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Sandyballs - anyone stayed in the lodges ?

(15 Posts)
Wheelybug Fri 03-Jul-09 15:00:19

and know what the difference between pine and oak are ? Same price, slightly different arrangement but one better than the other on location or anything else ?

And was Sandyballs good - we're thinking of a midweek break in oct half term? I went about 25 years ago. I think it may have changed a bit !

Wheelybug Fri 03-Jul-09 16:12:52


Wheelybug Fri 03-Jul-09 20:01:01

bump (sob)

middymo Fri 03-Jul-09 22:06:29

Yes, I've been to Sandy Balls lots of times, most recently last December when we stayed in one of the four berth Sycamore Lodges, it was fab. We have also stayed in the older pine lodge six berth en-suite and to be honest in this particular older lodge the single beds were not comfortable at all and the furniture could do with updating, but was all clean (I'm v fussy!). From what I remember the Sycamore and Beech Retreats are superior to the others, although they have got some new four berth oak lodges now on the Duckhouse site.

I have been during the Easter holidays and it was busy. I much prefer it off season, but I am now tied to school holidays too.

If there is any specifics you want to know just ask.

The online brochure available here

middymo Fri 03-Jul-09 22:14:14

From the plans in the brochure, I would check whether the Oak lodges have a verandah, if that is important to you, as they are not indicated in the brochure.

Wheelybug Sat 04-Jul-09 12:01:08

Thanks middymo - For the dates we want I think we were only offered Pine or Oak. Sounds like Oak might be better ?

We're new to this kind of holiday (i.e. child friendly wink) but think it might suit 4 year old dd1. Is there a fair amount for this age to do without it being too holiday camp-y ??

middymo Sat 04-Jul-09 19:30:17

I think the oak lodges will be newer, but perhaps not in the most established plots as the pine lodges probably are. If in doubt phone or email reservations, they are more than accommodating and helpful.

It would be great for a 4 year old, but bear in mind you will be going at a very busy time with lots of older children there.

There are some lovely walks, outdoor playgrounds and a small soft play place supposedly for under 5s, but the older children try and get in and I have had to complain on more than one occasion as the older children had been playing tag in there among the babies and toddlers trying to play. They really ought to introduce some kind of key card system on the door.

There is also a swimming pool which has two toddler pool sections.

During the holidays they will probably have some activities, for a 4 year old this will probably including some sticking/colouring activities and maybe playdough/beading.

There is a bistro to eat in, or grab coffee and snacks in. A spar shop, laundrette, pub, beauty salon, bike hire, gym and a gift shop with various leaflets of what to do in the area. You an get Tesco to deliver there, but the Spar shop is quite well stocked.

It is not holiday campy at all, it's more like a tiny version of centre parcs.

LupusinaLlamasuit Sat 04-Jul-09 19:32:02

Sorry but everytime I see people talking about this I have to post and go ...ARF!

Would love to go one day though - let us know what it is like?

slackrunner Sat 04-Jul-09 19:33:53

Me too llamasuit. An ex of mine worked there for a summer hols, and everytime we drove past it afterwards we'd have a good snigger <arf arf>.

nannynick Sat 04-Jul-09 20:19:38

A weekend in mid October is £295 (Hazel Hideaway). Center Parcs Longleat is £259 (for Exec apartment) or £299 for Exec Lodge.

I would have thought the cost would be less at Sandy Balls... it is compared to Exec Lodge but only by £4.
Can't see me changing from Center Parcs to Sandy Balls for that low a saving.

Wheelybug Sun 05-Jul-09 16:34:22

thanks for all the info middy - i'll give them a call to find out but thibk we're give it a whirl.

Lupusina - Agree re name. I went about 25 yrs ago when it was a merecampsite with another family. tHE Mother was called Sandy. oh how we laughed grin

NN - we have to go at haLF TERM. C parcs is almosttwice the price. Also, we are booked for CP at feb half term with some friends. Plus I love the new forest and its closer for us than CP.

sorry about typing - am feeding and typing !

amidaiwish Sun 05-Jul-09 16:37:08

we went summer 07 with my NCT group and stayed in one of the cheap tin static lodges. was very comfy and well equipped. i was very impressed.

swimming pool filthy though and packed and we went early July out of school hols.

had a great time hiring bikes with trailers for the kids.

weddingcake Sun 05-Jul-09 22:21:08

Will be watching this thread for any more info/advice from Sandy Balls vetrans as we're off there in a couple of weeks staying in one of their static caravans.

It was so much cheaper than anywhere else that I'm starting to have a last minute panic that it will be awful!

Am going with a 2 year old and a new baby.

Saxonne Tue 07-Jul-09 15:36:00

Sorry cannot comment on the lodges, but used to go there regularly as a child when we had a touring caravan. From memory the setting is wonderful for children who love exploring the woods.

I wonder if the lovely old gypsy caravan is still on the site? It used to fascinate me as a child. Can anyone enlighten me?

Doozle Tue 07-Jul-09 15:51:42

I think it's pretty holiday-camp like. Not sure I'd go back but that's just me.

The sycamore and beech retreats are definitely the nicest interiors, I had a peek round them.

The pine hideaway lodges are older style and bit chintzy. All clean and fine though.

Swimming pool was packed, you had to queue to get in and this was on a weekend in February.

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