During lockdown it felt like everyone was buying secondhand caravans to makeover and book a summer of mini-adventures. This was a bandwagon I knew I could get onboard with!
I scoured Facebook marketplace for the right one and snapped up a cute little caravan from Lincolnshire, so only a short drive away from us.
Once I towed her home (feeling like this was the epitome of adulting), I got booking our maiden voyage! Not knowing how lockdown-lift would go, or even how well I would handle setting up a van single-handedly, I decided to book the closest campsite to me, just in case things were canceled last minute. Or didn’t go quite to plan once there!
Once I started looking at East Yorkshire campsites I realised just how much choice I actually had! Within half an hour drive of Beverley there were more than 20 sites available but I settled on booking a weekend at Manor Farm in Woodmansey.
It’s a small, family-run site with a large play park to entertain the children, park-view family-friendly pitches for parents like me who still need to keep an eye on their kids, plus themed food nights such as pie and pea Fridays, pizza Saturdays and kebab Sundays. There’s even a breakfast van there on a weekend run by Hull4Heroes with profits going to veterans. This meant that even if I couldn’t figure out how to cook in the caravan, we definitely wouldn’t starve!
On arrival, I was pleased to see that social distancing was still being encouraged with the personal hire of porta-loos available for those who didn’t have their own facilities. There is one entrance and one exit for the play park, plus hand sanitiser available at these points for the kids.
With two nights in Woodmansey booked, I was keen for the kids to feel like they were away on a proper holiday so planned a micro-local itinerary of fun things to see and do.
Why Woodmansey is the ideal location for your mini-break
Woodmansey is such an excellent location or base for your staycation as it is within easy reach from some brilliant free and affordable attractions that are a huge hit with the thrifty family. By pairing free bike rides or leisurely walks through Beverley Parks or Millenium Orchard, with time exploring Beverley’s highstreet and eateries, you’ll find a great balance that doesn’t eat into your wallet as much as a European city break or an all-inclusive on foreign shores would.
The Beverley Parks nature reserve is managed by The Woodland Trust and has two parts. One part has an orchard, bee hives and wooden sculptures with a designated path to walk around. The other part is a woodland – this is where there is currently a paper-based Pokemon Trail.
East Yorkshire is also a hotspot for geocache locations which is another excellent free, family-friendly activity. It gets you exploring the areas that you thought you were familiar with and seeing them in a new light.
How you can support your local economy out of lockdown
East Yorkshire Council are running a campaign to encourage more people to get out on the highstreet and support local businesses as the sun starts to shine and normality is restored and we were keen to do our bit and highlight some of the amazing businesses we love to visit too.
I challenge you to find a better view of Beverley Minster! We love to start a trip to Beverley with this epic vista from the top of Flemingate and the kids feel like they’re on top of the world!
After taking in the view, take the stairs or grab the lift down to the stores which make up the incredible hub that is Flemingate. Brunch at Artisa at No1 Deli is a great treat of a pit stop for some insta-worthy fodder! The mocktails are a lovely way for the kids to feel included too 😉
Follow this with an ice-cream in the sun from Poma in Wednesday market. You’ll find only two can enter this ice-cream shop at a time to ensure everyone feels nice and safe and there’s a cordoned-off queuing area outside with social distancing stickers to indicate where to wait.
Then a wander down Butcher Row and Toll Gavel, admiring all the opportunities for alfresco dining in the fresh air and give yourself a chance to dip in and out of all the dozens of charity shops, independent stores and iconic highstreet favourites.
You can really tell that businesses have invested in ensuring their stores are Covid-secure. Store assistants were constantly doing head-counts in-store to check they weren’t over capacity before you could enter safely. It all felt really reassuring and the general positivity to return to the newest version of normal really lifted the atmosphere.
The huge selection of charity shops are great for picking up affordable games and toys to keep the kids interested during your staycation. There’s Oxfam, YMCA, AgeUK, Scope, Sue Ryder amongst others! We stocked up on a few for the caravan and now have a games cupboard!
We even spotted a perfect find for saving up for our next staycation whilst in the Sue Ryder store.
For our second day we got back to one of our favourite places for a day out…we went back to Woodmansey for a trip to Let Loose! and spent four hours there! It was great to see hand gel points dotted around for quick catch-up cleanses and the toilets are open for more thorough washing.
We just paid for access to the park which includes a huge area covered in sand for the kids to dig and build in. All the cafe areas are outdoors so loads of healthy fresh air for everyone and there’s even blankets scattered over the back of dining chairs in case anyone gets a little chilly!
I found the blankets and hot chocolates made me forget the chilly breeze this weekend…the boys didn’t even notice as they managed to bump into some of their friends from school! (another added bonus to taking a local staycation!)
If you have older children, they’ll love the high ropes, rollerskating rink and zip wires. There really is something for everyone there.
In my opinion, Let Loose is one of the best family attractions near to Beverley. I think it’s amazing that all this is on our doorstep and we can make a full holiday within about a five-mile radius!
So it just goes to show, that a mere five-minute drive can take us into the thick of a hub of incredible local businesses, family attractions and campsites to have a brilliant and affordable staycation this spring/summer.
If you want to search for local businesses you can support, check out this link.
Disclosure – this post is sponsored by East Riding Yorkshire Council. All reviews and opinions are my own.