Review: Away Resorts, Mill Rythe, Hayling Island

A good Centre Parcs alternative? Let's get packing.

Mill Rythe Away Resorts

by Georgina Terry |
Updated

Caravan holidays are definitely having a moment. Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash took a mobile home to Scotland at half term, and Kyle Walker (reportedly) took wife Annie Kilner to a park in Wales to say ‘sorry for…everything’. If actual Premier League footballers are vacaying in ‘vans, you know things have changed.

I took my husband and two kids, aged seven and three, toAway Resorts’ Mill Rytheholidaypark on Hayling Island and spoiler: we had a grand old time. Here are my honest thoughts.

Away Resorts
Homes at Mill Rythe holiday village ©Away Resorts

Accommodation at Mill Rythe

We stayed in a four berth, hot tub, lodge with views of the nature reserve because we are fancy. And it’s HUGE, I mean seriously big, the photos on the website do not do justice to just how big it is. Okay, it doesn’t rival a suite at the Four Seasons, but it certainly gives Centre Parcs a run for its money and makes a Eurocamp home look like a doll’s house.

There’s storage too. Not that we really needed it for a four-night break, but it was good to have, and the walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom was an especial treat. Speaking of the master bedroom, it also had an ensuite with a bath (a bath!), and a big, comfy, bed made up with crisp white sheets.

The kids’ room had two large single beds and a TV which they were delighted about because they don’t have one in their bedrooms at home.

Hot tub away resorts
My kids loved the hot tub ©away resorts

The kitchen was roomy and came with a microwave, aga-style cooker, a big butler’s sink, and a bottle fridge. I thought the fridge was relatively small, but the freezer was large. The only thing missing, for me, was a cafetiere, plus – and this is my personal bugbear – there’s only one, per person, of everything. One fork, one spoon, one mug etc. Maybe I just don’t like washing up much.

There is a dishwasher, thank goodness, and two tablets provided, so make sure you pack some as well as some toilet roll (top tip). I wish I’d packed some laundry tablets as there’s a washing machine in the vestibule (you heard) and – of course – you never pack enough of the right things for the kids and it would have been helpful to run some things through the wash. Still, pants are meant for turning, right? RIGHT?

The main attraction of the home for my kids was the hot tub and it was glorious, even in a really pretty actually half term. A member of staff came to check it each day, so we knew it was clean, and it was probably the highlight of the children’s holiday.

Splash pad away resorts
You can watch the kids from the bar ©away resorts

Away Resorts: book activities

At Mill Rythe, there’s a small swimming pool that’s free to use but MAKE SURE YOU BOOK SWIMMING. We did it two weeks before we went via the Away Resorts app and lots of slots had already been booked. Sessions last for just under an hour and there’s a small family changing room. If our van had been nearer to the pool, or the weather was warmer, we would have gone to the pool and back in towels as it’s pretty tight for space in there.

My kids also loved the non-bookable activities especially the kids’ house party in the evening that my toddler was obsessed with (shout out to staff member Katy who ran the whole shebang). My seven-year-old had to be dragged away from the football pitch, that is handily right next to outside bar seating, as is a small, outside adventure playground, and they were both wild for the indoor soft play area.

The site felt pretty small, which was not an issue for us and added to a feeling of security around letting the children play outside. And it felt gloriously remote, with huge expanses of sky and…birds… about. Look, I live in a city, I’m not big on knowing about birds. They weren’t pigeons though and I liked them.

Missing Squirrel
The very stylish bar ©Away Resorts

Food at Mill Rythe

You can order food and drink to your table in the Green Room, where the kids’ disco and activities are held. But our preferred place for a drink was The Missing Squirrel, a very stylish pub style area, that’s all bottle green statement wallpaper, pink velvet stools, and brass…bits. The toilets were equally cool too.

There’s no shop onsite, so we had a Tesco shop delivered to the van. And Lidl is a ten – 15-minute walk away. We took public transport to get to the site, it was easy to get to from Havant station by bus, and we took buses around the island when we left the complex.

And we were very sad to leave on our last day, in fact, my son shed a little tear. Would we go back? It’s a strong yes from us.

A great, high-end, Centre Parcs alternative

Away Resorts bedroomaway resorts
Price: £125+ per night

www.awayresorts.co.uk

Looking for a holiday home that's a little more luxurious? If you've got the cash to spend, spend it at Away Resorts - it'll still be a bargain in the face of Centre Parcs, that's for sure. Every Away Resorts park is within areas of natural beauty, places of interest, national parks and beaches – with every village having its own unique sense of charm and adventure.

Prices start at £295 for two nights in a six-berth Superior Caravan in June. For further details please visit, www.awayresorts.co.uk

Georgina Terry is group editor of Closer and heat online and mother of two. She's been with Bauer since 2015 working at titles including Mother & Baby and would quite like to become a holiday reviewer full time if anyone is offering.Child friendly or otherwise.

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