Park Holidays UK
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Park Family Model Shoot Experience - The Baldwin Smiths

A Q&A with the winners of our Park Family Competition

Every year we run the Park Family competition, a chance for lucky families to be the face of the Park Holidays UK’s website and brochures for 2019/20. Winners get to stay at one of our holiday parks, and take part in a professional photoshoot.

In this post, one of our lucky winners – the Baldwin-Smith family comprising mum Helen, dad Terry and daughters Mia and Ellie - describe their experience as a model family at Carlton Meres Holiday Park. Helen answers the questions.

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How did it feel to have your very own professional photo-shoot and did you feel comfortable?

We were excited and nervous all at the same time. It really was great fun, and the time just flew by. It didn’t take long at all for us to feel comfortable and relaxed, we could have done more, it was a real shame it had to end.


How were Mark and Paul (our photographers) at running the photoshoot?

Our photographers Mark and Paul were amazing, really kind and made us feel so at ease. Myself and my husband have never done anything like this before, other than our wedding day, and we were really nervous, Mark and Paul made us feel like we were superstars, and that we were doing a great job, explaining the best way to pose and where to look for the best shots. I did learn a few things, and my daughter likes the idea of being a photographer when she leaves school!

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What was the best things about staying in your Gold+ accommodation?

The Gold+ holiday caravan was just as I had expected. I had looked on the park website so knew what to expect. The caravan was very clean and not very old. As we arrived later in the evening, it was great that the beds were already made. I did pack cleaning products as you never know if things might need a clean, but shouldn’t have bothered as washing up liquid, cloth and bin bags were already provided. There was plenty of space in the lounge dining area and a really nice size shower cubical. The shower was powerful, just perfect. There were also two toilets which is always handy, and spacious wardrobes in all the bedrooms.

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What was your favourite thing about being a Park Family?

The photoshoot days were our favourite days; we really were made to feel special. Someone even asked if we were professionals! Also the goodies we received were amazing. The complimentary jams and biscuits were very tasty. The girls were so excited when they walked in to see what had been left for them.


How did you find your holiday park – Carlton Meres in Suffolk?

The park itself was a very calming area, with the two lakes and plentiful wildlife, a lovely place just to relax and recharge from the daily grind of a normal working week.

On arrival, we drove down the entrance lane and saw a baby owl just sat perched on a sign post. The big birds around the lakes didn’t care we were there, and just carried on about their day!

Indoor swimming pools were all new and shiny, very clean and tidy. A shallow and deeper pool perfect for all the family. Great when it is too cold for the outside pool. The changing rooms were a very good size, perfect if you have younger children.

The restaurant, and entertainment area was very well presented and a lovely area to sit, eat and relax. It had big TV’s for my husband to watch the football (sorry, but I’m not a fan).

The whole week was fabulous, for me to be able to relax in stunning surroundings, was my favourite bit of the holiday.

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What will be your most treasured memory of your experience?

Definitely the photoshoot, we were made to feel so special and Michael the Holiday Home Advisor, was hilarious. Also, we both won the bingo at the same time! We cannot wait to see the photos and get the album. (As part of the prize the family receive a Premium photo-album of the holiday and a copy of the high resolution images).


How much leisure time did you get to spend with your family whilst being a Park Family?

All our time we spent together, unlike a normal day to day working week. We walked, swam and ate together without phones and no one having to drive to the constant afterschool clubs. It truly was lovely.

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What was your favourite things about the surrounding area?

The quietness and lack of traffic in and around the park just had a calmness about it. We did go on day trips to Great Yarmouth, and Lowestoft, nice days out for only about an hour’s drive.


Did you have favourite member of staff?

Barry, the main entertainment staff member was brilliant. He kept checking if we were ok and if we needed anything (he was asking everyone, not just us). Sophie in the bar was really helpful, she came in on her day off when someone called in sick, and she took part in the photoshoot when really she could have been doing other stuff.


How does it compare holidaying in the UK instead of going abroad?

As a family we always try to do both, a UK caravan or camping and an all-inclusive abroad holiday. We do like to explore parts of the UK we haven’t been to before, the trouble is our UK weather, I always find I pack too much to cover all weather eventualities.

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Rate your experience out of 5 stars?

5 stars definitely!


Would you be a Park Family again?

We would jump at the chance to do it all again, we all had a truly fabulous time.

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What would you say to anyone who’s unsure about entering themselves to become a Park Family?

Send in real life family snaps which show your true smiles and try not to be nervous as it really is great fun for all ages. It was a couple of days for a few hours out of your holiday, but didn’t feel like a chore at all, just an extension of your holiday - a fun and exciting activity with a few treats along the way.

We had a fantastic week away somewhere we would not have chosen, thank you for the opportunity from the Baldwin-Smiths. x

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Carlton Meres Holiday Park

With its well-stocked fishing lakes, tranquil location and abundance of leisure facilities, Carlton Meres Holiday Park is an ideal place for your family holiday.

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