Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cala Gran Holiday Park Fleetwood Review

This has to have been the BEST bank holiday weekend we've EVER HAD! As well as going to Sea Life Centre Blackpool and Blackpool Zoo, we stayed at Haven's Cala Gran Caravan Park. It is Perfectly situated for anyone who wants a holiday to Blackpool without having to stay in the heart of the resort with all the hen and stag do's which - lets face it - aren't that family friendly. Cala Gran is in Fleetwood and only 20 minutes away from the prom by car. Perfect! You could even ditch the car and get a tram, which is something I promised the kids we would do next time we go (oh, yes, there will be a next time! It was that good!)

We stayed in a luxury 3 bed caravan, ideal for our increasingly large family. The bigger boys shared a twin room, Georgie got a room to himself - the staff there took out one of the twin beds in his room to make room for the travel cot, and we got a nice double room with it's own en suite toilet. It was spacious and clean, had it's own parking for our car, TV with DVD, and enough space for all our stuff and room for the kids to play. Jack & Tom loved their room, it was all we could do the stop them from playing in there, crawling under the beds and laughing themselves stupid! Jack loved being able to look out of his window at night and see the stars (he asked me to make sure I put that in the review). Even George settled in well and he is well known for hating having to go to sleep in any room that isn't his own!

But as much as we loved the caravan, we didn't spend that much time in it. We stayed on the park for a full day and the kids got to do loads of activities. I wish we'd stayed longer to fit more in! There's stuff to do for kids of all ages. My lads chose to do mini archery and fencing in the morning. Sounds dangerous for little kids? Not at all! With the little kids do they use safe stuff, a toy cross bow and sticky bolts, foam swords etc. The older kids and adults get the real deal! They spent almost all morning doing this! The we went off to the Show Bar where Jack had a go at some Circus Skills before joining Tom & George at making some masks in Messy Play!

We spent the afternoon in the swimming pool which has a great water slide, just right for Jack who is as brave as they come, but not a strong swimmer. It was a little scary for Tom but even he had a couple of goes - he is only 3 and never really gone swimming before this summer. They tell me at Cala Gran that there are plans to make the pool bigger and better in the future! There's also a splash park as part of the complex and the boys had planned to go on it, but they had soooo much fun in the pool and on the slide that they never quite got round to it - another reason they want to go back!

In the evenings that we were there we tried the different food outlets on the park. The first night we ordered pizzas from Papa Johns, which were superb. The kids scoffed every bite! We bought them to take out, but you can have them delivered right to your caravan if you want and we frequently saw the Papa John car heading out with orders. The second night we ate in the Mash & Barrel bar which had the football on the big screen.

It was a great help to me that the bar would take both cash and card as payment, and also gave cash back if you needed it, rather than having to go hunting for a cash point. The staff were wonderfully friendly and the service was fast even on a busy night. There's also access to free WiFi in the complex, although it doesn't stretch quite as car as the caravans. That said, with so much to do on the complex there's little reason to be sat in your caravan staring at Facebook on your phone! The food is a little pricey as it always is when you're on holiday, but it's not compulsory to buy any of it. This is a self catering holiday after all and the caravans are perfectly kitted out for people to cook their own meals. There's also a Spar shop on site where you can buy what you need. Next time we come we will have a Papa John's pizza one night, a night or two in the Mash & Barrel, and have the rest of our meals in the caravan.

On our last night there I took Jack to the Show Bar to watch the Seaside Squad show. Hubby took the other two back to the caravan and to bed since they were worn out from a busy day rounded off with a mental hour on the playground at the back of the Mash & Barrel, the soft play inside, and the arcade (where Jack and I both won a prize!). Jack loved his Date Night With Mummy and sat on the dance floor with the other kids watching the costumed characters acting out a version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". He said it was "Fantastic!" although he felt too shy to join in the disco with the other kids afterwards - not so brave without his friends or brothers with him.

And something else that is worth mentioning, you can buy tickets for attractions in Blackpool through Cala Gran as a guest and get discounts! We bought out tickets to Blackpool Zoo at Cala Gran, and as well as the discount we also avoided the big queue to get in, and got a 10% discount on food, drinks and the gift shop! Extra Win!

The Important Questions about Haven's Cala Gran Holiday Park:


What did you think of Cala Gran?

Our over all impression on Cala Gran was extremely good. The place is clean, the staff are friendly and helpful (they even came to pump up the flat tyre on my car!), there's tons to do on the park, and it is very close to some major attractions in Blackpool.

Is Cala Gran value for money?

Well.... I've been back on the website (here) and keyed in another weekend break, Aug Bank Holiday 2014, all 5 of us (plus maybe a baby?), 3 bed top of the line "prestige" caravan, with a pass for 12 activities. I'd get change out of £500! So yes, I think that is value for money! (be aware that prices may change, this was correct at the time it was written. There are cheaper caravans for hire, and smaller activity passes, discounts apply to early booking. See their website for up to date info)

Would you go back to Cala Gran?

Most certainly YES! There's still so much we haven't done yet!

Kids rating: 5/5 - They want to move in!
Parent rating; 4/5 - It could get costly with "pester power", but we want to go back!

Disclaimer: 

All views and opinions in this review are my own and that of my family. I have not been paid to make this review, but I was given 2 nights in a caravan and passes to activities for free.
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