Top 10 Best Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Devon Cliffs caravan with decking, caravan holidays

How to choose the best caravan park?

What do you need to think about when choosing your family’s dream holiday park? Unlike a t-shirt, one size does not fit all (and that is a top ten t-shirt lie anyway).

The best starting point is working out your own family’s holiday priorities. Are your children likely to want to avail themselves of sporting facilities by climbing into an inflatable zorb, or are you collectively looking for get-away-from-it-all coastal walks? Are you a beach, a town or a theme park fan? Crucially, will you need all of these things to cater for the idiosyncrasies of your clan? 

Read on for the best holiday parks we have found in our decade of travels around the South West of England. This is my essential guide to the ultimate on-site activities, on-your-doorstep beach access, adventurous local attractions and idyllic towns. 

Contents hide

#10 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

The Lizard is ideal for families with older children who can handle a cliff path and lend a hand carrying some of the beach kit. Seal and island castle aficionados are also catered for.

Location: Cornwall

Helston:  A3038, Ruan Minor, Penhale, Helston TR12 7LJ

Holiday park highlights

Coming in at number 10, it is all about location for this site. Lizard Point Holiday Park is the closest caravan site we could find to this almost mythical section of the Cornish coast. Intricately carved beaches and craggy coastlines are the order of the day here. 

Kynance Cove (15 minutes)

The very fabulous Kynance Cove is also known (by me anyway) as Thailand in England for its turquoise waters.  A pretty but quite steep and edgy coastal path leads the way from the car park to a mini-beach paradise.

At low tide the beach materialises as if by magic and you can set up camp in one of its many nooks and crannies. Play in the rockpools and explore the caves in the gnarled curtains of rock. When the sea reclaims the sand, head to the National Trust café a former fisherman’s cottage, hiding half way up the hill. Or maybe go for a scenic coastal stroll – a great place to catch a sunset.

Lizard Point (9 minutes)

A short drive from the holiday park will take you to Lizard Point, with its equally dramatic sheer-drop style coastline. 

Head for the café clinging to a rocky shard poking into the sea, and try a cream tea on the terrace. After your scenic cuppa, walk along the coastal path or down to the tiny beach, remembering to keep a look out for seals.

Facilities

You may need to drive rather than walk to the beach, but the site is still a solid top 10 contender with its indoor and outdoor pools, high ropes, trampolines and terraced cafes. A new activity on offer is hoverboarding (which is harder than it looks – bit like a low-lying bucking bronco).

The site has had a £1.8 million investment in 2020, including a VR suite, so could well go up the charts following our next visit!

Nearby

Castle

St Michael’s Mount: (40 minutes)

Go for a novelty day out to this island castle with its disappearing tidal causeway. Endless fun can be had as the the water swooshes around you on your exit route and the path gently submerges into the deep.

Town

Falmouth: (30 minutes)

Visit bunting-strewn Falmouth with its pastel coloured houses and artsy crowd. Check out the 16th century fortress, National Maritime Museum or catch a super-speedy seal-spotting boat ride from the harbour for a holiday treat.

Storm watching at Porthleven: (17 minutes)

Go for fish and chips on the harbour wall in this traditional fishing village known for its epic waves and historic ship wrecks. Porthleven is notorious for being the most challenging surf spot and most storm battered town in the UK. Maybe don’t get in the water but its great as a spectator sport.

Theme park

Flambards: (12 minutes)

For theme park fans, Flambards with its whizz-through-the-air rides and rollercoasters, has your name all over it. Unexpectedly, it also has a recreation of a wartime London Street and Wedding Dresses Through the Ages exhibition. Look out for leaflets with special offers in your holiday park reception. 

Animals

Seal sanctuary: (13 minutes)

If you fail to spot a seal at the Lizard, never fear, you can have your own close encounter with multitudes of them (and some bonus otters) at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

#9 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

Hammer wielding fossil hunters and fans of Hallowe’en and unusual coastlines will be right at home. Great for a stormy October half term.

Location in South West: Dorset

Charmouth: Newlands holiday park, Stonebarrow Ln, Charmouth, Bridport DT6 6RB

Holiday Park highlights

Chart entry number 9 goes to Newlands Holidays caravan park on the Jurassic coast with its rainbow of unusual local beaches.

Fossil hunting

When you have unpacked your bags, head to Charmouth beach (5 minutes by car or a 20 minute stroll) where you can hire a hammer and a set of school chemistry goggles from the beach portacabin and excavate for your very own fossil booty. You are pretty much guaranteed to find at least one ammonite. Go just after high tide (or even better, a storm) for the best pickings. 

The beach has a café, museum and rock treasure shop displaying an enormous dinosaur skeleton discovered by a earlier and extremely lucky fossil hunter. The shop skull provokes both admiration and inspiration for your own foraging.

Hallowe’en shenanigans

This park also gets a high billing for the superb effort it puts into Hallowe’en. An entire basement area was transformed into a vampire’s lair. Families of cobweb-strewn skeletons were slumped over banqueting tables and life-sized coffins creaked open behind you. Brilliant stuff. 

Facilities

This is a smaller park, ideal for a quieter stay, and it is never too far to walk from your caravan to the main activity hub. All the holiday park essentials are on offer:

  • Outdoor and indoor pool.
  • Playgrounds
  • Funky restaurant with glass walls.

Nearby

Beaches

West Bay: (15 minutes)

Drive to the East (confusingly) to find the jaw-dropping orange cliffs of West Bay. The sand may be coarse but the whole place is spectacular and comes with a handy beach cafe. Check out its supporting role as a backdrop to the Broadchurch series on the telly (and my 10 Best Beaches UK post) for a sneak  preview. 

Chesil Beach: (39 minutes)

A 39 minute drive along the coast will drop you off at  the unique geographical feature that is Chesil Beach. Pale lilac pebbles make up a huge spit of beach, separated from the mainland by a lagoon, which stretches for 18 miles along the coast.

Durdle Door:  (53 minutes)

Slightly further along the coast, but definitely worth the drive is the fabulous Durdle Door beach with its double offering of white cliffs and sea arch. Its green seas and golden sands may lend the beach the air of a Greek Island, but maybe take a wetsuit for your swim as the water temperatures remain stubbornly English.

Town

Lyme Regis: (7 minutes)

The historic seaside town of Lyme Regis gets a shout out in Daphne Du Maurier’s French Lieutenant’s Woman. Harbour walks along the “Cobb”, sea-based activities and beach cafes are all on offer to lend a hand with your visit.

#8 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

 Anyone who enjoys a day on a white sandy beach or mooching around small Cornish towns or legendary castle ruins would be happy here. 

Location in South West: Cornwall

St Minver:  Menefreda Way, St Minver, Wadebridge PL27 6RR

Holiday Park Highlights

Coming in at number 8 is St Minver, Cornwall, scoring highly on proximity to white sandy beaches, King Arthur and picture-postcard Padstow.

Rock (star) beach (10 minutes)

St Minver Holiday Park’s superstar status derives from its proximity to the gorgeous beach at Rock. This pretty and unspoiled beach, offers opportunities to play in dunes and on its very white sand. Being an estuary this is bucket, spade and paddling territory – you need to head 10 minutes round the corner for you dose of holiday surfing. 

To the manor born

It also helps that the site is found in the woodland grounds of a manor house.

Facilities

There is plenty on offer at this holiday park for all English weather types:

  • Indoor swimming pool and sauna, crazy golf, adventure playground, soft play area and table tennis.
  • Activities include snorkelling, inflatable kayaks and pool parties.
  • The Costa coffees/ picnic-area combination make for handy al fresco dining opportunities in the summer.

Nearby

Beaches

Polzeath: (11 mins)

The white sandy Polzeath beach, shelves gently and is perfect for novice surfers. 

Towns

Padstow: (27 minutes)

Either drive into this iconic harbour town, or catch the ferry from Rock beach.

Hop off the boat on to the harbour wall of an historic fishing village with boating and souvenir shopping opportunities. Opt for speedboat rides, fishing trips or seal tours. Give the children a fiver each and you can spend a whole afternoon buying shells, sticky rock and painted pebble “rock concert” souvenirs. 

For the full Cornish family holiday experience join the groups of people crabbing along the harbour walls. All the gear – lines, buckets and bait, can be bought from the local shops. Weirdly the crabs seem to like bacon – which just seem wrong. The collective competition for the largest specimen or  number of crabs can be quite entertaining.

They all get released at the end of the day so even your vegetarian child can join in (if you overlook the bacon). Just watch your toes in the crab crowds scrambling back to the sea.

Castle

Tintagel: (30 minutes)

Heading north you will find Tintagel, King Arthur’s mythical home, the ruins of a 12th century castle and beach waterfall – real Game of Thrones territory. 

A new and pretty spectacular bridge joins the castle to the mainland, the original having disappeared a few hundred years ago. It looks a lot easier than the cliff steps, but quite “gappy” and may not be for everyone.

After your cliff/bridge exertions, snack and souvenir shops await in the village, alongside its must-see medieval post office.

#7 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

This park is for water babies, either in the on-site Oasis water park or surfing at one of its international competition standard beaches. Botanists are also catered for.

Location in South West: Cornwall

Newquay: Lane, Newquay TR8 4NY

Holiday Park Highlights

Holiday Park number 6 is all about the flumes! It is also within driving distance of some of Cornwall’s finest beaches. 

An oasis of a pool

Pictures of Hendra’s water park slides were what secured our booking and they do not disappoint. With 3 flumes, a giant tap and a waterfall all housed under a huge glass-domed ceiling, the Oasis fun pools totally live up to their name.

Kids’ activities – crab handling

We loved that the park had booked a local wildlife centre to bring animals for the children to handle. The enormous spider crab was something of a show stopper.  Kids could also get involved in hands-on science activities and general slime production.

Hallowe’en mayhem

Hendra also goes in for Halloween in a big way. Guests are invited to board the on-site “ghost train” which is driven through camping fields where zombies covered in fake blood jump out at you from the shrubbery. Expect screaming.

Facilities

Pools

The Oasis water park is the ultimate in on-site aquatic entertainment. 

For better weather days, there is also an optimistic outdoor pool.

Playgrounds

The play park comes with its own with bouldering wall and massive pirate ship to play on.

Nearby

Beaches

Crantock: (8 minutes)

A tiny drive in the car will deliver you on to the golden sands of Crantock, one of the prettiest beaches in all the land with dunes to set up camp in and a stream to play by.

Fistral and Newquay beaches: (9 minutes)

These big boy beaches play host to international surf championships and could almost be accused of showing off with their enormous surfable waves.  An abundance of golden surfer tresses accessorise nicely with the sand.

Watergate Bay: (10 minutes)

Once home to Jamie Oliver’s waterside restaurant, the beach sprawls its vast swathes of yellow sand at the feet of towering cliffs. The sand is peppered with clambering rocks and pools left behind by the tide.

Treyarnon: (27 minutes)

Treyarnon’s claim to fame is its crystal clear and swimmable rock pool. Spectate with a latte at the YHA café which has has ring-side view benches. 

Attraction

Eden Project: (32 minutes)

Driving East will take you to this global garden, a series of futuristic domes covering the world’s largest indoor rainforest. As if trying to establish a colony on Mars, eco-systems from across the planet have been set up to operate in an otherwise inhospitable environment (well, a UK winter anyway). People even get married here amongst bamboo and banana fronds. Look out for the giant bee.

#6 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

Not so much one for on-site facilities, this smaller park is for those who appreciate  boating, headland walks, olde inns and beach picnics with a sideline in woodland adventure parks.

Location in South West: Dorset

Challaborough: S W Coast Path, Challaborough, Beach, Kingsbridge TQ7 4HU Dorset

Holiday Park Highlights

Entering the charts at number 6 is Challaborough, with its direct beach access and comedy beach tractor round the corner at Bigbury-on-Sea.

Beach on site: Direct access to a beach is holiday park gold, and here the entrance is even on the level, making for effortless sunset strolls and beach parties. The rocks at either end of the bay are great for scrambling. The sea is clear and usually calm so perfect for bobbing around on boats and inflatable dingys.

Catch the sea tractor to 700 year old pub: The second string to Challaborough’s bow is its proximity to Bigbury-on-Sea. A sandy causeway leads to a tiny island with just enough room for an Art Deco hotel and a 700 year old pirating tavern, The Pilchard Inn. 

Even better, when the tide turns it into an island you can pay £2 for a ride in an aquatic tractor through the sea to the pub. Comedy gold.

Facilities

  • The on site beach bar may not look much from the inside but it has benches overlooking the sea, and is a great place to get a cold beer to take on to the beach.
  • Indoor pool. Tick.
  • The onsite shop sells all the essentials – bats, balls, swimmers and fresh baguettes. That’s your day out at the beach and lunch sorted.
  • Handily  wetsuits and kayak are available for hire from the beach shop. Or bring your own dingy for island circumnavigation adventures.

Nearby

Attractions

Woodlands Family Theme park: 31 minutes

This woodland adventure is brilliant – a funfair in the forest with flumes, adventure playgrounds, death slide, rowing boats and a mini zoo. Check out our trip here.

River Dart Country Park: 39 minutes

The River Dart Country Park is a forest of fun with high ropes, zorbs, canoes and zip wires in the glorious Dartmoor countryside. The over water assault course, rope swings and gang plank to the pirate ship provide ample opportunity for a general drenching in the summer.

Town

Salcombe: 26 minutes

Salcombe is a swanky, cobbled boating town with sailing shops and harbourside pubs. See how many people you can count with stripy tops and deck shoes.

Walks

Head right at the end of the beach for a very scenic cliff top stroll. Either drop down to the secret beach for a bit of wild swimming or heading in land to the flower-clad Journey’s End for a pub lunch in the garden.

#5 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

Riviere Sands is perfect for families looking for a beach and activity holiday (on-site and off) all rolled into one. With nearby animals, culture, shopping, and surfing, the only families it would not suit are those needing level beach access (who I would whole heartedly direct to #6 or #1).

Location in South West: Cornwall

Hayle: Riviere Sands Holiday Park, Riviere Towans, Hayle TR27 5AX

Holiday Park Highlights

Number 5 is a corker, chosen for its direct (if steep) access to one of the best beaches in the UK and proximity to the heavenly St Ives, llama walking and outdoor theatres. 

Hayle beach is 3 miles of pale sand perfection. Vast tracts of dunes and body boardable waves make it the perfect base for a family beach holiday.

The site has pub gardens with sea views and an extensive kids’ activity menu keeping the whole family happy as Larry

Facilities

  • Extra points have been awarded for the cliff-top Bluff Inn beer garden with its sunset views.
  • A second café terrace on site overlooks the pool, giving the place a hint of the continental.
  • And for kids, you get all the activities. Zorbing/ water jets/ inflatable party/ canoeing/ fencing/trampolines – check.
  • With water slides in the indoor pool you are pretty much set, whatever the weather (as they say in the adverts).

Nearby

Attraction

Minack Theatre: (39 minutes)

Resting on the point of Cornwall’s toe, the al fresco Minack theatre is actually the jewel in its crown. Book a show for under £5 for a kid’s ticket at the Roman style amphitheatre. Where else can you watch a seal and Shakespeare at the same time?

Carthvean Alpacas: (27 minutes)

I think we all secretly dream of walking a fluffy alpaca around the Cornish hills? Make you dreams come true for £12 a (pompom) head.

Trengwainton : (22 minutes)

For beautiful Monet-like gardens head over to the pretty-as-a real-masterpiece National Trust offering at Trengwainton. The kitchen garden  belonged to a former Cornish magistrate but looks like it could have been owned by Rapunzel’s neighbour.

Town

St Ives: (17 minutes drive, but go for the Park and Ride if you want to keep the paint on your car – those streets are tiny!)

This chocolate box of a harbour town, surrounded by gorgeous golden beaches on all sides is almost too quaint to be true. The pale cobbles match the whitewashed  fisherman’s houses. Throw in some palm trees, seals and fishing boats and you have holiday heaven.

Boat trips, independent shops and art galleries are also St Ives’ entertainment staples.

Beaches

Sennen: (33 minutes)

Navy blue seas complement snow white and horses and sand to give this beach something of the look of a mariner. Great for surfing and more seaside chip suppers.

Porthcurno: (38 minutes)

Golden sands and oversized boulders fringe these most Caribbean of waters. When you have finished in the sea, those seeking a bit of holiday culture can walk to the Minack theatre or  the Telegraph museum from the beach.

Porthmeor: (17 minutes)

Beach-side bakeries, beer and sunset restaurants make for a fully-catered town beach day out. Surf lessons and headland walks are also available for the active.

#4 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

I’m advocating this park for animal and pub loving surfers. (You don’t have to like all 3.) 

Location in South West: Devon

Woolacombe: Golden Coast Holiday Park, Station Road, Woolacombe, EX34 7HW

Holiday Park Highlights

Heading up the list at number 4 we get a caravan park with a white washed proper pub –  a holiday unicorn. We are also loving the board-walked wildlife area where you can feed geese in front of your little lodge.

It may not have beach access but a double decker shuttle bus takes you into Woollacombe  town and beach, thus avoiding the need to drive or park! And what a great beach it is – all 3 miles of it.

Facilities

  • This caravan park has a plethora of pools, four heated and one outdoors with slides. But making this a watery Nirvana is the addition of a surf simulator where you can hone your skills before heading into the deep.
  • Active types are fully catered for with high ropes, a climbing wall and trampolines.

Nearby

Beaches

Woolacombe beach: (4 minutes)

A traditional seaside town with touristy shops is the gateway to an unspoilt 3 miles of dune-backed sands. The far end of the beach  simply offers a cafe and car park.  Choose the entrance  that accords with your idea of a great beach. 

Ilfracombe Tunnels Beaches: (9 minutes)

Access to this quirky little beach is through a Victorian tunnel in the rock. Pop out amongst dramatic black crags and pools big enough to swim in.

Croyde Bay/ Saunton Sands: (15 minutes)

Whilst at Woollacombe it would be rude not to pop in and see its very pretty neighbours Saunton and Croyde. You will have to wait for the #1 slot, which has these beauties on its doorstep,  to find out why.

Attraction

Coombe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park: (17 minutes)

Good luck to anyone trying to pigeon hole this family park. We encountered animatronic dinosaurs, real wolves, an Egyptian Temple and a Wild West railroad. It is the living embodiment of the phrase “something for everyone”. At one point I seem to recall petting a lemur.

#3 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

This monster-sized party park is for families who want all the buzz of activities, arcades and kids’ entertainment combined with Miami style outdoor bars for the grown ups. Quiet and surfy, it is not.

Location in South West: Devon

Exmouth: Sandy Bay, Exmouth, Devon, EX8 5BT

Holiday Park Highlights

Reaching the top of the holiday park charts now at number 3 is the enormous Devon Cliffs with palm trees, cliff-top cafes and direct beach access to a gloriously orange beach.

Beachy

When the tide goes out, it leaves a huge expanse of auburn sand, punctuated by rocks resembling the Jurassic dinosaurs after which the coast is and named. The whole beach is backed by towering tangerine cliffs. The entire landscape is like Uluru on water.

Tropicana

Palm trees are dotted around the site, bringing a touch of the Med/Miami to a sunny Devon day.

Bars

A cliff-top beach bar with views out to sea and a second glass-walled cafe by the pool ensure this park’s proper holiday status. A brightly coloured cocktail will add the finishing touch to your table and holiday atmosphere.

Facilities

Cafe life

South Seach Bar: Watch the sun go down over the sea from the shack-y  South Beach Bar. The restaurant is even stylish on the inside which cannot be said for many Holiday Park drinking establishments.

Mash and Barrel:  Or choose from one of the 4 levels of tented terrace at the Mash and Barrel cafe/bar whist you wait for the kids to come out of the pool. Cunningly it overlooks a scenic sandy playground area so you can keep an eye on the children whilst sipping your raspberry spritz.

 

Aquatics

If Hendra is king then Devon cliffs is a prince of pools and slides. 

Indoors you get a full leisure pool with 4-lane slides, shallow paddling  area and fountains.

Outdoors there is more pool and slide action for the sunny summer months (one day we hope to use these)!

Activities

There are so many activities to be found here, it can feel like going on a PGL holiday camp. Fencing, segways, aerial walkways, zipwires, climbing walls, aqua jets, canoeing, inflatable pool parties, zorbing – what is not on offer or to like?

Nearby

Beaches

Sandy Bay (on site)

Make your way down the steep walkway to this orangiest of beaches with accessorising cliffs and sea (I’d never seen an orange sea before). As this is the South coast, it is more paddly than surfable.

Exmouth (next door neighbour)

Head round the corner either on the sand if the tide is out, or over the cliff path to the equally amber Exmouth, for kite surfers and beach cafes.

Seaton (40 minutes)

Seaton has your classic beach huts, standing prettily to attention at the foot of the cliffs. Here you can  breakfast at the very lovely Hideaway beach café on the promenade above the shingly sand.

Town

Exeter: (30 minutes)

For the bright lights of the biggest city in town, check out Exeter with its very photogenic cathedral and smattering of high street shops hunkering down in behind olde worlde facades.

Beer: (38 mins)

Go for the name itself, and also for a dinky Dorset village by the sea, the start of many a coastal walk.

Attraction

Crealey Theme Park (22 minutes)

This is a proper theme park with 60 rides, including all the classics – log flumes, roller coaster and pirate ships. All the fun of the fair is at your fingertips.

#2 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

This site is for beach bums who like the odd headland walk to a cafe on the sand.  We rarely leave this park as it has everything a water fan needs. This is also the site for anyone who likes novelty seating and dining options (is that not everybody?). Steep beach access means you may need to leave grandparents at the cliff top bar.

Location in South West: Cornwall

Perranporth: Perran Sands Holiday Park, Perranporth TR6 0AQ

Holiday Park Highlights

I have voted this as second best holiday park in the South West for so many reasons!

The park is set amongst the sand dunes which you can practically touch through your caravan window. 

Spend hours playing in the huge dune system before walking over the headland (or across the beach at low tide) to a real rarity in the UK, a café on the sand on Perran Porth beach. 

In the on site restaurant, not only do they pop a smiley yellow man in your pina colada, you can dine in a real campervan in the restaurant.

Facilities

Cafes

The campervan restaurant (not its actual name) boasts a palm-strewn outdoor seating area for sunny days. Fish and chips or pizza can be bought from on-site take away booths to save you having to do any cooking on your holiday.

Activities

I’m not sure there is anything you can’t do here. I believe we have collectively roller-iscoed, embarked on glitter creations, aqua-jetted  inside the pool and scaled climbing walls without. Look out for the giant deckchair (its quite hard to miss to be honest)!

Nearby attractions

Beaches

Perran Porth: (direct access)

A truly magnificent and gently sloping swathe of sand with caves, rock pools and surfing. The tide races in so watch you base camp for the sea running away with your shoes.

Bedruthan Steps: (30 minutes)

Try a headland walk along this spectacular stretch of coast, with huge rock-teeth poking up out of the yellow sand.

Holywell Bay: (15 mins)

What can I say, another picture perfect Cornish beach with golden sands and turquoise waters. Sand dunes and cave – tick.

Town

St Agnes: (15 minutes)

A  Cornish village straight out of Podlark, with its own mine shaft and beaches.

#1 Sun Holiday Parks in South West England

Who would enjoy this holiday park?

Those looking for a countryside retreat with surfable waves and dramatic coastal walks are likely to become regular visitors.

Location in South West: Devon

Croyde: The Dunes, Croyde, Braunton EX33 1NP

Holiday Park Highlights

May I present, in my humble opinion the best holiday park in the South West!

Ruda has set up camp on a fabulous beach within walking distance of thatched village pubs and life-affirming headland hikes.

The site

This caravan park has several camping fields which lends the site a back-to-nature feel and provides extra playing room out of season before the campers pitch up. There are funky canvas safari tents for glampers and fancy apartments over-looking the beach.

The village

Take a stroll through the dunes to the tiny  village of Croyde. Buy any surfing paraphernalia you may have forgotten or outgrown and then grab an age appropriate holiday beer/ice-cream.-

Facilities

Park life: The site is small and easy to get around. All roads lead to a huge tree lined field at the top of the caravan park with swings and acres of room for picnics/BBQ’s.

Pool: Again, the pool may be petite but still has its own tube slide and surely the fastest lazy river known to man. Hang on to your shorts and your children is all I can say.

Café: The cafe outdoor tables with parasols for the full holiday effect. A kids’ play area means you can have a cheeky wine and happy children at the same time.

Surf shop and hire: Get all the kit you need handily on-site for your surfing break.

Nearby

Beaches

Croyde Beach:  (direct access – practically)

With a laid back surfy vibe, a tiny beach shop and the recent addition of its own pizza bus, Croyde Bay is a little gem of beach just over the road from the site entrance. You may well find yourself joining the body boarding crews making their way from their caravans fully wet-suited up to save beach changing. Low tide exposes photogenic rocks at its extremities, and dunes provide a playground backdrop.

Saunton Sands: (15 minutes)

Going for a walk on Croyde’s neighbouring big brother beach could take a while. The sand disappears into the ever moving horizon. Getting lost in the sand dunes is almost inevitable in any game of hide and seek. There is a great vantage point from the cliff road above for taking photos of ant-like beach strollers below.

Quality sausage rolls and pasties are available from the beach hatch if you need warming up after your sea-dipping or just can’t be bothered to make a packed lunch, what with you being on your holidays and all.

Again, wetsuits for sale or hire are available on beach entry if you are seized by the desire to launch yourself into the water but are lacking essential supplies.

Putsborough/ Woolcombe (6 minutes)

This beach confusingly changes its name somewhere along the way, but whatever you call it, you are in for a fab day out on this tract of yellow sand and surfable seas. Café’s flank each end for those in need of refreshments having walked the 3 miles between the two.

Walks

The headland walk from Ruda, past the windswept and extremely pointy Baggy Point, is one of the most scenic I have travelled. A sheer wall of rocky hillside drops away to the side of you as you edge along this very coastal path before it terminates in a splinter of rock. Retrace your steps back from the precipice to follow the headland round the corner where the path opens up on to  yellow gorse-filled fields leading the way to the beach café at Putsborough. Turn your hike into a circular walk following the fields and the sheep back to the campsite. You will not be disappointed.

Beware: it can get a bit windy!

Cafes

National Trust café – A lovely little garden café sits at the start of the path to Baggy Point and will provide all the afternoon tea sustenance you need either before or after you appointment with the Point itself. 

Surf Lodge – Just before you get to the National Trust café, and about a 2 minute walk from the campsite is the Surf Lodge with sea-view benches.

Thatch in Croyde – Whilst visiting Croyde village, pop into the surprisingly roomy thatched Thatch pub for a post-surf beer and chip supper.

Best holiday parks South West summary

So, these are the best of the best holiday parks in South West England I have found so far. 

I would have included Trecco Bay in South Wales, for its water fun area if it wasn’t slightly out of range. Similarly, the Isle of Wight has a lot to offer with its pointy Needles and model villages but it was out of bounds. I have yet to try the Weymouth site with the dry ski slope, but it is on my list.

Which is the best fit for your family? I’d love to hear about parks you have fallen in love with on  your travels in the comments.

Check out my booking a caravan holiday post to snag the best caravan in one of these top parks at bargain prices.

 May all your holiday park dreams come true. Happy holidays! 

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13 thoughts on “Top 10 Best Sun Holiday Parks in South West England”

  1. I actually haven’t stayed in a holiday park before, but I read that they are extremely popular this year with people not wanting to go abroad. It’s something I would definitely like to look into though so thank you for the tips on where to stay!

  2. Great post – although I would be travelling alone so the holiday parks are less of a draw for me, I am keen to explore more of the UK this year & this is the perfect post. Great to see the highlights of each locality which is exactly what I will be looking for! Thank you.

    1. Writing this, I realised just how many pretty towns and beaches there are on a UK staycation. Hope you find the perfect spot!

  3. I’ve never stayed in a holiday park, never thought to tbh but with the way accommodations in the UK is getting booked up, might have to consider lol

  4. These are all so tempting! I definitely feel in need of a beach holiday right now and I’ve never really explored the South West…I think a staycation is calling! I love how adorable those Beach huts at Charmouth are! These holiday parks look beautiful, I hope I get an opportunity to try one (or two!) of them out soon! Thanks for the great guide!

  5. I have never been to a holiday park, but your blog has inspired me to visit one! Also, I cannot wait to explore South West England, it looks so pretty! 🙂

  6. I love all the places you shared because they look charming and the landscapes are beautiful! So many have beaches also, it’s the perfect way to enjoy your summer holidays!

  7. I have such happy memories of my own childhood staying at a holiday park near Westbay and my uncle has just bought a static caravan so hoping to visit with my own children! Thanks for linking up with #ParentPower

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