We headed off to Warmwell Holiday Park near Weymouth on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast for three nights during February half term – our first family holiday at a Parkdean Resort and a much needed break with the kids.
This was the first time we had gone for a holiday like this, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Here’s what we thought…
After a 3.5 hour journey from Tunbridge Wells, we arrived at Warmwell’s Holiday Park just as check-in opened. I had been reading about the terrific things to do in Dorset with kids so was excited to visit for the first time.
On arrival at Warmwell Holiday Park, I was delighted to find out that we had been upgraded to a three bed ‘Blandford’ lodge – woohoo, the boys would have their own rooms, potentially meaning they might sleep for longer!
The park is made up of static lodges, scattered amongst the beautiful woodland – each of them includes heaters in the bedrooms and lounges – making it accessible all year round. Although we did have a superior lodge, we had a look at the accommodation that we had originally booked and I would have been more than happy to stay there too.
On arrival, we parked up outside our lodge and unloaded the car. Our first impressions were ‘wow’! The open plan lodge was immaculate, spacious and looked like it had everything we needed for our three night stay.
There was a veranda facing onto the woodland, a flatscreen TV in the lounge (and master bedroom too) as well as a fully equipped kitchen, electric fire, central heating, comfy sofas – the list goes on! Our bedroom even had a dressing room and ensuite bathroom!
We had pre-purchased entertainment passes and we were keen to see what Warmwell had to offer in terms of activities and facilities. We had a wander around the site and went down to the dry ski slope followed by the swimming pool, soft play areas, entertainment arcade, restaurant, roller skate rink and outdoor play area.
We had dinner in the restaurant that night – and seeing as we were so close to the coast, my husband and I had the Fish & Chips and the kids had pizza – both of which were really tasty and reasonably priced meals. The staff were friendly, the atmosphere was relaxed and being completely honest, I hadn’t expected the facilities to be this good!
We finished up dinner just as the kid’s disco (which was on each night) started. I wasn’t sure how this was going to go down, but the boys bounded onto the dance floor and never looked back. They mainly just chased each other around, but it was a relief to see them having so much fun and we got to sit down for a few minutes and enjoy a glass of bubbly!
I did attempt to join in the game of bingo after the disco but the kids had other ideas, so we headed into the arcade and gave them their first taste of gambling by loading them up with 2p coins to use on the 2p machines. They were obsessed, and actually spent ages putting their coins in and occasionally winning more money – all of which went straight back into the machine. £1 each well spent!
Each night, we got the kids back to the lodge early enough so we could then sit down and relax. That’s what holidays are all about, right?
There were entertainment sessions for the kids taking place daily, so I took my youngest to a music class on one of the mornings. This was an energetic and interactive session, led by the entertainment team, which we both really enjoyed. It was good to have some time-out with my little one and meant that my husband and bigger boy could get some serious lego building done while we were there.
Both boys loved the soft play and we used the swimming pool daily which reminded me of a scaled down version of the one at Center Parcs – with a wave machine operating on the hour and a small flume. The boys were happy with it and spent ages splashing around. I was hoping to have a go in the sauna but didn’t get a chance. Maybe next time?!
On our last day, we took the lakeside nature trail down to the ski slope and the boys went sledging on the nursery slope. At first, my eldest boy refused to have a go but once he saw his little brother careering down the hill, he decided to give it a try.
They loved going up and down and I joined them several times too. An hour of racing each other down the slope and burning lots of energy thankfully meant they both fell asleep in the car on the way home!
There’s a super selection of beaches near Warmwell too and we ventured out to a different one each day including Sandbanks (The UK’s equivalent to The Hamptons), Durdle Door, Lulworth Cove and West Lulworth . I will be writing about them in another post which I will share on here.
Would I try a ParkDean Holiday again? Definitely! The staff were so helpful and friendly and the facilities were excellent. Warmwell Holiday Park is clearly made for families and is the perfect place to take some time out from the real world!
Next on our list of Parkdean properties is Wemyss Bay Holiday Park which I have been reading about over on Travelling with Boys. We would also like to try a Haven holiday too after reading about Primrose Valley over on From Rachel Claire’s blog. If we go back to the areas (which we definitely will) then I’ll be checking out Angela’s post about lodges with hot tubs in Dorset. How nice would that be? We could enjoy it with the kids OR put them to bed and then sit in a gorgeous hot tub for the evening with a glass of bubbly just chilling out. Now that would be a staycation to remember!
We cannot wait to visit! If you are thinking of exploring more of Dorset too, there are some fantastic places to visit. Check out Dorset Travel Guide inspiration including the top things to do in Poole!
Or how about trying somewhere completely news? The Lake District is somewhere we would love to visit too.
Looking for more ideas for UK destinations? Nokolai from ‘Adventures of a Tiny Lady’ has written about the best UK destinations for travelling families.
Find out more about Warmwell Holiday Park HERE.