By Laura Mason
It’s hard to put into words what consists of a good ‘family holiday’ – is it the people you’re with, the place you are going, whether the kids are happy, the memories that you create, or all of the above?!
It’s probably different things to different people, and because of that reason, it can be hard to capture…however if it does have to be all of the above then I think we came quite close to finding it recently.
Last month we were invited back to Potters Resort, a sprawling coastal hotel and accompanying bungalows surrounded by acres of land filled with entertainment options that will need you needing a break!
We first visited Potters three years ago and honestly my children haven’t stopped talking about it since. Located at Hopton-on-Sea on the Norfolk coast, the unique family-ran resort is your typical conference facility during term time, but during school holidays, the resort rolls out the red carpet to families with a rare offering of an all inclusive themed break to entertain the smallest to the oldest guests.
All-inclusive breaks are honestly music to my ears. Something of a rarity in the UK, and not sure why as the concept is great, but to know that all the activities (with the exception of arcade games) were included in the cost of our stay, as was the food, meaning I didn’t need to worry about forking out for extras or deny the children any of the fun activities they could see before them.
We went during Whitsun break on a 3-night stay. Previously we stayed at the hotel, whereas this time we opted for a Bungalow Plus, a comfortable two-bedroom room that was a decent size for two young children, a toddler and two adults. Well equipped, the rooms feature a super-comfortable double bed with second twin room both featuring flat screen TVs with additional channels, fridge and cot. It’s a nice space for some downtime, and even while us parents down timed, the bungalow stepped out on to the village green so we could sit out and watch the children enjoy the activities there.
Upon check in we were armed with timetables, maps and entertainment information, while the children were provided with a journal that they could write and comment about their days and get stamps. Armed to the hilt we quickly dumped our bags in the room and decided to do a walk round the resort to see what we could get involved with.
Activities take place throughout the days and you really are spoilt for choice with a ram-jam action packed line up. Babies will love the soft play, arts and crafts workshops, and randomly, the Pony Cycles (Google them – I spent a lot of time trying to pull Marley away!) My 6 and 7yo really enjoyed the outdoor, more thrilling activities such as the Giant Swing, crazy golf and climbing, while I really liked some of the exercise classes, sports and leisure facilities.
I did wonder if we’d all be going off in separate directions but there was a lot we all enjoyed together, such as the bungee trampolines, racing each other through the bouncy assault course, post lunch walks down to the beach and lots of splash fun in the pool.
If you’re exhausted reading this then you can only imagine the fun and adventure we had experiencing it all. Fortunately food to fuel our adventures was top notch. Catering to four meals a day (midnight snack is the fourth in case you were wondering!) each meal is three-courses, buffet or a la carte depending on what takes your fancy. The menu changes at each mealtime so there’s always something new ranging from standard pub grub to more exotic flavourings and food options, including a good children’s menu, also full of fanciful food.
Post dinner meal we got into our own ritual – kids entertainment followed by my personal highlight, the nightly evening shows held in the onsite theatre. Changing nightly, the performances give any West End show a fantastic run for its money. Investing in it’s own theatre company sourcing high quality talent and designing some captivating shows made the stay for me. ‘Hits of the Decades’, ‘Legends’ and ‘Around the World in 80 Minutes’ were each a montage of breath-taking musical, visual and dancing acts that has the audience singing and dancing along. Sleepy children vie to stay awake late enough not to miss the almighty spectacle, and it’s special to share such an experience together all on site without any travel faff. While we called it a night after the show came to a close, dancing and music continues on late into the night at the bar, not forgetting the midnight feast which Grace was determined to, and did, sample one night!
We cherished our stay at Potters and I have since been looking at plans for a return. Potters Resort has become something of an institution, it is very popular with family groups looking for a mini break, whether that’s to celebrate a special occasion (and they’ll make a fuss!) or to have some quality time together. There are a high number of return guests that build up wonderful relationships with the caring colleagues that work there, and this is all the verification you need to know you’re on to a good thing.
Need to Know
Potters Resort inclusive family breaks coincide with children’s school holidays. Further information and prices can be found at www.pottersholidays.com or by calling 0333 3207 497.
As well as family breaks, Potters Resort has various Weekend, Midweek and One Night Breaks featuring star acts like Daniel O’Donnell, Lulu and Collabro throughout the year.