Easter break 2015 | Meet the Trudgians

Easter break 2015

Posted by on Apr 12, 2015 in Featured, Trips & Adventures | 1 comment

Easter break 2015

Our hugely anticipated Easter break was enjoyed in the New Forest, Hampshire. Sandy Balls Holiday Park accommodates chalet, Touring caravans, Motor homes and tents in a wonderful location just 3 miles outside of Fordingbridge. 

Our trip started in typical wet British weather, but a short reprieve in the rain did allow us to set the caravan up in fairly dry conditions, before the heavens opened again and gave the ground a good soaking. In fact this was the only rain we had all holiday so we were truly very lucky. The campsite itself was predictably packed and as we arrived on Good Friday we were one of the last caravans to occupy a pitch on the site.

IMG_00231st day – Set up

Our first night was great. The children enjoyed the swimming pool, hot tub and Sauna. Under 16s are not allowed to venture in the pool by themselves nor are they allowed in the hot hub or Sauna either. Having a16 year old son meant they were able to occupy their time with the pool while mum & dad set the caravan up and got everything ready. The evening was spent out in the village square, where we had a great meal and a good time.

It was only when we returned back to the caravan that we realised that we were camping in the middle of what would seem to be a teenage rave. The music was loud, the children were running in-between the caravans, so understandably the dog was a little upset. It soon settled down however and we were able to enjoy a cozy night in.

IMG_0067Day 2

The day started with an epic cooked breakfast. Cooked on the Cadac we enjoyed some local sausages, bacon and black pudding. Even typing this is making my mouth water ! Anyway back to the day…

Before we arrived we had booked a number of activities. Our rationale was if the weather was poor the children could still take part in some activities to keep them happy. Today we had 2 activities for the children. Archery and Tie Die.

The archery was a great success, however the hour set aside for the archery was an hour for the entire group across 2 targets. So taking in turn the actual shooting time was only 20mins or so.

The tie dying wasn’t really much of an activity. 5 minutes of dipping a small T shirt in a dye was about all it was. We did expect a bit more interaction, maybe some tips on using more than 1 colour.. This did set the tone for the rest of the activities where disappointment really was the name of the game.

IMG_0057Day 3

Easter Sunday and we completed our very own Easter egg hunt. Hiding eggs around the caravan, awning and pitch for the Children to find was a great motivation for them to find their “chocolate horde” 32 little eggs never saw another sunset. The vanished pretty much before lunchtime !

This day was a day of sitting around, reading and relaxing while the children again found fun and games in the sites many facilities. A short trip into Fordingbridge to buy some supplies and we all agreed that a BBQ was the meal of the day. So equipped with sausages, burgers and some corn on the cobb we enjoyed a great meal at the end of the day. The evening was taken up with enjoying some live music in the bar and a children’s disco.

IMG_0719Day 4

Hot hot hot !!! Yes the weather was now very warm and a great time to watch the world go by while soaking up some much craved sun. To be fair I didn’t realise how hot the sun was, and I did end up quite burnt from sitting outside for 4 hours. Still a hot shower, some after sun and I was all sorted once again. With the Children once again swimming we took the dog for a long walk around the estate and ended up at the bar.

The Woodside Inn is a great venue, but for the size of the campsite it can be a bit small and very busy. In fact the live entertainment in the adjoining Suite only holds 20 tables, so getting a seat inside is near on impossible if the weather outside is cold or wet.

IMG_3361Day 5

The last full day. Not needing to worry about clearing up or packing away, we all went on the treasure hunt which was a very enjoyable walk around the site,. I met a couple who we had camped with over the Christmas period in Longleat. It was great catching up again and discussing the Festival of lights that we all enjoyed.

By this point the break was so relaxed and laid back that remembering what we actually did is a real challenge. I do however recall that we went shopping, bought some lovely rib eye steak and had a jacket potato and salad with the great hunk of meat.

The campsite was now quite empty. As many visitors turned up for the Easter period we were staying on for a little longer. This made the evening entertainment a viable option, so we set off and enjoyed a great evening watching a Hypnotist entertain us all with 5 unsuspected audience members.

Clearing, packing and cleaning. There is nothing of this job that anyone of us enjoy. It takes time to do it right and packed correctly. When we did set off at 11:50am it only took us just under 2 hours to get home, take the caravan to the storage centre and put the caravan back to bed until the next trip.

We had a great time. We discussed if we would return to Sandy balls, and on reflection I think we would. We already know where we would book a pitch and also we have all agreed we wouldn’t take part in any of the activities, instead we would venture out into the new forest even more. In essence we would treat it like any other camp site. As a base to explore. Here is a video of our trip.


One Comment

  1. Great review Dan. Thinking of Sandy Balls this summer holidays, if we do go for it, where do you recommend to pitch up? We are a caravan family with 2 teenagers and a 7 year old boy. Thanks!

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