A modern home away from home, private beach and a plethora of activities for the kids… I don’t know about you, but when I’m looking for a break with the 5 boys in tow these features rate highly. “Staycation” can induce the fear that the weather won’t cooperate like a petulant Greek demi-god with an attitude problem. It can bring back memories of glamping with two toddlers in 2010, having to purchase our own body weight in fleece lined goods and thermals, hearing the words “I can’t feel my toes!” before they’ve even got out of bed. But after a week at Ladram Bay at the end of August and summer holidays, it’s fair to say the aforementioned positives far outweighed my initial meteorological woes. It’s no mean feat to find a holiday destination that keeps our all our brood, dare I say it, happy – but I’d go as far as to claim that Ladram Bay not only kept the kids entertained and well fed, but us adults relaxed and de-stressed, without a scary price tag!
What & Where
Tucked away, down a slightly hairy lane in South Devon lies the stunning 5-star, family owned, holiday park – Ladram Bay. With a variety of accommodation options from camping to glamping pods and luxury static homes to lodges with en-suites and hot tubs – there’s not only something for everyone, but every budget!
All seven of us ventured down to Ladram Bay for the last week of the summer holidays, so with the 5 boys and us two grown-ups we had a Budleigh Premier 3-bedroom holiday home, in the “second row”. Lots of people have even asked the exact one we were in – 35B to be precise!
Our 4-bed, 2-bathroom, 2 reception semi can feel a little tight with all of us at home, so I was apprehensive about the prospect of being shoe-horned into a 3-bed static home – not only do we have shed-loads of bodies, but we come with two cars worth of crap for a holiday! BUT, from the second I stepped foot inside my worries literally melted away; parking right outside, the sofa area was big enough for sitting (and apparently wrestling!), the kitchen was fully equipped (even with microwave) and had a bigger fridge/freezer than we have at home, there was storage in places I didn’t even realise you could store stuff (!),the boys had a twin room per older pair and there was a shower room and 2 toilets (vital when living in close quarters with boys!). I took the double room with Casper, as unfortunately the double room doesn’t have room for a travel cot too – leaving Mr OG to luxuriate on the sofa bed in the lounge. Obviously, not everyone comes with a 5-a-side football team in tow, so I’m sure a 3-bedroom would be great for most – but if we were heading to Ladram again we’d opt for a 4-bedroom (Rockpool Lodge) with our rabble!
Keeping 5 Boys Busy
I was wowed enough by the level of accommodation and happy to have my home away from home with a stocked fridge for the week – but then the activities at Ladram Bay quite literally blew us away! We’d already booked a couple of things outside of the holiday park – but we really needn’t have bothered.
Our favourite things to do were head to the private beach (oh yes, very Malibu-like round those parts!), grab a couple of pretty cheap fishing rods from the Beach Shack shop (you can get a starter one for £4.99 or a “really sick” one for £15!) and go out on either paddle boards, a small motorised boat or to the rocks for some fishing tickling fun. We usually treat the hiring of equipment as a real treat for the boys, but from about £6 for half an hour for kayaks and paddle boards, it makes it a lot more viable.
I should perhaps point out that my favourite thing to do was watch the boys sail off from my sun lounger on the PRIVATE beach, with some cheesey chips from the Beach Shack and check if the “Crab Man” has his catch of the day (freshly caught and cooked lobster and crabs) ready!
But if that’s not enough to get your fill of wholesome, outdoors family fun here’s just some of the other things that kept our crew busy from morning til’ night…
- Rock pooling/crabbing (unsuccessfully!).
- Dino themed crazy golf.
- Adventure play park.
- The arcade (who doesn’t love a 2p slot machine?!).
- Giant free soft play area.
- Water zorbing
- An incredibly modern and clean indoor swimming pool with a great toddler area and slide (with sauna and steam room pour moi).
- Indoor climbing wall.
- Evening entertainment – the older boys loved the nightly BINGO while Casper couldn’t be dragged away from the toddler show!
- Fish & chips (from the coastal takeaway) on the beach – just be sure to dodge the seagulls! To give you an idea, we all (6.5 of us!) had dinner with leftovers for £50.
There was quite honestly so much to do, that with the sun shining 5 days wasn’t really enough time.
Overall: As a boisterous, busy and outdoorsy family we couldn’t have asked for a better place to stay. We have all said that this was our best holiday as a family of 7 – to put that in perspective that beats Center Parcs, Butlins and Greece! The staff were friendly, everything was clean and modern and the small, family-run feel was a pulse that ran through every, well-thought out part of Ladram Bay.
This post has been in collaboration with Ladram Bay, who kindly gifted our family the stay – that said, all words and opinions are my own. As always, I only want to bring collaborations that work for our family and that I feel would benefit you lovely lot!