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Our friends could easily afford to stay in hotels, but they have always preferred campsites and we could never understand why.

I’ve looked online at a few of them, and a couple of weeks ago we decided to give it a try, mainly to see what our little Granddaughter Isabella thought of it.

The prices are very reasonable, with accommodation and the use of all the park’s facilities included.

parkholidays-1284-mediumWe chose Marlie Holiday Park at New Romney in Kent. It was a convenient location for exploring an area of the South Coast that I didn’t know at all, although it’s only a couple of hours’ drive from our home in Sussex. So even if we didn’t like the Park, we could go out every day.

It was easy to find, and the Receptionist was friendly and helpful, checking us in even though we were early.

The caravan was perfectly acceptable. The lounge/kitchen area was as large as a hotel apartment, light and comfortable.

There were three bedrooms which were as big as some cabins on cruises. But the beds were very narrow. I’m not particularly overweight but a lot of people would find it hard to sleep in such a cramped space.

parkholidays-1289-mediumThe bathroom had a spacious shower in it, and there was another toilet next door.

It was easy to park, right outside the caravan, which made loading and unloading simple.

Most of the guests were caravan owners. They were all very friendly and would chat as they passed us.

Some of them were dog owners. There are dog walking areas around the Park.

As I’m used to hotels, I hadn’t packed enough, so we drove to Hythe to buy washing-up liquid, towels, toilet rolls, and a few other necessities that weren’t supplied. Then we went on the long, sandy beach at Dymchurch. It was absolute seaside perfection, and well-looked after.

parkholidays-005-mediumIsabella made her first sand castles, and there were plenty of shells for decoration.

In the evening, we took little Isabella to the bar where the ‘entertainment’ was.

Loopy the Rabbit was played by a different member of the staff every evening. They had no script and just stood around waiting for inspiration. But Isabella was spell-bound!

Then it was the Tots’ Disco, for the under fives.

Sadly some of the children were over five, and dashed around bumping into the little ones while their parents sat drinking and texting on their phones. And the staff weren’t trained or strong enough to gently stop them and tell them to be careful. Shame.

But there was a great atmosphere in the bar and everyone mixed together.

There’s an excellent, varied menu and the prices are reasonable too. The food looked really good, although we didn’t have time to try it.

You can have half a chicken with chips, etc for £7.95, Sirloin Steak £12.50, A curry for £8.75, Chow Mein or Sweet & Sour Chicken, £8.75, pasta, pizzas, all-day breakfasts, or much more.

On Saturday morning we took Isabella to watch Loopy the Rabbit standing around for half an hour, then we went on the Hythe and Dymchurch Miniature Railway.

parkholidays-042-mediumYou can buy a day’s ticket so you can get on and off as many times as you want to. But it’s not cheap!

We went up to Dungeness, then back to Dymchurch where we got off and wandered around the historical village. Then we had fish and chips which was huge and delicious, with thin, crisp batter on fish straight out of the sea.

Back in the caravan, Isabella loved the fitted sofas and played for ages on them. She ran up and down across the room, and there were no neighbours to hear her!

Sunday morning was warm and sunny. We drove to the beach where parking was free on Sundays.

Again, everyone who we passed made eye contact and said Good Morning.

Isabella had great fun in the play area there. It was clean with a fence round it.

Daughter Rana and Isabella had to go home, but Hubby John and I had another night there, and drove home slowly on Monday, stopping to explore the amazing area of Dungeness.

See my article about it;

http://b-c-ing-u.com/2016/10/07/what-is-dungeness/

I asked Hannah, the General Manager, why people should go to Marlie Holiday Park?

She said it has a great Community Spirit.

It’s very quiet in the daytime as not many holidaymakers go there. It’s mostly owners, but some of them rent out their caravans to cover their expenses.

(It was very quiet at night too.)

Park Holidays has 23 Parks, with more to come.

They’re at the lower end of the budget because they believe that every family should be able to afford to go on holiday.

There’s a Manager on duty all the time, plus a Warden and two Security Guards at weekends.

Quite a few of the staff sleep on the site too.

Would I go on another caravan break? Yes, definitely! It’s a great, affordable way of exploring the UK and Europe, stopping for a night or two.

You can criticise a few points, but it’s a very stress-free break.

We paid £148 for 4 days and 3 nights in a caravan that could sleep 8.

That’s less than £10 per person per day!

www.ParkHolidays.com/marlie

Marlie Holiday Park

Dymchurch Road

New Romney

Kent

TN28 8UE

0843 178 7021

marlie@ParkHolidays.com