I love a very british holiday and caravaning is ingrained in my psyche by default.
As a child I would go with my family on annual camping holidays to Carter’s Farm in Pett, near Hastings and visit our cousins in their static caravan by Winchelsea Beach. Cue playing on the beach all day, hanging in the disco at night and meeting all my cousins friends who met each other there every summer.
Back then it felt like it was a bit of a club for the kids, a kind of holiday home-from-home and I was always a bit jealous of my cousins and their static caravan, with beds and showers and sofas. Despite my deep heartfelt love for camping.
It’s nice to see that community is alive and kicking at Ladram Bay, the kids wander around in little groups sharing first experiences and enjoying a freedom from their parents that they just wouldn’t get at home.
A little bit of history:
Ladram Bay began in the 1940s as tenanted farmland, in 1943 the family opened it up to campers and it became a modest campsite, now it is one of the largest family-owned holiday parks in the UK.
From the moment we pulled into the carpark and were welcomed by the attendant, we knew it was going to be a good break. Throughout the weekend all of the staff were courteous and welcoming, the sun was shining and the caravan was lovely.
We had a Gold static caravan with a sea view, a short walk from the sea, the playing field and all of the amenities.
The accommodation was attractive inside, spacious and well equipped with all mod-cons, two bedrooms and en suite shower room and a single toilet. The kitchen included a fridge, freezer, microwave, cooking utensils et al. The living room was tastefully furnished and comfortable.
We also had a car parking space and a table to eat al fresco with a gorgeous view..
The Pools – there are two pools on site, they are both indoors and they are relatively new.
One of the pools is a kids splash pool and it’s the best we have found near Exeter so far. It’s clean, with a couple of small slides and some splashy activities, our kids played there for hours.
The second is an adult pool with a small jacuzzi area and lots of room for teaching the kids to swim or for doing some laps!
There is also a seated area outside of the pool to watch kids, drink coffee or just have a read on the comfy sofas.
- The pools are also open out of season for day visitors so we will definitely be back to make the most of that.
- The swimming pool gets very busy, if you have little ones who are learning to swim and you want to get some widths in, get there early doors!
- Kids can swim from 9am, the pool opens at 7.30 for an adults only session before the mayhem begins. Apparently, it is also less busy around 1 for lunch time.
Arcade and softplay:
The arcade has plenty of machines to entertain, there is also a soft play area to wear the kids out in. We were fortunate to have glorious weather so we didn’t spend much time there.
On the walk down to the beach there is a beach shop selling buckets, spade, inflatables, food, coffee and ice cream. There is also a place to hire boats and a small shack selling lobster, crab and fish fresh from the sea – NOM!
Ladram Bay is part of the Jurassic Coast which is a World Heritage Site and pictures of Ladram Bay are featured in a lot of area guidebooks. It is understandably renowned for it’s natural beauty and it is recognisable for its red rugged stone pillars that jut out from the sea.
It is very easy to see why people chose to go to Ladram Bay every summer, with the views, the small picturesque private beach and all of the activities it’s the perfect British holiday break.
Eating and Drinking
Takeaway: The takeaway is tucked in to a mini shopping precinct opposite the onsite general shop where you can buy all your necessities. We ate the fish n chips on the Friday night and it was very tasty, with LOADS of chips!
Pebbles restaurant: We ate in the restaurant on the Sunday and had the roast dinner, the menu was good but lacking in vegetarian options, I did get a lovely cheese and tomato tart with my roast dinner though.
The food was plentiful, tasty and reasonably priced, the restaurant was nicely decorated, open and airy.
The Three Rocks pub and evening entertainment: There is lots to do throughout the day at Ladram Bay and when the sun goes down they also put on evening entertainment in the local pub.
Outdoor play area
Next to the pub and Pebbles there is a great outdoor play area with a pirate ship, a zip wire and other activities to keep the kids busy.
Our dude had a go at water walking..
There is a massive field for playing football and games on..
My gym fanatic of a husband was very excited to discover that there was a gym onsite. I didn’t visit myself but he reported back that it has a basic set up, handy for those who just can’t go without their gym fix for more than a day.
Outside the swimming pool there is a dinosaur themed crazy golf area where we had a lot of fun in the sun.
If all this isn’t enough, the views are spectacular!
There is lots to do in East Devon, it is rather lovely and there is a lot to see nearby. We took a day trip to nearby picturesque Otterton Village for a cream tea and a walk around Otterton Mill to admire the art and crafts.
From Ladram Bay you can also:
- Pop along to Sidmouth‘s folk festival (1st week in August) or just check out the quaint seaside town.
- Chill on the beach at beautiful Budleigh Salterton
- Pop along to Exmouth for a show at the Pavillion or sit on the beach with an ice cream.
- Visit the beautiful historic city of Exeter
- Pop along to the British Riviera and admire the yachts in Torquay
- Go fossil hunting in lovely Lyme Regis
And there are a variety of days out you could try with the kids, including:
We had a lovely stay at Ladram Bay, the kids were over the moon with our holiday home and the beach.
I made a point of chatting to some of the holidaymakers to get their perspectives too. I met a lady by the pool from Manchester who has been visiting the holiday park every year (with the exception of one) for nine years! And a husband and wife from Milton Keynes who pay to pitch their touring van at Ladram Bay for the season and love it so much they’re thinking of moving down.
If static caravaning isn’t your style and you’re more into traditional camping or you want to keep the costs down, there are pitches for tents, tourers and they even have cute little glamping pods. Personally, I’d love to visit again and try out one of their luxury lodges with hot tubs.
We had a lovely break with great accommodation in an extremely beautiful setting.
The guys at Ladram Bay appear to have thought of everything.
*Thanks to Ladram Bay for the invitation to stay and for the warm welcome.