Waterside Holiday Park sits just outside the seaside town of Weymouth, on the Dorset Coast. On the bit of England known as the Jurassic coast, with views out to Portland and its lighthouse called Bill.
Not that I knew any of this before Waterside invited us to come down and stay with them for the weekend, you understand. And if I am honest, we still don’t know anymore than that about the area, but there is a good reason for that. Actually there are two good reasons. The first is that the bit of their holiday park Waterside asked us to come and see was the bit tucked away in the corner with a sign saying “Safari Tents”. The bit that offers a hot tub on the deck with each one.
You can see why I didn’t need to be asked twice.
The second reason is because we happened to arrive into Weymouth on the weekend of the annual Seafood Festival. So
the hot tub , Festival became the main focus of our weekend away from home.
First of all though, a bit about the site. Reception was friendly and efficient (even though we arrived early and our tent wasn’t quite ready we were assured it wouldn’t be long and we were welcome to wait upstairs in the bar and they would call us when it was) and staff were more than happy to answer our questions. Directions to the nearest supermarket (though there is a Spar on site) or details of a taxi company were readily provided. And the phone call telling us our tent was ready came at exactly 2pm which is when the paperwork says you can check in from.
Along with the bar upstairs there is an entertainments venue with a packed programme of acts every night, along with a gym, sauna, spa, outside pool and even a laundrette. You can even get a pizza or a Costa coffee on site too. And whilst we were here for just two nights it would be easy to see how you could stay for a much longer holiday. And with a bigger group than ours. There really is something for everyone. We found ourselves relaxing and loving a slower and more peaceful way of life within just a few hours of arriving.
The safari tent that we stayed in had three bedrooms: one double and two twins, and had two shower rooms with the most glorious rain forest showers. The kitchen was fully equipped, down to a dishwasher and freezer and each bedroom came with a TV, the ones in the twin rooms also had PS4s. There is a DVD player in the lounge, a pile of board games and a wood burning stove for the chillier nights. Not that we needed it when we stayed, in fact we found the tent incredibly well insulated, too much so maybe for the warm summer night and if we had only one tiny criticism it would be there could have been ceiling fans.
Though as Mr B said, you would have only needed them for five nights of the year so it is not hard to see why they were not installed.
A deck at the front of the tent had a table and chairs, each one has ample parking for at least two cars, and the deck at the back has a hot tub, which was the most perfect way to start the weekend. As the friends we invited to join us for the weekend found out as they got out of the car laden with stuff for the weekend and found us half way down a bottle of Prosecco and in our swimming costumes.
It would have been very easy to just arrive with enough food and Prosecco for the weekend and not leave but we had booked a restaurant for dinner in town and were determined to at least get a bit of a sense of what Weymouth had to offer. Thoughtfully there is a bus that stops pretty much right outside the safari tents that goes right into the centre of Weymouth, every 20 minutes (until about 7.30pm in the summer) so quite frankly why would you drive?! We got the bus in to town, and a taxi back (only £9) and then didn’t have to worry about parking, or who was going to draw the short straw and be the designated driver.
We did the same thing again on Saturday when we had been warned that due to the seafood festival the town would be rammed and parking would be non-existent. The bus got in, and back, for just £4.
Whilst we didn’t have a sea view (nobody on Waterside does as it is actually across the road from the sea, though their restaurant and children’s play area is on the sea side) it was only a five minute stroll through the park and over a very quiet residential road to the slipway in Bowleaze Cove. Mr B and I had managed to get down there on the Friday evening to see the last of the sun before sneaking back to the hot tub and I snuck down there for a 6am swim on Saturday morning.
It was chuffing freezing mind you, but was heaven. I sat and did my morning meditation on the beach as I tried to regain the feeling in my lower body and watched as people arrived to walk their dogs and begin the day before I walked back to start the day with a hot cuppa and toast.
We all thought these safari tents were really special, and a very different way to spend a weekend on a holiday resort with all the facilities, but with the added benefit of being tucked out of the way in a quiet corner.
What more could you ask for?
You can find out all you need to know about the accommodation, pricing and availibility here: Waterside Park
And for Mr B’s review of the weekend, have a read of this post: Mr B’s review of Waterside