What is it? Cirencester is only a few miles down the road, with major shopping facilities. Closer to home there is fishing on the many lakes, water skiing, boating and plenty of wildlife to watch. Butts Farm is only a few miles down the road and is perfect entertainment for young families.

Where? That our Lodge had a DVD player. Rather than watching children’s programmes incessantly, Mum and Dad could have watched a few selections of their own. We also wished we had checked all the appliances before we used them!

Description: An authentic sauna and solarium were available in the main building.

Young children still in nappies must wear swim nappies when entering the swimming pool. If we had known that beforehand we would have taken an adequate supply with us, and not had to rely on the pricer ones available from the onsite shop.

Both our chidlren liked the Sammy Seahorse Club and the swimming pool – we enjoyed it more due to it being out the season, and therefore less crowded.

Hoburne Holiday Park is just outside South Cerney, 4 miles from Cirencester. From the south, take the M4 to Junction 15 (Swindon) follow the A419 for about 12 miles. At the ‘Spine Road Junction’ B4696 Follow signs for Cotwold Water Park and Hoburne Cotswold. If coming from the north, come off at M5 junction 11 and follow the A40 through Charlton Kings until you reach the crossroads with the A429, turn right onto the A429 and follow all the way to Cirencester.

What a fantastic deal! A free holiday at a picturesque holiday camp, located in the middle of Cotswold Water Park. With three lakes to fish, canoe or even use the pedal boats in, we were in for a great time. For our week-long stay, we booked into a three-bedroom lodge. When I say OUR let me introduce the Sheridan household, Jacob is nine months old and Bethany has just turned four, then there’s Mum (Abbie) and Dad (Phil). We come from Weston-super-Mare. The park itself offers caravans of varying sizes, two-bedroom chalets or two or three-bedroom lodges. All come equipped with full bathroom facilities, microwave, fridge and colour TV. On first appearances, our lodge looked well-cared for and the site appeared very clean, tidy and easy to get around. Marvellous. For the adults, we were happy to find a licensed Clubhouse and Family Lounge with satellite TV, shop, and seasonal entertainment. For the kids, there was a two-lane bowling alley, soft play area that even Jacob could play in, crazy golf, tennis courts, an adventure playground, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and Bethany’s favourite: the Sammy Seahorse Club (which is run during the school holiday periods). [PHIL_AND_THE_KIDS.JPG] Jacob enjoyed the pool, which was great for him as it starts off really shallow so he could just bathe in it and watch the fountains, then the more you walk in the deeper it got. The soft play starts from baby age upwards so Abbie could just sit and relax whilst the children played. The staff were all friendly and due to it being low season, we had a lot of things to ourselves. For Mum and Dad, the highlight on arrival was finding not only did we have a TV in the lounge but also a DVD player, and a fridge freezer and dishwasher in the kitchen – as well as our very own en-suite bathroom. However, the second shower became more of a bonus as the evening wore on. For it was that night that Abbie while using the shower scalded herself in the shower, which we later discovered bore a leak in the pipe, leaving her with burns to her wrist and waist. This allowed us to see first-hand the Customer Services Department in the morning. Unfortunately, nobody seemed too bothered that Abbie had burnt herself, and although the shower was checked no immediate remedy was found. Our week’s holiday included a trip to Stratford-upon–Avon, Stratford Racecourse, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Bibury Village and Butt’s Farm. Stratford, the well known Shakesperean town, has ample parking and well-known high street shops. We all enjoyed the racecourse, with Bethany studying hard, chosing her own horses, and even picking the winner in the 3.30pm race at 15/2. Cotswold Wildlife Park was nice and flat, ideal for a pushchair, but unfortunately the restaurant staff wanted us to leave our pushchair outside, so we went to the car for our lunch. There were lots of different animals to see, and because you pay before you get to the car park, it meant you could leave things in the car and go back as many times as you needed. On our way back from the Park we drove through a lovely village called Bibury. We decided that we would stop there the following day as it was only 30 minutes away. There was a river to walk along with lots of ducks which Bethany enjoyed chasing. There was a tea room and, to my delightm a trout farm. We decided to go in and have a look. It was only small but Bethany was able to feed the fish and you could even fish for your own dinner if you wanted to. [PLAYING_WITH_THE_GOATS.JPG] On the last day we decided to visit Butts Farm. This working farm is ideal for kids of all ages, and has even appeared on TV. Bethany was able to feed the pigs, cows and goats, and Abbie even had a go at milking the them. It was very hands-on and because it was a working farm you could really get involved. Would we go back? Definitely. But they better fix the shower first…


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