One of the best things about being a mum is creating memories with your little ones – experiences that will last them a lifetime. The best way to do this is to take them away on amazing holidays. Sadly, one of the most stressful things about being a mum also happens to be taking away your family of small children on holiday!
From the moment you know you’re going, you worry about packing, where you’re going to eat and if anyone will sleep a wink while you’re there. So when we were offered the chance to visit the Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight, I was both over the moon and terrified.
Firstly I needn’t have worried about packing. The benefit of being able to drive to your destination is that you can fill your car with all the essentials required on a British holiday. This includes everything from wetsuits to wellies, from beach balls to rain coats. Every single nook and cranny of our car was filled and if my husband would have let me have one of those roof boxes I would have filled that too. To get to the Isle of Wight we boarded the ferry in Portsmouth. My two adored being on the sea.
As we drove to Whitecliff Bay it was brilliant to get an idea of what the Isle of Wight is like.
We hadn’t visited before and loved the countryside, beaches and quaint villages. A world away from sunny Birmingham, where we live. We arrived around 4pm and headed straight to the reception to get our keys.
“Sand in your tuna rolls, burying your dad, laughing when you splashed your mum in the sea.”
When we found out we could park next to our Jolly Nice Chalet, I did a small dance of joy. No lugging the cases around the site. We could just take our time and slowly unpack our stuff while the kids watched TV.
The cabin had three TVs. Seems a bit excessive you may say. But don’t forget that when you have small children your holiday day often finishes at 8pm, when you have to go back for the evening as your little ones become ‘overtired’ (aka really naughty). So three tellies meant that I could watch the Great British Bake Off with a glass of wine in one room and the kids could watch Tiny Pop in the other. Rather than me being subjected to My Little Pony for four nights straight. Winning!
Whitecliff Bay has everything to keep small children entertained. There’s two playgrounds, one under cover, which is great if you are worried about your kids in the sun (or the dreaded British rain). The swimming pool has a slide, and I spent an hour just watching my five-year-old walk up, slide down, scream, walk up, slide down and repeat. She loved it. My fingers turned to prunes. There is also a free soft play, outdoor pool and crazy golf. You can happily spend all day on the park and be totally entertained. But then you would miss out on the glorious beach which is just a short walk away.
Some of my favourite memories growing up were of playing on the beach with my little sister. Sand in your tuna rolls, burying your dad, laughing when you splashed your mum in the sea. So each afternoon I wanted to make new memories with my children. And made them we did. It’s not often you find me in a swimming costume but I felt so relaxed with all the happy families on the busy beach I was totally at ease running screaming from my kids as they tried to tip a bucket of water over my head.
We, of course, buried dad and no-one moaned when our sandwiches, bought from the beachside cafe, were half cheese, half sand. It was glorious. And nice to know that we could pop back to the chalet for a quick shower before the evening’s entertainment.
Entertainment during the week included puppet shows, bingo and wrestling. My daughter took part in Summer Stage School classes and my husband did laser quest. Oh and he took our three-year-old along so he didn’t look like he was the one that really wanted to do it (he totally was).
Each member of staff, from the receptionist to the lifeguards to the waitresses in the Nab Bar, were friendly and really made our experience memorable.
The excellent location meant that we could easily visit other parts of the Isle of Wight and we had mini adventures in Cowes and Sandown.
We had the most memorable holiday, with laughter, adventures and experiences that I know my two will remember when they have children of their own.
Isle of Wight Breaks
Book your Isle of Wight break at Whitecliff Bay