Find out what a Long Weekend at Kelling Heath is like with Kids!
One of the things that we’ve been keen to do since living in Norfolk is explore all of the various parts of the county. We knew that living here would open up lots of new places to us and we’ve been keen to see what it has to offer.
Then we were invited by Kelling Heath to experience their holiday park in North Norfolk and it seemed like the perfect time to make a start. We chose to go for a long weekend at the start of the October half term as it seemed like an ideal opportunity to get a few days away before the mad rush of half term descended.
We stayed in one of their Nightjar luxury holiday homes which had 2 bedrooms and a master bedroom with an en-suite. Having stayed in a holiday home with another company over the summer, we were pleasantly surprised to find that although the facilities were essentially the same, it was a much a better layout and a lot more spacious.
When you travel with kids, you end up taking a lot of peraphenalia with you and unless you want to trip over your belongings for the duration of your stay, then cupboards and storage make a big difference. We were spoilt for room in the master bedroom which had clever storage solutions and a walk in wardrobe. This made our stay more than comfortable.
We saw pictures of the holiday home online before we visited and the photos made the place look big, comfortable and very homely. This was one of those rare occasions that the photos didn’t lie, and it looked exactly like the photos we had seen.
The fact that the home was pet free (and smoking) meant that we felt more relaxed. There were no unwelcome smells that are noticeable when you don’t have pets yourselves and it instantly felt cleaner.
We had our own decking area that felt very private, perfect for BBQ’s and a drink in the summer but a little too chilly for the Autumn, so we sat and watched the sunset on it instead!
We got the impression that breaks at Kelling Heath were geared very much towards being outdoors. It is set amongst 300 acres of woodland in an area of natural beauty. There is plenty of wildlife and miles of trails for visitors to explore. If you are looking for a place to stay within the natural environment, Kelling Heath is definitely the place to visit.
We stayed for 3 nights, and upon our arrival we checked in (check in is from 3pm) to our accommodation and went to explore the area.
On-site outdoors they have tennis courts, table tennis tables, petanque and four in a row. They have two adventure playgrounds (one of which is an assault course) and an eco gym amongst other things.
There is a big emphasis on people getting around on bikes and there is an area for you to park your bikes when using the village facilities.
They also have a health and fitness club on-site. Whilst complimentary membership is available for those staying at Kelling Heath, it very much felt like the fitness club was mainly for members and that guests using the facilities were in the way of the regular members.
It was just a standard swimming pool with no slides and a sauna and steam room. For the warmer months, there is also an outside pool and lounging area.
The adventure parks were a lot of fun and the children could have spent hours in there playing.
Both parks catered for all ages and the big kids never got in the way of the smaller ones.
Although our home was fully equipped with a kitchen, we decided to eat out for two of the nights that we were there. There is a pub and restaurant there as well as a pizza place (that offered take-outs too).
What we felt was great about the restaurant was the fact that it had two separate areas, either side of the bar. One was the main family area and the other welcomed people with their pets.
There was a designated kids entertainment area, with an entertainer on each evening and a play area that included an activity slide, pool tables and classic arcade machines.
On both nights we all enjoyed our meals but it was by no means a cheap option. Had we been staying longer then we would have made more meals in our accommodation.
We especially liked the Halloween decorations throughout the restaurant and reception area as a lot of effort had been put into them. It must look very pretty at Christmas time.
Our holiday home was situated in a very convenient spot, being just a short walk away from the cycle hire shop and the village.
We decided to hire bikes on our third day and unfortunately for us, was the day it was blustery and wet. However, we didn’t let it dampen our spirits and we made the most of our day exploring all that the site has to offer and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it.
The cycle hire shop gave us details of various bike trails that we could take off-site but we didn’t choose to go too far for our first trip as a family on bikes. It’s something that we would love to do again, when we feel that the boys would be able to manage longer distances.
Kelling Heath offers you a break away from all of the hustle and bustle and encourages you to enjoy the nature around you. It’s the kind of holiday where the focus is on making your own adventures with your surroundings.
People come and go on their bikes and the feeling is very much relaxed and laid back. No one is in any particular hurry and life feels a little slower.
The one thing I fell in love with at Kelling though was nature! I have never been one to stop and smell the roses so to speak but at Kelling Heath you get drawn in.
Living where we do we don’t usually mix with dragon flies and silver-studded blue butterflies. I may be biased when it comes to autumn as I love the colours this time of year, but with the array of different plants and trees on view at Kelling, it’s hard not to fall in love with the stunning surroundings.
The one thing I am extremely disappointed about was a missed opportunity to see the stunning night sky (due to bad weather). Norfolk is known as being one of the best places for star gazing due to its very minimal light pollution. This is very apparent at Kelling Heath as it’s one of the best in the country for astronomy where the night sky is a precious and cherished part of the camping experience and is protected for all to enjoy.
I do feel that Kelling Heath has missed a trick though. While we had an extremely enjoyable and comfortable stay we felt that there just wasn’t enough for the younger kids to do. They have the facilities to be able to offer lots of daily activities such as archery, learn to bike and keep active sessions. Perhaps this is something they offer in the height of the season but we felt that outdoor pursuits and games would be a good dimension to our stay.
Or maybe this is intentional, encouraging you to make your own entertainment which we did. However, when you have 3 children who are all at different developmental stages it can become quite challenging to keep them all entertained all of the time.