During our recent holiday to Somerset, we discovered there are a lot of free activities at Haven Doniford Bay holiday park that you can utilise as part of your holiday that don’t cost any money. We were very lucky with the weather during our stay, but all of the activities I’m going to mention in this post could be done in rainy weather and the cold as long as you don’t mind the elements for a little while.
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Haven Doniford Bay caravan park is right on the coast with a mud, brick beach on the edge of the site. With all the rocks dotted around Doniford Bay beach, and the hours of low tides, the beach is perfect for rock pooling.
We discovered Doniford Bay beach on our first evening and proceeded to spend at least an hour on the beach looking for creatures every day until we left. Miss A was in her element and as there was such a vast expanse of beach you weren’t very close to any other families that were out at the same time either.
This also meant we could let Lola off her lead whilst we were all hunting without worrying she was getting into mischief.
We did go prepared with nets and buckets before we went, but we soon realised that a bucket was all we needed as the pools were very shallow in water depth. The best thing we took were our wellies as there were plenty of pools of water to walk through, although some of the rock areas did get quite slippery so we had to be careful.
Once we had spent some time rock pooling, we would often go for a walk along the coast line. You can walk for around half an hour along the edge of the beach until it becomes too rocky to go any further, but we had some amazing views and fresh air.
The tide did come in quite close when it was high tide, so it is worth taking a look to see where the tide is before setting off for a walk.
Haven Doniford Bay has an indoor swimming pool and an outside swimming pool that is attached. The outdoor pool also has a slide attached which was great fun and never too busy when we were there.
We were blessed with good weather all week, and I can see how the outside area of the pool can be popular on hot days. There is a large area of grass and some sun beds to sit on that were always used when the sun was out. It was just a shame the area was accessed through the indoor swimming pool.
The indoor pool is a good size and we never felt too cramped even when it did get busy. You access the outside pool via an entrance at the edge of the indoor pool. This was like swimming from a sauna into a plunge pool by going from indoors to out, but it was lovely coming back inside after being in the outside pool.
It’s a clever design for the pool, just a shame there wasn’t a way to access the seating area outside if you didn’t want to swim without having to walk around the side of the indoor pool.
There was a packed entertainment schedule on through the week, and we were able to take advantage of a brilliant pantomime one afternoon as well as a Guinness World Record event another morning. For younger children, the Seaside Squad were out regularly in the Live Lounge which pulled great crowds, but Miss A was a little too old to appreciate them.
The evenings hosted discos and family parties which were always well attended from what we could see. I can see the appeal for many families, but we were appreciating being outdoors so took more advantage of the beach as it was so dog friendly. If the weather did happen to be grotty, I don’t think you’d be bored if you camped in the Live Lounge every day to be entertained for free.