Last week we stayed at Twitchen House, Woolacombe, north Devon for my little girls 3rd birthday. This has become a bit of a tradition now as it takes the pressure off worrying about presents (obviously she still got a couple) but she got a holiday and a day out on her birthday and it was all booked well in advance.
Twitchen House is one of four parks that make up Woolacombe bay holiday parks. Woolacombe bay is the main one then there’s Golden Coast, Twitchen House and Eastwell Farm. When you stay at one of the parks you can use the facilities on the other ones too as each park has something different to offer. You can find out more about the four Woolacombe Bay holiday parks here.
We had stayed at Golden Coast in October last year and really enjoyed it so when it came to booking somewhere to stay for my little girls birthday this year she really wanted to go back there. For a compromise we decided to stay at one of the other parks and chose Twitchen House because it’s only a 20 minute walk to the beach through the woods and National Trust land and has a toddler friendly play park.
Unfortunately my car decided to play silly buggers and wait until the weekend before our holiday to inform me it was on its last legs, which meant we had to find other arrangements to get us on holiday. Luckily Grandad (my step-dad) came to the rescue and offered to take us and pick us up again on Friday night too. Woolacombe is only about a 1.5 hour drive from Torquay, if it had been any further I don’t think we would’ve been so lucky.
The day before the holiday I also booked bus passes for the week for the bus that runs between the four sites and into Woolacombe to the beach. This costs £4 each for the duration of your holiday if you book up to 24 hours before arrival and £5 if you pay once you’re there. (Under 5’s are free).
On arrival to Twitchen House I was impressed with how pretty it was. The mix of modern within a manor house worked really well. Checking in only took a few minutes and we were given our key, bus passes and a map of the park. The only thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that they now don’t give you an entertainment guide in your welcome pack. All the sites now have all the information on their app, which was fine for some things, but you had to connect to the internet to view what was on at each park and any type of signal was really hard to come by on site, so the only time I could look at this was when I was using the free wi-fi in the main building and bars. This may not be a problem for some people but I like to plan my day whilst in the caravan so we missed a couple of activities due to not remembering what time something was on.
I was worried after reading some reviews online that the accommodation was not going to be the best, but apart from the caravan not having double glazing, as it was a bronze one, it was really clean and had everything that we needed. It also had heating in the living room and bedrooms which kept it lovely and warm anyway.
On site there is a shop which stocks pretty much everything you might need, along with everything you probably don’t, at the usual above average, but acceptable prices that all holiday parks seem to have. There’s also a launderette if you need it and a paint your own pottery shop that also sells yummy smoothies of the healthy and also not so healthy variety.
Twitchen house has a surf-inspired cafe bar that is really lovely and rustic/modern. The food is very reasonably priced and there is lots of choice with a takeaway option available too. This is also where the main soft play area is so the kids can play while you relax for a bit. The amusements are also just next door and my little girl enjoyed playing mini bowling which was only £2.
There are two pools on site, an outdoor and indoor one. The outdoor has a separate slide and also splashpad type thing where children can run around through the fountains of water. We weren’t able to try this out though as it wasn’t open, even with the lovely weather, which was a bit disappointing. The indoor one had a separate toddler pool with fountain and the changing rooms were spacious and clean with baby changing facilities available too. The pool side showers were really cold though, so we showered back at the caravan. The Woolacombe Bay site has a toddler pool with a pirate ship and slides which is amazing but obviously busier.
One of the other reasons we picked this site is that it seemed to cater for toddlers a little bit more than the other ones. In term time they start the entertainment a little bit earlier, have soft play areas for under 8’s and under 5’s and as I mentioned before has a lovely park, all of these were perfect for my little girl.
The other thing we loved about Twitchen House were the kids clubs. In the daytime there is organised wildlife activities where they really make the most of the pretty woodland setting. Some of the activities you have to pay extra for but most are free and it was so nice to get outside, hunting for bugs and collecting leaves and sticks to make pictures with.
On an evening there is a kids club with Betty and Billy beach ball with games and a disco. For the adults there is bingo followed by a live act.
There is also a cinema on site that you can pay extra for and shows some of the latest films. If you’d rather not pay extra there is a free cinema at Golden Coast showing some older family favourites.
During the week of our holiday Woolacombe Bay were putting on a pantomime of Aladdin which was really fun and like most things, completely free of charge. The park staff are full of energy and really get the audience involved with whatever they are doing.
As you can see there was a lot going on, this is the same across all the sites and this post would end up being way too long if I tried to include everything, plus there is lots to do in the surrounding areas aswell. We really enjoyed our stay here and will definitely be going back again in the future.
If you are looking to book a family holiday in North Devon I would definitely recommend checking Woolacombe Bay holiday parks out. I’ve only scratched the surface of whats available in this post. I haven’t talked about the pub on the Golden Coast site, the Spa on the Woolacombe bay site or Betty’s ballet class for under 5’s. Plus so so much more!
These sites are also included in the sun newspaper’s £9.50 holidays but have their own amazing deals if you book direct too.
*This holiday was paid for by myself and all opinions are my own. (We just really love this site/sites)
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