What do you think of when you hear the term PGL Holiday? I think of school residential trips and adventure holidays for the kids. Children taking part in once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Making lasting memories with their friends or even making new friends. PGL, parents get lost, right? What I wasn’t expecting is the offering of a PGL Family Holiday. A chance to experience all PGL has to offer as a family. Taking part in the activities together as a family unit. Making new and unexpected family memories.
PGL offered us the chance to experience their family holidays*. We were booked to stay at PGL Windmill Hill, East Sussex for two nights. PGL offers an all-inclusive break. All activities and food are included in the price you pay. The only thing you have to pay for is speciality drinks, sodas, alcohol or sweet treats.
*Use the code SOCIAL25 when booking. It offers you 25% off all Family Adventure and Kid’s only Adventure Holidays.
What Activities Did We Do On Our PGL Family Holiday?
With our PGL Family Holiday booked the first thing I thought about was what activities we would be expected to do. They asked if we could swim so I was wondering how wet we would get. I was also worried about Ethan’s reaction to the activities. Would he be able to take part as I knew he would need support? The good thing is that you don’t have to take part in the activities. You are not forced in any way if you do not feel comfortable. But I must admit there is a little bit of peer pressure. You want to show the kids that you are brave enough to do anything asked. Watch me kids this is how it’s done!
The Activity Itinerary
Your itinerary is given to you as soon as you arrive. As we were on a two-night break our first full day had four activities. Our departure day had two activities in the morning. We would be taking part in the following during our break
- Giant Swing
Our itinerary was fully packed. PGL Windmill Hill is also home to an outdoor heated swimming pool. This opens for the hour before lunch and dinner.
Having children who love to swim these hours were fully used. The bonus is that there is also a pool bar. So the adults get the chance to refuel.
For the activities, we were put in groups of twelve. Our group consisted of four other family groups. To be honest I was a little worried about mixing with people we didn’t know. But there was nothing to worry about we all got along and supported each other during each activity. Over the course of two days, you could see some real friendships form in the groups. Everyone mixed really well and the children loved playing with each other whenever they got the chance.
The Giant Swing
The giant swing is just that a giant swing. Everyone who wants to try the swing has to wear a harness to be attached to the swing bar. Upon seeing the swing Ethan declared that he would not go on it. To be honest I was quite surprised as he is normally the thrill-seeker of the family. I was worried about my motion sickness, something that I have noticed I’m suffering with as I get older. So I took the role of keeping an eye on Ethan. Little E on the other hand said she would give the swing a go. She wanted a photo for Instagram.
So Little E and Darren were the brave members of the family who took on the giant swing. Whilst two members of the group are attached to the swing the other members of the group have to pull them up. Ethan loved pulling the rope to get the swing in position. The swing can start from a really high starting point. Apparently, you can experience g-force when the swing starts from its highest point. Little E wasn’t that brave and you can position the swing as high or low as you want.
Little E was quite scared but I’m so proud of how well she did. Everyone got two goes on the swing and she stayed on for the second go. I think Darren wouldn’t have minded the swing starting from a higher point. But he was there to support Little E.
I was excited to see that archery was on our itinerary. Archery is something that I have always wanted to try and I was finally getting the chance. Our session started with a safety briefing on how to use the bow and arrows correctly. Then we all got numerous turns shooting three arrows each. Our PGL activity instructor would make games for us to play. Where we would like to travel, and what toppings we would have on our pizzas? We would give him the answers from where our arrows hit the targets.
Both Ethan and Little E wanted to try the archery. Little E struggled with the strength of the bow and of course, Ethan needed support. The PGL activity instructor was absolutely amazing with both children. He had the patience of a saint showing the children every time how to load the arrow correctly in the bow. They both really enjoyed this activity even if there were frustrations of not hitting the target.
Another activity I was really looking forward to was canoeing. I thought Ethan would love being on the water. He really enjoyed being on the boat when we went on our seal-watching trip. We went in pairs for this activity. I was with Little E and Darren went with Ethan. We all had oars but it was just us adults actually using them to make the canoes move.
During this activity, we played games on the lake. Chasing rubber ducks and collecting them in our canoes. We also played a game with a rugby ball. It was a very active session but so much fun.
When we booked our PGL Family Holiday I had no idea what areoball was. A quick search on YouTube was able to show me what to expect. Think basketball on 12ft trampolines. Areoball was our fourth session and by this time I was exhausted. So I decided to sit this one out. The children however were up for the challenge and created their own team.
In areoball you have to bounce on the trampolines for three minutes. During that time you have to try and get the ball into the hoop as many times as possible. The team with the highest score wins. Unfortunately being the smallest members of the group our team didn’t score that many points. Little E isn’t the best loser and I think was also extremely tired. But she tried her best and they both had a great time jumping.
We had told Ethan he would be climbing during our PGL Family Holiday. So it was good that it was on our itinerary as he said he would climb. We have a feeling Ethan has a fear of heights so I wasn’t expecting him to climb that high. But he had a go and that’s all that mattered.
Little E was very brave when it came to climbing. She was the second person to volunteer for a turn. She also didn’t climb that high but you only need to climb as far as you feel comfortable. Little E loved that she took part in the climbing.
The children weren’t the only ones who took part in the climbing. Both Darren and I had a go. I’m not a climber but Darren put us all to shame. He nearly made it to the top of the climbing tower.
I knew that I wouldn’t be able to complete the abseiling activity. I wouldn’t be brave enough to let myself go over the edge. Both children agreed with me. But we did have the option to go up the abseiling tower to look at the view from the top. Little E was the first to take up this challenge. She had no problem being at this height. One day she might even be able to give abseiling a go.
Ethan on the other hand was terrified. This is where I truly saw he is scared of heights. He did go up and take a look around but wasn’t up there long. He just completed the task for us. The PGL activity leader was amazing with him. She didn’t push his limits and walked him all the way back down the tower. Talking to him the whole way trying to distract him and making him calm.
Darren was the one to show us how it should be done. He made it look easy descending the tower.
What Was The Accommodation Like On Our PGL Family Holiday?
As PGL holidays cater for school trips and groups the accommodation you stay in is set up for that. We were booked into a family room for up to four people. Our room contained two bunk beds and a single bed. Little E loves bunk beds and was happy with the top bunk. On our previous cruises, Ethan hasn’t been comfortable on the bottom bunk. We thought he would sleep in a single bed. But he surprised us during this trip and slept on the other top bunk.
Our room also had an en-suite containing a shower and a toilet. I wasn’t expecting that as the residential trips I went on with my school all had shared bathrooms. The shower was activated by a push-button timer. This was unexpected but I can totally understand the water flow needing to be limited with big groups of school children staying there.
The accommodation was perfect for our needs and to be honest we were only in there to sleep. There were even tea and coffee-making facilities in the room. Perfect for the morning cup of tea needed to get us moving. All of the accommodation is placed in blocks. There are a few of these blocks at PGL Windmill Hill as they can accommodate over 400 children at once. But during our PGL Family Holiday, all of the family groups were in the same block.
What Did We Eat On Our PGL Family Holiday?
Whenever we go away we always have to think about the food options. Ethan’s autism makes his food choices limited. Little E is also quite fussy but in a good way as she loves salad. PGL Holidays are all-inclusive. You are given three meals a day and believe me there is no need to worry about the food options.
Breakfast offers a full-cooked breakfast or cereal selections. Lunch is also a hot meal and for dinner, there are about three menu options. PGL cater for vegan and vegetarian diets as well as allergies.
There is also an amazing salad bar which offers all things salad and pasta options. You can easily fill your plate from the salad bar alone. There is also unlimited water, juice, tea and coffee available at the meals.
The only other holiday I can say that I was provided with the same amount of food is on a cruise. You will not go hungry and if your child is going on a PGL holiday, by themselves there is no need to worry if they will eat!
Speciality Drinks and Sweet Treats
There is also the option to purchase more food and drink if you need to. There is a shop full of sweet treat options. If that is closed you will also find vending machines. These were a hit with our kids as we don’t normally buy them sweets from machines. We also treated ourselves to milkshakes from the bar. They were amazing and at times very needed.
We are so glad we got the chance to experience a PGL Family Holiday. The children didn’t want to leave and were asking when we could go back to PGL before we had even left. To find out more about what PGL offer visit the PGL Website. Use the code SOCIAL25 when booking. It offers you 25% off all Family Adventure and Kid’s only Adventure Holidays.
DISCLOSURE – We received the stay at PGL Windmill Hill as a gift. This was for the purposes of this post and to create our YouTube video. We always share our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, and experiences.