I have to admit, I haven’t got happy memories of caravan holidays.
Stuck inside a tiny box with not much to do while the rain hammered down on the roof for days on end – wish you were here?
But I’m pleased to report that caravan holidays in the 21st century are a world away from my childhood experiences.
My wife and I and our two children recently spent a long weekend at Hoburne Holidays’ caravan site in the Cotswolds, one of seven the company runs in the south and south-west of England.
And it was a real eye-opener.
To call our home for the weekend just a caravan would be akin to describing War and Peace as just a book.
The living room area (with TV and built-in DVD player) had more than enough seats, the kitchen/diner space included an oven, washing machine, microwave and dishwasher and still had room for a dinner table, there were three bedrooms (two with TVs in), a bathroom with shower and a second toilet for good measure!
Oh, and a veranda with another table and chairs set too.
The only quibble we had was the size of the double bed in the main bedroom. Neither of us are tall people but even so our feet were hanging off the end of the bed – I’m not sure how anybody of above average height would get on!
Everything you would need to cookfor yourselves is provided in the accommodation but we decided on the eating-out option after our Friday afternoon drive down so we headed to the park’s central area.
This is where you will find all the facilities - high-end restaurant and family-friendly cafe (which still serves hot meals), indoor and outdoor swimming pools, play areas, bar with wall-to-wall Sky Sports, arcade games area and convenience store.
Afternoon and evening entertainment is also laid on every day, with talent show competitions, musical acts and more.
There is also the Sammy Squad which offers a varied programme of activities for younger visitors throughout the week.
We decided to go exploring on the Saturday as the Cotswolds is not a part of the country we had visited before.
The Roman town of Cirencester is only about 10 minutes up the road so we chose to spend a pleasant day browsing the terrific mixture of well-known high street shops and independent stores.
But the park is very well located for any number of attractions – you really are spoiled for choice.
If watersports is your thing the Cotswold Country Park and Beach is literally next door and features any number of water-based activities.
As our two boys are still at the learning-to-swim stage we decided instead to make use of the more modest offerings at the holiday park on the Sunday.
There is an outdoor pool, as mentioned earlier, but having chosen the only wet weekend in the whole summer in which to visit, we decided to stay indoors instead.
The main attraction here is the giant helter skelter-style water slide which both children would have happily spent hours whizzing down – and indeed did.
Also fun was the giant toadstool island from which water intermittently poured, drenching those who dared to go too near.
Although not huge, there was plenty of room in the pool and around the sides for those wanting to take a break and relax with a coffee.
As always with long weekends they are never long enough, and it was soon time to pack up and bid farewell to our home from home – my view of caravan holidays completely turned on its head.
Hoburne Holidays offers a range of accommodation at its seven holiday parks, from two-bed caravans to spacious lodges which can sleep six.
For more information click here.