We all know the feeling – July hits and you can’t wait to get away on holiday. And most of the time the camaraderie of everyone being in the holiday spirit together is great, but sometimes you fancy something a little calmer. That’s why last year, we decided to go on holiday in September.
We’d always heard September was best for beating the crowds and more importantly, cheaper than going away in the summer holidays but with the desire to go away sooner rather than later, we’d never actually done it.
But there are plenty of advantages to going away in September. Yes, you have to wait a little longer to go on holiday, but all the attractions will still be open and while the British weather can never be guaranteed, it’s usually still quite mild in September and the Met Office predicts reasonably settled weather for the south of England this September.
Since we wanted to go somewhere where there’d be something to do whatever the weather, we set our sights on a week at a holiday park. We’ve got friends who’ve been to Haven before and by the sounds of it, it’s one place where the holiday mood never dies. So there’s no need to worry about less going on if you visit outside of the summer holidays.
So anyway, last year I booked us a week at The Orchards Holiday Park in Essex. Whenever we go on holiday, we love getting on our bikes and going for a family bike ride and when I was having a quick Google of things to do when I came across this: the Southend Bikeathon. None of us had taken part in a mass bike ride before, but it sounded like fun and the whole event was to raise money for leukaemia and lymphoma research.
Last year with the little ones in a seat attached to each of our bikes, we set out to complete the Bikeathon. 620 riders turned out in total and although it cost £15 each to enter, we didn’t mind because the money was for charity. We had an amazing day and it’s just one of many great activities for family holidays.
Another place you shouldn’t miss is Colchester Zoo. They run events all year round and I’ve been checking out what’s on this September because we’re thinking about spending a few days at The Orchards again this year. The big one that caught my eye was the Starlight Safari Night.
Taking place on 21st September, this special event gives you access to the zoo’s late night feeds – something you’d never be able to witness otherwise. The whole zoo will also be illuminated and 100 giant giraffe sculptures will be displayed around the park. See wolves, hyenas, tigers, lions and leopards up close and so that you don’t miss anything, there’s a handy timetable on Colchester Zoo’s website.
Finally, whatever the British weather throws at you, make sure you take a trip to the beach. We did it last year and although the weather was a bit cloudy, we still had a great day. Clacton Pier kept us occupied for hours with all its rides and amusements and we loved getting dizzy on the teacups. The best thing was that going on holiday in September meant we didn’t have to queue for long at all.
But absolutely best of all was that whenever we got back to the holiday park, there was always something to do when we got back. Orchards Park offers a good balance of things to do on and off-park, so you can be as adventurous or as laid back as you like. But if you’re anything like us, a week at a holiday park will never feel like long enough!
A guest post by a Haven Mum