Review – Bideford Bay Holiday Park OR the one where Bee questions the number of mini breaks we go on

“Do you ever worry about Belle going on too many mini-breaks?” Bee asked me a while ago.

It’s true, we do go on a lot of mini breaks. It’s one of the things I love most about blogging – the opportunity to try new things and to travel, even if it is only down the road to Devon. I try very hard not to take it for granted, but I also have to remind myself that I’ve worked hard to grow and develop my blog, that these opportunities don’t just throw themselves in my lap.

(I’m not sure where that need for a bit of self-reassurance came from. Probably hormones. *casually scoffs plum crumble for breakfast*)

I actually have had plum crumble for breakfast, on both of the mornings we’ve woken up this weekend at the Bideford Bay Park Resorts holiday park. I made it when we arrived on Friday night – an excuse really to use up a pile of nearly mouldy plums – but I’ve pretended it’s basically like eating toast and plum jam, and is really totally fine.

(Gosh, I really am hormonal aren’t I? Stop justifying everything…)

I’m writing this on the Sunday morning. I’m sat up in bed with a cup of tea while Belle watches a programme on CBBC about kids going to work in a factory in Brazil, to try and make them appreciate how much their parents do for them. I’m hoping it might inspire Belle to bring me a fresh cup of tea, but nothing has happened yet.

Bideford Bay Holiday Park 1

Last night we fell asleep to the sound of owls twit twooing to each other. The park is set amongst trees, and walking to the park shop for some essentials last night, (Pringles), I took deep breaths of that wonderful, mulchy woodland smell – damp wood, moss and lichen, warmed by the sun. It’s one of my favourite smells; it makes me smile, I feel calmer instantly.

Bideford Bay Holiday Park 1

Bideford Bay Holiday Park 1

It’s been our first trip away just the two of us for quite a long time. Before I met my fiancé last year Belle and I spent an awful lot of time together, and although it was strange at first to not have my boy around, it has been nice to reconnect with Belle a little bit. She thrives on attention, one-to-one time with grown ups, and I forget this sometimes. It’s been a useful reminder that although it’s wonderful to be part of a slightly bigger family now, the individual relationships within the team still need nurturing.

Bideford Bay Holiday Park 1

Bideford Bay is in a wonderful spot. I know I’m biased, but the South West really is beautiful. This stretch of coast is hugely popular with surfers, and yesterday we drove about 40 minutes along the coast to Woolacombe. The beach at Woolacombe is beautiful, and despite it being September there were a lot of people in the sea and plenty of Mr Whippys to be seen. Belle and I indulged in one of our favourite holiday past times – crazy golf – and Belle clung on to the last of her childhood with a ride on a bumper boat. (Bideford Bay Holiday Park does have its own little mini golf course too if you don’t fancy the trip to Woolacombe.

Woolacombe crazy golf

Woolacombe crazy golf

Woolacombe crazy golf

Woolacombe crazy golf

My favourite hole on the course obviously.


I love that Belle still likes doing things like this. When I was 13 I was still playing Sylvanian Families with my sister, and I hate the pressure on young people nowadays to be so grown up. Who says it isn’t cool to have fun doing silly things? Who says pocket money has to be spent on foundation and not on playing the horse racing games in a seaside arcade?

No mini break is complete for Belle without a visit to the park swimming pool. Swimming is one of my least favourite things, (get changed, get wet, get cold, get dry again, put clothes back on – why??), but in a bid to preserve my standing as ‘the best mummy in the whole world’ I made the obligatory trip to the pool. It’s never quite as bad as I build it up to be, a bit like the washing up, and the facilities at Bideford Bay Holiday Park are pretty decent – everything is nice and clean and the pool was very warm. It’s nothing fancy, no slides or fountains, but I actually prefer this as it usually means it’s quieter and nicer to play in. 

Outside after our swim we sat for a little while looking out over the play area to the sea. The sun was warm on our damp hair and the view was gorgeous.

Bideford Bay Holiday Park

Bideford Bay Holiday Park

Belle’s favourite thing about a mini-break though is just hanging out. We could be in Sydney or Paris or anywhere really and she’d want to be back at the hotel. Lucky for us then that our caravan was clean and comfy, and very spacious. It was a two bedroom layout, which meant the main bedroom, which included an ensuite, was the full width of the caravan – no schooching around the sides to get into bed for me.

Why not follow Belle on a little tour of the caravan? I promise it’s worth watching right to the end! For more Devon holiday parks see Holiday Park Guru.

We were guests at Bideford Bay for the weekend. All thoughts are my own.



  1. 7 September, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    This made me giggle, with all your justifications!! Also loved reading about your break – looks like you have a lovely relationship!

  2. 8 September, 2015 / 9:18 am

    Great to see you had a good time. The only ‘holiday park’ I frequent in the UK is Center Parcs. We go every Christmas (literally over Christmas Day) and while it is quite pricey it’s always money well spent as everyone enjoys themselves.

    Anytime I’ve looked at other holiday parks I tend to close the tab as soon as I see mobile caravans and the like lol

    • Jo Middleton
      8 September, 2015 / 10:05 am

      You’re missing out Jon, there’s nothing quite like a caravan!! To be honest, caravans nowadays can be so fancy you could quite easily be in some sort of small bungalow.

      • 8 September, 2015 / 4:55 pm

        Nah, still not buying the caravan dream!

        I grew up in Norwich so used to frequent Great Yarmouth and the like which were obviously FULL of caravan homes. It was generally a whole lot of tracksuit wearing around those areas – think it may have scared me for life.

  3. 1 December, 2016 / 7:54 pm

    5 years ago, I wouldn’t have entertained staying in a caravan, thinking the same as you but fast forward to today, I own several static caravans! It depends on where you go, some places are really lovely with luxury caravans or super lodges available to hire. It’s worth doing some research to find a great location with comfortable retreats to unwind in.

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