Kelling Heath Holiday Park Review

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Kelling Heath Holiday Park
Norfolk

www.kellingheath.co.uk

Reviewed by Shelly Harper

On Friday 6th April, myself and my daughter were given the opportunity to review Kelling Heath Holiday Park in Norfolk.

Set amongst 250 acres of woodland and rare open heathland in an area of outstanding natural beauty, Kelling Heath is a wonderful environment in which you can relax and enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and cycling with family and friends.

As well as the miles of woodland and heathland trails for walking, cycling and appreciating the wildlife, Kelling Heath also offers a range of recreational and leisure facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, steam rooms, sauna and tennis courts.

Kelling Heath also offers a variety of accommodation options including:

  • Woodland Lodges (2 bedroom sleeps up to four, 3 bedroom sleeps up to six)

  • Luxury Holiday Homes (The Heron and Nightjar sleeps up to six. The Tern sleeps up to eight)

  • Bring your own touring caravan or tent

Upon arrival at Kelling Heath Holiday Park my daughter and I headed straight for reception in order to get checked in, collect our keys and any information we may need during our stay. Whilst there was a few people infront of us also checking in, we didn’t feel that we were kept waiting long as we were able to take the opportunity to look around guest services and see what Kelling Heath Holiday Park had to offer us. There is also an information stand situated in the building so should you wish to venture away from the holiday park, there are plenty of suggestions and money saving vouchers you can pick up free of charge.

When it was our turn to get checked in we were greeted by two very friendly, smiley ladies that had our keys and information already waiting for us so after giving us directions to our home for the weekend, we were on our way and very excited to see which of the accommodation types we had been allocated.

Somehow, even with directions provided by reception I managed to get lost in the holiday park so we took a very scenic route to our holiday home but it did give us the opportunity to explore the park a little and appreciate our very natural surroundings.

Eventually I found our holiday home and soon discovered we had been allocated a Nightjar Luxury Holiday Home and when Kelling Heath says it’s luxury they mean it. We were greeted by a huge (37’ x 12’), exceptionally clean, tidy, fully equipped holiday home which really was home from home.

Our top of the range home included:

  • Central Heating

  • uPVC Double Glazing

  • Master Bedroom with En-Suite W.C

  • Twin Bedroom

  • Pull Out Bed in Lounge Suitable for Children

  • Bed Linen

  • Spacious Lounge & Dining Area

  • Kitchen with Microwave, Gas Cooker and Built-In Fridge Freezer

  • Shower Room with W.C

  • Colour Television with Built-In DVD Player

  • Outside Seating Area

  • Complimentary Tea, Coffee, Sugar & Whitener

After thoroughly exploring our Luxury Holiday Home it was time for a cup of tea and to unload the car. Unloading the car was easy as you can park your car right outside your property, very handy especially when it’s raining.

Unloading and unpacking done it was time to go and find out what we could participate in that evening. As it was about 4pm we weren’t sure there would be much for us to do but how wrong were we? At 5pm and 7pm that day there were nature trail walks taking place so as the weather wasn’t too great we opted for the 5pm walk.

Our guide for the walk was Nick, he was lovely and highly knowledgeable on birds, plants, trees and anything else wildlife related. There were approximately 12 people in our group and everyone was invited to take a hands on approach in the walk which included touching and tasting plants. Obviously he does not recommend eating any old plant but the ones that he got us to try tasted just like fresh, green apples. Yummy!!! Both adults and children were invited to ask questions and answer questions along the route which kept it very interesting and very informative. Whilst on our walk we also got to see the Poppy Line Railway Track and the discovery pond which Kelling Heath recommends their visitors make thorough use of.

After about an hour and a quarter our walk was over and we were back at reception so my daughter and I decided to take the opportunity to check out the facilities on site around reception before heading back to our holiday home.

The facilities onsite include:

  • A Village Store

  • A Launderette

  • Payphones

  • The Forge – A pub serving real ales and hearty food

  • The Terrace – A family dining area with easy access to the children’s activity centre “The Den”

  • Brackens Café and Pizzeria

  • A Health & Fitness Club (Membership is available for 1 day, 3 days or a week)

We got a 3 day membership to the Health & Fitness club so that my daughter could use the swimming pool sometime during our visit. We probably could have opted for a 1 day membership but as there were so many activities for us to participate in at Kelling Heath we didn’t want to be restricted to one particular day.

Following our mooch around the village, we decided to head back to our holiday home to consider our dinner options. As both my daughter and I were tired we decided to take advantage of Brackens Café and Pizzeria as they offer a takeaway service which is very handy as we found they got busy during peak meal times. After a few attempts at calling them, someone finally answered our call and took our order. My daughter decided to go for an individual Pepperoni Pizza and I decided to try the Scampi, Onion Rings and Home Made Coleslaw. The very polite lady that took our call advised us that our food would be ready for collection in approximately 30-40 minutes which I thought was very reasonable as we knew they were exceptionally busy. When it was time to collect our takeaway, my daughter and I walked over to Brackens Café and Pizzeria. We were kept waiting for about 5 minutes but we could see that the staff were still busy so it was understandable and I was very pleasantly surprised with the bill being less than £20.00. They do offer family deals so I suggest keeping your out for these as they are very good value.

The food was piping hot and delicious. My daughter can often be picky about food but she absolutely loved the pizza and even wanted more. My Scampi was scrummy and the homemade coleslaw was one of the best I have ever tasted. We decided that should the opportunity arise, we would defiantly go back to Brackens Café and Pizzeria before we left.

After eating our delightful food we decided to take advantage of the TV and multiple freeview channels on offer before heading to bed.

The following day (Saturday), we decided that as it was our first full day, we would make the most of it and do as much as we possibly could so following breakfast we visited Huff and Puff cycle hire which is situated within Kelling Heath Holiday Park. The two guys were very thorough and helpful making sure that we had the correct bikes to suit our heights and cycling skills. We were offered a tandem cycle but I decided against that idea as I knew that when my daughter got tired I would be pedalling for both us and as I’m not a consistent cyclist I knew it wouldn’t end well. Cycle helmets, panniers and cycle clips are offered free of charge (subject to availability) but we decided just the cycle helmets would be sufficient so after handing over my driving licence as security I.D we looked at the cycle route options available.

There are approximately 10 routes you can opt for, covering anything from 3.5 miles up to 13 miles but as neither me or my daughter do much cycling and we didn’t really know the area we decided to take the Black Arrow Route which is a fun 5 mile/8 km ride that stays within the grounds of Kelling Heath Holiday Park. The route was an all terrain route which really put my unfit self to the test in some areas but it was certainly good fun and we got to see several sights such as the steam train, the ponds, the orchard and the ancient woodland.

Whilst we were en-route we experience the odd shower of rain here and there which made the tracks a little muddy but this just added to the experience of the all terrain route and me and my daughter had a big chuckle together at how muddy we managed to get.

After cycling round the Black Arrow Route twice at my daughters request, I decided enough was enough and it was time to return the bikes to do something a little more relaxing but not before visiting the Village Store to pick up some lunch supplies.

From the outside, the Village Store doesn’t look very big but once inside you realise that this store sells everything you could possible require whilst staying at the holiday park and even has a gift shop right next door selling natural gifts. Kelling Heath Holiday Park is an environmentally friendly holiday park so most products in the shop are eco friendly and/or biodegradable which I would usually expect to be a little more expensive but I was very pleasantly surprised to find that this was not the case here. We visited the Village Store several times over the weekend and found it to be particularly good value with a vast amount of choice in comparison to some other holiday park shops we have visited. One evening we even rented a DVD from the shop to keep my daughter entertained which I thought was great as we had a DVD player in our holiday home but I had forgotten to take any DVDs. Very handy!!!

During Saturday afternoon we decided to take a trip on the North Norfolk Railway which offers a 10.5 mile round trip by steam train (vintage diesel trains on some journeys). We collected our discounted rover tickets from Kelling Heath reception then made our way to the small station stop also situated within Kelling Heath Holiday Park. Owing to the steep gradient, steam trains do not stop at Kelling Heath on the journey to Holt but will stop here if a clear signal is given to the driver on the return trip from Holt to Sheringham.

Neither I nor my daughter had ever been on a steam train before so this was a new experience for both of us and I have to say it was lovely. The train has retained its original features so it was like taking a step back in time and the staff still wear the traditional uniforms so it was very authentic. The steam train is unlike a usual electric train as it goes slow enough that you can take in the sights of the sea and the beautiful multi coloured flowers which had just stated to bloom. It was beautiful.

Upon arrival at Sheringham Station you realise that it is so much more than a station. There is a museum signal box, souvenir shop and an attractive booking hall that you are more than welcome to browse around and take pictures. As the station is situated pretty much in the town of Sheringham, we were able to take a walk around the many gift shops before making our return journey.

On our return journey, my daughter decided she wanted to get off the steam train at Weybourne and walk the rest of the way back to Kelling Heath. I was apprehensive but with direct access to the Kelling Nature Trail, it turned out to be a very pleasant walk in the sunshine and not as far as you would think. We were back at our holiday home in approximately 15 minutes.

With about an hour to spare before we headed out for dinner, my daughter and took a well earned break, snuggled up on our very comfy sofa watching TV.

That evening, my daughter and I had dinner in The Terrace which I had booked earlier that day. I would definitely book in advance wherever possible as the restaurants do tend to get exceptionally busy at main meal time.

At the time we arrived, the restaurant wasn’t too busy but within the time we were there it quickly became full. Our waitress for the evening was Zoe and she politely showed us to our table before offering us some drinks whilst we looked over the menus available.

As my daughter and I were on a rare night out, I thought we would make the most of it and have as many courses as desired so I opted for the Chicken Liver Pate for starters and the Rump Steak with Garlic butter for my main. My daughter opted for beef burger and chips from the children’s menu with a side order or bread. We shared the chocolate fudge cake with cream for dessert as we were both pretty full by the time it came to choosing a dessert.

The food was all excellent and both me and my daughter were more than satisfied with the food and the service provided by Zoe even though she was the only member of waiting staff in a room full of diners including two very large group bookings. Although to receive a bill for £50.00 at the end of our meal was a bit of a shock for me and my daughter. I did feel that this was a bit steep for one adult and child to eat what we did and have two glasses of Fanta, one glass of wine and a cappuccino. The Terrace is a family dining establishment as advertised but I can’t see it as somewhere that you would eat every night as it could work out very expensive for the average family of two adults and two children. Definitely somewhere to go if you fancy a nice treat with good quality, locally sourced and produced food.

Following our meal, we popped to the Village Store to pick up some movie supplies such as popcorn and sweets before heading back to our holiday home to watch the DVD we had hired from the Village Store earlier that day.

Finally we had reached our last full day, the Sunday, so during breakfast we decided to look at all the options of what we could do that day. Top of my daughters list was swimming in the Health & Fitness Club. As we already had passes, I decided it would be a shame not to use them and make the most of the facilities available so we made our way over the village to have our swim.

At the time we went the swimming pool it was not that busy but during peak times, access times can be limited for health and safety reasons so do check before entering to avoid disappointment.

The public areas, pool and pool area were exceptionally clean and we saw several checks being carried out in all areas whilst we were visiting the pool. Whilst we were in the pool, it was divided into two areas, the recreational area and the lane swimming area so everyone from the children to the fitness fanatic could make full use of the pool. Within the same area as the pool is a Jacuzzi which can accommodate a small group of people so whilst the children are playing in the pool, the adults can sit back and relax in the bubbles.

Next to the pool area is a sauna and steam room and there is also a gym in the building but as I had my daughter with me, I did not get the opportunity to try any of these facilities but from what I did see, these facilities certainly proved popular with guests and the general public.

After a morning of swimming, it was time to head back to our holiday home for a nice hot shower and some lunch.

We decided that during the afternoon, we would go off site to Cromer for a late lunch as I used to regularly visit Cromer and the surrounding areas when I was a child. I was very pleased to see it hadn’t really changed much over the years and still looked very much like a traditional seaside town. I couldn’t leave without picking up some fresh fish for my supper later that day.

When we returned to Kelling Heath Holiday Park we went for a final walk around the park which I have to say is always a pleasure as it’s so peaceful. As everyone that stays on site has a vehicle, you expect there to be lots of cars driving around but at Kelling Heath you have more chance of getting run over by someone on a bicycle than a car. A particularly favourite area of mine to walk to was the viewpoint as you could see Weybourne town and sea in the distance. It is definitely a view worth seeing.

Monday morning, we had to be out of our Luxury Holiday Home by 10am and we were sad to leave. We felt that although we had been at Kelling Heath Holiday Park for 3 nights, we felt that we still had so much more to explore.

Checking out was very straightforward, we simply locked up our Holiday Home,  went to reception and handed in our key whilst thanking staff for a great stay.

Without a shadow of a doubt my daughter and I would definetly return to Kelling Heath Holiday Park and have decided that when we do, we would like to stay in one of the Luxury Woodland Lodges as they look so perfect in the natural woodland area.

The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful, everything you could possibly need is on site, the holiday homes are amazing and the area the holiday park is situated in is absolutely beautiful. Kelling Heath Holiday Park is a must for anyone and everyone!!!

Watch a video of Kelling Heath Nature here.

For more information or to book visit www.kellingheath.co.uk

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