A couple of month’s ago I was invited to come and try out a stay at Potters Resort in Norfolk. Sadly, I was unable to take up the opportunity – but I was really thrilled when the amazing Stacy from Strollering the Globe was able to enjoy a weekend away with her family instead. Here’s what she thought of her stay…
I learned an important lesson last weekend. There are different types of “holidays” when kids are part of the equation. This may well have been our first real holiday in over two years. We have travelled extensively as a family, but I now understand there is a huge distinction between family travel and a family holiday. Our family break at Potters Resort on the Norfolk coast was a true holiday. No last-minute attempts to plan out our activities or sightseeing. No worrying about what or where we’d eat. The kids even had a separate bedroom. So much less stress than a typical holiday with our brood of little ones.
Potters Resort is where you go when you need a holiday from your holidays.
Our summer has included beaches in Croatia and Cornwall. But our time at the seaside on the Norfolk coast was easily the most enjoyable. There was no rush. Whenever we felt like building sandcastles or chasing waves, we simply went. And without fail each afternoon, we found our own empty stretch of beach. It was perfect.
I expected to go to Potters and have a relaxed getaway weekend before I’m overwhelmed with the arrival of our fourth child in a few weeks. In fact, much to my dismay, that was almost exactly how our weekend unfolded. Pregnant mum was relegated to photo-taker and toddler chaser while my husband and older kids (ages 4 and 6) bounced from assault course to inflatable sweeper game to go-karts. They played hard. I jealously watched.
I wasn’t the only one envious of the big kids…<
He got to be one of the “big” kids for miniature golf!
But the best part of my kids super active weekend at Potters? When kids play that hard, they sleep all night and then some. It wasn’t just pregnant mummy who was exhausted every afternoon. Husband and kids who’d packed in as much possible all morning were as tired as their mother. Afternoon naps on holiday are an amazing thing.
Daily afternoon naps were followed by sandcastles at the seaside and then dinner.
Not sure on the correct dress code our first evening, we chose to get dressed up for dinner. It’s amazing how a nice dress and a smart pair of trousers improve my kids’ behaviour.
It’s as if they know the expectations have been set higher and they must rise to the occasion. We sat surrounded by tables of multi-generational families smiling and chatting as they ate their meals. Grandparents, parents, teenagers, toddlers. All happy to be in each other’s company.
There’s something nostalgic about Potters. Long forgotten memories flooded my head as I observed my silent children mesmerised by the fancy, bustling dining room. Not long ago I was that teenager at the table next to ours, embarking on my first cruise with my family. And now here I was introducing my own young family to a similar, timeless experience.
The Potters Experience
And that’s exactly what Potters is—it is all the best parts of the cruise experience minus the crowded spaces and sea-sickness. Potter’s Holidays provide the ultimate family experience within the confines of its sprawling resort complex, with endless activities for children and grown-ups of all ages. My biggest critique of Potters may actually be that there was too much to choose from. Seriously. Inflatable assault course, mini-golf, pool, go-karts, bungee trampoline, treasure hunts, talent show, bowling, football coaching, and more. And those were just the activities suitable for my children’s (under 7s) age group! My kids wanted to do it all and could not agree where to start.
Much to our dismay, however, we failed to make it through an entire evening show. After making their on-stage debut in Potters Theatre answering host Mark Brewer’s questions with a group of other children, they eagerly took their seats with us. That first night exceeded all expectations. First stormtroopers danced on the stage. Soon transformers, Darth Vader, Batman, and a huge dinosaur joined them on stage. My kids could not contain their glee. As the main show began, my children continued to stare, completely enthralled, by the performances until their little eyelids closed much as they tried to fight it. My daughter sobbed uncontrollably as we left the Cool Britannia show halfway through that first night. All three kids had been mesmerised by the singing and dancing numbers, but her brothers were nearly asleep in our laps. Lugging three exhausted little ones back to our bungalow was painful. We remembered the push-chair for the remaining two nights.
The Potters experience doesn’t just evoke nostalgia. It creates excitement for what the future holds. I have a slight baby obsession. (this is my fourth baby in six years…) But, much to my husband’s relief, I came away from our weekend incredibly excited about the next phase of parenting. I am ready to watch my kids grow up and experience new things. They longed to take part in many of the “in-betweeners” activities and I am suddenly excited about all the new possibilities having older children brings.
My son took a liking to golf this weekend and I could envision future family holidays with my boys off golfing with their dad while my daughter and I relax at the spa. And that sweeper game I was too pregnant to play? In a couple years, our family of six will own that game. The giant swing that none of my kids yet met the height/weight requirements for? We’ll be back when they’re bigger. Family holidays will only get better as they get older over the next few years. Less tears, no nappies, greater independence, and so many more activities to enjoy as a family.
Some Final Thoughts
Potter’s offers multiple kids’ clubs during summer breaks for children of all ages. The Bouncing Boos (ages 0-2) and Bamboozles (ages 3-7) offer staff-led morning and afternoon activities, but do require a parent to remain with their child. As my children discovered, there are plenty of activities for children within the Bamboozles age group to participate in, but many additional activities are only available to older children from the In-Betweeners (ages 8-11) club and older.
Breakfast is offered from 8:30-10AM each morning. As my children are early risers even after a solid night’s sleep, we found that having some fruit on hand when they woke up was helpful to hold them over until breakfast.
Our 3-night inclusive family break, or “baby-moon” as we called it, was hosted by Potter’s Resort. We had a lovely time and all opinions expressed above are my own.