Flip flops in hand, toes on golden sand, I’m strolling down the shell-lined shoreline, relishing cool waves lapping my ankles as the early-evening sun starts to settle.
My other hand cradles a camera, and I’m torn between snapping the two grey seals bobbing past or the even rarer site ahead; my two teenagers, running as fast as their legs will carry them, enticing the fresh breeze into a dance with their kites.
These forgotten toys haven’t seen daylight for years. In truth, I packed them on a whim, hoping that the magic of the great British seaside might just see our bygone favourites shake off the dust.
I’m in luck. As the flapping colours take flight, to squeals of delight, I proudly capture the moment and add it to our ever-expanding Richardson’s Hemsby Beach Holiday Park album, thrilled with the snap and even more so, that we’ve made a superb choice for our family adventure.
From candyfloss eating and funfair thrill-seeking in Great Yarmouth, to crabbing in Cromer and a blissful day’s boating on the winding waterways of the Norfolk Broads, each moment of our holiday at this friendly park has been picture-perfect.
Where to stay
Fresh from a £10m facelift and just a stone’s throw from Hembsy beach, this vibrant, welcoming park is a breath of fresh air, with elite new accommodation, superb refurbished facilities and acres of rolling greenery just perfect for outdoor pursuits.
From basic, wallet-friendly chalets to brand new luxurious platinum hot tub lodges, whatever your taste and budget there’s something for everyone, from the Yacht Club and star-studded show bar to the Quarterdeck Restaurant, shiny new heated indoor pool and a wide range of Go Active activities for all the family to enjoy.
With expectant teens in tow, our accommodation for the week is unbeatable – Carlton 8, a luxurious Platinum Lodge Spa, sleeping four, with double and twin bedrooms, flatscreen TV, patio decking and, of course, the pièce de résistance – a blissful hot tub.
Spacious and open-planned with a contemporary well-equipped kitchen, en-suite shower room and family bathroom with bath, these elegant, well-designed lodges are the latest accommodation addition, nestled in a pretty, secluded area of the park.
An instant hit with the entire family, it’s been bubbles at breakfast, lazy afternoon dips and balmy al fresco evening star-gazing thanks to leisurely hot tub sessions sandwiched between a whole host of activities and attractions.
What to do
Not wanting to waste a second, we swam daily on-site, hired a go-kart and – as part of Hemsby Beach’s vast Go Active programme – tested our Robin Hood county roots by trying our hands at archery, laser clays and much, much more!
Closely followed by laugh-a-minute body zorbing and family fencing, the highlight of our week has been a full day’s boat hire from nearby Wroxham, where you can pull on your captain’s hat and navigate the Broads under your own steam, take a picnic on board or – like us – moor at your leisure for a spot of lunch at the pubs and eateries lining the banks.
Where to eat
Working up a hearty appetite, we refuelled each evening in the park’s stylish Quarterdeck Restaurant, enjoying tasty grills with traditional accompaniments, followed by posh puds such as hot sticky toffee pudding and giant eye-popping sundaes.
Bursting with old school seaside charm, Hemsby itself boasts no airs and graces, just traditional seaside pizzazz, with a trail of amusements, hot dogs, donuts, cafes and fairground rides meandering directly from the park to the sands.
The perfect base from which to explore the boundless beauty of Norfolk, the electric appeal of lively Great Yarmouth is just seven miles away, whilst captivating Cromer – just a 40-minute drive – is a must with its museums, superb surf and mile-after-mile of blue-flag golden sands.
Five minutes from Cromer sits picturesque Sheringham, a quaint former fishing village that hooked us on arrival with its heritage steam railway, scenic coastal paths, tantalising tea rooms and colourful beach-hut lined promenade.
An eclectic mix of traditional seaside allure, heritage and breathtaking scenery, beautiful Norfolk is renowned for its boomerang effect, enticing holidaymakers back year- after-year for a different adventure every time.
We’ve seen so much, had the time of our lives, yet barely scratched the surface. As I dream of tonight’s beach barbecue, followed by a romantic glass of vino under the stars, one thing is for sure – we’ll be boomeranging back to Richardson’s Hemsby Beach before long!
How to get there
A seven-night break at Hemsby Beach Holiday Park in a Platinum Lodge for up to four people costs from £811* off-peak, peak costs from £1,449*. For more information or to book visit www.richardsonsholidayparks.co.uk or call 01493 809903. *Prices accurate at the time of writing and subject to availability