Twitchen House – Woolacombe, Devon

Twitchen House woolacoombe

Twitchen House must have been a family home one time, a huge beautiful family home. It’s a breathtaking Edwardian building and still looking grand today. It is part of the Woolacombe Bay  holiday parks and this is our second visit to Twitchen House as last year we stayed at Golden Coast.

Since our last stay Twitchen House has undergone a massive £2.5 million renovation in keeping with the manor house and surroundings they have done a fantastic job.

This time we took our caravan for a five night stay and we can’t wait to return, see why …

twitchen house outside pool

Journey

Half term week is the busiest week to travel but we decided to leave at 6am and journey down on the Tuesday. This proved to be very successful as we arrived at Twitchen House around midday. To get to Woolacombe you use the Barnstaple ring road which is very straightforward, we drove along the A361 which is a great road only travelling through Broughton at peak times can be slow.

We turned into the B3343 to Woolacombe, again no problems towing the van. After about 2 miles you have to turn right towards Mortehoe and this is a small country lane with hedges either side. The only hiccup we had was when the Woolacombe Bay double decker bus was travelling in the opposite direction, it made for some very slow manoeuvres inching past each other but it can be done and we all arrived safe and sound with the caravan intact.

twitchen house outside pool

Check in

Very simple and very quick, check in is in Twitchen House. You are assigned your plot, given a map and told directions. It was very easy to get to and on booking there are three pitches to choose from, Basic, Electric and Super. We chose a Super Pitch which has the following amenities

A concrete hard standing or all weather base:

  • 16 amp electrical hook-up
  • Awning space
  • TV aerial point
  • Drinking water
  • Waste water drainage
  • Night light
  • Parking on your pitch

We were given a pitch in H field which has a fabulous play area in the centre for the kids however our plot, H49 was placed right by the grass area so we were right behind the kids goal when they were playing football, the ball did hit our van a couple of times so it might be worth taking note of that.

making friends in the park

Park Facilities

The newly revamped centre is gorgeous, a lot of thought has gone into the design and architecture, you won’t be disappointed. There is a a lovely all day cafe/restaurant area, where you can also buy food to take away – the chips were delicious! There is also a soft play area so easy to leave the children playing and have a coffee watching them.

twitchen house all day cafe

There is a club house with a stage, lots of seating and balconies opening up if you want to sit outside too

On the lower level which can be reached from outside you will find the site supermarket which is very fairly priced and holds everything you will need.

Twitchen house facilities

There is also The Art Shed and on a rainy day this was our saviour. A genius idea where you choose a piece of pottery from the many available, plates, bowls, mugs, princesses, robots and dinosaurs to name a few.

art shed twitchen house

On each table there is a centrepiece of paints, brushes and clean water. Each painter has a tile on which they squeeze their chosen colours and off you go.

the art shed twitchen house

It took us over an hour to complete our princesses, the girls loved it and there is also a bar where you can order tea, coffee or soft drinks too. Your finished piece will go in the kiln and will need 24 – 48 hours before it’s ready to pick up so worth doing at the beginning or middle of your stay. It gets busy so the earlier you go along the better chance you have of finding your preferred pottery piece and a table to work at.

twitchen house art shed

There is a cinema showing 2D and 3D films an indoor swimming pool, an outdoor swimming pool with a great fountain area to play in alongside and a marvellous adventure playground.

twitchen house play area

For older kids the area EX34 will keep them amused

woolacoombe bay ex 34

As the four parks are connected it is also possible to visit other parks to use their facilities like bowling at the Golden Coast for example.

bowling woolacoombe bay

Camping facilities

These are superb and we were very impressed. The shower blocks are huge, I think I counted 26 showers, all large enough for an adult and kids to go in, with hooks for hanging towels and dry clothes, a small sink and a mirror. There were shaving plugs too.

There are two hairdryers available with mirrors and they are free of charge.

There is also a sauna and a steam room which are turned on mornings and afternoon/evening, free of charge.

There was a separate area towards the back of the building with lots of toilets in both mens and ladies and plenty of sinks.

Every time I visited there was music playing which I really liked, it was clean, often with the cleaner present and I never had to wait long for a shower to come free.

twitchen house

Surroundings

This is a beautiful part of the world and one we return to whenever we can. Our favourite places include

Coombe Martin

Watermouth Castle

Mortehoe

Berrynarbour

Lynton and Lynmouth

Ilfracoombe with a pretty harbour and Damien Hirst’s Verity, a controversial statue worth taking a look at.

Ilfracoombe Other Criteria Damien Hirst

Woolacombe Beach and town is beautiful. I love eating at The Red Barn and we always stock up on pasties from the local shop. Woolacombe is a surfers paradise, the girls had lots of fun belly boarding in their wet suits in the sea.

woolacoombe beach

A bit of history on Twitchen House

In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson’s Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Twitchen like this:

TWITCHEN, a parish in South Molton district, Devon; 12 miles NE of South Molton Road r. station. Post town, South Molton, North Devon. Acres, 2,918. Real property, £1,889. Pop., 227. Houses, 45. The manor belongs to Lord Poltimore. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to North Molton. The church, excepting the tower, was rebuilt in 1848. There is a Wesleyan chapel.

Cost

We paid £170 for five nights in June half term week 2014. There is no disclosure as this isn’t a requested review just one I wanted to share with you because we loved it so much.

Woolacombe Devon budget holiday

North Devon coast

Not all of us have pots of money ready to spend as much as we’d like to on holidays but quality family time together is pretty high on everyone’s list, so if the only option is a BUDGET Holiday, what exactly are we letting ourselves in for?

Many holiday companies are offering cheaper deals so I thought it would be a good idea to try one out for myself and report back to you with my findings.

This year Other Half and his twin hit the big 4-0 and it gave us all a brilliant excuse to book up a Bank Holiday weekend away. We looked into it last year and as North Devon is a place where they spent many of their childhood holidays it seemed the perfect place to go back to plus the fact I love a cream tea and a Cornish pastie.

Each family booked their own accommodation with Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks and we went for the very lowest which was scary in itself, what would we find? Would it have a roof?

budget holiday home - Woolacombe Bay

Woolacombe has four parks to offer each with it’s own unique set up but you can cross from one to the other as and when you please. We stayed at Twitchen Park. The site is set around a beautiful manor house of the same name which dates back to 1881. One set of our group stayed in an apartment in the Grade 2 listed building and I was fascinated to see so many original features. An enormous apartment which sleeps 8 in three bedrooms plus lots of extra space to enjoy. You could have fitted our minuscule mobile home in the kids bedroom and still had room to spare :)

budget holiday home

Budget holiday home with a million dollar view

But what is budget accommodation like… booked up almost a year in advance we took advantage of a special early booking discount and paid £96.70 for a 3 night Bank Holiday weekend break. Which is an excellent price. The mobile home sleeps four in one double and one twin bedroom, it has a bathroom with a shower and a main living area with divan seating, a dining table and a galley kitchen. It’s perfectly acceptable for a short break and comfortable too.

budget holiday home inside

The kitchen even had a microwave which surprised me as many holiday parks see them as extras and for upgrades only.

My only quibble that really turned my nose up was it stank of stale smoke and being a non smoker it made me feel sick every time I entered, sadly it was a very cold weekend so I didn’t have the opportunity to open the doors and windows and in all honesty I think you’d need more than fresh air to take away that smell. Oh and the windows had definitely seen better times

budget holiday home window

The site has a very helpful reception, amusement arcade, clubhouse, TV/sports bar, swimming pool, launderette, take away/eat in fish and chip shop (which was so packed the first night with people queueing up to 40 minutes it was quicker to drive into town and get fish and chips from Woolacombe) and a children’s activity park.

We visited the clubhouse every evening so the girls could join in the Tots disco which they adored and the entertainment was good.

Marianne Weekes and twins

North Devon is packed with all sorts of activities for all ages so very well worth the visit.

My tips would be to ask for a non smoker van on booking if like me you are anti-smoking and if you’re in for bad weather take a small electrical fire to keep the place ticking over nicely.

If you can get past the stale smoke smell this was an excellent budget holiday.