LIKE most people these days, my smartphone is filled to the brim with dozens and dozens of photos. Many of these are family snaps of my two young boys. They could be better and I freely admit, I’d be open to some advice to help me make that happen.

So it was with great interest that we four travelled to a holiday village on the east coast near Withernsea, which had decided to help its holidaymakers make the best of their snaps as part of their stay.

Enter award-winning smartphone photographer and Instagram expert Elaine Taylor who has teamed up with Sand le Mere Holiday Village. As well as a host of top tips for taking better pictures on your phone, Elaine initially ran a couple of free three hour coaching sessions, and I was lucky enough to be able to sample one.

As I already know my way round and iPhone and regularly make use of its many photographic features, I thought I’d already know the basics.

But Elaine’s insight and useful guidance instantly helped pep up my holiday snaps, and made me focus more on composition and different perspectives – as well as get a bit more creative.

The handy list of photo editing apps, which were tried, tested and among Elaine’s favourites, has also been incredibly useful. So much so I’m a regular on Snapseed these days – and I can definitely say my family snaps are vastly improved as a result.

So this trip not only gave us some nice memories to look back on but has also meant we have been able to better capture moments both at home and on holiday for us to look back on.

Now though, in an effort to get more families involved, the holiday village has produced a tips sheet for taking better smartphone photos which is given out to all holidaymakers there. In addition Elaine has created a podcast that visitors can also download, offering even more advice and insights.

The holiday village itself offers a range of holiday homes all within easy walking distance of the centre of the site and just a short walk from the coast. This includes static caravans, lodges and pitches for tourers too.

We stayed in a roomy caravan with everything required to make it a real home from home. Our young boys definitely found everything they needed for an ideal weekend, and they were particularly struck by the splendid splash zone in the pool, as well as the many games and activities on offer.

There is also a busy restaurant and bar, as well as a coffee shop and a takeaway which delivered our boys’ favourite pizza straight to our caravan door. The bar also hosts a variety of shows and gigs in the evenings but the caravan park is big enough that this didn’t disturb us as our young family headed for an early night.

A short walk from the holiday village brings you to Tunstall beach. The access was a little tricky with a pushchair, but our perseverance was rewarded with flat and spacious sands for us to explore.

Although it is only a few minutes from the site it did not feel like a touristy beach and we were able to enjoy our trip there in glorious sunshine, feeling as though we had gotten away from it all. There were a few wind turbines to be spotted on the horizon scattered out to sea, and the buzz of quad bikers in the distance, were all that interrupted the quiet spot.

A new addition to the facilities at Sand le Mere is a sensory room for children with autism, ADHD and Asperger’s Syndrome. It is free for guests to use and was developed by a member of staff at the holiday village whose son has autism.

The room is furnished with bright and tactile equipment with brightly lit bubble tubes, sensory wall art, changing lights, multi-coloured flooring, bean bags, rollers and gym balls.

A thoughtful addition to the park, this will surely help some families feel more able to relax knowing their children’s specialist need have been catered for.

Sand La Mere provides you with everything that might be needed for an easy family break. With a bar, coffee shop and restaurant, a swimming pool, games and a nearby beach all within easy walking distance.

During our stay there appeared to be holidaymakers of all ages, proving the venue has something to appeal to a wide range.

Our children certainly had a fantastic time and often ask us when we will be going back.


A four night (Monday to Friday) short break starting August 21 starts from £392, staying in a Comfort two bedroom caravan sleeping six.

For October half term, a four night midweek break starting October 23 starts from £209 staying in a Comfort two bedroom caravan.

To book visit or call 01964 670 403.