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Our Devon Caravan Holiday

Posted 3/9/2015

This time last week our little family was in Devon, we were lucky enough to have been asked by Bailey's of Bristol to review one of their caravans and in conjunction with The Caravan Club we spent three nights in a Bailey Unicorn Cartagena at the amazing Hillhead Caravan Club site Brixham.

Boy I can tell you it feels like more than a week ago! I've barely had time to breathe since we got home. It was an amazing break, wet and cold and sometimes frustrating but amazing nonetheless.

Our Bailey Caravan at Hillhead DevonOur Bailey Caravan at Hillhead Devon

I used to go on caravan holidays with my parents all the time when we were kids, so devastated were my sister and I when my parents decided to sell it that we hid a sheep skull in one of the cupboards to scare the new owners! My husband on the other hand had never been in a caravan, had no desire to have a caravan holiday and quote frankly was a bit disgruntled that I had agreed to it. It was only a few years ago that I had persuaded him into a Static Caravan so we could have an affordable holiday and these he judged as a somewhat necessary evil so that we could indeed have a holiday. The Bailey had a lot of work ahead of it!

So one sunny Sunday morning, car packed to bursting we started our journey to Devon, it's a long way from Norfolk, there were plenty of roadworks and even more weather. I sent the family a picture of the torrential rain and within 20 minutes sent them another of gorgeous sunshine! Just over 7 hours later we arrive at Hillhead, tired, grumpy and aching from the car journey.The Journey The Journey

We got an amazing greeting from the staff and shown to the caravan, as I hadn't been in one for so long they kindly gave us a caravanning 101 tour, explaining how everything worked and where everything was. Not much has changed to be honest, except everything is just a bit more well thought out and easier to use. 

The caravan was AMAZING! Seriously amazing. I should point out that it is a large, top of the range and expensive bit of kit so it should be amazing but I was kind of blown away. You know your onto something a bit special when people walk past and point to it saying they wish they had one like that, the lovely couple in the next pitch to us spent quite some time chatting about it's merits and what we thought of it, it was very popular.

Here's what I loved:

1. The full sized and permanent bed, very comfortable and could be pushed back a foot or so allowing you to walk round it.

2. The cupboards, oh my there were so many, perfect for my love of organising and tidying and they all had little push button locks so the boy couldn't raid them (and so they would open in transit).

3. The fact there was enough space between the main seats in the living area for the boy's travel cot, it just made life so easy.

4. The clever extra touches like a linen basket in the bathroom, the pull out table, the outside light above the door, the little bit of extra work surface you can lift up, how the lid to the sink was also the draining board and that it had a little crescent cut out of it to fit on the edge of the round sink. 

5. The kitchen itself was the main improvement on older caravans, with a fridge freezer, microwave, double gas oven and 4 ring hob, minus the dishwasher and a bit of space it really was just like home.The Bailey Unicorn Cartagena CaravanThe Bailey Unicorn Cartagena Caravan

6. The folding 'door' between the bedroom and the living area, so important when you're travelling with other people as the living area converts to a sleeping area as well. 

7. The amount of sockets! We could charge everything, I could still work, maybe only other bloggers and social media managers will appreciate this one but I had my laptop, two tablets, two phones and a camera - yep that's the tech I travel with, just me, not even the husband's taken into account!

8. I really loved just having somewhere warm and comfortable to come back to each evening, a home from home that we could chill out in when it was raining or when we just needed some down time.

9. I loved how much L loved it, he enjoyed the fact everything was smaller and at his level, he loved the being able to sit on the sofa's the same as us but being able to reach the table like a big boy, he loved watching the comings and goings outside the window and he loved thinking he was staying in a bus. 'Bus, bus. buuuussss!'

10. I loved and was surprised by how spacious it felt. 

Here's what I didn't love:

1. The fact L could open the door to get out by himself and there was no way to lock it from the inside to make it toddler proof.

2. That I can't afford to buy one for myself, boo!

Yup that's it, that's all I don't like! What about my ever sceptical husband, well he has been converted, but quite firmly only to something as good as the Bailey Unicorn, ha ha. Some Shots of Hillhead Caravan SiteSome Shots of Hillhead Caravan Site

We were blessed that Hillhead was such a lovely site to stay on too, it just had everything, it was 5 star. Simple things like it had a free to use cash machine, the shop was well stocked and open until 6 even on a Sunday, the kids play park was great for a real mix of ages and they had a separate dog walking area meaning the play areas were clean! Then there were things that I wouldn't expect from a caravan site, a heated outdoor pool with loads of fun play things a bar and restaurant, mini arcade and games room, WiFi that reached our pitch (£10.00 for a week). This site went above and beyond. The staff we spoke with were superb and everything e used was spot on, the shower blocks were brilliant, really impressive. I loved the fact that after we had had a night of gale force winds, the first thing I saw that morning was wardens just going round the site making sure everything and everyone was OK. 

it's in a fab location as well, so much to see and do right on your doorstep as well as close to great road links for those thing a bit further afield, it's just a shame a lot of the roads were being improved, all at the same time, meaning at the moment they are awful! I would return to this site in a heartbeat, in fact I wouldn't even bother investigating other sites in the area as I was so impressed. I just wish we could have been there longer, three nights just was not enough, in fact we booked another 2 nights in a hotel to extend our stay but I have to admit I preferred the caravan and site!

We did a lot on our holiday, thanks to Devon Association of Tourist Attractions, but that's another post for another day! 

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