As a family who loves to visit holiday parks with pools and activities, we were excited to visit Breydon Water Holiday Village in Great Yarmouth. It’s been a while since we’ve visited Park Resorts (Park Dean) so we were looking forward to a change in activities and site layout.
Breydon Water is set in the beautiful Norfolk broads and just a very short walk away from the wonderful Burgh Castle. Different to usual holiday parks, it has two unique villages in one park and claims to have something for everyone. Food, entertainment and Gorleston Beach close by as well as a short drive to Great Yarmouth and the Pleasure Beach.
As non-drivers, we rely on public transport so took a pretty quick train to Great Yarmouth station. The train to Great Yarmouth starts at Norwich and is hourly. From there you need to take a 10-15 minute walk into Great Yarmouth town centre and wait for a number 5 bus (Also once every hour) and it is an approximately 30 minute journey though Gorleston hughstreet. Great for those that want to see what is about on the way.
Unlike other holiday parks we’ve visited, the bus stop was quite a walk from the main entrance. The path was very thin and not the easiest to navigate with young children, suitcases and pushchairs but our spirits were high and after about 10 minutes we were there.
Something to note if you drive is that there is little car parking space around the site. We counted 13 spaces in the checking in and entertainment area and about another 10 in the other village (not near check in). So the road around check in did get a little busy. It wasn’t an issue, but I can’t imagine it’s very fun to deal with in school holidays!
We were checked in by two lovely ladies who gave us all the information about the park we needed, explained where our van was and showed us the ‘short cut’ to the other facilities.
We were staying in E2 which fortunately was very close to the reception and evening entertain (which we were very happy about!). The van was clean and looked very well presentable, however the smell of rotten eggs as we entered wasn’t the nicest.
The van was equipped with 1 double bed and 2 singles (no pull out) but enough plates and cutlery for 8 people. We loved the special touches like the fact there was a bin bag, oven gloves and a toilet roll. Perfect for when your little ones need to go before you’ve unpacked! High 5 park dean!
The only downside to our van was the unfortunate set up of doors. The ‘master’ bedroom became blocked by the single bedroom when the door was open, meaning you were stuck in their until someone let you out. This caused issues for us a few times.
The beds were very comfortable, bedding clean and we had a great TV in the lounge too. (The signal wasn’t the best but that was likely because of the high winds)
We had a wonderful gas heater in the lounge, a heated towel rail in the bathroom and a small fan heater in each bedroom, which all did a great job at keeping us warm in the cold weather).
On Site Facilities
The site is equipped with many facilities, a swimming pool, shop, hire store with mini golf, multiple parks, an arcade, 2 bars/restaurants and an evening Show Bar.
One of the biggest issues for us was that the swimming pool and shop were in one village and the entertainment (and our van) was in another. The Yare and Bure villages are a good 5-10 minute walk away from each other (even when using the ‘short cut’) along very muddy ‘paths’, past a whole other caravan park and across a relatively busy road. The other issue was once you got to the other village, there was no path to walk from the entrance to the pool. For a park that has very limited parking, I don’t feel like walking along the road with young children is the best family friendly set up and it certainly isn’t very disabled friendly having to walk from one to the other.
The pool is very clean, with friendly staff. The set up inside is great with a viewing area, a family changing room and toilets alongside the pool. The main pool was all one depth which is a bit of a pain for younger children, but there is a very small area in the back corner where babies can paddle. The kids played in this while we sat on the side and they had a great time.
Note: The outdoor pool has the slide and is in the other village (where the evening entertainment is)
The shop, mini golf and hire store (for things like mini golf sticks, carts and buggies) all looked great but had very limited opening during the non-school holiday season.
ON SITE ACTIVITY PRICES
Family Fun Bike (4 seats) £8 half hour / £12 hour
Pedal Go-Kart (1 seat) £5 half hour / £8 hour
Chopper (2 seats) £7 half hour / £10 hour
Push Bike £6 day £15 week
*Deposit £10 per item*
Go Karts £1 each of 6 for £5
Mini Golf £2 per person
Pool Activities (Kayak/Inflatable Ball etc) £4/£5/£6 per activity
Day entertainment activities (Cooking/Sand Art etc) £3 per activity
The arcade was plenty of fun to keep us busy in the rain/hail and the kids park was fantastic. You could really see that money had been put into the park and improvements were often made. One of the parks was sadly not open, but we weren’t disappointed because the park that was in our village was and it had a huge variety of things for the kids to do (as well as a super cute friendship bench!)
There was a sports court right next to the park and touring area which I’m sure would be very popular too, along with a ‘bee friendly’ area and a herb garden. All great touches that made the park look pretty.
Although we didn’t buy food onsite, we did try to grab a drink, sadly the staff were unable to use/find the machine they needed to make the Costa coffee that was so proudly advertised so we left without one.
The evening bar was quite spacious, it had a stage, 2 TV’s and a bar at the back of the room. There was also a very small shop with all the Park Dean character merchandise. (Most of the items were not priced).
The day time entertainment was in all honesty very disappointing. The free activities were only on for a few hours (roughly 9-11) and then everything was paid until the evening kids disco. This meant a lot of time sat around in the caravan with the kids running mad!
Most of the paid activities were pool activities, but there were a few that weren’t. We decided to pay for one activity for Sunday afternoon. This was a ‘Krew Bake Off’ we were told we had to book this in the entertainment on the night before, however everyone we asked had no idea how to book it our take our money. Finally after speaking to 6 different people in different places, we finally got the kids booked on!
The Krew Bake Off was advertised as ‘creating edible masterpieces and the best bit of course eating them all yummy! Also join in with some chocolate games with the troupes!’ This activity cost £3 per child, so £9 when we booked all 3 of the girls on it. We turned up and the doors were opened dead on 1:30, the girls were invited in, sat down and waited for anyone else to turn up (who were told they could just come on the day!) They were given 3 fairy-cakes each and in the middle of the table was a pot of sprinkles some cheap Haribo type sweets and a tub of frosting. Within 15 minutes, they had decorated all 3 cakes and had their picture taken with one of the characters. It was then time to go, no eating or chocolate games! (We took the cakes with us) To say we were disappointed was an understatement £9 for 15 mins with ready made fairy cakes!
The evening entertainment for kids was in the schedule for 6:45 until 7:45ish. However as the character didn’t do pictures before hand, the entertainment was actually 7:20/7:30-7:50! 30 minutes and then a big long break before a quiz that was really mostly for the adults.
They did 1 game, danced to 3 songs and had a character on stage for a few minutes. On the last night, there were only about 10 children, so they all went up on stage for a quick photo.
Although I didn’t eat onsite, I’ve taken photos of the food prices here so you can take a look.
I honestly feel really mixed about the staff on site. Reception were very helpful and went out of there way to find out information for me and even came out to the park to update us. When we rang security in the evening for cooker help, they came out fast, fixed our issue and we even had a knock a short while later to make sure everything was all okay with everything else. These were great touches that really made me feel at home on the park.
Sadly though everyone else, although very polite just didn’t seam to know anything, drinks couldn’t be made, no-one knew prices or who took money, my sister was over changed, then when she corrected the lady, she was undercharged, I was given too much change in one shop and had to go back and was over charged in another, it was just a lot of backwards and forwards and made just being able to enjoy spending money very difficult!
I feel like the entertainment crew put very little effort into what they did (although very friendly) and as a mum and someone who has worked in holiday villages, I really felt like this was a huge let down when it really didn’t need to be!
Overall, every staff member was extremely friendly, maybe they just all need a manager or someone trained nearby.
I loved the location of the park and how friendly the staff were. We took a very short (less than 2 mins) walk to visit the castle ruins and got to spend a great time exploring. There is also the local town nearby so plenty to do. The facilities were very clean and tidy and you could really see the money that was put back into the park.
However the lack of organisation, entertainment and the distance between the 2 villages really let the whole place down. I’d rather put my money into somewhere that his far more organised when it comes to entertainment.
The site and surrounding area seamed to have a lot of puddles about, something to keep in mind for those camping/touring or who don’t like to get muddy feet!
You can watch our vlog here including the walk between the two villages.