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John Fowler Holiday Parks have become synonymous with family holidays in the UK. With 12 (or 13, if you count the adjacent Somerset parks separately) holiday parks across the Westcountry and Wales, they offer a diverse range of holiday experiences.
In this guide, we will help you discover the best John Fowler holiday park that suits your preferences and budget for an unforgettable family holiday in the UK.
The Location of John Fowler Holiday Parks
One of the most important factors in choosing a holiday park is its location, as no one wants to endure a lengthy car journey, especially with children in tow. To provide a point of reference, let’s consider the travel times from Birmingham, a major UK city.
From Birmingham, you can reach the John Fowler Holiday Parks in Somerset in approximately 2 hours. These parks include Sandy Glade Holiday Park and Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. In contrast, John Fowler’s three Devon holiday parks are about 3 hours and 30 minutes away from Birmingham. These parks are Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, Sandaway Beach Holiday Park, and South Bay Holiday Park. John Fowler’s Welsh holiday park, Llanrhidian Holiday Park, is a similar distance.
If you’re interested in visiting one of their Cornwall holiday parks, be prepared for a roughly four-hour drive from Birmingham to reach destinations like Killigarth Manor Holiday Park, Widemouth Bay Caravan Park, and Trelawne Manor Holiday Park. Cardigan Bay Holiday Park in Wales also involves a similar journey time.
Additional travel time of about half an hour is needed for Tolroy Manor Holiday Park, St Ives Holiday Village, and Perran View Holiday Park. Unless you reside in the Westcountry, you’ll likely face a similar scenario from other parts of the UK. Cornwall boasts stunning scenery, while Devon offers its own unique charms, and Somerset provides a more accessible option.
Customer Reviews: The Voice of Experience
One of the best ways to gauge the quality of a holiday park is by considering customer reviews. We gathered data from TripAdvisor, Google reviews, and Hoseasons in October 2022 to compile average scores for each John Fowler Holiday Park. Here’s how they ranked from highest to lowest:
- Cardigan Bay Holiday Park, Wales – 4.7/5 (average of reviews)
- Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, Somerset – 4.4/5
- Llanrhidian Holiday Park, Wales – 4.3/5
- Killigarth Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – 4.2/5
- Trelawne Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – 4.1/5
- Perran View Holiday Park, Cornwall – 4.1/5
- South Bay Holiday Park, Devon – 4.0/5
- Sandaway Beach Holiday Park, Devon – 4.0/5
- St Ives Holiday Village, Cornwall – 3.9/5
- Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, Devon – 3.9/5
- Tolroy Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – 3.8/5
- Widemouth Bay Caravan Park, Cornwall – 3.8/5
- Sandy Glade Holiday Park, Somerset – 3.5/5
The highest-rated parks are Cardigan Bay Holiday Park and Sandy Meadows Lodge Park. However, it’s essential to note that Sandy Meadows Lodge Park offers a different experience, with upscale accommodation and shared facilities with the neighbouring Sandy Glade Holiday Park.
Budget-Friendly Options at John Fowler Holiday Parks
For many families, cost plays a significant role in choosing a holiday park. We conducted a price comparison for a family of four during two different school holiday periods: early August 2023 and October half term in 2023.
Prices for a family of four for a week at John Fowler holiday parks in early August 2023:
- Sandy Glade Holiday Park, Somerset – £899
- Killigarth Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £969
- Widemouth Bay Caravan Park, Cornwall – £969
- Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, Devon – £979
- Trelawne Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £1009
- Sandaway Beach Holiday Park, Devon – £1019
- St Ives Holiday Village, Cornwall – £1019
- South Bay Holiday Park, Devon – £1039
- Tolroy Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £1049
- Perran View Holiday Park, Cornwall – £1049
- Llanrhidian Holiday Park, Wales – £1129
- Cardigan Bay Holiday Park, Wales – £1229
- Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, Somerset – £1479
For October half term 2023:
- Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park, Devon – £349
- Killigarth Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £349
- Widemouth Bay Caravan Park, Cornwall – £349
- Sandy Glade Holiday Park, Somerset – £359
- Trelawne Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £364
- St Ives Holiday Village, Cornwall – £369
- Sandaway Beach Holiday Park, Devon – £369
- Tolroy Manor Holiday Park, Cornwall – £399
- South Bay Holiday Park, Devon – £419
- Perran View Holiday Park, Cornwall – £429
- Llanrhidian Holiday Park, Wales – £539
- Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, Somerset – £709
- Cardigan Bay Holiday Park, Wales – £969
From this price comparison, it’s evident that Sandy Meadows Lodge Park and Cardigan Bay Holiday Park are the most expensive John Fowler holiday parks. The higher cost of Sandy Meadows Lodge Park can be attributed to its spacious, upscale accommodation. Conversely, Sandy Glade Holiday Park is the most budget-friendly option.
Facilities: The Heart of the Experience of Any Family Holiday UK
John Fowler holiday parks vary in size and the amenities they offer. They can be categorised into 3 types:
Quieter and Relaxing Parks: Cardigan Bay Holiday Park in Wales, Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park in Devon, Perran View Holiday Park in Cornwall, and Llanrhidian Holiday Park in Wales fall into this category. These parks provide a more tranquil atmosphere and have fewer on-site facilities, with some only having outdoor swimming pools.
Family Fun Parks: Mid-sized parks with a variety of family-oriented activities include Widemouth Bay Caravan Park, Tolroy Manor Holiday Park, and Killigarth Manor Holiday Park in Cornwall, as well as Sandaway Beach Holiday Park in Devon.
Big Lively Parks: These parks are characterised by extensive on-site facilities and numerous caravans. They include South Bay Holiday Park in Devon, St Ives Holiday Village, Trelawne Manor Holiday Park in Cornwall, and Sandy Glade Holiday Park in Somerset. Sandy Meadows Lodge Park, while not having many on-site facilities, is adjacent to Sandy Glade Holiday Park.
Additional Activities and Entertainment
Beyond location, reviews, and budget, the range of activities and entertainment available at a holiday park can significantly impact your overall experience. John Fowler Holiday Parks pride themselves on offering a variety of activities to keep guests of all ages entertained throughout their stay.
Many John Fowler holiday parks include amenities such as swimming pools, kids’ clubs, and evening entertainment. These are often included in the upfront price of your stay, making it a cost-effective option for families looking to make the most of their holiday without breaking the bank.
For example, South Bay Holiday Park in Devon is one of John Fowler’s “Big Lively Parks.” These parks are known for their bustling atmosphere and extensive facilities. South Bay Holiday Park offers a swimming pool and a range of activities for children, making it an ideal choice for families seeking a lively holiday experience.
On the other hand, parks like Perran View Holiday Park in Cornwall offer a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. While they may not have as many facilities, they provide a peaceful environment for those looking to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
When choosing a John Fowler holiday park, consider the types of activities and entertainment that align with your family’s preferences. Whether you’re looking for action-packed days or a tranquil retreat, there’s likely a John Fowler park that suits your needs.
Accommodation Options: Caravans vs. Lodges
Accommodation is a crucial aspect of any holiday, and John Fowler offers a range of options to cater to different preferences and budgets. The primary types of accommodation at John Fowler Holiday Parks are caravans and lodges.
At John Fowler holiday parks, accommodation is graded from “value” to “diamond,” with the higher grades generally featuring newer models and added extras. Here are some distinctions among the grades:
Check-in times: Cheaper grades have later check-in times.
Bedding: Beds are made in more expensive grades.
Pet policy: Pets are only allowed in cheaper accommodation.
Extras: More expensive accommodation may include dishwashers, extra TVs, and better insulation.
The cost of upgrading accommodation varies, with higher prices during peak seasons. Some parks also offer holiday lodges, which are more spacious but come at a higher cost.
As we’ve mentioned, the grade affects factors such as check-in times, bed arrangements, and included extras. It’s essential to consider your family’s needs when selecting accommodation. If you prefer the convenience of having your beds made upon arrival and are looking for added luxuries like dishwashers, upgrading to a higher-grade caravan may be worth the extra cost.
However, if you’re seeking a more spacious and comfortable experience, holiday lodges are an excellent choice. These larger, self-contained units often come with additional amenities such as hot tubs and open-plan living spaces. You can find lodges at select John Fowler holiday parks, including Sandy Meadows Lodge Park in Somerset and St Ives Holiday Village in Cornwall.
Before booking, take into account your family’s size, preferences, and budget when selecting the type of accommodation that best suits your needs.
Dining is another essential aspect to consider when choosing a holiday park, as it can significantly impact your overall experience. Many John Fowler Holiday Parks offer on-site dining options, ranging from restaurants and cafes to takeout services. Having convenient dining options can be a significant advantage, especially for families with young children.
For instance, South Bay Holiday Park in Devon has its own restaurant, The Bay Bistro, serving a range of delicious meals. It’s an ideal spot to enjoy a family dinner after a day of activities.
However, some families prefer the flexibility of self-catering, which is easily achievable in the well-equipped kitchens of many caravan and lodge accommodations. Cooking your meals can be a cost-effective way to manage your budget during your holiday.
Additionally, exploring local restaurants and eateries in the nearby towns and villages can be an exciting part of your holiday experience. Consider whether you prefer the convenience of on-site dining or the adventure of trying local cuisine when selecting your John Fowler holiday park.
Accessibility and Special Requirements
For families with members who have special requirements or accessibility needs, it’s crucial to choose a holiday park that can accommodate these needs. John Fowler Holiday Parks strive to make their facilities as inclusive as possible, but it’s always a good idea to communicate your specific requirements when booking.
Some holiday parks offer accessible accommodation and facilities, such as ramps, wider doorways, and adapted bathrooms. It’s essential to check with the park’s staff to ensure that they can meet your family’s needs comfortably.
Furthermore, if you’re travelling with pets, John Fowler Holiday Parks often have designated pet-friendly accommodations. Keep in mind that there may be restrictions and additional charges associated with bringing pets.
Planning for Your John Fowler Holiday
When planning your John Fowler holiday, consider the following steps to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:
Research and Booking: Start by thoroughly researching the various John Fowler Holiday Parks, considering their locations, customer reviews, and pricing. Once you’ve identified the park that fits with your family’s preferences, proceed with booking your accommodation.
Travel Arrangements: Make travel arrangements to reach your chosen holiday park. Consider whether you’ll be driving, taking public transportation, or flying to a nearby airport.
Packing: Pack accordingly, taking into account the activities and weather at your chosen destination. Don’t forget essentials like clothing, toiletries, and any specific items your family may require.
Activities and Excursions: Plan out your daily activities and excursions in advance. Research nearby attractions and plan your itinerary to make the most of your time at the holiday park.
Dining and Grocery Shopping: If you plan to cook your meals, make a grocery list and shop for essentials before arriving at the holiday park. Alternatively, explore local dining options if dining out is your preference.
Accessibility Needs: If your family has accessibility needs or special requirements, contact the holiday park in advance to ensure they can accommodate your needs.
Pet Accommodations: If you’re travelling with pets, confirm the park’s pet-friendly policies and any additional charges.
Entertainment and Activities: Take advantage of the on-site entertainment and activities provided by the holiday park, such as swimming pools, kids’ clubs, and evening entertainment.
Relaxation and Exploration: Balance your holiday with relaxation and exploration. Enjoy the park’s facilities, but also venture out to explore the natural beauty and attractions of the surrounding area.
The Best Beach Access
When planning a family holiday, the proximity and quality of the beach can often be a deciding factor in creating those perfect seaside memories. Here’s a closer look at the beach access options available at various John Fowler Holiday Parks:
Seaside Serenity at Your Doorstep
South Bay Holiday Park: This vibrant park offers direct access to the beach, albeit down a series of steep steps. The effort is well worth it as you step onto the sandy shores of Devon’s coastline, perfect for building sandcastles and basking in the sun.
Sandaway Beach Holiday Park: A unique gem in the John Fowler collection, this park boasts a private shingly beach. Imagine the tranquillity of strolling along your own shoreline, taking in the soothing sounds of the waves without the crowds.
Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park: Nestled alongside the picturesque Combe Martin Beach, this park places you mere steps away from a beautiful, family-friendly sandy beach. It’s an ideal spot for seaside picnics and water adventures.
A Short Stroll to Coastal Bliss
Widemouth Bay Caravan Park: A delightful 10-minute walk will take you to Widemouth Bay, renowned for its wide sandy stretches and excellent surfing conditions. It’s the perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts and sun-seekers alike.
Sandy Glade Holiday Park: While not directly on the beach, this park offers a convenient 10-minute walk to the nearby sandy shoreline, where you can enjoy the fresh sea breeze.
Cardigan Bay Holiday Park: Positioned just a short 10-minute walk from the beach, this park provides easy access to Cardigan Bay’s stunning coastal scenery. Explore the shoreline’s natural beauty and perhaps even spot some local marine life.
Sandy Meadows Lodge Park: Adjacent to Sandy Glade Holiday Park, Sandy Meadows Lodge Park is also a pleasant 10-minute walk from the beach. Here, you can enjoy the comforts of lodge accommodation while staying within easy reach of the coastal allure.
A Scenic Drive to the Shore
Killigarth Manor Holiday Park: While not within walking distance, a mere 5-minute drive will lead you to the beach, where you can enjoy Cornwall’s coastline. This quick trip allows you to explore the sandy shores at your convenience.
Trelawne Manor Holiday Park: A 10-minute drive from this park will transport you to the beach, offering the perfect opportunity to soak up the sun and experience Cornwall’s renowned coastline.
Perran View Holiday Park: Despite being a 10-minute drive from the beach, this park compensates with its indoor pool, ensuring you have plenty of ways to unwind and enjoy your holiday.
St Ives Holiday Village: Another 10-minute drive takes you to the scenic beaches of St Ives, famous for their crystal-clear waters and golden sands. It’s a fantastic destination for beachcombing and water activities.
Tolroy Manor Holiday Park: Also requiring a 10-minute drive to the beach, Tolroy Manor Holiday Park provides a convenient base for seaside adventures, allowing you to explore the coastline’s natural beauty.
A Slightly Longer Journey to Coastal Beauty
Llanrhidian Holiday Park: Located approximately 20 minutes from the beach, this park’s slightly longer drive is rewarded with access to the charming shores of Wales. Take your time to appreciate the coastal vistas and perhaps indulge in some beachfront relaxation.
Choosing the best John Fowler Holiday Park ultimately depends on your priorities and budget. Here’s a brief summary:
- For an upscale experience and the highest customer reviews, consider Sandy Meadows Lodge Park in Somerset or Cardigan Bay Holiday Park in Wales.
- If you’re seeking a family-friendly park with beach access and good value for money, South Bay Holiday Park in Devon is an excellent choice.
- For a mid-sized park with positive customer reviews and affordability, explore Killigarth Manor Holiday Park in Cornwall.
- If you prefer a quiet atmosphere, Perran View Holiday Park offers an indoor pool, while Combe Martin Beach Holiday Park is closer to the beach.
- Llanrhidian Holiday Park has garnered positive reviews but comes at a relatively higher cost.
- In the end, your ideal John Fowler holiday park will align with your family’s needs and preferences, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable UK beach holiday.
Each John Fowler Holiday Park offers a unique coastal experience, whether it’s the convenience of stepping onto the sand from your doorstep or taking a short journey to explore the beaches of Cornwall, Devon, or Wales. Depending on your preferences and the type of beach experience you seek, you’ll find a perfect match among these diverse options for seaside bliss.