A review of Primrose Valley, Haven’s caravan site near Filey, in North Yorkshire
Standing high on the platform overlooking a lake to one side and the sea to the other, our boy hesitated.
Then suddenly, he was away, laughing as he flew down the zip wire and on to the next obstacle.
It was just one of numerous exhilarating moments packed into our four-night family stay at Haven’s fantastic Primrose Valley park in North Yorkshire.
We had chosen to complete the ‘Aerial Adventure’ together and with Kasper, seven, leading the way, my husband James and I had to put our own nerves to one side and go for it too.
Fortunately, the two course leaders were brilliant at putting us and the other participants at ease and we all felt a sense of achievement after tackling obstacles include cargo nets, balance beams and rope bridges.
And there were plenty of options when it came to rewarding ourselves for our bravery.
We could indulge in a sweet treat from the onsite Millie’s Cookies or calm down with a coffee from another high-street favourite, Starbucks.
Or for peace and quiet after the adrenaline rush, there was the gorgeous sandy beach accessible via a short cliff-top walk and sloping path.
Here, we spent a relaxing few hours in beautiful sunshine playing games, reading and watching the world go by.
Soon, we were ready for another challenge and looking forward to our next activity – although we did have to drag Kasper away from the sea where he was happily splashing about waist-deep, despite the chilly temperature of the water.
We had used an ‘Activity Bundle’ to plan out our week. These can only be bought in advance – up to seven days before you arrive – and allow you to book what you want to do before your holiday begins.
You can also arrange activities once onsite but the bundle makes it easier and quicker and with sessions only available on a first-come, first-served basis, it makes sense to get everything organised early and avoid the disappointment of missing out on your favourite.
We were really impressed with the variety of options on offer and found plenty to do as a family and separately.
The site’s lake was a particular draw and was where Kasper took his first ever ride out in a kayak and I tried a serene session of paddle boarding.
As my husband and I somewhat anxiously watched Kasper take to the water, we were again impressed by the quality of instruction and guidance from the Haven team.
Our son was soon gliding around the lake, testing his skills with a few fun tests and smiling the whole way through.
I was less smiley at the start of my paddle boarding session as I wobbled on to the water myself but with a few tips from the guide, I was soon standing confidently and making my way around the lake.
But you don’t need to don a wetsuit to enjoy this facility.
Other activities available on the lake included pedalo hire or a spot of fishing from the bank.
You can even enjoy the water from The Lakehouse nearby. This stunning glass building offers great views and is just as pretty itself, with comfortable booths and indoor trees decorated with twinkly fairy lights.
The food at this newly opened restaurant is as good as the surroundings too and we visited several times during our short break.
The menu has a suitably Yorkshire theme and chicken from the county is a speciality.
The homemade chicken pie was so nice I ordered it twice and it went perfectly with the recommended sauvignon blanc.
It was one of a number of drinks matching suggestions dotted around the menu with some flying the flag for Yorkshire, such as an ale from Scarborough Brewery and Masons Yorkshire Gin.
The non-alcoholic options were no less exciting and Kasper devoured a chocolate brownie ‘freakshake’ with relish.
We could also have cooked in our caravan, which was a simply lovely new platinum model on a recently developed part of the park called ‘Seabirds’.
Fittingly for a site so close to Filey and other traditional resorts on the Yorkshire coast, it had a charming seaside theme combined with mod cons such as central heating, microwave and TV in the living room and main bedroom.
Kasper loved his cosy bed and had a bathroom to himself as our room had an ensuite.
There was also a huge squashy sofa to chill out on at the end of our action-packed days and a decked area where we could make the most of the warm weather we enjoyed throughout.
It was so smart yet homely that we couldn’t tear ourselves away one evening and ordered an indulgent takeaway delivered swiftly to our door by the on-site Papa John’s.
This was an exception, however, as on other nights, the entertainment was too good to miss.
We loved the Live Lounge where Haven’s own Seaside Squad put on a great show for youngsters and the Theatre Company showed off their singing talents in various family-friendly productions.
We were regular visitors to the site’s three swimming pools too with each having something different to offer – a refurbished adventure pool with slides and games where Kasper enjoyed a ‘Water Walkerz’ session in a giant inflatable ball, a quieter indoor pool with large shallow area and an outdoor pool.
Access to the pool is free, as are a number of activites, including tennis, which we spent a morning playing, and a number of ‘Nature Rockz’ outdoor pastimes such as bug hunts, pond dipping and bird-spotting.
Others are well-priced, such as £2 per person for crazy golf at the on-site mini-funfair and football training, which proved popular with Kasper and lots of other youngsters and was also just a few pounds.
We also tried our luck with a game of bingo and in the arcade which offered everything from penny-pushers to a 5D cinema and virtual reality gaming.
With more experienced in just a few days then we could possibly fit on a postcard, a stay at Haven Primrose Valley was no gamble, however, but a sure bet for a memorable holiday we would love to enjoy again.