I’ve lived in Yorkshire for 10 years but I rarely explore its coastline. Aside from a one-off trip to Whitby and Robin Hood Bay, it’s an area that is still new to me. So I was so thrilled when my in-laws decided to treat us to a mini break at Thornwick Bay in Flamborough as a family Christmas present.
They discovered Thornwick Bay during a walking trip and thought the park would be ideal for the little ones.
Caravan holidays have become our saviour since having children. They have enabled us to enjoy some family time away outside of the school holidays without having to spend a small fortune.
As a young child, my parents took us on the occasional caravan holiday but as we got older, they preferred warmer climates instead. My dad hates the combination of cold weather caravans and still bemoans about the time he got pneumonia in Cornwall during one of our breaks in Cornwall.
Despite this, I’ve remained a fan and think holiday parks in the UK have bags of charm and hold a firm place in our hearts as the quintessential British seaside holiday.
Haven took over Thornwick Bay a few years ago and gave the family resort a £10 million makeover complete with a leisure pool, adventure walks, an activity barn, an arcade and places to eat such as The Lighthouse or on-site cafe.
I was really impressed with the swimming pool and was perfect for our 1-year-old and 3-year-old. There’s a paddling pool for little ones with a slide, a speedy family slide, water jets and a separate pool for activities.
We didn’t take advantage of the Activity Barn but there is plenty for families to enjoy including archery, fencing or target shooting.
There is much more to encourage families to take advantage of being outside and getting active and it’s slightly reminiscent of Centre Parcs – without the high price tag. It’s a theme I’ve seen across a couple of Haven parks and while the settings don’t always match that of Centre Parcs, it is great that they are providing more activities that involve having fun embracing nature and wildlife.
For me a highlight of the park was the adventure and exercise trail which is a buggy and wheelchair friendly path. Unfortunately, the weather had turned a bit grey and miserable for our walk so we couldn’t see the views but the kids briefly enjoyed our little walk. I wanted to explore more but the kids were getting a bit cranky and wanted something to eat.
In addition, there is also a selection of play parks, a nature teepee, fishing lake and a creative zone for kids.
Where to Eat
We mainly ate the caravan with food purchased from the on-site supermarket. While a bit more expensive than usual supermarkets, it didn’t feel hugely extortionate.
One morning we dined at The Lighthouse for brunch. There was a small mess-up with our order which annoyed us at the time, having battled most of the morning with tired and grumpy kids who had been awake since the crack of dawn. So our patience wasn’t at its best. But the staff refunded us without question and we returned again the next day for an early tea.
There is a good selection of food for children with generous portion sizes. It’s often hard to find nice food for kids in pubs/restaurants but the boys completely devoured the Spaghetti Bolognese. My husband and I ate burgers and chips which were delicious and all at a good price too. For pudding, the kids enjoyed some ice cream – a British holiday staple!
Caravans have come a long way over the years and are now a great place to unwind in comfort after a day of fun.
We stayed in a 2 bedroom Prestige Caravan which was absolutely immaculate. It came with an ensuite, a family shower room, a kitchen with a good sized fridge freezer. There was central heating too which kept the caravan pretty toasty during the cold nights (and it did get pretty cold). You can pay a small amount for a travel cot and highchair. They provide linen at an extra cost too.
Flamborough beach is a ten-minute walk away but for little kids, this might feel like a bit of a trek along the road. We drove down to the car park and then walked down the fairly steep bank into the bay.
It’s quite a small beach but perfect for paddling, building sandcastles or looking in rock pools.
Nearby is Bridlington which we ventured to on the morning of the Royal Wedding. Jack loves the arcades so we spent some pennies on the slot machines, then sauntered down the promenade and treated ourselves to coffee and cake at Cafe Vibe at East Riding Leisure Centre while overlooking the sea.
The next day we went to Bondville Model Village, although the weather was pretty cold and miserable so we didn’t spend too long there. But Jack had fun pretending he was a giant and looking at all the small villages.
Would we go back?
Absolutely! There is so much to see and do in the area. I have a hankering to explore the surrounding coastline and Thornwick Bay would be the perfect base to do so. What I loved though, is that the holiday can be as active or relaxing as you want it to be. I know as the boys get older they will take full advantage of everything the park has to offer.
I’m already plotting our next break!
Have you travelled to the Yorkshire coast? What were the highlights of your trip?