I’ve just arrived back from Naze Marine Holiday Park in Walton-on-the-Naze, this afternoon and feel the urgent need to get this down on paper while it’s still a vivid memory (I have a memory like a sieve at the best of times, but whilst I may not remember all the detail in a few week’s time, I’ll remember one thing… I would DEFINITELY recommend this park to my family and friends!!).
It was a bit of a last minute trip and only for 2 nights (it’s about quality not quantity you know!) but last week I decided that I would whisk my Grandma and Grandad away for the weekend, along with my little boy. They absolutely dote on him and quality family time together at the seaside was what we all needed.
We arrived late afternoon, after having waiting at home all morning for a parcel to arrive (which never did), amongst other things, so I was a little stressed to say the least. Well, fuming and struggling to snap out of my bad mood is more like it! After games of ‘yellow car bang’, the number plate game, and ‘i-spy’ in the car, my mood had lightened somewhat… then, we arrived at Naze Marine Holiday Park in Walton-On-The-Naze – to a pretty little entrance. First impressions are important to me, so the landscaped grounds and clear roads (with no litter I hasten to add!) were a welcome sight as we drove in. Then popped into the pretty little reception, with, quite possibly, some of the friendliest staff I’ve ever met!! What an excitable bunch
Check-in was quick and easy (and nothing to do with me being staff!)
We found our Static Caravan easily (it may sound strange but I almost always get lost driving round Holiday Parks trying to find our Caravan) and were impressed with the smooth surfaces, clear signs and one-way system around areas of the park (seemed very safe for my little one).
There were a fair few people walking from place to place, all with smiles on their faces.
We got into the Caravan and, after several “ooh”s and “aaaah”s from my grandparents (their first time in a static caravan and they were suitably wow’ed by the experience. Mainly by the size, warmth and storage capacity, as they’d been used to tourers in the past) we unpacked our stuff and headed off to explore. By this point I am now in full ‘holiday mode’ and have forgotten all about my earlier stresses. How does a caravan holiday always manage to do that? It is amazing. Nothing like a caravan holiday to bring me back down to earth and remind me what’s important… quality family time together creating amazing memories (come on, I had to get one of those in there eh!).
First stop was the Entertainment Complex for a bite to eat and some Sparky’s fun and games for my son. Now, I’ve been to most of our Holiday Parks over the years and what I instantly loved about Naze Marine was that everything was in one place. 1 hub of arcades with 3 doors (one leading outside, 1 to the Showbar and 1 to the Boathouse Restaurant. Through the Boathouse Restaurant, you then had the heated indoor pool to one side and an exit to a children’s playpark and terrace the other (all fenced in so the little monsters couldn’t run off, I might add).
One other thing to mention, which I hadn’t realised, is that the touring field is directly opposite the Entertainment Complex, which may be handy to know if you’re thinking of a touring or camping holiday. The field was packed this weekend and everyone looked like they were having an amazing holiday.
The Boathouse and pool are both fairly new developments and were spotless from what I saw. 4 meals and 4 drinks, a game of pool and several circuits of the playpark later, and we took the 20 or so paces to the Showbar.
Unfortunately, Sparky was feeling a little under the weather that evening but we’d see him the next day. And the fabulous Teamstar more than made up for it. She kept the children entertained and they all had smiles on their faces, awarded with a sticker at each step fo the way (no losers at Park Resorts). My little man even won a certificate (although I couldn’t get him to hold still for the photo!). There was lots of dancing and making friends (I had a good chat to some regular guests and Owners too, and the resounding opinion was that Naze Marine Holiday Park had it all, they were very happy and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. VERY lovely to hear and, after my mini-break, I can see why!).
So, we then decided it was getting late so strolled back the short distance to our Caravan, where we got cosy, put the little one to bed and enjoyed an evening talking and laughing about our day and of course lots of funny childhood memories. They always seem to sneak in on caravan holidays
The next day, we woke up bright and fresh (amazingly NOT to the seagulls on the roof, which is normally the case on UK Holiday Parks). Then brekkie, quick trip to the ParkMart Shop (which was stocked with pretty much anything you could need, including the daily paper which my Grandad couldn’t be without)
… and then off to explore the beach. There’s a little cut-through at the side of the park, just a short walk (short enough that my Grandad handled it fine and he’s very unsteady on his feet) and then across the road and you’re staring down at a gorgeous, clean, sandy beach!! So, of course, bucket and spade at the ready (and new windmill in hand) and we enjoyed a couple of hours sitting, lazing and running around on the beach in the morning sunshine. Great fun and totally relaxing! The only downside is that I am still going to be washing the sand out of my hair tomorrow morning. haha).
Back to the Caravan for lunch, and a snooze for Bradley and Grandad, then off to try out the swimming pool. Now this part I was really excited about as they’d never seen him swim. But in we get and boy does he show off for his audience. Like a duck to water In a lovely clean, and warm, pool!!!!!!!!!! There was plenty of seating and tables around the edge for spectators, or you could even have sat in the restaurant the other side of the window, which was nice and convenient for many.
Once we’d got dry, we strolled out of door and straight to the playpark where we could sit and relax while the children played happily.
A nice little walk and then back to our cosy caravan for tea and to get ready for a nice cosy evening.
Now our last day …. We woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (I wonder what Sparky and Sparkle make of that expression?!), had our toast and cereals and enjoyed a leisurely morning packing up the car. As I went exploring and to take some more snaps, the team mentioned that there’s a lovely scenic walk we might like to enjoy before we go, so we did just that!!! And I’m so glad we did. It’s a pretty steep slope to get up onto the coastal path around the edge of the park but if my Grandad made it then most people could. Another thing to mention is how flat the Park terrain is (other than this steep verge to climb up for the views). Once you’re up there, there are some fantastic views of the marina and Naze Marine Holiday Park. Keep an eye on children as it’s a steep drop one side but as long as you’re sensible it’s a lovely refreshing walk.
We, of course couldn’t leave without ‘Meeting the Krew’ so Bradley and I had a big cuddle with Sparkle. Move over Sparky! Bradley’s got a new favourite!
Finally, to the car and heading for home. Bye bye Naze Marine Holiday Park, we’ll be back soon!
Me, Jean, Alan and Bradley