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A H(e)avenly Weekend

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What is it? A three night break at a Haven Holiday Village

Where? Church Farm Holiday Village, Pagham, West Sussex

Description: [outside_the_caravan.jpg] Static caravans have certainly moved with the times – Claire and Anthony Lewis took their 2 daughters to find out what the fuss is all about……

Because we all needed a break away from home and daily routine

On arrival your pack includes a planner detailing a whole week of fun for the whole family. There are different ‘clubs’ that your children can get involved in depending on their age and these are in your holiday price. Additional activities such as fencing and archery are available at an extra cost. There are also two swimming pools, one outdoor and one indoor, again all part of the holiday price.

Evening Entertainment starts at 6pm with something for the younger children culminating in a disco at the end of the night. Again, the planner provides you with all the information that you need to work out what shows you want to see.

There wasn’t a nursery or a creche but during the morning there are the children’s activities: PAWS for 1-4’s, Rory and Bradley’s Funtime for 5 – 11’s and T-Co for 12 – 16’s.

No spa or health club, but I believe there was a tanning bed in the swimming pool area.

Local activities: Portsmouth with its maritime history is only about a half hour drive away. Goodwood is a similar distance. The Earnley Butterfly Centre is even closer and there is also Arundel where you will find the castle and the Wildfowl and Wetlands Centre.

Wish we had known: ..what to do when we went in the swimming pool changing rooms. You need to go in to a changing cubicle from one side and exit at the other side in to the pool area. Also there were no keys for the lockers so there was nowhere to keep anything valuable.

Our top tip: Review your What’s On leaflet for the Holiday Village and look in to the local attractions to plan your time there well – there’s so much to do both on and off site!

Kids say: Wow!! from both Rachel (age 9) and Sarah (age 21) as we entered the caravan.

Getting There: www.havenholidays.com gives you details of all the sites available across the country. A Superior Plus 2 bedroom caravan would cost you L285 for 3 nights arriving there on 9th August. You can also call 0871 230 1930, 7 days a week 9am – 9pm. The site was very easy to find, we had to circumnavigate the M25 but we left at junction 10 and headed towards Guildford, we then decided to take a more scenic route and detoured off the A3 on to the A roads towards Midhurst, through the Goodwood Estate towards Chichester. The Holiday Village was then very well sign posted from there.

About our stay: We have stayed in static caravans on a couple of occasions before, and keep saying never again! But when the opportunity arose to grab a few nights break away with the whole family we thought we’d give it another try. The Holiday Village is tucked away in the village of Pagham, and if there wasn’t a sign at the entrance, you would probably drive straight past, as the main buildings of the complex have been built in keeping with the surrounding properties & don’t look like a typical caravan park. So far, so good then! And the caravan was certainly a home from home, very well equipped and very clean, it had two bedrooms, a main shower room and a further sink and toilet off the main bedroom. We popped to the shop on site and stocked up on some basic provisions – very reasonably priced – but there is a Tesco Express on the main road in if you prefer. [pagham_harbour.jpg] We then headed on to the beach. Pagham Harbour is a Nature Reserve and there are a number of hides dotted around from where you can view the wildlife. The shoreline is very pebbly but the access is boarded and very easily managed with a pushchair/wheelchair. We spent a couple of sessions in the swimming pool & found the afternoon sessions generally busier than the mornings when the pool opens at 10am. The inside pool has a smaller, shallower pool for the little ones and there is also a covered in slide which both Anthony and Rachel thought was good fun but little ones aren’t allowed to go down. Rachel bravely tried the outdoor pool, but as the heating wasn’t working, she soon returned indoors! An afternoon spent in Portsmouth was lovely, walking by the seafront alongside a very pebbly beach, stopping off at a park for slides/swings, and then boat-watching – a novelty for children from land-locked West Yorkshire! We had a day trip to Earnley Butterfly Centre, which is also home to Noah’s Ark Animal and Reptile Rescue Centre. The outside is quite deceiving as there’s a multitude of things to do and see on the inside. There are butterflies freely flying through the air and if you’re lucky you just might have one land on your shoulder. In another area birds of all kinds were flying free – just be careful where you stand as you could receive a present on your head! Plus the kids’ had a treasure trail to find along the way. Outside is a picnic area, a small play area and a number of goats. We didn’t venture in to the Reptile house but ‘Noah’s Ark’ is home to lots of tortoises!! There is also a crazy golf course but, as it was unusually glorious weather, the heat was getting to the girls. So we took the chance to grab a delicious ploughman’s lunch at a pub called the Walnut Tree just down the road at Runcton. [site_play_area.jpg] All in all, we all had a very enjoyable break away, and if we could guarantee the quality of accommodation would be of a similar standard, we’d certainly opt for a caravan park again. [Claire and Anthony Lewis live in Halifax with their 2 children, aged 9 & 21 . Claire is a Project Manager and Anthony is a train driver.]

Created: 2009-02-02 13:38:17.207

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