TRAVELLED JULY 2017
It could only happen to me. As far as family holidays abroad go, heading to Sun Parks De Haan should have been the easiest. Didn't even need a map. Head to Folkestone, jump on the shuttle and bingo...75 minutes later straight into the Belguim equivalent of Center Parcs. Well, maybe not. I often wondered what happened when a car on the Eurotunnel service refused to start at the other end. Now I knew. Mine wouldn't, and to be fair it wasn't the only one. Thankfully I had two big strapping sons to push my vehicle through the carriages to the platform. Happily it was just a flat battery and I was soon heading along the wide open roads that link France with Flanders.
The attraction of Sun Parks over its UK rival is many fold. It's accomodation might not be as pristine - we had a few issues but they were quickly resolved with a smile - but we loved the Polder houses in the camp. And then of course, we were abroad. So much on our doorstep, lots of attractions from history to the wonderous solid sands that stretched for many miles along the north sea coast. Take the 20 minute tram ride to Ostend to see the Raverside Atlantik Wall war museum or simply stroll along its lengthy promenade. Drop in to one of the plethora of eating places to enjoy mussels and frites, oh don't forget the mayo.
Ostende is clean, tidy, expansive and it's busy in July but there's so much going on. Take in a pre-season football game featuring the city's top flight Belgium league side...or lounge back in a deckchair allowing the windbreak to do its job. The tram line runs along the coast for many miles, get off at Blankenberg and walk along the pier or, close to Sun Parks, leave at the small town of De Haan, a growing thriving community, picturesque in places, historical in others. Plenty to do, places to eat.
We venture from our holiday home to Bruges, just a 35 minute drive away. It is one of Europe's gems with its beautiful square, the famed Bell Tower and relax on the canal cruise. Yes beautiful it is, never to be understated. Park just outside the town, walk in, and if the fancy takes you hail a landau to give you that very special horse drawn ride through the area.
And there's more, 40 minutes from Sun Parks and hey, it's: Welcome to Holland. Well, the village of Sluis which has developed into something much more over the years. It is a first stop in the Netherlands for tourists, it sits on the canal, and is awash with shops, bars - don't miss the windmil - and when we visit it it's heaving. Ours is now a two country holiday. We just love Sluis, its ice cream parlours, ancy cheese shops and its architecture is much to be admired.
We find our base at Sun Parks, is just perfect for us to mix a blend of sight-seeing and enjoy the facilities of the park...and it is so much cheaper than Center Parcs in the UK. There are numerous sports to be played, play parks, indoor and out, for the kids and of course the massive water dome where you can splash and slide away to your heart's content. The environment is ideal, everyone is cool.
Our break has been heavenly, it's sad to leave Sun Parks, the children in particular just loved their holiday. Now we are on the Eurotunnel coming home...just keeping our fingers crossed...hope the car will start.
For more information visit: https://www.sunparks.com
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