It might be most fa­mous for its bowls, but if you are look­ing for a fun-filled stress-free fam­ily week­end away, head to Pot­ters Re­sort, says Rachel Buller


SPRAWL­ING ACROSS the cliff tops at Hop­ton on Sea, Pot­ters Re­sort is fa­mous across the land as the ul­ti­mate des­ti­na­tion for bowls lovers ev­ery­where.

Ev­ery Jan­uary, it hosts the sport’s world cham­pi­onships, tele­vised on the BBC, and through­out the year thou­sands of am­a­teur play­ers come and stay - but it is also a thriv­ing hol­i­day hotspot for fam­i­lies.

So with our two boys in tow, Zach, 12, and nine-year-old Ge­orge, we checked in on a Pot­ters fam­ily break.

Our bun­ga­low plus rooms close to the sea were warm, clean and mod­ern and had a con­nect­ing cor­ri­dor which meant plenty of sep­a­rate space for us and the kids.

Food is a big deal at Pot­ters, and for ev­ery meal, it is a mix­ture of wait­ress ser­vice and buf­fet style eat­ing, from tra­di­tional pub clas­sics to Asian dishes, more re­fined din­ing to lighter sal­ads and jacket pota­toes.

For break­fast, smoked had­dock, eggs Bene­dict and vege­tar­ian choices are cooked to or­der or help your­self to never end­ing trays of ba­con and sausages, baked beans and hash browns. Pas­tries, cheese, yo­gurts, fruit and ce­re­als fill the ta­bles and the pan­cakes are par­tic­u­larly ap­pre­ci­ated by the boys, who have an ex­tra­or­di­nary ca­pac­ity to eat when it comes to break­fast. For those who can squeeze it in, there is also a mid­night dish af­ter the the­atre show. The food is good, but the ser­vice is even bet­ter. You have the same ta­ble and wait­ress for your stay, and ours was fan­tas­tic. Small touches are so im­por­tant and that ex­cel­lent level of cus­tomer ser­vice is repli­cated through­out the re­sort. All of the ac­tiv­i­ties are well man­aged and the staff are friendly, but firm, es­sen­tial when you are cor­ralling a gang of ex­citable chil­dren to care­fully lis­ten to rules, queue nicely and play fair, all while mak­ing it fun. This was achieved with aplomb.

We played bad­minton and ta­ble ten­nis, the boys did the army in­flat­able as­sault course, my el­dest scaled the climb­ing wall, and my youngest joined in the fun-filled foot­ball tour­na­ment in the evening. We squeezed in three swims, crazy golf and plenty more. There were go karts, trea­sure hunts, games and lots of ex­cit­ing ac­tiv­i­ties for older chil­dren fill­ing ev­ery space through­out the week­end. Joy­ously, there was also plenty of op­por­tu­nity for my hus­band and I to sit with a cup of cof­fee or glass of wine while watch­ing the chil­dren have fun – at a safe dis­tance!

In the evening, the shows per­formed by the ac­claimed Pot­ters The­atre Com­pany shouldn’t be missed. The state of the art the­atre, ri­valling many in the West End, at­tracts per­form­ers from all over the coun­try with sub­stan­tial pedi­gree. A two night stay meant two dif­fer­ent shows, both of which were ex­cep­tional; song and dance ex­trav­a­gan­zas, with a lit­tle bit of the­atre and com­edy thrown in.

If you thought Pot­ters was just about bowls, think again. Their fan­tas­tic fam­ily breaks might be ac­tion packed, but you will leave feel­ing sur­pris­ingly re­laxed if not a lit­tle larger in the waist­band.

Rachel Buller and fam­ily were guests of Pot­ters Re­sort, Hop­ton on Sea, NR31 9BX, 0333 3207 465, pot­ter­shol­i­days. com.

Fam­ily breaks start from £159 for chil­dren, from £269 for adults

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