Risky family holidays? No danger!
Rob, wife Eujayne and daughters Nia and Mollie have been Bondholders since “about 2003”. “I was following in the footsteps of two friends of more than 30 years,” says Rob.
“Andrew Ford had sort of grown up with the Bond; his parents have been Bondholders since more or less the beginning of HPB. Tim Richardson was next. Then, on the principle of ‘if you can’t beat them...’, I joined up too.
“I’ve never regretted it,” continues Rob, a farmer from Wiltshire, “and here’s why: when I signed up to the Bond I had started a family and was looking for places to holiday where the children could enjoy themselves in safety. HPB’s sites, both at home and abroad, all differ one from another; but all offer safety standards that mean the kids can have fun without us worrying!
“The sites also offer superb facilities generally at no extra cost, plus excellent service and space to enjoy our holiday both indoors and out rather than our previous cramped holiday experiences.”
The Vines family have made full use of their Bond, holidaying at Tigh Mor Trossachs in Perthshire; St Brides Castle in Pembrokeshire (“A fantastic time. And the kids loved it!”); Lower Knapp Farm in Devon; Le Mont de St Siméon in Île de France, just east of Paris; Rocha Brava in Portugal’s Algarve; Langton House, Dorset; Blore Hall in Derbyshire; Braithwaite Court in Cumbria; and La Reserva de Biniorella in Majorca.
“It was great when the children were younger,” says Rob (perhaps a touch wistfully?). “The days were full-on, of course – but come the evening we’d put them to bed, grab a DVD, crack open a bottle of wine and relax; heavenly. These days of course, it’s less easy to pack them off – not that we would want to! But I can envisage a time when they’re a bit older and perhaps don’t want to holiday with Mum and Dad... With more freedom to go where we want, when we want, and no longer tied to the school curriculum, we will be able to enjoy the Bond in a different way, and maybe make use of HPB’s Tenancy properties as well.”
But with their children the ages they are, every couple of years the Vines, the Richardsons and the Fords make a real go of it, holidaying en masse and revelling in each other’s company. To date, the three families have met up at Duloe Manor in Cornwall; Rocha Brava; Physkos in Turkey (“Our favourite so far - the site, hammocks, a gulet trip and the Turkish barbers!”); and, this year, El Pueblito de Alfaix in southern Spain. The grown-ups get to catch up with each other in a relaxed environment: “We all get on so well,” says Eujayne, an accountant with a major pharmaceutical company. “Though Sarah [Richardson], Rachel [Ford] and I do occasionally gaze heavenwards when the old tales of a misspent youth start coming out! And our children – two boys and five girls – really do have so much fun together. They particularly enjoy playing table tennis, swimming, the on-site restaurants and choosing from the DVD libraries.
“We do holiday elsewhere – ‘off-Bond’ – from time to time,” she continues. “But what the Bond offers, in terms of facilities, locations and things to do, where we know the children will come to no harm – it’s perfect for us.”
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