As you know by now, 2020 cancelled all of our travel plans in terms of travelling abroad. So I’m going to share my experience with caravan holidays in the UK coastal destination that me and my family have been visiting over the years called Clacton-On-Sea. Out of the various caravan sites in Clacton, we particularly like St Osyth due to the location and quality of caravans to book. BUT! This time we did not just book any caravan holiday, we booked a diamond plus caravan holiday (Now I hope that you’re reading this in that seductive M&S food advert tone).
Now, you may be thinking of that dreaded caravan club episode from The Inbetweeners. But trust me, you can make caravan holidays just as worthwhile as staying in a hotel abroad.
However, it all depends on where you book and which caravan you stay in. Because there are many pesky pet peeves when it comes to caravan holidays ranging from damp, flimsy showers and dodgy old cooking equipment that has been used over the years which always burn your breakfast. – People who are familiar with caravans should know! There’s always that one faulty pan that burns everything even while cooking on the lowest heat.
Diamond Plus Caravan Ranking & Others Briefly Explained:
Now since that we wanted to make this trip special, we decided “boujee up” our stay and book a diamond-plus rated caravan. If you’re not familiar with caravan holidays, there’s a ranking/rating system which determine the quality of your stay and value for money. For instance, many caravan sites offer bronze to gold standard caravans – Bronze being the most basic ranking and gold being the highest. However, you may also come across other higher rankings such as ruby, emerald and diamond etc.
Having decided to book a diamond-plus is a big change. So here’s my detailed review and breakdown of whether they’re worth the extra price tag!
A Guided Diamond Plus Caravan Tour…
Living Area & Front Decking
Many new caravans have the new addition of having a decking area – Which is a blessing in sunny weather. You’re blissfully greeted by a sleek and modern decor, double glazing and spanking new furnishings – As opposed to a dated 70s style decor which a large chunk of caravans still have. The slide doors add a lot of light and airiness (since caravans can easily get hot and stuffy) while the spotlights add a cosy hue at night. This diamond plus caravans decking and living area is absolutely amazing for adding serenity to morning and evening chill out sessions right by the sea.
Oh! And did I forget to mention? Some diamond plus caravans allow pets like this one. So my pug enjoyed a few chill out sessions too!
Kitchen & Dining Area
Once you walk into the kitchen and dining area, its easy to fool yourself into thinking that you’re looking around the IKEA showroom or a fancy kitchen exhibition. Everything is fitted and slotted in perfectly along with stunning spotlights which cosy up the place when dusk comes.
Plus, there’s a top of the range American style fridge freezer with an ice dispenser along with all the cutlery, pots, pans, cups, plates and condiments that you need. Essentially this diamond plus caravan has a ton of little touches to make it as modern, comfortable and convenient as possible.
Also don’t forget to see my good old English fry up at the end of the slideshow (without burnt bacon and sausages, yay!). Oh, and theres the perfect necessities included to make plenty of tea, which I can confirm that British people cannot function without.
This diamond plus caravan had two bathrooms, one main bathroom and one bedroom ensuite bathroom. What got me really pumped was the bath. That’s right, a caravan with an actual bath!
Both bathrooms were clean, crisp, airy and stylish. In fact, they reminded me a lot of those hotel bathrooms, all I needed was a fresh, starchy hotel bath robe to complete the mood. But unfortunately, towels and blanket sheets (and robes!) aren’t included so you have two bring your own. Also, what I loved was the fact that I did not have to put up with any grotty/dodgy showers like I did with other caravans.
This caravan has one twin bedroom with single beds and one double bedroom with an ensuite bathroom and a light up walk-in closet. Both bedrooms as equally as neutral in terms of decor and colours. All whilst being stylish, fresh and cosy at the same time. The bedrooms (including the mattresses! which are awful in a large chunk of caravan holidays!) were insanely comfortable and had extra blankets and heaters plugged in. Also not to mention that the caravan has central heating and keeps incredibly toasty and warm!
Location, Nearby Amenities & Transport
First thing is first, its always good to know your way around before you get there, especially if you don’t drive. So I have included a map with some nifty little details of St Osyth Holiday park and what’s nearby…
How To Get There & The Cheapest Ticket Rates
We booked our tickets via Omio who are very reasonable. If you’re travelling from London, a lot of the main trains that go to Clacton-on-sea Station depart from Liverpool Street. Overall, the journey takes around an hour and a half. Despite the length, its actually quite pleasant and straight forward since it is a direct train. Plus, the train journey would be right up your street if you love countryside views!
As for ticket prices, you’re looking at around £25 without returns and an additional £18.50 for returns.
The Nearest Shops & Food Stops
Alright. Let’s face it, you’re pretty cut off here since there aren’t any major big supermarkets, so you’ll need to travel or drive out for these. But there are some handy little shops around St Osyth AND a weekly Sunday market. On the other hand, I’d avoid the main shop at St Osyth’s holiday park itself since there isn’t much choice and due to them not being open often. So I’d recommend taking the extra walk and soaking in the sea views to the neighbouring holiday park Hutleys!
Many buses stop outside Hutley’s holiday park and in Jaywick. Both can be accessed via the seafront path. Direct buses that go to clacton pier go by the number 7, so keep a lookout! However, there are other routes that require a transfer/change. But not worry as many bus routes can be found at the bus stops which are pretty self explanatory! Ideally, it’s best to go to the bus stops located on Brooklands or at the end of Lincoln road!
And seriously, I know what you’re thinking – Jaywick is not as bad as it is portrayed in the media. In fact, people were incredibly friendly and helpful when me and my mum got lost once. It may look a little rough around the edges, but you won’t get a better sense of community anywhere else in the world!
What Makes A Diamond Plus Caravan Better Than Other Caravans?
It’s 100% worth the extra price. Now in terms of prices, they vary depending on the season to book a diamond plus caravan. You’re looking at around £70 per night during off-peak seasons and £140 per night during peak seasons. However, there are many caravan sites which offer discounts and I’d highly recommend booking in advance.
The comfort that you get with a diamond plus is superior and does not compare to other caravans, although even bronze rated caravans can be comfy and nostalgic. However, this takes your holiday to an astronomical level and actually provides more comfort than a hotel.
What you get is not just superficial. Ultimate convenience, elegance, warmth and good vibes also comes with booking a diamond plus caravan. I would 10/10 recommend. But the only downside is that once you book a diamond plus caravan, others won’t do it for you like a diamond plus does. So diamonds really are a girls best friend!
I hope that you enjoyed reading this and this provides some insights. Especially if I’ve now persuaded you into considering booking a diamond plus caravan or booking to stay in St Osyth. There will be more posts about clacton including a review of The Sailor Boy and more.
Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear your stories if you’ve stayed in clacton!