How difficult is it to book a family holiday for four during the peak season in August?
Quite difficult if you don’t want to spend £1,000.
As demand for holidays in the UK grows due to quarantine restrictions for trips abroad, many of the big name holiday park companies have struggled to meet demand.
Queues on the Butlins website and sold out stays at Center Parcs have driven up prices elsewhere and when we tried to book a family holiday for the first week of August the difficulty in finding an affordable summer holiday becomes clear.
We searched for holidays for seven nights from August 2 for two adults and two children. Here is what we found.
Haven has a handy guide to show you exactly where it has availability during the summer months. A little green circle shows the parks where you can find availability in August. At the time of writing Blackpool, Essex, Kent, North Wales, Scotland, Somerset and Sussex all have good availability.
A park relatively close to Manchester, Haven’s Lake District park, has extremely limited availability until September.
The cheapest holiday park in Blackpool for a week in August from Monday 2nd is a whopping £1,129 for a caravan that sleeps four. Prices are similar for Martin Mere.
Most of Cornwall is sold out for the week, with prices up to £1,600 for glamping on Perran Sands. It’s nearly £2,000 for Devon Cliffs and there are no seven night stays available for under £1,000 in England – although there is one Scottish apartment for a little over £800.
Haven has had issues with its booking system in recent weeks and is currently updating its systems to meet demand. There will also be some changes made to parks.
It says: “Following feedback from our guests, we have extended the opening hours of our swimming pools and added extra sessions in our showbars. Plus, we have put new booking processes in place for showbars, restaurants and swim sessions which will see availability released in line with your arrival dates.
“This is to ensure you all receive the information at the same time to make the booking process as fair as we can for everyone.”
Get the latest updates from across Greater Manchester direct to your inbox with the free MEN newsletter
You can sign up very simply by following the instructions here
The cheapest rooms in Butlins holiday parks are typically the Silver Rooms. You will pay £1,471 at Bognor Regis for two adults and two children.
Butlins has been experiencing massive demand for holidays in the past few weeks, with the website regularly crashing and queues forming from people who are looking to book a trip.
If you want something for next year the seaside resort chain has listed details of bookings for March 2022 – with families of four enjoying stays for less than £90.
The deal was posted on HotUKdeals, and plenty of people have booked already. For four nights, two children and two adults can stay in a Silver Room in Bognor Regis for £88 (down from £335).
For a family of six, the price increases slightly to £126 (down from £478). If you’re interested in planning a getaway before next year, there’s up to 20 per cent off Butlins stays available on Groupon, too.
Pontins is the cheapest option we can find for the first week in August. Brean Sands, for example, is priced at just £400 for a family of four. The price is for self-catering but you can pay extra for half board or full board.
Pakefield, Southport and Prestatyn are also available for lower prices than can be found at Butlins.
Pontins is offering several summer deals including one child goes free for every two adults who book for summer 2021.
However, there is a caveat to all this – Pontins only do four nights from August 2. The big savings can be found in the following week for seven night stays, beginning on Saturday, August 7.
If you try to book a Center Parcs holiday from 2nd August you will be disappointed.
The message for all of the locations on the Center Parcs website says: “Sorry, we found no availability for Mon, 2 Aug 2021. We have limited availability for 2021. Why not try searching in 2022.”
There are stays available at other times but peak summer holidays are hard to find for the popular resorts.