As you will know by now, Belle and I love a mini break. Whether it’s a wet and windy December weekend in a vintage VW camper van on the Cornish coast* or a luxury boutique hotel in the Cotswolds, the theme is normally the same – some nice food, outings in the day that I generally enjoy more than Belle, and then snuggly evenings with a film or a murder mystery.
It’s not a bad format really, especially the outings, where I normally get to sneak in something like a model village or obscure wool museum. I imagine some parents of teenagers don’t manage to have quite as relaxed breaks as we do.
Our recent weekend away at Haven’s Littlesea Holiday Park on the Dorset coast did not disappoint. In fact, our caravan, if you can even call it that, was one of the nicest I’ve ever stayed in, and I have stayed in a LOT of caravans. I actually went as far as to double check the booking to see if it was actually a lodge, but no, definitely a caravan. It was a platinum caravan with a sea view, which is top of the range, but even so, very impressive.
The living and dining area was incredibly spacious, and had a proper three piece suite and dining table and chairs rather than the usual bench seating you get in a caravan. The kitchen was well equipped with a full-sized oven and fridge freezer, microwave, dishwasher and even a washing machine, which I’m not sure I’ve seen in a caravan before. I would have liked a cafetiere, but you can’t have anything I suppose.
The twin bedroom had proper full sized single beds that were actually comfortable, and lots of storage and space to move about. The double bedroom had an en-suite bathroom and a BATH. An actual bath! I’ve never stayed in a caravan with a bath before. So decadent!
The deck looked out over the bay to Chesil Beach, with views every evening of the sunset. Even if you didn’t fancy sitting out on the deck as it got dark, the sunset filled the caravan with a lovely orange light that was really beautiful.
Obviously at the moment things are working a little differently on Haven sites, but we didn’t feel like this massively impacted our stay. Check in was easier if anything, as we were given a timed arrival slot and once we’d checked in at the gate we could drive straight to our cleaned and sealed caravan, where our keys and information packs were waiting inside. Activities were bookable through the Haven app, along with sessions at the indoor pool, and generally walking around the park it felt very quiet and people were keeping safely distanced all the time.
We chose not to eat in the restaurant or go to any evening entertainment, but we did do a couple of the outdoor activities in smaller groups – mini golf and archery coaching. The archery was actually really good as group sizes have been reduced a lot, meaning there were only four of us in total. Belle and I shared a station and it meant we got lots of one to one time with the instructor and plenty of turns with the bow and arrows.
We did make use of the on-site pizza delivery service from Papa Johns though, which was excellent – fresh pizza delivered right to your caravan door? Not much not to love about that. We also made the most of Littlesea Holiday Park being right on the coast path, and went for a rather adventurous walk one evening towards Weymouth.
I say adventurous because it was only really meant to be a stroll around the park at 9pm, but it turned into a three mile coastal path walk in the pouring rain by the light of one phone torch. Sometimes Belle gets into a fun mood though where she temporarily enjoys walking and being outside, so you have to exploit it really. I imagine the walks around Littlesea are also lovely in daylight.
As a base for exploring, Littlesea Holiday Park is perfect. It’s very close to Chesil Beach, the strip of beach that runs along the join between Weymouth and Portland, both of which have plenty to offer in the way of outings. (Although don’t bother with the Sea Life Centre.) I actually lived in Weymouth for a couple of years as a child, and my grandparents carried on living there when we moved, so I have lots of fond memories of going to visit them.
I made Belle drive up to Bowleaze Cove, which is where my Gran used to take me when I went to stay for holidays. It’s not the nicest part of Weymouth to be honest, but they do now have a gin bar in an airstream van. My Gran used to take a thermos of gin and tonic with her when she took me to the beach, so I had a Gordons and tonic by way of a tribute.
My Gran also used to be partial to a crab sandwich in the pub right at the top of Portland near the lighthouse, so we took a drive up there one evening too and I clambered about a bit looking at the sea and took some pictures while Belle sat in the car looking at TikTok. Classic family holiday with teens.
If you want to travel further afield from Littlesea Holiday Park there are loads of lovely beaches along the coast. We went as far as Bournemouth one day and zip wired from the top of a tower at the end of the pier onto the beach, and then escaped from a 1930s New York barbershop.
(I was trying to crank things up a little bit from the usual model village vibe and I think it worked.)
Despite the lack of model village action we had a lovely weekend. I slept brilliantly, which is a great sign as I sometimes don’t sleep well away from home, and I enjoyed a few much needed lie-ins. We felt completely confident about the lengths Haven had gone to to keep things clean and safe and the whole weekend was very relaxed.
Littlesea is a brilliant location, with lots to explore nearby for the whole family.
Book your next UK mini break with Haven now.
We received a three night complimentary break at Haven Littlesea Holiday Park for the purposes of this review. All views are my own.