Travel review: Inconsiderate smokers fail to spoil Andrew Greenhalgh's family break in Great Yarmouth
RECENTLY in these very pages my colleague Michelle sung the praises of the ‘staycation’, the eschewing of a trip abroad for the delights of staying in the UK for your annual holiday.
When you’re part of a family of six and money is tight, the staycation is less an option, more a necessity.
Cheap, foreign, last-minute deals notwithstanding, the cost and organisation required to get six people including a one-year-old and a three-year-old out of the country would flummox Seb Coe and his army of Olympic volunteers.
This year it seemed as if we were going to be grateful for our ‘choice’, with summer apparently starting early the week before our trip to Vauxhall Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth. Weather-wise, we were in for a treat - or so we thought.
The week of blazing hot sunshine turned out to be just that – a week – and the sun had very much taken his hat off by the time we arrived in Norfolk.
We collected our keys and, having completed the little dance that is the search for the caravan, found our way to our home for the week. And although I don’t like to begin this on a sour note, I feel duty-bound to report that our first impression was not good.
If the fact that surrounding the entrance to our ’van was a mass of cigarette butts was not a big enough giveaway that its previous occupants had been reasonably heavy smokers, then the smell inside what would be my eldest son’s bedroom was.
We had not specifically requested a non-smoking van – perhaps as vehement anti-smokers we should. To be honest, I didn’t feel it was necessary. I do feel more than a little ashamed to admit that I didn’t immediately march back down to reception and demand to be moved, reasoning that the smell may have gone by morning and surely when I reported it they would at least clear away the butts.
With both the smell and the fag-ends very much present and incorrect by the next day, I put my stroppy hat on and insisted they relocate us, which happily they did with no fuss.