YOU may not associate somewhere where you can pitch a tent with a place which offers luxury, but the chances are that's because you haven't stayed at Sandy Balls.

More than your average holiday park, it offers everything from camping right the way through to hot tub holidays in five-star lodges.

Best of all, it has a range of accommodation somewhere in between.

Myself and seven friends fancied a weekend away and Sandy Balls seemed the perfect place to escape to.

So on a Friday night after work we packed into two cars for a road trip to the New Forest.

The journey from Brighton was certainly more entertaining given we were heading to a place with a name perfect for innuendos - but Sandy Balls has plenty more going for it other than its ability to amuse.

Check-in began at 3pm but there was no issue with us arriving after this time, with a night warden for any late arrivals.

Although the lodges can sleep up to eight people we opted for two Premium Lodges, each with two bedrooms (one double and one twin).

There was plenty of parking right outside our accommodation which made the whole process hassle-free.

Our lodges were immediately inviting with the heating already on and little touches such as towels sculpted into elephants along with miniature toiletries on our beds making us feel welcome.

Bathrobes hung on the back of our bedroom doors and our bathrooms even had a jacuzzi 'spa' bathtub.

There was also a fully equipped kitchen with a dishwasher, a comfortable living space, two televisions and a DVD player.

Had we not already booked a table at the nearby (10 minutes walking distance) The Fighting Cock pub, it would have been tempting to spend the night in our cosy cabin.

And that is exactly what we did the following evening, with our kitchen and dining space allowing us to cook and comfortably enjoy a three-course meal all together (the staff were more than happy for us to move furniture from one lodge to another to accommodate this).

There is a Sandy Balls village store should guests decide at the last-minute to host a dinner party like we did, or they could order food from the on-site take-away.

There is also an Italian restaurant and pub on site.

We certainly paid the pub a visit during our trip but admittedly it involved more drinking than it did eating.

When we weren't in the pub, we spent our time making the most of the leisure facilities and enjoying the surrounding countryside by foot.

There is an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, sauna and jacuzzi plus a gym and various fitness classes going on.

The Cycle Centre offers an extensive fleet of bikes of all types to hire too and there is a soft play area for children.

Alternatively, why not take some time out and relax in The Retreat spa?

Outside the park, the beaches of Bournemouth are not far away, and neither are various attractions such as Marwell Zoo and many more activities such as horse riding.

Had I been holidaying with just my partner, we might have spent the extra on a Premium Vista Lodge.

Perfect for a romantic escape, with a roll top bath inside and hot tub outside on the roof terrace overlooking the Avon Valley, these are the most luxurious type of accommodation on offer.

At the other end of the spectrum, there are two kinds of Laid Back Lodges which are a more affordable alternative to the Premium ones like we stayed in.

For anyone with a greater sense of adventure, the Camping Pods and Safari Tents looked like they could be a lot of fun, while more traditional options such as caravanning and camping are also available.

Sandy Balls has ensured its guests are spoilt for choice, proving themselves a holiday park suitable for couples, groups of friends, families and their dogs (the holiday park is pet friendly).

While most holiday destinations pitch themselves as having something for everyone, this place can promise that with confidence.

To top it all off, it has a name which is sure to make you giggle at least once during your stay.

Lucy and her friends stayed in a Premium Lodge – prices from £211 for three nights.

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