Our Ribby Hall Experience
Find out what we got up to when we stayed at Ribby Hall
Earlier this month, we were lucky enough to visit Ribby Hall for a long weekend. I wrote about our Ribby Hall accommodation last week, but now I am going to share our experiences of the 5 star rated Holiday Village as a whole with you.
The outdoor space at Ribby Hall is beautiful. Everywhere is well tended, and litter - free. It was an absolute pleasure to walk around the Village. We stopped at the Village Garden for a while, and this was truly peaceful. You'd have no idea you were in a holiday park if you hadn't seen the rest of the Village. It was absolute bliss. The raised beds and greenhouses kept my Green Fingered Hubby entertained while the kids and I explored the pond, ran on the grass, jumped on the tree trunks and hid in the Beach Hut.
Next time we visit, we'll definitely be having a picnic in here. It was sheltered on all sides, so you didn't feel much wind and the sunshine was very welcome!
We enjoyed a few treats in our Cottage during our stay. Sam turned 4 the day before we arrived, and we arranged for a balloon bouquet to be delivered. Sam was over the moon with them, and they stayed afloat for the duration of our stay! Sam and Syd loved cuddling up on the sofas too - they were very comfy!
I am the only person in our house who eats pizza. (I do wonder if my children are mine sometimes - they hate pizza, crisps and chocolate)! Therefore, pizza is a real treat for me. It was our 5th Wedding Anniversary on the Sunday night, and my F1 mad hubby wanted to watch the race. Once the kids were tucked up in bed, I walked down to the Papa Johns restaurant, located next to Starbucks and the Pool. Once I arrived, I splurged on a Cheese, Tomato and Mushroom pizza. It was AMAZING! It took 15 minutes to cook, but there was plenty of seating in store. I could have gone back to collect it after 15 minutes, or eaten inside the restaurant if I'd preferred.
Sydney LOVED the wildlife on our back door step! We brought squirrel and duck food with us, so we had lots of visitors outside! The ducks were there almost constantly, and the squirrels popped up from time to time.
Sydney attended the Art Attack class on the Saturday. We pre booked this, and it cost £4 per child. The session lasted 45 minutes, and the children made a foam bird house and a paper rocket during that time. We did have to help Syd a lot, so I'd say it's suitable for children who are a bit older than Syd as there wasn't really enough space to sit with her. The session took place in the Bar and Grill area, next to the stage. Sam and I sat nearby having a drink, while Hubby helped Syd to get crafty.
Sam's autism means he struggles in group activities, and this session was definitely too intense for him. It was quite loud, and the children were all seated around small tables, with the staff and parents crowding round them. It was definitely not something Sam would have been able to tolerate. He was relatively happy exploring the rest of the bar area while we waited, though.
We ate lunch in the Bar and Grill on the Saturday, and it wasn't a great experience. The main menus were out, but you couldn't order from them. (Only the small lunch time menu was available to buy from at that time). This was very frustrating for us as we have a few dietary requirements. The lunch menu wasn't suitable for Sam or Hubby. It's a shame the time restrictions aren't clearly labelled on the main menu published online and outside the Bar and Grill.
The arcade is located inside the Bar and Grill. We killed an hour in here, and found there to be a lot of good value games to play. We got 4 games of air hockey for £1 which was around 15 minutes of gameplay.
From inside the Tea Rooms, you could look out towards the outdoor seating areas. We ate lunch here most days. The menu is much more family friendly. (More about the food here, later).
The ClubHouse is a small cafe style eaterie on "The island", with outdoor seating. From here, you can watch people out on the boating lake. You'll also find the Miniature Golf, Climbing Wall and Archery on the island. This looked like a beautiful place to sit and watch the world (and boats) go by - as long as you're sure you can keep your children away from the water. Sam is a terror for trying to get into water whenever he can, so for that reason, we didn't eat here.
We ate in the Lavender Tearooms several times. The cake was AMAZING! There was plenty on the menu for my fussy children (and husband) to enjoy as well. I'm vegetarian, and there were plenty of options for me - The cheese and onion toast was my favourite! Syd indulged in a gluten free cake, and Hubby said his baked potato was delicious too.
The service in here was friendly, and it was much calmer than the Bar and Grill. Sam loved being able to look out of the window too - there are no windows near the stage area of the Bar and Grill. It was definitely my eateries of choice.
The play areas at Ribby Hall are AMAZING! We were really impressed by the amount of equipment, and the fact under 5's have a separate play area. It is a safe distance from the road, so we really didn't have to worry while the kids played here. Syd made a little friend and spent most of her time off playing with her. Sam loved the blue cup. It spun around, and he literally squealed with delight as it went. I think he'd have stayed sat there all day if he was allowed to! All of the equipment was modern, safe and clean.
The play areas for older children were equally impressive. These were slightly further along the path from the pre schooler one, so parents were able to keep an eye on older children, while staying with the younger ones if necessary. I felt this worked really well.
One place we didn't manage to take any photos of was the Swimming Pool! Honestly though - it was perfect for our family! We loved the fact it opened at 8am, as it meant we were able to get a quiet swim in before the crowds descended. Sam struggles in busy areas, so this was a HUGE plus for us! If you are planning on visiting during busier times, you may want to pre book your slot at reception to ensure you're not turned away.
(Photo from Ribby Hall website).
The disabled changing room had enough space for all 4 of us to get ready easily, and the disabled lockers and entrance to the pool made life much easier for us. It meant Sam didn't need to go anywhere near the busy changing rooms. The separate toddler area had a small slide, perfect for under 5's. The water was warmer in this area too. The water was around 30cm deep here (I guesstimated this). Sam is 4 and could easily sit down here.
The pool itself has 2 large slides, a fun area, and an area for actually swimming. There is also a jacuzzi and a spa area of the pool, plus a sauna and steam room for adult use only. In the main Resort Spa, there is another pool - for adults only! We didn't manage to use this one, as the on-site creche is only open Monday to Friday.
We visited Starbucks and the indoor soft play area after we'd been swimming. Unfortunately, this meant I didn't have my phone to hand so I didn't take any photos to share. Sydney loved the soft play area, and ran off happily to play.
(Photo from Ribby Hall Website).
It is right next to the swimming pool, separated by just windows, so Sam spent ages watching the children play in the pool. You can buy take out Starbucks drinks, and sit in the seating area next to the soft play area. You'll find all the usual equipment in here - plenty of balls, a slide and lots of areas to climb and explore. Sydney didn't want to leave.
It was early when we visited, so it was pretty quiet - Perfect for Sam! They do have children's birthday parties in there, so it can get very busy at times - even on sunny days! (A Party was about to begin as we left - the kids were all going to sit on the huge model Pirate Ship to eat their party food - My two were very jealous)!
We only left the Holiday Village once during our stay, and that was to visit St Anne's Beach. This really is a hidden gem in the North - West. We went early on the Sunday morning, and it was beautiful. We explored the Pier and then headed onto the sand. We managed to get our off road pushchair down with us, but I doubt a normal pram would have managed the dunes! Sam loved the vast, open space. He ran for miles! It took us a good 15 minutes to find the sea! We had a paddle, and Syd built some sand castles and collected lots of shells.
I was gutted that we didn't get to use the Ribby Hall Spa, but unfortunately a lack of childcare made it impossible for us to take advantage of it during our stay. I think we'll be sneaking off for an afternoon treat very soon though, as it's only a 45 minute drive from our house! The Aqua Thermal Journey sounds heavenly!
Our holiday cottage was opposite the Spa, and it looked beautiful. The list of available treatments was amazing, and I was a little bit sad that Hubby didn't book me in for a surprise manicure for our anniversary. (The pizza was a decent consolation prize, though)!
I was equally sad that we didn't have a chance to eat in the new Tapas Bar. It smelt delicious, but my fussy children wouldn't eat anything on the menu so it was not an option for us. Great for those without kids, or more adventurous little people though!
We bought a lot of items from the on-site store, and were pleased that it wasn't massively more expensive than elsewhere. It is a Nisa store, so the prices are on par to the likes of Tesco Express or Co-Op's RRP's.
All told, we had an amazing time at Ribby Hall, and we will definitely be back once the kids are older and the constant flow of traffic mentioned in my previous post is no longer an issue for us.
This is not a sponsored post. We were provided with a 3 night break at Ribby Hall for the purpose of this review.
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