So… we’re somewhat of a Haven fan. In the past 2 years we’ve been to 4 different Haven holiday parks and usually go at least once a year. I find them to be very good value for money holiday by the sea for families on a budget offering lots of free entertainment and family friendly facilities. Fantastic locations which are not too far from Sheffield mean that you can easily get to a Haven Holiday on public transport. Having been to 4 different parks with a toddler in tow, I’ve had lots of different experiences with Haven Holidays. Here is a comparison of each park we have stayed at with an honest mini review to help you find the perfect Haven Holiday Park near Sheffield. Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield
Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield
Haven parks are all different and the four we have been to each have pros and cons. My favourite of all is Primrose Valley in Scarborough, closely followed by Thorpe Park in Cleethorpes. In general, though, a Haven holiday is easy, good for kids and suitable for families on a budget. You know what to expect once you have been to Haven which I like because I can rely on it being a good holiday, no matter what we paid. For example: play areas, bars/restaurants, arcades, entertainment/shows and beach. Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield
Seeing as we have been to quite a few I thought I would compare them with pros and cons so you can find out a little about each park, what we liked about them and didn’t, hopefully to help you decide where to stay! I’ll start with oldest to newest in terms of when we went 🙂 Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield
Haven Blue Dolphin, YO14 9PU
Haven Blue Dolphin was the first Haven park we ever went to, when Eric was only 6/7 months old. I’d never been to a Haven in Scarborough before and really didn’t know what to expect. I booked directly through the website and for a week in a Standard caravan for all of us came to less than £150. As a new family on a tight budget this really surprised me and I couldn’t believe we could afford a seaside holiday!
We got there by bus. You can get to all Haven holiday parks in Filey & Scarborough by one bus which runs Scarborough to Bridlington stopping at each park along the way. This is really handy especially for days out.
- Blue Dolphin does not have direct beach access, the nearest beach would be in Filey.
- New refurbished showbar in 2018
- Brigghouse bar and restaurant
- SportsDrome offering activities
- Soft play, arcades and entertainment
- Outdoor play areas and playgrounds
- 1 Heated outdoor & indoor pool with multi-lane slide
What I thought:
I did really like Blue Dolphin and it was obviously a good one to start with because we booked more Haven holidays after this one! Eric was only 6 months at the time so he didn’t take advantage of the outdoor play areas, entertainment etc but he did like the soft play which was in a separate building and quite big. We loved how all the entertainment was free and the bus to Scarborough and Bridlington meant we had lots of lovely days out exploring the seaside.
Looking back, I wish it had direct beach access and for this reason I wouldn’t go back to Blue Dolphin. On this trip we actually got the bus to Primrose Valley and used the beach there (not knowing we would go back years later!). I would try this park again if it had direct beach access. Honestly, I wasn’t too fond on the atmosphere, the soft play was very desperate for renovation, and parts of the park were dirty, however the price was very good for our stay.
Haven Reighton Sands, YO14 9SH
Haven Reighton Sands is a small Haven holiday park offering good walks, quiet location and direct beach access. Eric was only just walking and exploring so I wanted a small park where we could get around quickly. The park was newly refurbished, too, so the arcade, showbar, pub and pool was all fresh and bright.
We got there by the usual bus at Filey which goes to all parks from Scarborough > Bridlington.
- New refurbished showbar, arcades, The Hawkwood pub and restaurant
- Direct beach access with tractor ride down to the gorgeous sand!
- Small soft play area inside the arcades
- Outdoor play area with beer garden
- 1 indoor pool and outdoor lazy river (no baby pool)
- 34 par golf course
- Stunning views with 5 miles of sandy beach
What I thought:
The park was very small, felt brand new and had really stunning views. There wasn’t much to do at all, though. It was a very wet week and the pool was small with no baby or shallow area, it was also too cold for babies so we were very limited for things to do with Eric. The outdoor play area had no baby swings or frames suitable for pre-walkers.
However, the facilities were all newly refurbished which was really pleasant and the tractor ride down to the lovely beach was an absolute bonus. Many beach walks were enjoyed throughout the week during our stay. This park is definitely better for those who are going to do lots of exploring, day trips and don’t need much on-site entertainment or activities.
Haven Thorpe Park, Cleethorpes DN35 0PW
Our 3rd Haven holiday was outside of Scarborough and taken from a friends recommendation. I was so happy to book this one because it is amazing and we’ll definitely be going back. The location, things to do around the park, on-site facilities and beach access was all fantastic. The park is very close to Cleethorpes so a good option for those without a car. Haven Thorpe Park is very big with lots to do, so suitable for families with all ages of children and those looking for a fun packed holiday.
We got to Thorpe Park by direct train from Sheffield to Cleethorpes and then a walk along the beach to the park; this took around an hour but you could easily catch a bus or short taxi ride.
- Entertainment complex with arcades, showbar, pub restaurant, shops and more
- New indoor swimming pool, lazy river and space bowl
- Fun fair and mini golf
- Outdoor splash zone area and 2 playgrounds all next to each other
- Small soft play area inside the arcade
- Land train on site
- 9 hole golf course
- 2 freshwater fishing lakes
- Sports activities, kids clubs and more
What I thought:
A very big Haven holiday park with lots to do… if you don’t drive request accommodation near to complex or you could be very, very far away! There is so much on site with great play areas suitable for all ages, little rainbow outdoor splash zone, funfair, mini golf and everything is all close together on winding paths. The entertainment complex was big and the pool warm. We only stayed for 3 nights but never got bored and was impressed with the park location and facilities.
We absolutely loved the location, so close to beautiful nature reserve, huge indoor soft play, zoo, main centre of Cleethorpes with places to eat, arcades and a lovely beach. The holiday park also has its own Cleethorpes Light Railway station; little steam trains! Our Haven Thorpe Park holiday was combined with Day Out With Thomas at Cleethorpes Light Railway in October 2017 which was just so fun and I would highly recommend it.
Haven Primrose Valley, YO14 9RF
My full review plus a video is still in the process of finishing up from this holiday just 2 months ago, so I won’t be including lots of photos as a spoiler 😉
Our most recent Haven Holiday was Primrose Valley in March 2018 and now we have been to the Yorkshire flagship park, we won’t be going back to any other; this is my favourite of the bunch. Primrose Valley is a very big Haven holiday park with two complexes, 2 pools, busy timetable with day and night entertainment plus lots of sports and activities for children. Primrose Valley is the closest park to Filey.
We got there by taxi from Filey which cost £6, this would have cost the same by bus. The bus from Scarborough to Bridlington which calls into all Haven holiday parks stops at Primrose Valley only 10 minutes away from Filey.
- Main Entertainment complex with lots of arcades, 2 showbars, pub and 2 restaurants.
- Starbucks coffee on site!
- Big main pool with water play zone with climbing frame, slides and multiple areas to swim/splash
- New lakeside complex with another pool and outside pool, lakeside reataurant/pub with beer garden and playgrounds with sandpit
- Lots of sports and activities
- Lake with boat hire, nature trail and walks
- Low ropes, climbing wall and adventure playground
- Funfair at Lake side
- No direct beach access although it is only a short walk of around 10/15 minutes on a sloped path.
- Various small outdoor play areas around the park
- Land train on site
What I thought:
Watch this Facebook video I posted when we arrived which is a tour of the Deluxe caravan!
I was very impressed with this park, it really does feel more upmarket than the others with lots to keep all ages entertained. My favourite part of the holiday park most of all with the lakeside complex. This complex on its own is brilliant with fantastic facilities for families and children like indoor pool with a beach slope and small slide which was never busy compared to the main pool, low ropes and adventure course outside with playgrounds, sandpits and lovely restaurant with outdoor seating. We hired a peddle boat on the lake: a highlight of the holiday and really enjoyed the free Nature Rocks activities.
I really felt spoilt for things to do and the amount of activities to choose from, with all for under 5’s being free. The evening entertainment was better than any previous park we had been to and on the weekend they opened another show bar with more music and entertainment. The Theatre Company performances were great and Eric loved meeting the characters for photos. Having the Starbucks on site was a little luxury, too!
The location is good, not far at all from Filey by bus or taxi. We had a lovely beach stroll to Filey which didn’t take long at all. Highly recommend this park.
Full review from our Primrose Valley holiday is coming very soon! 🙂
I think the type of Haven holiday park which is perfect for you highly depends on what you want to experience. Some families prefer using the holiday park as a base for exploring the local areas and having lots of fun days out in the area, whilst other families and those without cars want a holiday park with loads of free entertainment, good facilities and easy location. For us Thorpe Park and Primrose Valley have been the best yet just those two are so different in terms of location; Cleethorpes is a lot busier and has more going on that the area of Filey at Primrose Valley.
We have always stuck to choosing Haven Holiday Parks which have been easy to get to without a car from Sheffield, but I hope one day we do venture out as I would really love to go to these ones!… Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield
Important things to know about Haven Holidays:
- When you book a Haven holiday direct (using the website) park passes are automatically included in your holiday for everyone; this means you can access all the entertainment, complexes including pools, showbar and arcades. If you are booking third party (like Sun Holidays or Private Hire) make sure you are adding passes onto your holiday otherwise you will be extremely limited in what you can do.
- There is a variety of choice for type of caravan accommodation. I have found, unfortunately, that not every park seems to have the same standards for the types of accommodation which can be annoying. For example, at Blue Dolphin was a “Standard” just a typical, most affordable van without heating. At Thorpe Park we stayed in a “new standard” and this was a lot different from the standard at Blue Dolphin, and in fact quite similar to the Deluxe at Primrose Valley. At Reighton Sands, the Prestige caravan was really luxurious and I expected similar with the Deluxe at Primrose Valley, yet the Deluxe was similar to the New Standard at Thorpe Park. Having stayed in them all, New Standard has been the best value for money.
- Do your research. All the parks are different and I really urge you to research before you book. I find the Haven website to be very easy to use and informative listing all the facilities that parks have plus videos and up to date photos.
You can save money even further with Haven by booking via Sun Holidays, finding private hire and ordering groceries to your caravan upon arrival from a grocery shop to avoid eating out. Find my money saving tips for budget holidays here. Comparison Review: 4 Haven Holiday Parks near Sheffield