I had never heard of Sandy Balls in the New Forest before and I am still not sure I can get over the name! Two of my oldest friends and I took our 5 children for a 3 night stay in July. Between us we have pretty much seen and done it all so we were confident sharing a lodge with no partner or grandparent support would be fine. It sounded like a good idea at the time of booking, felt like utter madness as we got closer to the date of the trip and now I wish I could do it all over again…with maybe at least one 1 lie in passed 6am!!!
Accommodation & cost
We stayed in an Indulgent 8 Berth Lodge with a Hot Tub which cost £1,307 for the 3 nights. There was one bathroom, two small twin rooms and a larger double room with en suite bathroom. I slept on the sofa bed in the lounge which was fine for the time we were there. Because it was generally always crazy in the lodge, we didn’t pay that much attention to the details of the accommodation and what could be improved. We could cook easily, eat dinner at the table together, the kids had space to play, a good size balcony to run round and of course the hot tub was a little added bonus if we weren’t too exhausted after bed time! There are lots of different ways you can stay at Sandy Balls and they all looked lovely to us.
Tip: check in times and what is provided with the accommodation differs depending on what you have booked so make sure you are aware of this before traveling.
Activities at Sandy Balls
There is an indoor pool with two heated splash pools and an outdoor pool which is shallow enough for the kids to play in independently. Very popular with the kids and a life savour when it rained although its definitely basic. Bear in mind both the main pools are freezing and the complex has tight rules on adult to child ratio. The ratios are: children 0-3 years 1:1 parent and 4-7 years is 1:2 parent.
Also great for when it rained! The kids loved it and we could sit down with a coffee and watch them let off steam. Nice when it was quiet and loud when it was busy – standard soft play stuff!
We found two great playgrounds. They are well kept, lots of fun and perfect for families.
Walk the Alpacas
This activity is brilliant and I would recommend booking it in advance. The staff were so good with the alpacas and the kids. You pay per alpaca at £15 each. They are very cool creatures and we felt privileged to share time with them…it made my very excitable, animal loving 3 year old very happy!
Explore the forest
Sandy Balls is in the very heart of the beautiful New Forest and being able to get the wellies on and explore was brilliant. Despite having some tired little legs, we made it down the hill to the river – getting back up was interesting! I think if it was just my two friends and I, we would definitely have walked for longer and enjoyed the tranquillity!
There is various kids entertainment on in the evening from discos to talent shows. We tried the disco once and the kids had fun. We used our last bit of battery life left to try and exhaust them – and we were successful!
If you have any questions about our Sandy Balls experience, please do get in touch!