Inspired by a thread on the Behaviour forum, thought I'd start researching how to find an ideal UK holiday venue for my whole family. These are from the NAS website - can anyone add to the list? This is as opposed to respite although there are some fabbo looking activity holidays for the kids on that page too.
We've just had a "featherdown farm" holiday. the DS's loved it. Very quiet, no cars on site, loads of space to run about reasonably safely and DS2 (AS) slept really well as he loved the enclosed box bed (he likes to sleep in enclosed spaces. As it was very quiet (not many people attempt camping in Scotland in October!) we even let them run about outside in their pajamas.
Sorry your holiday was hard work Jimjams, I can see how tents would be difficult with an escaper, our boys are just extremely active but retrievable, it could have been a problem if the site had been busy however as the DS's were outside the tent being their usual noisy selves from about 7.30 onwards! The only other people there had to go home early because it was too cold for their dog! Our best holidays recently have been those when we have taken my parents along to share the childcare (and cooking). I realise that as my DS only has mild AS suggestions i might make probably won't suit everybody (but if you want to camp in Scotland i can give a few suggestions!).
My ds1 hates leaving the house and flatly refuses to go anywhere. So for years I've taken ds2 camping. I did drag the whole family yo Hesfes last year cos I wanted dd2 there but ds1 hated it and went home (with dh and dd2) after 2 days
I think that if ds1 would have stayed in the tent featherdown farm would have been utterly idyllic. I would do a short break again, because he loved it so much. But I would take walking shoes and expect it to be very hard work!
The farmer was very understanding about ds1's madness and seemed quite moved by him (kept saying 'my goodness you must be exhausted' and talked about how he had lived a sheltered existence until having Featherdown Farm and now realised that life wasn't plain sailing for everyone etc etc).
One suggestion for people whose kids love the beach - i can directly compare scottish beaches with cornish ones, while cornish ones are lovely (and the water warmer) they can be so busy that it is difficult to keep an eye on children who like to roam, without shadowing them all the time but you can have highland beaches to yourself even at peak times, enabling you to sit down to watch them and sparing you funny looks at eccentric behaviour! Of course if you are down south you would have the same problem that means we don't venture to Cornwall much , the looooong journey.
We stayed at Kelling Heath Holiday Park in Norfolk last summer and that was pretty good. You can get on the steam railway that runs between Sheringham and Holt at Kelling Heath or Weybourne, both of which are very close (easy walking distance) to the holiday homes. DS3 loved the steam trains. The stony beach at Sheringham was also a huge hit. All the DSs also liked the adventure playground and the caravan itself and the "village square".
Hi We stayed at a holiday house called CAERWEN in Pembrokeshire run by The Harriet Davis Trust for kids with Autism/challenging behaviour. it has a soft play room, locks on doors, tv in an enclosed cabinet, enclosed garden etc. well worth looking at. they have a website. quite cheap too 9relatively-family fund paid for us)
I took both dds there last weekend and we had a fantastic day. It is all secured and couldn't imagine any but the most practised escaper getting out. There were only about 20 kids there tops, some on respite, some with families. Siblings are welcome.