Christchurch, Forest of Dean - have I made a mistake?!(21 Posts)
Yesterday I booked us a night at Christchurch so we could take the dds on the Gruffalo Trail at the Dean Heritage Centre. The site looks lovely on paper but then last night I made the mistake of reading some reviews on ukcampsite.co.uk - and apparently it's noisy, busy and the toilets and showers are awful! Has anyone stayed there? Is it really that bad? I've paid already and as it's only a few weeks away it's non-refundable but I could try my luck and ask to swap to the other Forest Holidays site in the area I suppose, although we went with Christchurch because we wanted a play area. Please tell me it'll be fine...
I've been three times and thought it was lovely. The last time we pitched but didn't stay as the weather was absolutely awful and forecast to stay that way for the entire time we would have been there. Ds was in tears at the thought of going home.
They have fab ranger activities, a nice playarea, a shop where you can order pizza to collect at a time to suit you. Lots to see and do in the area.
We've also been to one of the New Forest sites but found the whole business of dealing with maurading ponies rather tedious (after the initial excitement of 'oh look there's a pony in a tent').
Out of interest though which New Forest site did you stay at? As I've also booked 4 nights at Holmsley in August...
I stayed there the weekend before last and like you was worried we'd made a mistake, but rest assured we had a fabulous time. Washing facilities were absolutely fine (I made a point of showering after they'd been cleaned in the afternoon) but they were still fine before that, there were lots of kids, but they were all well behaved, DD (6) had a ball and made loads of friends, barely saw her all weekend.
Took a stroll down to Bracelands to see what it was like, and it was full of non family types, so v quiet. I'd have been a bit nervous there TBH if my kids behaved like, well, err, kids. Not to mention Bracelands is v sloped.
You'll have a great time
Now I just need to do a sunshine dance
I think we stayed at Holmsley. It was the one that isn't the old airfield. It is ok but not a patch on Christchurch. It was a good base but not a site I'd want to spend much time at. Contrast Christchurch where we've happily not left the site the entire three days as ds was having such a lovely time playing and exploring and doing the ranger activities.
Holmsley is the old airfield. Hopefully no ponies in the awning then
Hollands Wood is the one that wasn't an airfield. Expensive though. The one across the road Long Meadow is a lot cheaper.
I know this may be down to the Pinot Grigio (Coop Fairtrade. Mmmmmm). But i'm getting a little confused - i thought Amandine was asking 'bout the Forest the other side of the Severn to me rather than the New Forest - its a case of sheep rather than ponies!
I have very fond memories of camping at Bracelands but have realised that as that was 40 years ago I cant comment on current state of play!!!,
We stayed there last September it was really nice. And I thought the toilets were really clean.
The pizza is nice and along the track there is a house that has dorm rooms and has breakfast. I admit to judging by looks and wanted to walk out but dp made me stay and it was one of the nicest cooked breakfasts I have had, they made home made jam which we bought as gifts for the mums and the owner took my son to see their chickens (we could still see him from window) while we finished.
Salome I started this thread about Christchurch in the Forest of Dean because we're off there in a few weeks for a night...then I moved on to asking about Holmsley because we're going there in August. Opinions on either are welcome
Aah! Missed the Holmsley post - all makes sense now
Christchurch is Ok we stayed there a couple of years ago. We liked the bit at the bottom of the hill quite close to the playground.
It was hectic when we went with loads of kids on bikes and scooters, having said that Dd3 thought it was wonderful and trailed around after them happily. It was quiet by 11 and amazing star gazing.
I can't remember which Forest of Dean campsite we stayed on, but I do remember putting up the tent in a monsoon and the state of the floors in the loos afterwards and that one of my DDs dropped her toothbrush..
Never have I been so glad to have a dentist in our party ('Have one of my spares')
The New Forest airfield one is massive and I remember a long trek to the loos. However, I am of the view that you can never have too many equines on a campsite (bread off the table, tent zipped) and I saw a stag on an early morning Long March to the facilities.
And there were sundews.
We stayed at Bracelands last August and it was lovely. Lots of families. A bit slopey in places but not too bad.
We popped in and out of christchurch to use the shop etc as bracelands one was very limited. Christchurch did look very busy in comparison but was full of kids having fun and smiling people so hopefully it will be fine! Make sure you walk to symmons yat and see the peregrines. Useful co-op in Coleford too as camp shop is one of those trendy expensive ones. However, They offer takeaway to your tent which i was very jealous of!
Oops just noticed your only staying one night. Might not need that co-op then
Id consider staying longer, the forest of dean is beautiful!
We are only an hour and a half away, we're planning a trip to the Heritage Centre to try and spot a Gruffalo and eat Scrambled Snake, then meeting my parents in Bristol for lunch on the Sunday, so no time for Symonds Yat, but I've been there many times before as it's in between us and my parents
We have stayed there. The shop is VERY expensive (we thought) I was also very unimpressed by the showers/loos which I found cold and not very clean whenever I went in. Some pitches are slopey so look carefully.
We decided that although the location is wonderful we would not go back to this site until the showers were improved.....(but mabe we were just unlucky). We were also underwhelmed by the playground...(well DD was....!!!)
I thought I'd come back and post a review!
The location is lovely, lots of little paths leading into the forest straight off the campsite. The cafe/shop was also lovely, we had fresh croissants for breakfast this morning and I was pleasantly surprised that they opened at 9 on a Sunday morning. I can't comment on the prices as dh paid, although he did say it was expensive! Although it was busy everyone respected the 10:30 quiet zone rule. Dd1 enjoyed the play area, dd2 went on a swing which didn't really 'swing' all that well but she was still smiling so must have been ok!
We pitched in between the shower blocks so I tried both - I showered dd in one and myself in the other. They weren't the cleanest I've seen but they were ok. The bigger one had literally nowhere in the cubicles to put stuff down which was inconvenient but the water was warm; the other block had a shelf to put things but the shower was cold and actually painfully high pressured. Only the smaller block has sinks in cubicles.
I used the larger block to wash dd2, the changing table is really well placed, within reach of a sink so washing her was a doddle.
And if anyone goes this year I can highly recommend the Gruffalo trail in the Dean Heritage Centre, it was amazing and really well done
And for August - Holmsley is a great site. We camped there loads when I was a child and I have taken my own children there a few times. It is a big site but doesn't feel it as there are "pockets" of pitches off the old air strip. I've always found the facilities to be sufficient and close by. And it is cattle-gated so in theory ponies can't get in. Lots of lovely walks nearby accessible by stiles from various points in the site.
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