Staycation Summer: Haven Hideaways and Stay & Play

Image from Haven

As foreign travel seems to be off the table for the majority of 2021, choices for holiday destinations are limited. But a lot of Britons are determined to get away this year. Swapping airport queues and luggage limits for the British countryside and city adventures. 

While there is still caution with some holidaymakers booking their 2021 vacations, there has been a significant rise of families and groups booking self-catering accommodation in holiday parks across the UK and unique destinations on Airbnb.

Self-catering holiday parks are a perfect option for group bubbles, families and friends who just want to getaway. Social distancing from other holidaymakers is easier and with the best locations across the UK, there’s always access to fun outdoor activities, take away food options and tourist destinations. 

The South West has always been one of the most popular staycation destinations, even before coronavirus. With wide-open spaces, nature trails and activities for people of all ages. No wonder it’s been high up on the various “Best Places to Staycation” lists.

Ashleigh Ridler from Great Group Trips was lucky enough to take her 2020 holiday to Devon, and experience one of the top holiday parks in the UK, read all about it here:

Haven Hideaways: My Experience

Please note: The “Haven Hideaway” offer was only available for a period in 2020 and is no longer an option. Haven is offering guests a Stay & Play offer, which promotes the UK staycation, the parks are still operating by COVID-19 guidelines for 2021 breaks which will affect some facilities.

Image by Ashleigh Ridler

I was lucky enough to take a short break away in October 2020, where I got to experience first hand the “Haven Hideaway” and how staying in a self-catering holiday park is one of the best ways to holiday during these strange times. 

The “Haven Hideaway” break offered guests a holiday home, takeaway food options and open beaches – but without indoor facilities and entertainment. Guests on a “Hideaway” trips would have a quieter experience.

The idea of outside activities and being closer to nature is one of the main reasons why we decided to take our 2020 holiday to Exmouth in Devon, staying in Devon Cliffs holiday park.

Devon Cliffs holiday park is Havens largest holiday park, it’s also one of the largest caravan parks in Europe. It’s situated in the gorgeous East Devon Area with fantastic views, local landmarks and direct access to the beach.

Image by Ashleigh Ridler

For accommodation, you can choose from 2 levels of lodges, and 4 levels of caravan, as well as adapted options for those with limited accessibility. The 4 styles of caravan include:

  • Standard
  • Deluxe
  • Prestige
  • Platinum with Decking

After a couple of minutes of weighing the options with my family. Figuring out how much time we’d spend in the caravan. Whether or not the October weather would allow us to use the decking, and overall if the space was big enough for us, we settled for an 8 person platinum decking caravan.

Why did 3 of us book an 8 person caravan? The 8 person caravan is definitely big enough to sleep 8 people, so don’t let my preferences put you off. The reason why we chose it for a 3 person holiday was that we all wanted a separate room and no one wanted to sleep in the living room. The 8 person caravan comes with 3 rooms that sleep 2 people each (2 singles and 1 double), and the living room converts into a cosy place to sleep 2 people.

Image by Haven / Luxury Lodge

Groups in a Haven Hideaway

These little caravans are perfect for your Group Bubble, it has all the facilities you need to self-cater and a comfortable social area. The rooms are quite small, and the single ones don’t have that much storage space. My top tip, especially if two of you are sharing a room, is to consider having one room per person. However, if you’re just using the caravan as a base to sleep and occasionally eat at, and not spending most of your time there, the smaller rooms shouldn’t concern you

Read more about accommodation and facilities, as well as how to book on the Haven website.

Activities and Facilities

As well as having countless activities and days out in the surrounding Devonshire area, there is plenty available to you within walking distance from your accommodation. 

  • Heated indoor and outdoor pool
  • Water slide and flume
  • Beach for water sports
  • Climbing wall, Bungee Trampoline, and Aerial Adventure Extra
  • Adventure Golf
  • 3 outdoor play areas
  • All-weather multi-sports court
  • FunWorks amusements arcade
  • Nature trail
  • Various classes for children and adult

Haven is planning to reopen the majority of these facilities for summer 2021, but make sure you check the website for more up to date information on what will and will not be open.

Image by Ashleigh Ridler / Beach at Devon Cliffs
Image by Ashleigh Ridler / Beach at Devon Cliffs

Reopening Dates

Haven has announced they are planning to open their parks on 12th April. 

They are offering self-catering breaks from Monday 12th April to Sunday 16th May. All their accommodation will be open and available for guests, however, only one household per unit is allowed. Restaurants and bars will be open but limited to outdoor areas only, the majority of the facilities and activities will be running, but you can see the full list of what’s not available to guests on the website.

The information above is relevant to Haven holidays parks located in England. For Scotland, the restart date is currently set for 26th April. While the majority of the Welsh parks will be available from 2nd April. You can find more updates on the Haven website.

Ashleigh Ridler