Last weekend we visited the Autism friendly caravan at Haggerston Castle through Spectrum Holidays.

The whole experience was made so much easier for us through the detail that Sophia and Malcolm put into making sure you are well prepared. We were sent our own personalised countdown to holiday chart and social stories prior to our stay. I used these daily on the run up to our arrival. Reilly knee he could plan packing his little case and he was familiar with his new surroundings. Super helpful.

We were given a choice of theming for bedrooms. Reilly chose Toy Story and Lego. Two of his faves.

The caravan is located near the Fairways Golf /adventure golf. Far enough away from the main hustle of the clubhouse etc but an easy 5 minute walk past the lake. It’s on a corner with lots of surrounding grass and a small park. Less than a minute away behind the caravan is a larger park with zip line etc.

The caravan has 3 bedrooms, 2 twins and a lovely double with en-suite toilet. Every room has TV/DVDs and consoles (I asked for consoles to be removed prior to our arrival as Reilly is a bad tempered bugger and rages when he doesn’t win). The lounge also has a pullout sofa bed so plenty of room.

It has everything you could need. Sanitizer outside the caravan and inside with cleaning products in abundance.

The first thing I saw when we entered was box on the table, a Spectrum Pack which contained lots of sensory and helpful items and also full pecs boards and sets. Priceless. Planning and visuals are king for our families and these made mine time a whole lot easier.

There is also a sensory wall with bubble lights, fibre optic rope etc with remotes to change colours. A lovely addition and something Reilly really enjoyed experimenting with. Underneath the two seater sofa there is a toy box filled with all kinds to help keep them amused.

The living room has a large TV with Sky and fire stick and the wi-fi is excellent! The french doors lead into an enclosed (for the runners) deck with seating area.

Reilly as per usual was very keen to check out the onsite chippy. We wandered up past the boats and Reilly had a mini meltdown because they weren’t open yet. A couple of karate kicks at the gates and I managed to carpet carry him away.

Now in a time when covid has everyone feeling uneasy I must admit the social distancing was good on site. The really well equipped shop had someone on the door counting people in. Shop also had FreeFrom range which was a welcome blessing for me!

There is a Burger King much to Reilly’s delight as he hadn’t had one since March, a Papa Johns and the sites restaurant in the main complex. Both offering a delivery to your caravan or click and collect. You can book a table at the restaurant or Tower Bar too. All done easily through the Haven app. There’s an owners lounge and Fairways cafe too.

Local restaurants will also deliver. Asda will deliver your shopping to the caravan too so no need to pack the car to the rafters.

The amusement arcade had social distance measures in place with every other machine turned off.

On the Saturday the boating lake, karts and land train were up and running. The 3 lads Alex, Tom and Dylan saved my bacon by allowing Reilly on at a point after it was closed. A quick explanation of Reilly’s extreme reaction and they were happy to help.

I drove into Spittal 10 mins down the road for a bit of nostalgia. We holidayed there when I was little and I’ve many fond memories of my brother Neil there. If you fancy a beach day that’s there too.

All in all we did have a great time, the caravan cannot be faulted and I thoroughly recommend the first class service Spectrum Holidays gave us. They themselves have an autistic child so they get it. They know what is important to us as families.

As the site opens up with the ease of lockdown the enormous pool, entertainment, golf, mini golf, soft play, Spa, woodland ariel activity course, animals etc will make for a brilliant break. Busy or relaxed you can have either. Every member of staff I talked to were great. Special mention for the young lady with the pink hair who offered so much help.

Reilly was typical Reilly home or away and there is never a dull moment! He took the pool being closed remarkably well to my huge surprise 😂 I stood shaking in my boots expecting an uproar while he peered through the window but managed to lure him away with promise of a DVD from the shop and a kinder egg.

Photo credit: Haven

True to form Woody and Buzz somehow made it to the boot of my car which I found while unpacking so I’ll need to send them in an adventure back up North 😂.

Huge thankyou to Sophia, Malcolm and Luca. You’ve done a great job and wish you every success. Xx

For more info and booking