“WHO knew they’d have so much fun playing hamsters?” I laughed, as we watched our kids trying to run inside giant inflatable balls on water.

My partner Dan and I were at Cove Holiday Park’s Seal Bay in Selsey with our kids Jessica, nine, Isabelle, seven, and six-year-old Eva.

Kids loved getting zipped up onside the Waterwalkerz (or hamster wheels)Credit: Supplied
The nets and rigging at Seal BayCredit: Supplied

The sprawling West Sussex venue is filled with caravans and lodges, and has tonnes of entertainment.

That’s where the Waterwalkerz (or hamster wheels) came in.

The kids loved getting zipped up inside the ball and having air pumped in to inflate them, before tentatively rolling their way towards the swimming pool.

Jessica couldn’t contain her giggles as she desperately tried to run across the pool, but Eva and Isabelle were a little more cautious — that is until Eva realised she could manage just as well on all fours.

Probably more relaxing for Dan and I was half-an-hour spent in the pottery studio, where the kids painted mugs and plates with their own colourful mermaid and turtle designs.

Our luxury lodge would easily sleep eight so had plenty of room for the five of us.

The living room was huge and the kitchen had loads of space to unpack the crateload of “essentials” you need when you travel with children.

The real jewel in the crown of this place, though, was the garden.

As well as a hot tub big enough for us all to sit comfortably, there were two seating areas, a barbecue and — best yet for the kids — a massive hammock.

Of course that was all fun and games until each and every one of them managed to fall out, but the writing was on the wall as soon as we saw it.

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The holiday park itself is vast, but you don’t need to walk everywhere as there is a handy bus service that saves tired legs at the end of the day.

We gave the climbing wall and bounce nets a go on the first day, which initially had the kids’ eyes bulging.

We had expected trampolines attached to the walls, but they were nets suspended from the ceiling which the kids could bound around on, metres above our heads.

All three listed this as one of their highlights — a sure sign it’s a must-do if you visit as a family.

For bigger kids there are things like archery, laser tag or even axe throwing — probably best practised when there’s no sibling rivalry.

There’s also lots of fun to be had without having to splash cash.


The park has the usual amusements with toy grabbers and 2p machines, plus the beach is under a minute away by foot.

Bear in mind it’s not the golden sand some might want, but our kids love collecting interesting stones (the smoother the better, apparently) so it was perfect for us.

For those who don’t love the ocean, there’s a massive swimming pool back at Seal Bay resort, which has slides and a lazy river.

We spent loads of time zipping along, being tossed and turned as we went.

The luxury lodge has loads of space for the whole familyCredit: Supplied
The kids loved playing in the hammockCredit: Supplied

Isabelle loved it so much she declared swimming was her favourite part of the holiday.

When it comes to food, you won’t have to venture far from your lodge with pletny of great options on site.

We ate a great (and purse-friendly) breakfast at Smokey’s Ocean Bar, had a relaxed lunch at Cafe Lido and dinner with stunning views across the sea at Smugglers, which serves pies, fish and chips, pasta and burgers.

There are also fast food vans, pizza places and onsite shops if you would rather cook at home then munch in your hammock.

Munch in your hammock

An onsite fun fair was another hit for our trio, who gave the bouncy castle, merry-go-round and trampolines a good test, but we drew the line at the dodgems after the hammock fiasco.

The action-based activities made sure our kids were conked out in the car on the way back, making for a peaceful journey.

If only we could bring the hamster balls with us.

GO: West Sussex

STAYING THERE: A three-night break in a classic two-person lodge at Seal Bay costs from £399 in total.

For more information, see cove.co.uk.

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