Last Updated on August 15, 2018 by Fiona Maclean
Caravanning in Dorset at Hoburne Bashley
I have many happy childhood memories of going on caravan holidays with my family. Squashed in the back of my parent’s car with my three siblings, squabbling all the way but with great excitement in the air as we were going on our summer holidays.
So when I was asked if I would like to go and stay in one of Hoburne holiday parks this summer I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take my daughter and grandchildren on a summer’s holiday and see if my young family would enjoy the experience just as much as I did, and what a lovely way to go about making memories.
Caravans have come a long, long way from what they used to be, no longer are you all cramped up in a tiny space not big enough to swing a cat, today’s caravans are really spacious and luxurious in comparison and we were really impressed with the set up at Hoburne Holidays.
We were lucky enough to be staying in a three-bedroom home at Hoburne Bashley in Dorset; it’s such a lovely part of the world, with the New Forest on its doorstep and is just a short hop from the stunning coastline with many beautiful beaches and small fishing ports to discover.
Our caravan had one double bedroom with an en-suite and two single rooms (one which is definitely only suitable for small children), a shower room and an open plan kitchen, with a cooker, fridge freezer and a microwave and a comfy living area with doors opening on to the outdoor terrace equipped with table and chairs, perfect for al-fresco dining. There’s a TV and Wifi, although we did find the Wifi signal rather weak. We were supplied with bedding and bath towels and everything was very clean and comfortable. We were also provided with a travel cot for the baby. There is a small shop on site at Hoburne Bashley where you can buy groceries and there are plenty of supermarkets nearby, but I found it useful to shop before we arrived and brought along the basics I knew my family would appreciate.
The Hoburne Holidays Park is situated right on the edge of the New Forest and about 3 miles from the nearest beach. However, if you just want to chill in the countryside it offers a host of on-site activities and amenities. There is an indoor and outdoor pool, which we spent a lot of time in and which my grandchildren loved; the outdoor pools are surrounded by seating areas and sunbeds, most of which were in full use as we enjoyed some fabulous weather during our stay. There is a fitness suite, a steam room and a sauna. For the kids, Hoburne Bashley has Sammy’s Squad kid’s club, an adventure playground, a soft play area, and multi-use games area, which lots of keen young footballers were putting to use, plus an arcade inside which we didn’t venture into.
If you are a keen golfer you might enjoy the 9-hole, par 3 golf course. And, for beginners and those of us who don’t take it too seriously there is an adventure golf course by the pool area.
Inside the main centre at Hoburne Bashley is a Café h and a bar area with plenty of seating, food and drinks are served all day. We ate some good reasonably price food, which catered well for all the family. But if you fancy something a little more upmarket, or a romantic meal you can go to Brasserie 1912 and enjoy a meal prepared by the Hoburne Holidays park chefs.
Hoburne offer a full entertainment program in the evenings at The Venue, starting early with talent shows and discos for the children and then later for the grown-ups there’s cabaret shows, quizzes games shows and discos. We didn’t get a chance to go but it looks like they cater to all ages and keep a full and varied fun program.
For those keen on nature Hoburne Bashley is a wonderful location as they have an onsite Woodland Centre that offers interactive Bushcraft and arts and craft workshops and advice about the woodland and its wildlife, and of course you can venture out and spend a day in the lush Forest, enjoying some beautiful walks or perhaps go cycling or horse riding.
Spa – Beauty h
In May Hoburne Bashley opened Beauty h, a brand new spa, which I was fortunate enough to go and try out. It’s very elegantly furbished with a relaxation area and luxurious and spacious treatment rooms which offer a two bed option so you could have a massage alongside a friend or partner.
I enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing half hour facial treatment which they used Elemis products; this included a divine head and shoulder massage and proved to be the perfect time out treat away from the children. My therapist was very adept and charming and my skin felt refreshed and glowing afterwards. Alongside a host of different treatments, Beauty h also offer spa days.
Local places to visit
My daughter Georgia and I also wanted to get out and about and see the sights with the limited time we had, so on our first day we drove to Hengistbury Head which boasts beautiful long stretches of beach where we were able to dip in the sea, the children jumped in waves full of joy and excitement, and we happily sat on the sand whilst they paddled and made sand castles, just what family holidays are all about. And then, of course, there’s the fish and chips and ice cream.
We also paid a visit to Mudeford Quay and watched the boats go by. Mudeford Quay is at the entrance to Christchurch Harbour and has a spectacular view out to sea and of Christchurch town; it’s also a popular destination for sailors and windsurfers. We tried our hand at crabbing which the children loved and we took the ferry over to the Sandbanks.
Christchurch is also worth a visit; it’s a bustling seaside town with lots of guesthouses and hotels, plus plenty of cafes, restaurants and quirky shops to browse in.
This was my first time trying an intergenerational holiday, when you have a large family like I do it can prove very expensive to go abroad or rent a cottage big enough for us all, so a caravan holiday provides a great alternative. We thought that the site was very well equipped and that there were lots of activities available to keep the kids occupied, whilst at the same time providing a relaxing environment for the adults. All of the Hoburne staff were friendly and helpful which made everything very easy.
Buy your own Hoburne holiday home
Hoburne Holidays has sites in seven locations in the South West of England, from Cornwall to Gloucestershire and they also offer the opportunity to buy your own holiday home. What a great idea for families who want to put their roots down and know they can escape to the countryside or by the sea on a more regular basis. And of course, that gives you the option to create a home-from-home styled caravan decorated to your own liking.
The great thing about our visit to Hoburne Bashley was its simplicity. It’s only a 2-hour drive from London it was lovely to get away with my daughter and her boys and also be able to take my son’s daughter. The children were safe and as happy as Larry playing outside and swimming just as much as they possibly could, and of course, they very quickly make friends. We chose to do a mix of eating out and self-catering and we enjoyed evenings on the terrace with a glass of wine. It’s definitely something I will consider doing again with the family, it proved to be a wonderful way to bring us all together, and make some lovely memories into the bargain.
The seven Hoburne Holiday Parks in the south of England in locations including Hampshire, Devon and Cornwall. Some are in the countryside, others self-catering accommodation right on the beach. They offer a range of different facilities but all are well set up to cater for kids. Some of the sites offer a range of accommodation from lodges and chalets to camping pods and pitch sites in addition to static caravans.
Thinking of visiting Hoburne Holiday Parks? – why not pin this post for later.