Friday, 29 June 2012

Sand Le Mere Holiday - a review

As you know, were recently went up to stay at Sand-le-Mere Holiday Village in East Riding.

We stayed in a 'comfort' home and weren't quite sure what this would mean. Happily we were pleasantly surprised with the accomodation - it was a 6-berth caravan, completely refurbished and spotlessly clean.  It even had it's own jack-and-jill ensuite to the master bedroom and another seperate toilet - always handy when you've got kids!

It was a bit of a shame that there were no consumables left for us, we've stayed in plenty of caravans or holiday cottages that have provided at the very least teabags, sugar, salt & pepper, washing-up liquid etc.

Sand-Le-Mere has recently undergone a massive refurbishment and we were lucky enough to be amungst the first to try it out.

We stayed just after the unofficial re-opening and outside of the main school holidays.  So while we were there the place had a lovely peaceful, quiet atmosphere and we felt like we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

Feeding the ducks from our window each morning

The new pool is fabulous and Ruby went in every day.  She particularly loved the water jets that squirted up from the floor and these were hugely popular with all the kids. I wasn't able to get photos because there were other children in the pool, but trust me - it's amazing!

I got to enjoy a tasty coffee and pastry in the brand new coffee shop, and watch through the huge windows while Ruby and her dad splashed about.  Sadly, due to some technical teething problems, there was no wi-fi in the leisure complex, but I'm assured there should be.  There was also no mobile phone reception, so I was pretty much forced to take a break from Twitter!

Wi-fi is available on the site and I was able to pay to log on from the van, you know me, I can't be offline for too long or I get the jitters.

The leisure complex on site is open from 9am each day, and the pool is open to kids from 10am (there's an earlier session for adults only).  Ruby loved the new soft play area, and over the few days we stayed spent quite a lot of time in there.

At 11am each day there are children's activities and we went along for the face painting session.  I'm not too sure about the kid's club entertainers drawing ability, but they were fun and friendly and they certainly made an effort!

I wanna be a Smurf Mummy!

What struck me most about Sand-le-mere was without a doubt the stunning refurbishment.  A beautiful wooden outdoor play park, relaxing coffee shop, fabulous pool with very attentive staff and the bar and restaurant.  They were all sparklingly new and spotlessly clean.

The staff were, without exception, all great fun and very friendly - no mean feat considering they were still finding their feet in their new surroundings.

Personally, I'd have liked to have seen the activities start a bit earlier.  By the time Ruby had had a swim and gone the the daily session it was lunchtime.  I guess a lot of people stay on site all day, but for us, we like to get out and about and explore the local area.

There is a beach just a couple of minutes walk from the site.  We spent an exhilarating wild and wind-swept evening beach-combing here and I loved the raw beauty of it. However, the area is plagued with pretty severe coastal errosion, and this does make the beach fairly difficult to access.  If you don't fancy (or can't) scramble over rocks and boulders to get to it, then I suggest looking further afield for more picturesque beaches with more ameineties.

Fossil-hunting on Withernsea beach

There's certainly plenty to do nearby.  We stumbled upon the Mere at Hornsea. It's well worth seeking out and is sigh-posted within Hornsea.  A stunning huge glacial lake, I recommend taking a rowing boat out and enjoying a cup of tea and a slice of cake.  There was something very old-worldly about the place.  True, the cafe is pretty tired and dated, and they don't seem massively into the whole tourism thing, but we found it charming and quaint.

Rowing on The Mere at Hornsea

If you're looking for a proper, traditional seaside day out, then it's well worth the hour or so drive up to Bridlington.  Miles of golden sand, donkey rides, sticks of rock, fish and chips, sand castles and fairground rides make for a thoroughly British day out.  We loved it there.

Giddy up!

Nothing lasts forever
The end of a busy day

When you're done with the beach, do take a wonder around the pretty harbour and watch the fishing from the harbour walls.

I spy pirates!

We also visited Beverley, an upmarket Yorkshire town full of high-end high street stores and smaller boutiques.  Lots of charming lanes and secret passages to explore and we kept Ruby entertained by spoting the curious local white phone boxes.  We spent a lovely lunchtime in a little cafe overlooking the market square and all the comings and goings.

There's another one!

Beverley Minster is stunning, but we had no chance of persuading a four year old that it would be a fun place to look around - we had to make do with a few snaps of the outside.

Beverley Minster

If the weather isn't kind to you, I hear that the huge aquarium at Hull is well worth a visit. 'The Deep' is home to 3,500 fish and is the world's only submarium.

Do take a look at this website for more info on local attractions and money-off days out in Yorkshire - it's worth planning some activities before you go.

All in all, Ruby had a great time - she loves holidays like this with organised activities, kid's discos and entertainers.  It was a fun short break, and I'm very glad I've had the chance to visit this charming part of the country.

Disclaimer: Many thanks to Sand-le-mere for allowing us to come and review for you.  We stayed for 4 nights in a comfort home free of charge for the purposes of this review, however all views expressed are my own and are honest.


  1. Sounds like a perfect short break with lots to do out and about. the leisure complex sounds like the making of the site and perfect for children, the only thing that would annoy me would be paying for the wi fi.

  2. The facilities were great, such a shame I couldn't get any good shots of them, but I didn't want to get arrested taking photos with other people's kids in!

  3. Ohh I am really looking forward to my break now, thanks for all those recommendations of places to visit.

    Mich x

  4. I can't wait to go, I went to Uni in Hull, remember the white phone boxes well and we used to go on a Christmas pub crawl to Beverly. And I spent the night on Withernsea beach with a gang of mates once, watched the sun come up! So I am excited about going back down memory lane now too! Great pics and tips, thanks!

  5. wow lovely review.
    And I recognise you from the Linda Barker thingy :-)

  6. What was the address of the caravan you stayed in please : )