WE hadn’t had a family vacation since our one week summer stay last year – and we were starting to get cabin fever.
I had been working from home for almost two years and was tired of staring at the same four walls – even though some of that time had been spent daydreaming about being on a beach.
I had heard of the beautiful coastline of East Lothian but, despite its proximity, I had never managed to cross it.
So I stopped dreaming and we all booked to stay at Thurston Manor, a short drive from Dunbar and the perfect base for exploring East Lothian.
The park is set in beautiful grounds and offers excellent leisure facilities for all the family, which is often hard to find given the age gap between daughters Leah, 16, and Neve, eight .
But this place hits the spot with an on-site pool, pub, restaurant, game park, arcade, and evening entertainment. At home.
We also found a place to stay – a spacious, modern and well-equipped lodge with two bedrooms and two bathrooms – so no fighting over the shower.
There is a store on site which is well stocked with everything you will need so you don’t need to stress out if you forget something.
The lodge is a real home from home, with a large living and dining area and an open kitchen where we can cook and chat. When I say ‘we’ I mean ‘me’ – the girls just sat at the breakfast bar.
Our holiday home also had a large enclosed terrace, which was ideal for our puppy Stella. With the door closed she could run outside and we knew she was safe.
If you don’t feel like cooking you can head to the pub and restaurant where you will be greeted by friendly and helpful staff.
With picky eaters in the family it is often difficult for us to find a place where everyone is happy, but the restaurant here has achieved the near-impossible.
Neve had pizza, Leah a chicken burger, my husband Brian and I opted for burgers. Everything was excellent value for money and tasted great. Happy campers indeed.
GO: EAST LOTHIAN
Four nights for four people sharing a Superior 2 caravan at Thurston Manor Leisure Park near Dunbar arriving August 8 is from £399. Verdant Leisure has 13 UK holiday parks in spectacular locations across England and Scotland. Visit verdantleisure.co.uk or call 03300 539058.
But we hadn’t come all this way just to stay in the park – as tempting as that might seem.
So we jumped in the car and headed to the charming seaside town of Dunbar, with its rugged coastline and long beaches. Stella had the time of her life, off leash and going wild.
We had intended to try a surf spot in Belhaven Bay but the waves just weren’t there. We will be back, however, as there is a surf school right on the beach, offering lessons and equipment rental.
So we strolled through the town and down to the harbor where we visited the ruins of Dunbar Castle.
Next is North Berwick, another beautiful, award-winning beach with long stretches of sand and spotlessly clean.
This pretty little seaside town offers a wide range of shops, cafes, restaurants and plenty of fresh seafood.
You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, finishing with a fish supper and an ice cream cone – a great British day out.
The next day we opted for a day of relaxation and took Stella for a walk in the pretty countryside and lake of Thurston Manor.
Neve played in the park, which operates a reservation system, and then we all enjoyed a dip in the leisure center pool.
It operates a reservation system, which is fabulous because that way it never gets too busy. Finally, we all retired to our own hot tub on the cabin deck. Happiness.
I don’t know why it took us so long to venture east, but Thurston Manor is perfect for a family break – and it’s the type of cabin fever I can handle any day.
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