AD | Press trip
Growing up, I lived not too far from the popular coastal resort of Cleethorpes, in Grimsby. Erin’s been asking to see where I’m from for some time now and this was the perfect time to stay at Cleethorpes Pearl holiday park with Away Resorts.
Monday – Check in day!
The drive from North Walsham to Cleethorpes is roughly 3.5 hours without any stops. We don’t like to drive straight through so we made sure we had a break for breakfast before we left Norfolk and this broke the journey up nicely. By the time we arrived in Cleethorpes it was lunchtime, and we were all ready for it.
Time for lunch
Grimsby and Cleethorpes are famous for their fish and chips. If you’re a local, you’ll know that not everywhere sells cod and haddock is the go-to fish here. After we’d parked the car, we headed straight to my favourite, Steels.
The price of fish in Cleethorpes is a lot less than it is back home. At Steels, you can get a jumbo haddock and chips, which comes with pot of tea or coffee AND bread and butter for around £15. It was so nice to start our holiday doing something familiar and eating somewhere I knew we’d all enjoy.
Burst of Blue!
As we were booked into Burst of Blue exclusive accommodation at Cleethorpes Pearl, this meant we had an earlier time of 2:30, compared to 4pm. I really like that this is something offered by Away Resorts, as it means you can really start your holiday early. Checking in was really easy. We were given a little pack full of useful things like maps, an entertainment guide and of course, our key fob! Asking for a second key fob was no problem at all and this was done within minutes.
We were all impressed with our accommodation. The Burst of Blue caravan is by far the nicest we’ve ever stayed in and it was the perfect accommodation for our time in Cleethorpes. To make things even better, exclusive accommodation comes with a great welcome pack of things like milk, tea, coffee and biscuits to help you get settled as soon as possible. Be sure to read our review of the Burst of Blue accommodation.
Swimming at The Lido
Not wanting to waste any time, we headed straight to The Lido, which has a wonderful outdoor heated pool, and was open until 5pm (times may change). Surrounded by sun loungers, there’s plenty of space to sit and relax if you don’t fancy a swim It’s easier to arrive swim-ready but there are lockers and changing rooms available if you need them. The outdoor pool was a lot more fun than I’d imagined it to be, and we all had a great time.
Bingo and stars of Welsh wrestling
Being our first day, we wanted to check out the evening entertainment, which is done in the Show Bar from 6pm. Each evening started with bingo, which you need cash for if you want to buy tickets. Sales are between 6-6:15 and then the games start at 6:30.
At around 7pm, the children’s entertainment starts and this evening was the stars of Welsh wrestling. It was quite exciting to go into the bar and see a huge wrestling ring where the dance floor would usually be. As soon as the wrestling started, Erin got right into it, cheering for the good guys and booing the bad guys. I think this was probably one of her favourite evenings of the whole holiday.
Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre
Coming from Grimsby, I wanted to show Erin some of the places I went as a child. The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre was somewhere I went a few times on school trips so this was the perfect thing for us to do.
A family ticket (2 adults and 1 child) cost £25 but this included a tour of the Ross Tiger. Our tour started at 11am and lasted for around 45 minutes, led by our very knowledgeable guide, Ron. It was so interesting to listen to the history of the Ross Tiger, what it was used for and to look around.
After our tour we went back into the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre to look around the museum. Before you get started, you can choose a job for each of you from the cards at the entrance. This hasn’t changed since I was a child and I love being able to do this still. I was sure Erin would choose to be the ship’s cat but she didn’t, she chose to be the skipper like me.
Around the museum, you can learn all about Grimsby and its fishing history. Walk around recreated scenes such as the quay, different parts of the boat, the docks and even a fish and chip shop. The Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre has a very distinct, strong smell to it, something else that hasn’t changed.
We wanted to make the most of being back in our hometown and arranged to see some family while we were there. My Auntie lives not too far from Cleethorpes Pearl so we spent a few hours there in the afternoon, where Erin got to meet Mabel the dog, and to take her for a walk.
For a bit of a slower morning, we decided to stay on-site and do some of the activities there. Cleethorpes Pearl has two outdoor play parks as well as football courts and a tennis court. We always look for facilities such as this with a caravan holiday, as it helps to keep costs down. The bigger outdoor play area was a huge hit with Erin, being able to play on swings, a zip wire and a sandpit. This was great for children around her age (7), or slightly older. The other play area is more suited to younger children.
After playing, we made our way to the outdoor heated swimming pool again. John and Erin love to make the most of any swimming facilities and they couldn’t wait to get back in. At 10am, the pool was fairly quiet which I think was helped a bit by the drizzly weather. That didn’t stop John and Erin though. I, on the other hand, went into the on-site Buckets restaurant to warm up with a hot chocolate.
Before our holiday, I’d booked Erin onto one of the planned activities; a slime workshop. This was held in the Show Bar and cost £6 for Erin to participate. The activity was really fun and we could all get involved if we wanted to. Erin was able to make two different kinds of slime and take some home with her as well. The session was only 30 minutes long but it was nice to do something a bit different without having to leave the site.
Carvery at The Trawlerman
We had planned to eat on-site for lunch but unfortunately the kitchen had issues and had to close. Across the road from Cleethorpes Pearl is The Trawlerman, a pub and restaurant. You can easily walk across or drive if you’re planning on going somewhere else afterwards.
Although there is a full menu to choose from, we all opted for a carvery. We were starving and this was a quicker option. The carvery was delicious and absolutely the right choice. You can add extras such as pigs in blankets or extra meat if you want to. For 3 adults and 1 child, including drinks, costs around £55.
Arcades, ice creams and donkey rides
You can’t go to Cleethorpes and not spend some time down the seafront for some traditional seaside family fun. Although the weather was awful, and it was freezing, it didn’t stop us. Erin was most excited to go on a donkey ride on the beach so we had to make sure this happened. We spent some money in the arcades, without much luck and finished off with a very sad-looking ice cream before heading back to our accommodation to warm up.
The children’s evening entertainment at Cleethorpes Pearl was an act called Nutty Noah. Erin, and the rest of the children watching sat on the floor in front of the stage for this one, while Nutty Noah did jokes, music and general craziness on the stage. I have to say, some of the content was hilariously inappropriate but only for the adults that would have understood. We were sat crying with laugher throughout so we really enjoyed this one just as much as Erin did, if not more.
The weather had not been on our side this holiday and we decided that we needed to do something that would be fun for Erin but also indoors. A short drive away from Cleethorpes Pearl is a retail park with some shops and places to eat. This is where we found our activity for the morning!
Magical Castle soft play
Magical Castle soft play was where Erin chose to go, and we booked a session online the night before. During school holidays, the morning session ran from 9:30 am until 12pm. We had to pay £7.25 for Erin and £1 per adult which I thought was really reasonable.
Once we got inside, we were all blown away by just how big this soft play was. I’d never seen anything like it. We were given an allocated table for our session and off Erin went. As spaces are limited for each session, it was busy but not horribly so. There was plenty of space to go on everything without feeling rushed or too crowded. There’s everything here, including a climbing wall, bouncy castle and HUGE slides. Erin had an absolute blast and didn’t want to leave.
More fish and chips
We’d always planned to go to Steels twice during our stay in Cleethorpes, mainly because it’s something we won’t get again for quite some time. Usually one for sausage at the chippy, Erin requested haddock of her own this time and ate the lot… including some of mine! It was nice to squeeze in one last visit!
Friday – time to head home!
On the drive to Cleethorpes we’d passed the Wolds Wildlife Park in Horncastle and had decided to go there on the way back home. To make the most of the day, we packed up our things early and were on the road by 9am, ready for opening time at 10am.
Wolds Wildlife Park
10am was a great time to arrive, as it was fairly quiet and it meant we got to catch some of the animal feeds. In the first half an hour we got to see both the lions and the bears being fed, which was really quite amazing. These kinds of things we usually miss because we forget.
The Wolds Wildlife Park isn’t huge but there’s plenty to do. Animals include a variety of big cats, zebras, guinea pigs, reindeer and alpacas, just to name a few. No area was too busy at any one time, meaning we could take a leisurely stroll around and not rush anything.
We ended up staying until around 2:30, after having lunch and seeing the rest of the animals. This was just about the right amount of time for us, although we could have easily stayed longer too.
The end of a great trip
Although the weather was not on our side, we still had a great time. The mix between doing things at Cleethorpes Pearl holiday park, and exploring the local area, meant that we had a really varied holiday. Our accommodation was fantastic, we had plenty to do and we had great food. What more could we ask for?