As BIG fans of On The Buses and members of the On The Buses Fan Club we jumped at the chance to visit the iconic holiday camp that was the setting for the film spin-off Holiday on the Buses.
|The Holiday on the Buses plaque on the gates to Pontin's Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park|
Organised by the On The Buses Fan Club, the Holiday on the Buses Weekender 2014 at Pontin's Prestatyn Sands allowed fans of the series and films the opportunity to stay at the camp, meet fellow fans and go on a number of mystery tours of filming locations.
|The gates and Inspector's office at Pontin's Prestatyn Sands have not changed since the film was made!|
So me, Emily and our friends Brad and Seth hit the road for what would become an unforgettable holiday!
|En route to the Holiday on the Buses Weekender|
At only £100 per person including food and entertainment it was marvellous value. Although it did cost us slightly more than £14 in fares to get to Prestatyn.
|The main building at Pontin's Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park|
With a programme of activities set-out for the Saturday and Sunday, we eagerly arrived on the Friday afternoon. After checking in we headed out for a look around - from an exterior point of view the Holiday Park has not changed much since it was a Holiday Village in the film. And that's a good thing.
|The louts and hooligans having a look at the plaque at the main gates at the start of the Holiday on the Buses Weekender|
After watching the film in the Queen Victoria pub on Saturday morning there was a talk by Paul Roberts who was a driver for the cast and crew during the production of Holiday on the Buses and we got to hear some very interesting stories and facts.
|The office from where Blakey emerges in Holiday on the Buses|
After the screening and talk by Paul we headed out for a walking tour of the park led by Craig Walker - author of some great books about On The Buses, and Steve Luxton - Inspector of the On The Buses Fan Club.
|On the walking tour - this is the spot where Blakey gets his marching orders at the end of the film|
|The First Aid Post where Blakey and Jack receive their 'treatment' in the film|
|A discussion of the location of the drains which exploded after Stan blows up the chalet lavvy by bunging a fag end down the wotsit after Olive had put petrol down it|
|These were not the same drains from the film. There is always some sort of drain 'controversy' at an On The Buses Fan Club event!|
|The stairs that Mrs Hudson (Mavis' mum, played by Eunice Black) walks up to catch Stan 'at it' with Mavis|
Saturday afternoon saw us head out on a tour aboard a 1973 Barton coach - which took in a visit to the Dyserth Waterfalls and Tea Rooms, the bridge at Abergele where Olive, Arthur, Mum and Little Arthur lose their luggage, and a drive through Rhyl.
|The 1973 Barton Coach we travelled on during the Holiday on the Buses Weekender|
|On the coach|
|Dyserth Waterfalls Tea Room and Shop|
|At the bridge in Abergele where the family lose their luggage on the way to the holiday village|
After the tour we headed for a quick wander around Prestatyn town centre before walking back to Pontin's - via the seafront Crazy Golf course where we spotted our friend and fellow minigolfer, Peter Jones! We also had a chat with the friendly course owners who were looking forward to the visit by the On The Buses fans the next day.
Sunday began with another all you can eat breakfast (Emily, Brad and Seth tell me the food they had for brekkie and dinner was marvellous) and then a walk to the Crazy Golf course for The Butler Cup competition on the 18-hole course - a classic Arnold Palmer layout.
|Emily showing everyone how to win at Crazy Golf|
|The Crazy Golf Champions - Emily with her Holiday on the Buses Pro trophy and Eric Huckle with the prestigious Butler Cup|
A visit to the antique/collectibles/car boot sale/market in Prestatyn after playing Crazy Golf was interesting and we picked up a few bargains before heading back to the camp.
|We also went to this surreal Indoor Car Boot Sale Without Car Boot at a house/tea room next to the train station in Prestatyn!|
After the morning's Crazy Golf we had to have another game, and this time had a fun round on the 9-hole course in the park. Brad scored an amazing round of 18(par) on the tough layout for the win.
|Emily playing Crazy Golf at Pontin's Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park|
The layout is right next to the Go-Kart track, which back in the 1970's was the boating lake seen in the film.
|This used to be the boating lake|
We also re-enacted the scene with Mavis and her mum on the BIG bikes and had a fun cycle round the camp.
|On the quad cycle|
|Give us a push. You're 'avin a larf! You'll never move that with four people on it|
One of the funniest scenes in Holiday on the Buses takes place in the swimming pool and we had to have a dip while there. It was amazing that the pool is still recognizable from the film. Unfortunately the diving board has been removed, but the pool was still deep enough for some diving (belly flopping) into the very deep deep-end.
|Outside the swimming pool|
As well as all the On The Buses-related fun and minigolf during the weekend we got to play bingo, stand-up bingo (Seth won!), air hockey as well as other amusement arcade game fun and much more.
|Brad and Seth in the first of many Air Hockey battles over the weekend|
|Seth Thomas - Standing / Reverse Bingo Champion at Pontin's Prestatyn Sands|
The whole holiday was marvellous and we are looking forward to attending future On The Buses Fan Club events.
|Near the dunes and beach where Stan and Jack lorst the bus to the tides on their moonlight mystery tour|
Many thanks to Steve at the On The Buses Fan Club for organising such a great trip. And thanks to Pontin's for running such a fun holiday park.
The holiday park (camp) has lots to offer and is also close to the seafront. The apartments (chalets) were also comfortable, with plenty of space, good beds, nice bathrooms (with interesting showers) and a good sized kitchen area - including a fridge (perfect for stocking essentials like booze and gluten-free food for me).
Over the years I've stayed in a lot of holiday camps - my family used to go to Barry Island and Butlin's Minehead in the 80's and 90's as well as a few independent/smaller camps too. It was great to go for a Holiday on the Buses. A nice nostalgic trip.
Back in 2011 we attended the On The Buses Fan Club's annual event in Elstree. It was a marvellous day out and you can read more about it at "On The Buses Event - 40th Anniversary of the First On The Buses film."
You can join the On The Buses Fan Club for free by signing up with your email address on the website. The On The Buses Fan Club site has stacks of information, photos, interviews and more and is a great resource for fans of the TV show and films. There are also events and meet-ups throughout the year. If you're a fan of the show and films then we all recommend you join the club and look to book a future trip for a marvellous Holiday on the Buses.
Related blog posts:
- On The Buses
- Crazy World of Minigolf Tour
- On The Buses Fan Club
- Pontin's Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park