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Thursday, 5 November 2015

A half term holiday at Parkdean Sundrum Castle, Ayrshire

We enjoyed a wonderful half term at Parkdean's Sundrum Castle near Ayr this October. Priced at less than £300 for the 5 of us Monday-Friday it was a bit of a bargain too and I can't wait to tell you all about our week. 

Day One
Caravan tour and dinner at Tom O'Shanter Restaurant


We arrived at Sundrum Castle at around 7pm, the journey took around 3 hours from Northumberland and it felt like we were there in no time. Check in was friendly, quick and easy. We were booked to stay in a Gleneagles caravan and were really impressed with the cleanliness and modern feel. I LOVED how we had two bathrooms, our beds were made on arrival and we had lots of plugs and a decent sized fridge-freezer. We also had a large HD TV and DVD player and central heating throughout. We could park our car right outside and our caravan even had it's own washing machine meaning it is a fantastic option for those with little children. We had one issue with our caravan when we couldn't get the central heating to work on the second day - a quick call to reception and an engineer was with us and had the problem sorted within 15 minutes. Perfect! I really could not have been happier.


Click the video below as I take you on a mini caravan tour:-


As it was way past tea time we were all starving and headed to Sundrum Castle's on-site restaurant - Tom O'Shanter's. There is the option to stay half board at Sundrum Castle for only £14.95 per adult and £9.95 per child, we however decided we preferred the flexibility of self catering. 






For £50 we ordered a two course meal for the five of us including a bottle of wine which was very good value (the wine alone was £14). Although the food wasn't anything to write home about, it was hot, plentiful and filled our tummies - it was pretty en-par with what you would expect from a Brewers Fayre pub or Beefeater.

Now that the children are older it is nice to be able to spend a few hours in a restaurant with them rather than having to head to a kids disco every night and we spent the evening excitedly chatting about our plans for the week ahead.


Back at the caravan, the kids went straight over to sleep and we opened a bottle of wine to enjoy with a spot of James Bond on the TV.


Day Two
Superhero Movie Club, Culzean Castle and Adventure Playground & Star Landers Party Games


After a lazy morning in the caravan we headed over to Star Landers kids club at 11am. Today's theme was Superheroes and the kids truly had a wonderful time designing their own superheroes and then creating a movie with the help of the leaders. If your children are younger than 8 years old, parents do need to stay in the room with them but I didn't mind. I ordered a Costa coffee from the bar and spent an hour reading the newspaper which is something I haven't done in at least a year! We were all invited to a premiere of the kids' movie in the bar that evening and Harry, Heidi and Jack were so excited to show everyone. The kids club staff were as you would expect, excellent with our children and really encouraged their creativity.




After a fun filled morning at Superhero club, we visited Culzean Castle for lunch and ended up staying for the full afternoon. Culzean Castle is around 10 miles away from Sundrum Castle and is such a good place to spend the full day. Our lunch in the Castle restaurant was delicious and highly recommended and our children could have spent hours in the castle adventure playground where they enjoyed playing Kings and Queens. 





Homemade Macaroni cheese at Culzean Castle


Just part of the fantastic adventure play area at Culzean Castle

In the evening we headed to Kintyre's where we watched the kids' superhero movie they'd created earlier in the day and had fun playing some traditional party games.


Day Three
Board Games, Lunch at The Waterside, Cheerleader Squad & Halloween at Heads of Ayr Farm Park


We spent our third morning relaxing in our caravan, watching movies and playing some of the board games we had brought before heading to The Waterfront for lunch. Set on the banks of the river Ayr, The Waterfront really is a local gem. We enjoyed 2 delicious homemade courses for £10 and the kids meals were excellent too. Highly recommended!



Pan fried chicken liver starter at the waterfront

Kids chicken strips and chips at the waterfront

Homemade meatballs at the waterfront

Kids roast chicken at the waterfront

Kids sticky toffee pudding at the waterfront

After lunch we headed back to Sundrum Castle where the kids enjoyed the sunshine in the park whilst I caught up with emails (using the free wifi) in the adjoining bar. Heidi joined in with Cheerleader Squad in the afternoon which she thoroughly enjoyed too. 




In the evening we had pre-booked tickets to the Heads of Ayr farm park halloween night. The farm park is less than 10 miles away from Sundrum and definitely worth a trip. We had so much fun during the Heads of Ayr halloween night including walking through a spooky forest, meeting a werewolf, discovering a witch's cave and holding various bugs. It was lovely to see everyone dressed up too. 





Day Four
Swimming, Robert Burns Museum and Halloween Disco in Kintyre's


We had planned to visit the Isle of Arran on this day however we had left it too late to book our ferry crossing and it was fully booked! Booo! Not to worry though, we spent the morning in the park swimming pool and then headed the the Robert Burns Museum and Birthplace in the afternoon. This was one of the highlights of our trip and it was fantastic fun for children with lots of interactive areas to discover. 




Hanging a love poem on the love tree

A family game of shoot the haggis

Kids just can't get enough of halloween can they? In the evening we dressed up again and headed to the Kintyre's Monster ball where the kids enjoyed a halloween disco, played halloween themed games and took part in a fancy dress parade.






Day Five
Breakfast at Tom O'Shanter Restaurant and our journey home


Our holiday seemed to end all too soon! Check out is at 10am so we packed up the car and headed to Tom O'Shanter's for a farewell breakfast (£27 for the 5 of us). I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of our breakfast and wished we had tried it earlier in the week! We filmed this farewell video as we were waiting for our breakfast to arrive:-


We thoroughly enjoyed our break at Sundrum Castle. Our caravan was modern, clean, warm and well equipped, it was the perfect base to explore the area and we were able to drop into free (and fun) activities and entertainment as and when. The kids all had a lovely time and Jack was actually crying on the way home when I said it was time to leave. 

I've just quickly searched for prices next year and you can stay at Sundrum Castle during October half term 2016 for as little as £169. I am so tempted to book again........

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31 comments

  1. Looks like you guys had a great time!! The food all looks incredible, can't believe you paid £50 for the 5 of you one night!!

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    1. Thanks - it certainly was a bargain break xx

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  2. Looks like you had a really lovely time, the pictures are lovely, and the food looks really lovely x

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    1. It was - holidays are the perfect time to indulge a little aren't they x

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  3. What a lovely little caravan it sounds like an amazing time you had as well. x

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    1. It was the best caravan we've stayed in - who knew washing machine's could be included!

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  4. This looks like a lovely break with lots of things to see and do.

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    1. Thanks - it was fantastic. Definitely lots to see and do x

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  5. It looks and sounds as though you had the best time and as for the food.... it looks fab x

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    1. Oh yes! Food is always important on holiday and Ayr didn't let us down!

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  6. I have never even heard of this site before but it looks great for children. It sounds like you had a lovely few days away, how amazing that your caravan had central heating and a washer x

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    1. I know! I could honestly highly recommend it - such good fun for little ones x

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  7. What a great break - and such brilliant value too. We haven't stayed in a caravan for years, but have a mini break in February to look forward too! Kaz x

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    1. Enjoy your min break - I must admit I was in two minds about going away in the colder months but with the fire and central heating it was so snuggly xx

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  8. I love your caravan I used to go on caravan holidays when I was younger, not my scene but I loved the beach and taking seaside strolls.

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    1. Ah you should give them a go again - this experience of a caravan was completely different to the ones when I was younger x

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  9. Wow what an action packed holiday you've had! Looks absolutely fantastic xxx

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    1. It was fab Laura - definitely a fun half term!

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  10. That sounds like a great value holiday and you really made the most of it. Park Dean seem worth investigating for a staycation.

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    1. Thanks Teresa, it definitely was a lovely place and very good value x

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  11. It looks like you had a great trip, with some delicious food. That castle is beautiful!

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  12. Looks like a nice family vacation. Am sure you guys had loads of fun.

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  13. Looks like you had a fab time and got up to some great activities :)

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  14. It looks like you had a really great time - nothing better than a family holiday x

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  15. OMG I loved growing up with parents who owned a caravan, but the lack of washing machine was a hardship when I started taking my own children on holidays there. I always said that with a washing machine and wifi I could live in one.

    Anyway, love your photos and glad that you all had fun even with the rain x

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  16. This looks like a fun place to go on holiday. The castle is stunning. x

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  17. I'm not one for staying in a caravan, but I was surprised at how nice it was! Definitely time for me to rethink them. Looks like you had a great holiday!

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  18. Loads of adventures and fun by the sounds of it.

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  19. Fab!! Great caravan!! And always so difficult to photograph.... Lol!!
    It's always good to have breaks like these, they are so educational for the kids.

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  20. I LOVE getting a good bargain! Looks like you guys had an amazing time. x

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  21. It looks like you had a fab time, and such great value for money as well!

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I always love reading your thoughts and comments - Sam x

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