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A Guide to a Static Caravan Holiday in the UK with Kids

By Jenny Schippers – 13th May 2021
Static caravan holiday with kids

Our Experience of Static Caravan Holidays in the UK

 

As a family with two young children, we are relatively new to the world of holidaying in a static caravan and our recent trip to Yorkshire heralded the second time we had chosen to stay in this type of holiday accommodation.

Last summer we spent two glorious weeks in a static caravan in Anglesey, following this and our recent short break staying on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, I feel slightly more qualified to provide a guide to a static caravan holiday in the UK with kids and a round-up of all the things we have learned along the way.

Both experiences were different in their own ways, our first trip was a static caravan set on private land whereas the second trip, was a static caravan on a large holiday park. In my opinion, they offered completely different family holidays and although the accommodation type was similar, the actual static caravans were completely different in terms of what was included.

 

Ways to Book a Static Caravan Holiday in the UK

 

So firstly, it is important to understand the ways you can book a static caravan holiday in the UK, we booked both of our trips through Airbnb however you can choose the route of a private arrangement or directly with a holiday park such as Haven, Hoeseasons or the smaller independently-run sites.

In most instances, owners of static caravans on holiday parks will be allowed to rent their vans out for a certain number of weeks a year however this is not always the case. It is therefore always best to rent your static caravans through an official agent to ensure it is a legitimate booking.

This arrangement is not relevant for static caravans placed on private land and in people’s gardens, which seems to be a popular pursuit in Wales particularly, so there is more scope for informal arrangements when this is the case. In my opinion, it is always best to book your static caravan holiday through a reputable agent, to ensure your booking is safe and secure.

 

What to Consider when booking a Static Caravan Holiday in the UK

 

Before booking a holiday in a static caravan there are several similarities and differences between vans to consider. Not least where the van is situated, is it in a private garden or on private land, does it come with any outdoor space, a garden, or is it shared with others?

If the van is on a holiday park, how big is that site, is it a purely exclusive static caravan site or are there motorhomes, tents, touring caravans too? Again, is there any private outside space, a terrace, outdoor seating, and parking? With larger holiday parks, there can be on-site facilities such as launderettes, bars/restaurants, a playground, swimming pools, and possibly even entertainment.

This is often not the case if you are renting a van on private land although some can share facilities with a nearby house or holiday park. The facilities included are often reflected in the price, but it is always good to do your own research and if it is on a holiday park, check their official website also. Keep reading for my guide to a static caravan holiday in the UK with kids and why I believe it is an excellent choice for a family-friendly staycation this year.

The Configurations of a Static Caravan

 

So now you have chosen between a static caravan on a holiday park or private land, it is then worth considering the size, shape, age, and spec of the van itself.

Again, this can vary massively, and I do not claim to be an expert however it is certainly worth seeing photographs, reading reviews, and going off recommendations where possible. Here is my guide to a static caravan holiday in the UK with kids:

Most vans sleep between four to six people in one or two bedrooms with an option for a sofa bed. From experience, the first bedroom is a Double (sometimes King) bed, and the second bedroom is a twin or bunk bed and often designed for children. Do not expect lots of floor space in a static, they are incredibly well designed to utilise all possible space, so the level of storage is often impressive with built-in wardrobes and shelves.

It is also important to consider the bathroom situation; most standard vans come with one bathroom with toilet, sink, and shower, some have a separate ensuite in the main bedroom or a Jack and Jill set up with two doors leading into one bathroom.

 

What to Expect from the Living Space

 

Moving onto the main living space, the standard layout will be a small kitchen area, table with seating, and sofa with built-in shelving housing the TV and possibly a gas or electric fire.

Dependent on the size and spec of the van, there could be patio doors off the lounge onto an outside decking area. Considerations here include the kitchen facilities; is there a full-size fridge/freezer, some have washing machines and dishwashers but not all, and is there a microwave and oven? The kitchen may not be a priority if you do not plan to cook much but with children, I find we often eat our evening meal in the van most evenings so good cooking facilities are important to us. There might also be a BBQ so check prior to your rental.

 

Technology

 

An even more important point – is there WiFi included in the price of your rental?! If so, how fast is it? If you are in a van in the middle of nowhere, there can be a tendency to have slow WiFi or none at all, so if it is always worth contacting the owner or the holiday park to check this. Again, the TV can vary with what is included, some vans may just have Freeview, others have digital channels and Netflix/Sky, or just a DVD player. Check ahead and come prepared either way!

 

How is the Static Caravan Heated?

 

On a more general note, the way that the static caravan is heated can vary from one rental to the next.

We have experienced one van with central heating and another with electric heaters and a gas fire. Sometimes the electric and/or water can be metered, this is rare, and the majority will run off gas especially if they are in a rural position. Both holidays have been Spring and Summer months, but the vans do still get cold overnight so my advice would be to pack warm clothes for cool mornings before the van heats up and winter pajamas for sleeping in.

It can also be the case that those vans without central heating will not be available to hire during the cooler winter months, always check the heating source and ensure they are not metered as this can increase the cost of the rental.

 

Things to Remember

 

Here are a few more things to remember as a guide to staying in a static caravan with kids; ensure you pack their scooters or bikes (and helmets) if you are staying on a holiday park. Most well-maintained sites have nice smooth paved roads that are quiet, making them the ideal place for little ones to play.

If you have a degree of outside space, check there is a table and chairs, if not make sure to pack a couple of camping chairs to enjoy time spent outdoors.

As with all rentals, regardless of accommodation type, the kitchen equipment can sometimes be lacking so include any must-haves from home such as corkscrews, cheese graters, sieves, and sharp knives. Holiday accommodation rarely includes children’s dining equipment so bring your child-friendly crockery/cutlery and plastic glasses from home.

Towels and bed linen is not always provided either in the rental or it is an additional cost, especially currently, so check this beforehand along with travel cots and highchairs. Bring your own beach towels, windbreaks, beach umbrellas etc.

 

Top Tips for an Easy Holiday in a Static Caravan

 

A couple of key points to make your static caravan holiday go smoothly; see if you can book an online food shop to be delivered to the van. If you have the postcode, you can check with the major supermarkets to see if any of them will deliver a food shop to your rental. This reduces the need to fill your boot space with provisions, reduces time spent having to do a shop when you arrive, and frees up time to enjoy your holiday. Be sure to check the fridge/freezer situation to ensure you have enough storage space for a big shop.

As much of the UK will be extremely busy for staycations this year, particularly at the coast and during school holidays, ensure you have pre-booked any popular tourist attractions in advance of your holiday as well as tables at pubs/restaurants. If you are travelling before the 17th of May, outdoor seating is limited and you will need to make lunch/dinner reservations to avoid disappointment.

It is a good idea to send a message to the rental owner or do some internet research to find some good, local pubs nearby before you go.

 

Why we Love a Static Caravan Holiday in the UK with Kids

 

Overall, we have always been impressed with our rentals and found them to be good value for money based on what we have paid.

In summary: the size, spec, and inclusions within the static caravan rental, along with the position and facilities of where the van is situated will stipulate the price point. As always, midweek rentals will be cheaper and are a good way to experience a holiday in a static caravan without paying a weekend rate.

As holiday accommodation in the UK skyrockets in line with demand, there are still some bargains to be had if you are happy to consider a static caravan holiday and many of these can be found further inland from the coast. Our children are 4 and 7 years old and absolutely love the novelty of staying in a static caravan; there are so many nooks and crannies to hide their toys, they really enjoy the independence it gives them to play outside and on our recent rental, the onsite playground was an added bonus!

For more information about our Airbnb in Yorkshire, follow the link here

 

Enjoyed Reading?

 

Why not take a read of our latest family-friendly staycation in the Tree House at The Hotel Chester here and for a daily dose of Cheshire inspiration, check out the Girl About Cheshire Instagram page and follow along with the community at #MakingMemoriesInCheshire

Thanks for reading,

Jenny x

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