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Bunn Leisure - A review

(1 Post)
StillSquiffy Mon 21-Sep-09 13:11:26

Earlier this summer I was lucky enough to be offered a short holiday at Bunn Leisure in Selsey (near Bogner Regis). Here are my views on the park - if anyone has any questions please let me know. I will also be posting a shorter review on the Review section.

I am a mum who used to confidently say that I was more comfortable with centerparks than with caravan parks. When it comes to static caravans, I have always had a murky memory from childhood of chemical loos that needed to be pumped, communal showers, and Heath Robinson affairs that turned the dining table into Mum & Dad's bed at night. Looking back, I find it hard to beleive that it was once considered normal to fold up the bed and get out the rice crispsies in the same spot. So I wasn't expecting much when I took a few days at Bunn Leisure.

To say that I was pleasantly surprised is quite an understatement - where I expected to fall about laughing, I instead found myself running my finger over clean and shiny surfaces, marvelling at the whole Tardis-like affair. These caravans (which I subsequently discover cost more than £45,000) boast full size kitchens, 'real' sofa's, small-but-perfectly-formed shower rooms, and proper bedrooms. Yes the rooms were small, but the caravans did boast everything you might actually need.

And the park itself? Well, on the plus side there was a fabulous leisure centre, with large indoor pools, slides and lazy river. Everywhere was spotlessly clean and with there was enough to keep my young kids amused through a couple of rainy days. Sunshine opened up the possibility of the beach (pebbly, but OK), the fun fair (best for under 10's) and the go karts. On the less positive side, you need to pick your spot. Bunn Leisure covers touring pitches and three separate caravan areas and I think that only 'West Sands' had really modern facilities. When I ventured to the 'White Horse' leisure complex, I felt as if I had stepped back in time - sad facilities looking a little tired and unloved. The money seems to have been spent in just the one area ('The Waterfront'), and it shows. Saying that, I guess that you can save money by staying in the one area and walking down to West Sands in the evening - plenty of people were doing just that and there was a flood of cars into the area during the evening (there are free buses too around the site).

Evening entertainment was hit and miss, but had the advantage in that even the bad bits were good in an excrutiating way. How on earth did park owners find enough, umm, talent, to book out entertainment slots in the dim days past before shows like 'The X Factor' came along and spouted out an everlasting stream of 'not-quite-made-it' entertainers? If you ever wanted to know what happened to Chico. T'Pau and Gin the dog, well, I can tell you. It might not be your cup of tea, but boring it isn't.

I spent a long time comparing Bunn Leisure with centerparks, which is of course absolutely bonkers. Yes, anyone can see that the facilities were not as wide, the setting not as beautiful, and the accommodation not (quite) as good. And I spent one morning counting the discarded cigarette butts which I could see from the step of my caravan (I gave up after 20). But are all these differences worth a price differential, which for the October half term currently stands at £1,200 for half a week? Not on your life. I rerally cannot justify paying crazy money when I now know there is an alternative, starting at £200 for 5 nights across half term. We may be snobs, but our kids aren't, and my two had just as good a time as they have ever had with the Boden brigade. I spent a lot of time noticing those little niggles which you cannot blame the owners for (cigarette butts, an occasional shouty mum), when I should have been giving more credit for the niceties which they were responsible for (the spotless cleanliness everywhere, the fast service, the reasonable prices for food and drink). I like centerparks and will no doubt continue to go there, but I will also have no hesitation in booking to return to Selsey from time to time when the cost of alternatives goes through the roof. Bunn Leisure is all about value for money and it delivers to that. If some of us are too snobbish to take advantage of these types of holidays then we are fools. One weekend in centerparks, for the price of four weekends in Selsey? Have you asked your kids which they would prefer?

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