Mini Travellers – Family Travel & Family Holiday Tips
Family Holidays South West England United Kingdom

Haven Devon Cliffs

A holiday review by the lovely Laura who blogs at mummytoboyz.blogspot.co.uk and can be found on twitter@mummytoboyz. 
If you would like to see another review of Haven Devon Cliffs click here.
We recently went on holiday to Haven’s Devon Cliffs Resort. This isn’t a sponsored post but we were so impressed by our caravan and the resort I thought you would like to see what you get for the extra pounds.
This was willow 42 a platinum van with enclosed decking which runs along the side of the van also so perfect for a skittle run or scooting. There was also a key safe to use if you have older children/ separate families sharing the same van you can leave the key out for them to securely retrieve. Not all the vans had the key safes and some had wooden slats instead of glass around the side of the decking. Ours also had rattan furniture whilst others had plastic, metal or none so it depends on which one you get although some of them could have been owned.
The big cupboard on the right below is a big fridge and a normal sized freezer, there were radiators in every room and you could turn the boiler off if it wasn’t needed. We had parking right next to caravan.
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As a comparison this is what the standard plus caravan looks like at Haven’s Rockley park so we think it is definitely worth paying the extra for a platinum van.

Check in was very quick and no faffing around – well apart form the welcome car park which is too small for such a large site but I guess it’s a compramise of space. There are signs to go to the beach carpark if the car park is full but it’s still a trek back especially when you don’t know where you are going. We could check in form 1 but didn’t arrive until 2 so were checking in with the prestige vans but I didn’t have to wait. Check out is 10am and you just drop your keys in the drop box outside reception.

The resort is huge and on the side of a hill so you would to be pretty unlucky not to get a sea view. Some vans are closer to the entertainment which is further up the hill so if you don’t do walking or hills ask to be put close to the entertainment as it’s a steep hill to walk up!

Not bad for a phone pic?

To the left of the resort (next door) there is a MOD firing range and you can hear the shooting like fireworks. Depending on the wind you might also hear the instructions if you are on the beach. This wasn’t too loud and you couldn’t really hear it in our caravan but if noise bothers you ask to be on the other side of the park. We only heard shooting on one night I think it had stopped by 9 but again it was only like little pops.

The beach is golden sand despite other beaches fairly close being red sand so no need for old clothes. It was a lovely beach with no dogs aloud during peak seasons. It was cleaned for litter and there were plenty of bins around. It wasn’t littered with shells so was safe to walk on without fear of shredded feet – some parts had seawood closer to the water but you only had to walk a few meters to the side to be back to pure sand again. There were rock pools to look in once the tide had gone out.

There is a large carpark, shop and restaurant/ bar at the top of the hill to the beach along with a play park with a sandy floor. The restaurant was reasonably priced for fresh local produce with a meal costs approx £15 – they also have kids mocktails for £2.20 and a fantastic view. We did struggle to find a shaded table outside though.

We thought the shop was reasonably priced and a large spade was £1.99 and a large bucket £2.50. Drinks and snacks were your usual convenience prices but there was a good selection of beach toys to choose from.

There is a shaded wooded walk and also activities which take place in natures playground but we made our own fun. It was nice that there were plenty of activities to do that were outside and a pick of play parks all different but all fun.

The main bar/ restaurant was very spacious so it looked like you wouldn’t struggle for a seat even in peak times. We dined earlier due to the boys needing to be fed and were pleased that they offer an early dining special – 25% off food between 3 & 5 so if you need to eat around 5 it’s worth ordering before the cut off. Again the prices were reasonable and the food didn’t look like it had been pinged in the microwave – the salad was nice and fresh so no limp leaves here. There is small toddler play area with a slide which kept the boys entertained whilst we waited for our food.

You can access the main evenings entertainment by going through the restaurant if you want to avoid the arcades although you will need to go down into them if you need the toilet.

The swimming pool is in a separate building and has a no outdoor shoes policy in the changing room so it’s easier to wear flip flops so you can kick them off. There is a bench to sit on as you exit so you can dry your feet and put your shoes back on. The showers were annoying as you had to keep them pressed in to work which is hard to do whilst holding a wriggly baby which you are trying to wash!

The pool was nice and bright with lots of natural light and a few slides which even the toddler could go down and he loved it! On one of the bigger flumes we were allowed into the catch zone so he could still get his fix of the slide. He did look tiny going down it but we put him feet first on his belly and you could hear him giggling all the way down.

I struggled to get any signal on my phone in the caravan and the wifi didn’t work well but we were far away form the main center. However on the beach I did notice I had 3G so if you’re desperate you can always head to the sands to catch up on the virtual world or …. you could soak up the view.

All the staff were very pleaseant – including the shop staff and made you feel very welcome -nothing was too much trouble and the maintenance team even gave us a jump start.

We paid £282.20 for our Monday – Friday break and booked during an offer period staying during term time.

Thank you Haven for making our holiday one to remember for the right reasons.

So what else did we do?
Monday
Arrive early afternoon and after a hiccup with the key not working we are in, I quickly unpack the boys bits and set up the travel cot before exploring. The best bit was the boys could still play outside as the caravan had enclosed decking which also went down the side so perfect for scooting.We sussed out the parks, tried the arcades and had a very relaxing dinner with great views. The pub has a little play area ideal for toddlers/ preschoolers so they weren’t waiting around bored for the food to come.After a long day we decide the boy was just too tired to try the disco so headed back with a detour to the on-site beech to check it out – noticing the fab seafront restaurant with local fresh produce.

When the boys were asleep we sat outside taking in the sea air, drinking cider and listening to bird song – perfect! We even spotted a fox.

Tuesday

We started the day with a trip to the swimming pool and we all loved it! The boy was a real dare devil going down all the flumes. The young one wanted to join in too but wasn’t allowed to go down with an adult. He could still do three slides as long as one of us was at the top to release him and one was at the bottom to catch. We put him feet first on his belly and you couldn’t help but smile as he shrieked with joy and giggled all the way down.

In the afternoon we headed to Torquay we were planning to meet up with my cousin in Paignton but unfortunately illness out stop to that. After being stuck in traffic for what seemed like ages we eventually arrived and were greeted with the big wheel. We thought we would get one maybe two goes round – try at least 5! We asked to stop in the end as the husband and I were both feeling a bit funny as the wind rocked our carriage. The young one also wanted to get down off our laps and we weren’t keen on trusting the doors not to open! The view was amazing and it gave us a good starting point to know which direct to head in.

With the evening’s plans canceled we stopped for dinner at Prezzo’s after walking round the harbour and seafront admiring all the fishing boats & nets.

We don’t take the boys for dinner often as well they are boys and noisy ones lol the young one was using his crayon pot as a drum whilst the boy was trying to out do his brother! Luckily it was early so the only other dinners were young families too.

Wednesday
The day started with the boy having a go at mini archery and loving the crossbow – that was until he got frustrated that it wasn’t going where he wanted it to go and decided he had had enough – it was very hot in the range too so I was keen to get going too.

A quick spot of soft play, bowling and another few quid in the machines and we head for a walk around the holiday park with the kite. What stunning views and a great idea to have a shaded nature trial in the woods.

We wanted to head to Exmouth for the afternoon but after realising the boy had left the light on inside the car we had a flat battery – doh! We try and bump start it down the hill (thank you mini & metro days as we know how to do this!) nope the battery was too flat to even be bump started. Luckily I found a maintenance team who had a van and were very helpful and offered us a jump start. Yay we were on our way to Exmouth.

The boy was shattered after the long walk and fell asleep before we even left Haven but luckily I was able to lift him into the pushchair without waking him even if he does look ridiculous in it he is certainly harder to carry than his brother so he got the pushchair.

It was great to have some 2:1 time with L whilst O slept, we built a sand castle, collected shells & flew a kite. L found it funny to let go of it and make one of us chase it!

O woke up and joined in the fun and spotted the fishing boats coming back with trails of seagulls behind them.

We found the beach was very shelly the closer you got to the water so you will need shoes to get to the water without cutting your feet.

Then it was L’s turn to sleep whilst O got to go on the pedal boats, remote control boats, mini quads & train. He did try to stop another quad in it’s tracks and this didn’t end well with the boy being knocked over but a ride on the train and a slush puppy seemed to help him heal.

We headed back for a late afternoon swim and for O to try the aqua gliders. His boat had a puncher in the middle so he had to come off after just a few minutes but the team were great.

Got that sinking feeling

Ryan the lifeguard stayed on so O could have a go after the session but it;s not much fun on your own. O was ready to jump off after a few minutes but Ryan didn’t want him to miss out so encouraged him to race him etc. We were very grateful for this as O had a fantastic time and it would have been easy for Ryan to just let O get off and enjoy his break.

With the day taking it’s toll and it already being late we head back to the caravan instead of the disco. What a lovely view to toast our gin cocktails to.

Thursday
Another scorcher of a day! We were all set up on the beach in the resort by 10am and it looked like a lot of others had the same idea. Again it was sandcastles, shell spotting, rock pooling and paddling were on the cards.

Come lunch time it was too hot for the boys to be out in the sun so we headed for shade in the lovely seafront restaurant (struggled to find a table in the shade) but I was excited to sample the local seafood – mussels it was and they were huge and delicious!

We finish the day with a swim and a quick trip to the disco but the boy wasn’t keen to stay – he was more interest in the machines so we head to the arcades. I won L a toy on my first go a the grab machine – go me!

On the walk back we were spotting rabbits racing between the caravans to hide underneath – the boys found this hilarious.

Friday
Check out was by 10 but we weren’t ready to end the holiday. The boys played on the decking whilst we packed up and loaded the car. With a heavy mist in the air we decided to stay away from the beach and headed to Crealy theme park instead – I’ll post about this separately but it was a lovely day.

It was great to get away as a family and have some quality time without life’s interruptions getting in the way. The caravan was lovely and the surroundings were excellent.

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