Accessible holiday at Potters Resort, Hopton, all inclusive fun in the UK?
Posted on 26th August 2023 at 13:04
I can’t believe our summer holiday has been and gone already. What with the wonderful British Summer we’ve had this year, I was thinking it was going to be a complete wash out. However, the sun made a glorious appearance which always makes for a much better English holiday.
We made a decision to try something new this year for our Merry family holiday. Whilst I am always open to visiting new places and trying out new things, when it comes to a family holiday with George I prefer tried and tested. I know in my head what we will need, what we can and can’t do, etc so it makes it a much peaceful approach to the holiday ahead. The other kids were desperate to do something different. Whilst Centre Parcs has been great for us as a family, it really lacks in the evening entertainment which is something George loves.
I had never heard of Potters Resort until, it was recommended to me. As a family we thought, why not give it a go. So we took the just over two hour journey to Hopton on Sea last week. The sun was shining, which was a bright start to our five day stay.
Check in was really easy and the staff were very welcoming and friendly. The resort looked clean and well kept and it was ticking the boxes for me straight away. We were unable to find a disabled space but the gentleman on the front gate gave us a great space to park in and leave our car.
The staff throughout the resort were always friendly, welcoming and more than happy to help. There was always someone on hand when you needed assistance. The entertainment staff were very good, it brought back a lot of childhood memories of how entertainment was when I used to visit Butlins or Pontins as a young girl. The vibe around the resort felt old school British holidays meets the modern era.
We had booked three rooms for our stay, George and Peter were in the adapted accommodation on the ground floor and the girls and I were on the second floor. The rooms were absolutely huge and there was more than enough space for George and for us to use his mobile hoist. The adapted bathroom was fantastic for a person who would be able to transfer. This is one area that we still have not found on a holiday yet, however, George is quite unique so it can be hard to find something perfect!
The beds were very comfy, it was unfortunate that they were not able to provide an adjustable bed like they do at Centre Parcs but we managed to rearrange the room to suit George’s needs. We sincerely apologised to our lovely daily chamber maid, however, she was more than happy to work around us!
The resort is all inclusive which is absolutely fantastic. No worrying about what the kids want to drink and how much to budget as it was all there. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised as to what was included in the all inclusive. All the drinks were branded and not in the slightest watered down, including the alcohol! The fancy milkshakes and mocktails for the kids were all in, so it was definitely a good package deal.
The food was three courses, three times a day. I have a variety of diets in my family and there was no scrimping on the amount of food on offer! Carvery was served at dinner every day also, which is a fantastic side option. If you wanted to mix and match the waiter and waitresses were always on hand and happy to accommodate. What I loved most was that you had an allocated dinner table for the week so you could turn up at the restaurant any time, between the allocated serving times, and walk straight to the table. George had acres of space and I didn’t feel he was in the way of any one at all. He could happily people watch, one of his favourite passtimes, and be occupied at meal times. We were also put on a round table to make George feel more included also which was a lovely additional touch.
Even after all this food, if you felt a bit peckish between 11pm and 12am you could pop down and get the late night snack, like chilli con carnie or chicken curry.
The live entertainment was absolutely superb. The quality of the performers was a very high standard. I was expecting some nasally, cheesy singer to appear on stage, not that I am any one to judge, but I was quite surprised at the level and quality of the performances given. The performances, routines and costumes were fabulous. George absolutely loved the shows and it was the highlight of his holiday.
I was a little disappointed that the resort wouldn’t let wheelchair users reserve a table for the shows in the evening. If you didn’t get a table downstairs, there was no access to the tables upstairs. Fellow holiday makers were very lovely. Even though we were standing next to them with George they would share tables to put our drinks on and make room for him to be able to see. It was a very lovely atmosphere all over the resort.
The kids club was really good for Violet, getting her involved and on the stage. Giving the kids their moment and of course getting the parents involved in some good old fashioned dancing, like the Superman song. The teenagers struggled for entertainment in the evening, the arcade was a little underwhelming and there wasn’t really much offering for them. They did find it a little boring at times and struggled for things to do, which was a shame. When they actually stayed around to watch the shows they did enjoy them.
There were quite a few activities on offer, some were a lot better than others. I did like the fact it was less regimented than Centre Parcs, I didn’t feel I was working to a timer and rushing around to make sure I was in a place for a certain time, worrying that we wouldn’t make the booking. You could just queue up and wait your turn. The only two things that needed booking was archery and air rifles but we managed to get booked in very easily.
Peter and I played Bingo with George one night, whilst the girls enjoyed the kids club. I have to say the resort felt very safe and secure. Security guards were on hand all night long and it was nice to have a feel for a place where I felt the older girls could safely go off by themselves for a bit. I won on the Bingo which I was amazed at because I never win at Bingo!
I am sorry to say that the swimming pool is a big letdown. It is one thing that my kids absolutely love to do, especially the teenagers. If all else fails and there is a decent pool with some slides and a lazy river then you are all good. We weren't able to get George in the pool either which was a shame. The pool is very basic and not much to it. We made the best we could of it and Violet, Abigail and I played chase the squids and monsters so that was good fun! One thing it did teach me was that Violet actually benefits a lot more from spending time in the pool with me than in her swimming lessons, so I am going to start going with her more.
The beaches are absolutely stunning near the resort. They have gorgeous rocks and alcoves sandy beaches which make such a beautiful setting. The girls and I walked along it for a very long time and had a lovely time shell and rock collecting. At one point, with the weather being so glorious, we actually felt like we were abroad! The wheelchair access to the beach was a little steep. We managed it though. It was nice because it had a walkway between the beach and the rocks which ran alongside the cliff that we had ventured down from the resort. George was able to go right near the beach and could see the sea and all the water crashing on the rocks as the tide was high and close by. There was also an opportunity to look out for seals which had been visiting the beach which was lovely for George to do. This all adds to the resorts lovely setting as from the top of the cliff at the back of the resort you can see for miles out to the sea.
What is absolutely brilliant, is in nearby Gorleston beach. They have specially designed beach wheelchairs which they introduced in 2014. These have large pneumatic wheels which just slide over sand so that you can enjoy the beach. They can be a little tricky to handle but it does give the opportunity to go on the beach. Unfortunately, by the time I had found out about these wheelchairs, they were fully booked so get in early!
Overall, Potters Resort was a great holiday. I would definitely go back there again and now I know the resort better, I would be able to plan more for my holiday, such as the adjustable bed for George. It was a really nice family experience which has given us some fantastic memories to look back on. I am sure the teenagers would return for the food and the drink!
Tagged as: Cerebral Palsy, Disability, Disability Friendly Holiday, George, Inclusive fun for all, Special Needs, Special Needs Families
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