The boys and I finally managed to get a weekend away this year at Parkdean Sandford. I love Dorset, having holidayed there a lot as a child. I have also heard a lot of great things about the Parkdean resorts. Especially that they are great for families with young kids.
It took us around 3 hours to get to Sandford from Northampton. Once we arrived the process of checking in and getting to our accommodation was quick and easy.
We stayed in one of the brand new glamping tents. We were holidaying with friends so there was 6 of us in total and we were able to share one tent.
Activities at Parkdean Sandford…
A couple of weeks before our weekend away at the holiday park we were able to log in to the website and book our activities for while we were there. There were loads to choose from. We booked in a casual swimming session, a swim pool party, bungee trampoline, family karts and the Bear Grylls Family Mission.
We struggled to find any slots for the swimming sessions as they booked up fast. We were told we could book all our activities up to two weeks in advance however I suspect some people did this earlier. We were advised that if you turn up to a session and they have a cancellation you may be able to join in.
There was both an indoor and outdoor pool available and they were both heated.
The family karts were 2 or 4 seater karts that you could take for a ride around the holiday park. They were pedal karts and provided a really good workout!
My eldest was particularly looking forward to the Bear Grylls Family Mission. The sessions are designed by Bear and give you a taste of some of the things you may come across in the wild. We had a go at camouflaging ourselves within our environment, guiding a partner while blindfolded, practising our throwing aim, a race against the clock filling up tubes with water to retrieve a floating key and tasting some mealworms! It was a really fun experience and something we wouldn’t normally do. I really recommend giving it a go!
Another area of the park my boys loved was the arcade. They were obsessed with the 2p machines! There was also a virtual reality experience area that we meant to try but ran out of time.
You can see a full list of the activities available at Sandford holiday park here.
How far is Sandford Holiday Park from the beach?
The closest beach to Parkdean Sandford is Sandbanks which is only 12 miles away. During our stay, we spent the day at Swanage beach which is only 14 miles away. We got the bus to Swanage from right outside the holiday park, then chose to get a taxi back.
Swanage beach is amazing for kids. There is a small town with plenty of places available to get something to eat. We grabbed a burger and chips from Wimpy’s. Along the beachfront are an arcade, a park, a crazy golf area, ice cream shops and handily, some public toilets.
What was the food like at Parkdean Sandford?
We didn’t have too much of the food from the park as we ate out most of the time. We did, however, get breakfast in the hotel restaurant one morning and it was amazing! The boys had pancakes with either syrup and bananas or Nutella and strawberries. I had a stack of pancakes with streaky bacon and a side of mushrooms.
At the front of the resort was 2 kids play areas, the smaller of which was alongside the outdoor dining area. This was perfect to be able to have an afternoon drink while they played.
There was also a small shop that stocked co-op products so you can grab some food to take back to your accommodation to cook yourself. There is also the option to get takeaways delivered to you at the holiday park. You should be able to get some menus from reception or use Just Eat.
Can you take dogs?
Yes. There were loads of families with dogs while we were there. However, none of the accommodation I saw was fenced or gated so you would have to keep them inside or on a lead the whole time.
Is there Wi-fi?
Yes. There is free wi-fi. It did cut out a few times, but it was fine for the boys to watch a movie on their tablets or play on the switch.
Have you been to Parkdean Resort? Which one did you go to? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.
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