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Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis was a pleasant surprise! As part of the Sun Holiday deal, I stayed here mid-week during September – just after the kids had gone back to school. As part of a caravan workcation, for a Holiday Park that is situated in the middle of a commercial area where industrial estates meet retail parks, it actually had everything needed for a much better week than expected!
Here is a detailed review of this Hoseason’s holiday park:
Where is Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis?
Bognor Regis, also well-known as Bognor is located in the county of West Sussex, South East England. It’s 6 miles west of the seaside town of Littlehampton, 13 miles west of the major beachfront town of Worthing, and 56 miles southwest of London.
The Holiday Park is situated north of the town, bizarrely in a commercial zone wedged between industrial warehouses and retail parks. As I drove closer on arrival, I was convinced the satnav was wrong, but then there it was, Riverside Caravan Park right in between a Tesco Superstore and Arun Retail Park with an M&S Foodhall, Next and B&Q! But don’t be fooled, once you are in the park, you would never know.Booking.com
A walk to Bognor Regis Beach, which is a shingle beach is about 1.5 miles through some built-up areas and past Hotham Park. This takes about 35 minutes or so. The town centre is just a bit closer than the beach and on the way if you are heading in that direction. Bognor Regis train station is 1.2 miles with good accessibility along the south coast, whilst there are plenty of public transport options nearby.
Why choose Bognor’s Riverside Caravan Park?
If you ever google ‘Riverside Caravan Park’, you’ll be amazed at how many parks are called this, and their close variations! And with good reason too. Who doesn’t want to enjoy their time close to a tranquil river, taking in the water views? Well, to be honest, you won’t be doing this at Bognor’s Riverside Caravan Park. I literally had to search for the river. The Aldingbourne Rife. It was the one bridge in the park that actually gave away its location. Overgrown. Limited access. “Riverside” should come in inverted commas.
However, saying that, it is, and I keep using the word surprisingly, a well-located park with good facilities and a wide range of entertainment (during peak periods).
Within walking distance to the beach, with plenty of shopping options on your doorstep, it’s also a great location on the south coast of the UK. Bognor Regis’ Butlins, which it is most famous for, is within a short distance for a day visit, packed with entertainment.
Portsmouth’s beaches and Southsea are just 25 miles west and Worthing is 18 miles east. Both are accessible by public transport or by driving and worth a day’s visit. Check out what there is to love at Southsea Parade Pier or the best boat trips from Portsmouth.
Head on a mini vacation within your holiday and escape to the Isle of Wight for the day from Portsmouth. The Hovercraft takes just 10 minutes to fly there from Southsea. The Cathedral City of Chichester is just over 7 miles away, with the infamous Brighton Beach just 31 miles away. There really is plenty to do if you are happy to travel. After seeing Bognors Beach and pier with its limited options along the promenade, this might well be on the holiday agenda! I’m not actually sure how that pier is still standing.
Riverside Caravan Park Bognor Regis Park Map
What to expect from the Caravan Park?
Check-in at the main reception was nice and easy. The welcome pack was already to go, lined up with several others still to check in for that day. The pack included the caravan key and fob for the main enternace barrier, wristbands for entertainment and leisure facilities (additional charges), an Entertainment programme for the week (generic), a voucher for a free on-site restaurant breakfast (when purchased with any other breakfast), a 10% voucher when booking and paying the deposit for another holiday at the park and a holiday refund voucher if you fell in love with a pre-owned or brand new caravan which you purchased at the park.
There was a disclaimer dropped into the conversation that due to the park being very quiet, not all activities and entertainment were running, but information outside the main complex would be updated daily. A quick overview of the park was given with the use of the park map and off I went. Quick and friendly and just what I wanted.
Lots of caravans!
Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor is huge! It really is deceiving. As you drive in through quite a narrow entrance, it just seems to open up into the abyss and keeps on going! Turns out, this long established family owned park (which is run through Hoseasons) is set on 42 acres of grassland with tree lined roads. The majority of caravans are permanent stays, but a number of them are set aside for holidaymakers. Without counting every single one, there are easily over 600 caravans in this park! But given the vast space and way they are divided up, you wouldn’t think this when standing in one place.
Another added touch is the number of picnic tables scattered around the park. Dotted along walkways, next to play parks and many are available in the outdoor seating area of the entertainment area.
The park accommodates caravans only and is not a camping or touring holiday park.
Riverside’s Main Complex
The grounds are split into different fields, with the main reception and facilities in the middle of the park. This throws you a bit on arrival as you have to go and find the reception! Hint – it is just straight ahead of you! Here you’ll find the welcome desk, restaurant and cafe, Entertainment Complex, Schooner Bar and JD’s Bar, pool tables, the new Little Rascals Soft Play, a Funzone Arcade and the Arcade Games Room. I loved walking past here several times and hearing the inviting sounds that remind you are by the seaside!
At the time of writing, the adjacent laundry room was out of use. It looked like it had been for some time too, with no intention of reopening in the near future.
The Swimming Pools
Before you get to the main complex from the entrance, you can’t miss the swimming pools. 2 main pools – one outdoor, one indoor with spa/jacuzzi along with a smaller toddler outdoor splash pool. These are definitely a highlight of Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis. I used the indoor pool twice during my stay and it was a well-deserved treat. On the first visit, only 3 others were in the pool and after ten minutes I had it all to myself (was it something I did?!). On the second visit, I had it all to myself. Heaven! It was so quiet that I could hear the sound of my own waves as I glided (not so delicately) through the water. The light shone through the windows as the sunrays danced on the pool floor – perfectly mesmerising and always a welcomed moment of Water Wellness.
The outdoor heated pool was closed since the beginning of September which was a shame as it looked incredibly inviting. It reopens from mid-May each year. The pools were clean, and outdoors lots of space for chairs, tables and sun loungers. I can imagine this would be the hub of the park during the summer months, and quite rightly so.
The changing rooms were tired but clean. All that you want to throw some clothes back on, although there are showers also available. The team on the desk were friendly and helpful – especially to point out that the lockers only take old £1 coins which unfortunately people had taken with them for this specific use. As it was quiet enough, my stuff was safe, however there are places to put your belongings poolside.
In the small entrance of the pools, there are vending machines and snacks on offer to keep you going.
Swimming Pool timings
Upon check-in, I was advised that the indoor pool was open but timings could change. If I wanted to find out, I would need to ask them directly as they were in a different department from the reception desk. I thought this was quite a strange thing to say. It all falls under the same park and surely that much communication wouldn’t be needed. I was finding that in this park during off-peak periods, they work off their own park time!
The notice on the swimming pool entrance stated that they close for lunch between 12:45 pm and 2 pm, however opening and closing depends on how busy the park is. Generally, it’s between 9 am and 5 pm. Being on my own workcation, I was lucky to fit in a swim during the day and it would be good to see longer opening hours, especially in the summer.
At the back of the main complex, there is a good-sized, modern outdoor play park. Another play park is further back that is much smaller and older (and in need of a little attention). I was surprised by the amount of green space within the park. Big open areas for kids to play with balls and run around it – not often found in many holiday parks now. This also meant that there was plenty of space for me to take an early morning run. A few times around the park, weaving in and out of the side roads and you can easily hit 5K!
On arrival, I was told that being out of season, the entertainment offered could change last minute – fair enough and justified. I hadn’t actually paid for an entertainment pass at £10 per person as I didn’t think I would use it. However, it was offered as a gesture of goodwill for free – and I’m guessing they wanted to get the numbers up during this quiet time! This was lucky though as I needed it to use the swimming pool!
I didn’t personally experience the entertainment but this was one thing that got exceptional reviews online. Their kid’s entertainment team have glowing comments and was no doubt the highlight for many in the months just gone. The clubhouse offers entertainment for the whole family including cabarets, discos, bingo, live music, dancing, the daytime Rascals Kids Club and an amusement centre with a soft play that are open from early March to the end of October each year.
Bars and Dining
The Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis dining option is Chenko’s. There is a cafe situated to the left of the main complex, with a restaurant further towards the back. There is a good range of options available throughout the day. Breakfast is good value with various choices, including a buffet during peak periods. Lunch is light bites, paninis, toasted sandwiches and jacket potatoes. Dinner tempts you with dirty burgers, pub classics and pizzas. The prices are really quite reasonable, however I did not dine within the park to comment on its quality.
If eating outside in the park, be mindful of the seagulls! They are huge. They land on the vans with an almighty thud, and you’d certainly know about it if one was after your chips!
If Chenko’s menu doesn’t tickle your taste buds, within walking distance there is Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s, M&S Foodhall, The Food Warehouse and Home Bargains for self-catering options. Burger King, KFC, Mcdonald’s and Costa Coffee are also just around the corner within a few minutes’ walk. The Charley Purley pub is a stone’s throw away – a popular Marstons establishment. In Bognor Regis town centre and the seafront, there are lots of various dining cuisines, takeaways, fish and chips, along with a Brewer’s Fayre with sea views.
Wi-fi Connection around the caravan park
It was great to see that public wi-fi was available throughout the park and caravans, not just in the main complex. However… it wasn’t the strongest connection and I was quite near the centre of the park. There is a free trial for 30 minutes, then it’s paid for if you want longer. I didn’t even make it to the end of the 30 minutes before I chose to ‘Forget Network’ as it was just giving me the circle of death! Thankfully, on the 3 mobile network, I had a strong 4g signal and was able to use this all on devices, including my personal hotspot. I didn’t notice it picking up a 5g signal at any time throughout the stay.
A Bronze Caravan at Riverside
The Sun £9.50 holiday park deal
As part of the Sun ‘Holidays from £9.50’ newspaper deal, this was just a planned cheap workcation. For an upgraded caravan, mid-week from Mon-Fri, mid-Sept – it was just £66. Pretty good value for money, based on 4 people sharing. I upgraded the caravan to a Comfort+ and am glad I did. Whilst it was still in a Bronze level van, this was a Bronze caravan sleeping 6, not 4. On the booking confirmation, it stated that Bronze caravans only have a gas heater in the living room. And wow, has it already got cold at night in September. However, this upgraded van had central heating throughout and was well used! Some of the online reviews also suggest that a lower Bronze level caravan could come with a number of maintenance and cleanliness issues. Something worth considering.
Inside the caravan
On first impressions and the sort of burnt orange, turning beige upholstery showed that this caravan had had some fairly heavy use. Number 447 had hard-wearing carpet that was ageing, the padding in the seating was slightly uncomfortable, the mirror in the bathroom had seen better days, the double bedroom carpet corners were pretty discoloured and the minor scuffs around the van told tails, but I couldn’t fault its cleanliness. My main concern.
The view from the living room bay window onto the open green space was pretty unique amongst so many other caravans. I’d even say it was one of the best views within the park.
Having a double room with two twin rooms, a bathroom and a small toilet meant I could have easily had 5 others come and stay. But more importantly for me, it meant that there was plenty of room for my belongings instead of having to squeeze them into the double room. I don’t think I’ve seen so much storage in a caravan before, especially a van of this age.
The kitchen area was big enough with lots of dishware and utensils available, oven microwave, toaster and kettle. It was clean and well-maintained. I love the little touch of the complimentary dishcloth, sponge, bin bag and dishwashing liquid – especially as I’d forgotten to bring mine from home!
Heating and linen
Heating was not a problem with central heating throughout. The living room was large, with a tv and gas heater also available as a backup. The dining table was a bit too sticky for my liking, no matter how much I tried to clean it. It was plenty big enough for 4 to dine around, but any more than this would have been crowded.
As I bought my own bedding, I didn’t pay for the £30 charge for linen. I actually didn’t think this was worth it for half the value of the stay. The pillows and duvets would have been a bit thin for me, so glad I did bring my own. The beds were comfortable with memory foam mattresses. There were a couple of stains on the protectors but I’ve actually come to expect this in most caravan parks.
Would I recommend Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis?
You know what, yes I would. Even though I initially thought this would be a no. It’s the ideal base for exploring the south coast and has enough facilities on site to keep both adults and kids entertained with a friendly team. Yes, it’s a little tired in places. It could do with some attention before online reviews get out of control. But budget conscious or luxurious, there is something here for everyone. The Sun newspaper deal will give you a next to nothing price at the right time of year, and even without this, you can still get some weeks under £200 for the basic model.
Would I stay here for another workcation? Probably not, but I’m not one to go back to the same place twice. The wifi was a bit of a letdown and I’d prefer to have somewhere with more on offer within walking distance. I’d also prefer a less sticky dining table to work from!
Are you thinking about staying at the Riverside Caravan Park in Bognor Regis? Have you stayed here before? Do you own your own caravan? I’d love to know in the comments below.
Inspirational content to spend more time outdoors, in blue spaces and experiencing Water Wellness.