Our Devon Holiday

Sandaway Beach Holiday Park North Devon

Last week were lucky enough to have a family holiday in Devon, we were based at Sandaway Beach Holiday Park in Combe Martin, North Devon thanks to the lovely people at John Fowler Holidays.

Devon is about 6 hours in the car from us, so with such a long way t travel there are a few things that we really need to have on arrival. A straight forward check in, something fun to do with L, food and a comfy bed. We were me with all these things. It was lovely.

Mermaid's Cove
Mermaid’s Cove the private beach at Sandaway Holiday Park

We had actually split our journey to Devon with an overnight stop, but we had had a few very busy days, so couldn’t wait to get settled into our self catering static caravan. I love a self catering holiday and having that mini home from home, especially when travelling with a toddler.

The clubhouse at Sandaway
The clubhouse at Sandaway

We got a great welcome to Sandaway from reception, which is based inside the main bar area, so I got a glimpse at what was on tap, the entertainment area and the takeaway, oh yes, it had a takeaway onsite, perfect! I quickly checked the opening hours on at the shop so that we could come back and buy bread/milk/wine etc and then we headed to our caravan.

John Fowler Welcome
John Fowler Welcome with a cuppa

We had a two bed, platinum, sea view caravan. It was lovely, really comfy and with everything you would expect. The beds were made up and good to go, there was a TV, Dishwasher, plenty of sockets and a welcome pack with tea bags, instant coffee, those little milk cartons as well as a tea towel, sponge and washing up liquid which was super handy.

The second bedroom
The second bedroom was easily moved around to fit in a travel cot

We were able to re-jig the twin bedroom to fit in L’s travel cot which thankfully he still likes to sleep in because the first thing he did was work out how to unlock, open and fall out of the caravan door so the travel cot took away any worry for overnight. There was a walk in wardrobe in the master bedroom which meant we had plenty of space to stash the luggage and clothes. The bed was also really comfortable and we had a TV/DVD combi in the bedroom as well which was a nice touch.

View from our caravan
Check out that view

The sea views were just stunning, it made doing the washing up a pleasure and L loved looking out to sea trying to spot boats, fish and crocodiles. We saw plenty of boats, he says he saw fish but I don’t believe him, he also reckons there were plenty of crocodiles! The only thing that would have been better would have been a little outdoor decking area so we could have enjoyed the view from outdoors, but space is at a premium at this site and trust me I wouldn’t have given up being able to park next to our caravan for anything.

The main living area
The main living area of our static caravan

We soon found that Sandaway was the perfect base to go off and explore all that North Devon had to offer and a lovely place to come home to and crash out in after a long day sightseeing. There was loads to do just minutes away, and plenty in the surrounding area. We filled everyday with fun trips and could easily go back tomorrow and do fill another week, or three, I’ll write another blog about our day trips.

The kitchen area
The kitchen area of our caravan, loved that we had a dishwasher and microwave

Sandaway itself is quite a small site, it has static caravans like the one we were in, caravan and tent pitches, luxury pods and safari tents and apartments, so there is plenty to choose from. Our static home was on the cliff edge so we got a superb sea view, but the whole site is on a slope so I reckon most of the accommodation has some degree of sea view.

Softplay at Sandaway
L just showing Daddy the ropes at Softplay at Sandaway

There were plenty of bins and toilet blocks, although we didn’t try them out, we didn’t need to. There is a small outside play area, its not amazing but enough to keep the kids occupied for a bit. The indoor play was also small and a bit dark but perfect for L and he spent quite some time in there, it was actually really nice to have somewhere inside he could burn off some extra energy in the evenings, plus you got free, fast WiFi in the clubhouse area so it was perfect for me to catch up on a few bits whilst he played. We also downloaded some movies for the drive home, it was that fast, which was impressive.

Mmm Takeaway
Mmm Takeaway, what a treat

The shop at Sandaway had good opening hours and was well stocked, all the essentials, beach toys, and a very good wine selection. The prices were pretty much what you’d expect, more than a supermarket but not expensive. We also used the takeaway whilst we were there, it also serves as the restaurant for the clubhouse, but everything on the menu can be packed up for you to eat in the accommodation which is a nice touch. Husb had Gammon, Eggs and Wedges and I went for the Scampi, it was yummy and good value and the perfect option for a lazy night on holiday.

Exploring the beach at Sandaway
Exploring the beach at Sandaway

For us the best part about Sandaway was the private beach,  it was small but perfectly formed, there are quite a lot of steps down to it, 74 to be exact, so it wouldn’t be suitable for everyone but it is so worth the walk. It was a pebble beach with plenty of rock pools, really uneven and really good fun. We loved it and it made the perfect activity to fill a spare hour before bed.

The beautiful swimming pool at Sandaway
The beautiful swimming pool at Sandaway, I’m gutted I didn’t get a swim

There is a heated outdoor pool as well which looked fab, but as it didn’t open until 10am and we were always up and out by then morning weren’t an option and the one day we got back before 5pm when it shut it was raining so they had made the most of the quiet period to shut it early and you could see them doing some maintenance to it. I would have liked for it to be open earlier so I could have got a swim in, but I do appreciate not everyone is always up at 6am like me!

Wearing my boots
Getting ready to go out

We wouldn’t hesitate to return to Sandaway and we would certainly look to visit more John Fowler Holiday parks in the future, we were very impressed with all that was on offer.

Disclosure – our accommodation was free of charge in return for our honest review.

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