Last year we went to Havens holiday park in Ayr, Scotland. Thinking it would be a fun place for the kids, we booked the holiday online plus by a quick phone call to Havens, we were looking for self catering accomodation on a half board basis, for a week, for a family off five around July time, the cost was £526 which supposedly included a free pass which entitled use to get into certain places free of charge.
So judging by what we seen on the website the place looked great, so we booked using my debit card, but there turned out to be a small problem, I couldn't make the full payment all at once due to the bank limit per day, the staff were very understanding and we were able to make the outstanding payment the following day. So far the place looked great and the staff were very helpful and friendly, so all was left was the traveling, we booked that easyily enough which cost another £180, so the full price of the holiday was £706. We booked through Ulsterbus and Stena Line.
We arrived at Stranraer and boarded the Ulsterbus that was there waiting to transport us to Havens, Finally our stop came, We got of the bus with five rucksack type bags and three kids, we seen the Haven sign and thought we had a short distance to walk, Oh My Goodness we were so wrong........We had to walk quite a distance before we got to reception, we finally got there after about half an hour of walking and the staff showed us were to put our luggage until it was time to check in, at this stage it was 11.00am, so we had another four hours before we got settled into our accomodation, however it was a nice day so we went and had a well earned cup of tea and had a look around the place.
What was in the park?
Well there were three shops situated behind the reception, one shop was a gift shop the other was a small supermarket and the last was a cafe, beside the shops was another few buildings one being Turnberry gardens, this is were we had to go for meals (more on that later) and the other was filled with activities suitable for the kids, opposite from these shops etc was a burger stand and an ice cream stand botht were ridiculously expensive. Further up there were trampolines and a climbing wall, at the opposite end of the reception was the swimmers, then round the corner there was a park, football area and a few amusment such as go karts, bouncy slides and so on...........That was all we could see so far, Oh there was an entrance to the beach from the park, WOW a beach it was the worst beach I had ever seen, it was full of rocks and there was no were to sit or play.
Further up from were the trampolines were situated, there was a field with caravans and chalets, we collected our luggage from reception and made our way to the chalet, it was a ten minute walk that felt like forever with all the luggage, eventually we got to our chalet, which I might add was silver rating, there were gold, silver and bronze accomodation types, presumably gold being the best. Anyway while hubby got the door open I couldn't help but notice that the windows were absolutely filthy, apart from that the chalets looked ok from the outside, also the kids had a large grass area tp play right outside the chalet which was handy.
Right we got inside the chalet and we were met with green carpet which was badly stained and plain white walls that looked like they had not been painted from the year one, the curtains were all a matching shade of green, the hall was quite small, at the end of the hallway was the bathroom, which consisted of a dirty sink, toilet and shower, again the decor was bad. Next door to the bathroom was a bedroom, it was the kids bedroom, with the same green carpet and plain white walls, again in here the decor was much the same, there was a grey chest of drawers and a matching wardrobe that was basically ready to fall apart, on one end of the room there was a set of bunk beds and on the other side there was a single bed, the bunk beds were quite wobbly and I wasn't happy with the kids having to sleep in them.
Now into the next bedroom, this was our room and it consisted of the same green carpet and curtains, grey furniture and white walls, the carpet had an iron burn on, the matress was hard and uncomfortable and the pillows were pretty much the same, the only good thing about the chalet was that there were tea/coffee making facilities, understandably the milk was powder, but this just wasn't nice, so we bought milk from the shop, however we had no fridge so the milk went off really quick.
Basically the silver chalets consisted of two bedrooms, a bathroom and a hallway, I couldn't help but wonder what the bronze chalets were like......We weren't planning to spend a lot of time in the chalet, just sleeping and stopping of for tea and coffee, so we went to see what activities we could do.
Nearly all activities were in one building, there was a machine arcade, soft play area, burger king and there were two big rooms which held all the nightly entertainment, although kids shows were also held in here during the day, there were different kids shows on each night, they usually started around 6.00pm but to get a seat you needed to que from around 5.00pm and once the doors opened it was a fight to get into the rooms, people didn't care weather they were trampling over kids as long as they got a seat.
other entertainment included the swimmers, the park and the trampolines within about two days we had done all the activities. So we had to go outside the park for things to do, we found that there was a farm next door to the park, it was amazing and we spent all day there, we traveled into town and done some shopping and the rest of the week we spent repeating activies in the park.
Turnberry gardens was were we went for our meals, breakfast was at 8.00 and you could have whatever you wanted usually we stuck to cereal and toast as the cooked food wasn't very nice, dinner was pretty much the same.
Update On Aug 05, 2009: I should mention that although we didn't enjoy Craig Tara holiday park, we did enjoy being in Scotland, Ayr is a beautiful place and we travelled outside the holiday park on a few occassions and enjoyed Scotland better than we enjoyed the holiday park!