher) with plenty of cupboard space and a full-sized fridge-freezer. It was everything we needed for the weekend and a great base to explore Rockley Park and the surrounding area.
The first thing you notice as you arrive on site is the sheer size of it. This place is big, but brilliantly laid out with different streets and areas of caravans. The main facilities are by the entrance, and our caravan was about a 10 minute walk (at a three year old’s pace) towards the edge of the park and the beach. So by the time you’re at your van, you’d have no idea how big a site you’re on. Our caravan was lovely and quiet – obviously until you put three boys under four in it…
Plenty to do at Rockley Park
But if you want to be part of the action, there is plenty to choose from.
We made the most of the outdoor play areas, and they also loved the soft play. It’s for under 5s which was perfect for us, and on the edge of one of Rockley Park’s restaurants, so you can sit and have a coffee or lunch whilst they’re in there.
There is an indoor and outdoor pool (this wasn’t open when we went but looked amazing in the sunshine!) And the best bit for people with more than two children – there are no adult to child ratios that stop two adults from taking three young children. Doesn’t mean much to a lot of families, but to us this is MASSIVE. Thank you Haven…
The pool has communal changing rooms which is always handy for families, and a shop to buy any swim accessories you may have forgotten. The pool itself has a slide and water chute as well as a ‘SplashZone Grotto’ full of fountains, and holds giant inflatable sessions.
And one of the most popular attractions for my three was the Funworks Amusement Arcade. I’m not sure the twins actually knew what had hit them – sensory overload, or what? They didn’t know where to look next and were constantly running from one machine to the other. They loved the 2p slots (last of the big spenders us), whilst the Jurassic Park shoot any dinosaur that moves game was a hit with my dino-mad three year old. The twins just looked on wide-eyed!
For older children there is an all-weather bowling green and multi-sports court, bungee trampolines, a climbing wall, crazy golf course, tennis courts a nature trail with organised activities with the park ranger, arts and crafts sessions and watersports down on the beach. They won’t be bored, that’s for sure!
If you’re thinking about practicalities, there’s a large mini market shop on site which sells all the essentials – and lots of non essentials too, as well as a gift shop. There’s a launderette (very handy with young kids!) and a cash machine.
And if you’re lucky enough to get a bit of ‘me time’ away from the family, head straight to ‘The Spa at Rockley Park’ and be spoilt for choice with treatments such as massages, facials and specialist body treatments. Sit back and relax and make the most of the sauna, steam room and hot tub. Bliss!
Food for thought
For those that like to leave the cooking at home, there are four food and drinks venues including restaurants, a fish and chip takeaway and a Papa Johns pizza restaurant. Papa Johns can also deliver free to your caravan. Something we *may have taken advantage of one eveing once the children were in bed.
The Mash and Barrel restaurant is family-friendly and open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering a great kids’ menu. And there’s evening kids’ entertainment at the Funshop and adult entertainment in the ShowBar venue.
Out and about
With so much to do at Rockley Park, you could easily stay on site all weekend, but if you fancy venturing out, the local area definitely deserves some exploring.
There are loads of beautiful beaches around as well as historical sites such as Corfe Castle and Lulworth Castle, pop to Poole Harbour or have a dream about living in Sandbanks (we did!). There are plenty of other family attractions such as theme parks and wildlife parks within easy reach too.
Just seven miles away is Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park which we visited for the day. We’d been before during a holiday around here pre-twins and loved it so knew all three would have a brilliant time. Whether they want to feed the animals, go on a tractor trailer ride, pedal go-karts or a bouncy castle it’s non stop fun for little ones.
Mine loved the straw mountain – a barn filled with hay bales, tunnels and slides. We couldn’t tear them away. Other favourites were the pedal tractors, the huge sand playground and a deer safari. It’s definitely worth a visit.
Children of any age would love Rockley Park. But it is one of only eight Haven sites across the country to offer specialised baby and toddler breaks, so make the most of being able to take them in term time and get booking now!
To find out more about a holiday at Rockley Park Holiday Park click here.
Disclaimer – we were given three nights at Rockley Park free of charge for the purpose of this review, but opinions, words and pictures (unless otherwise captioned) are mine.
How did I do?
Did you enjoy this post? You might like some of my others travel reviews such as the fabulous Bluestone in Wales, Sands Resort in Cornwall, or a Just for Tots break at Butlins. Or if you’re thinking of taking babies camping, have a giggle at our first attempt here.
If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.
And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you.