camping at Easter are we mad!?!

(57 Posts)
victoriasmith Mon 04-Mar-13 11:09:06

Just beginning to wonder whether we are mad! We have planned to go camping over Easter near Scarborough, my husband, me - 6months pregnant and our son who is 2. The only thing i am worried about is the weather it is still so cold at night! Are we all going to freeze, is anyone else camping over Easter?

hillbilly Mon 04-Mar-13 13:33:57

You are not mad! I would LOVE to go at Easter just not sure I can persuade DH whose criteria for camping is a temp of 20 degrees or above.. Mind you, we have had some lovely weather March/April in recent years......

Have a great time and make sure you wrap up well.

cyclecamper Mon 04-Mar-13 20:26:47

We're camping at Easter. I'll be 6.5 months pregnant. We'll be hiring a car because I'm not up to cycling the 14 miles from the nearest station. We cycle camped in January but missed one last weekend due to my husband's chest infection. It'll be fine, just fill any space you have with blankets. smile

guanosoup Mon 04-Mar-13 20:31:45

I have camped at easter once, we were fine! My advice is to take loads of blankets and take hot water bottles.
Dont forget that a hat in bed can warm you up significantly.
(and maybe sort something out like a she-wee so you don't have to traipse across a cold field at 3am [brrr]
Have fun! grin

Sallington Wed 13-Mar-13 20:56:00

We went camping last Easter, it was slightly later, 9 April but it was very cold. We camped in Lincolnshire but driving through mid Wales on the way, there was thick snow! We did end up going to bed with more and more clothes on each night. Hats and socks are a must and plenty of blankets. The kids (3 & 5 yrs) seemed oblivious to the cold though. It was the children's first camping trip but it didn't put them off and they're keen to go to Ireland in the summer, hopefully it'll be warmer then!
I hope you get to go and have a great time if you do (I love Scarborough! Haven't been for years tho)

loubielou31 Wed 13-Mar-13 23:26:22

I'm desperate to go away at Easter, so no not mad.
Have a look for all the tips for keeping warm, google it.
My tips are putting a blanket or rug on the floor of the tent especially in the sleeping areas, you can also put cardboard on the floor which helps insulate it.

I would think it worthwhile buying a EHU box and taking a heater (and the kettle)

She-wee, I like that idea.

LifeofPo Thu 14-Mar-13 15:04:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsMc82 Sat 16-Mar-13 16:50:54

We're camping at easter too, we did last year too and ended up warmer than the may bank holiday when it got to minus 3 at night. .... it'll be chilly but the place we're going to allows camp fires and ds will be in thermals at all times!
Am also pregnant but will only be 14/15 weeks by then so will be fine except for the incessant weeing! !!!!

foreversunny Sun 17-Mar-13 22:54:11

We're camping over Eater too! Hello fellow mad campers grin

Myself, DH and 3 DDs (7yrs, 5yrs and 1yr)

We're planning on packing as many blankets as our poor car can possibly carry. Also hot water bottles, hand warmers, thermals, hats, woolly socks etc.

I've recently bought some of these. Thought it would be handy to put under/over the DDs camp beds for added warmth <clutching straws here!>

victoriasmith Tue 19-Mar-13 16:58:15

Glad there are some fellow mad campers out there. We went camping in yorkshire last year over Easter and I think we had back to back rain for about 29hours in total, really feel we are owed some good weather this year or for it to be at least dry!

We take a sheepskin which we place under DS in his travel cot which seems to keep his cosy warm, just got it from ikea, and then place a black out blind over the travel cot which as well as helping him sleep as it keeps him in the dark also helps keep the heat in for him.

Never thought of taking hot water bottles but that is an inspired idea!

tabulahrasa Tue 19-Mar-13 16:59:26

<looks outside at the five inches of snow>

um, aye hmm lol

cyclecamper Tue 19-Mar-13 17:08:48

Snow is nice to camp in - it's insulating and muffles the sounds around you. Pitching in it isn't such fun.

AnteaterAgain Wed 20-Mar-13 04:50:09

Camping this Easter is going to be very tough.
The weather in the NW is certanly not really up too canvas yet, unless you are a complete pro!
Good luck to those that try..!

AnteaterAgain Wed 20-Mar-13 04:54:07

And remember, if you do camp at Easter DO NOT try and warm your tent/caravan with a BBQ or gas fire inside. Carbon Monoxide is killing people on a regular basis and it happens most when it is cold outside and people are tempted to just bring the BBQ in for a few minutes to warm up... Forever is a lot of minutes.

MrsMc82 Sun 24-Mar-13 22:53:49

Totally not going anywhere in a tent at easter now am not brave enough!..... reluctantly emailed the campsite to cancel sad

victoriasmith Mon 25-Mar-13 10:02:04

i think we will also be cancelling, there is just a few too many inches of snow about on our campsite at the moment!

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 11:49:27

Looks like we'll be cancelling too, it's bitter outside. Took us ages to save up to pay for the holiday. It was our annual family get away. We've lost all our money sad

hillbilly Mon 25-Mar-13 12:14:39

foreversunny - can you talk to the campsite and try to get some money back? It would be awful if you lost it all :-(

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 12:30:14

Have tried. I've begged and sobbed down the phone to them and I've also emailed head office but to no avail. They're keeping the lot. We saved for a long time to pay for it.

Selfish beyond words IMO. All we payed for was a tent pitch in an open field. No overhead costs as far as they're concerned, irrelevant if we went or not.

Blu Mon 25-Mar-13 14:09:20

Foreversunny - that's awful shock sad.

Especially as I bet they will actually close the site at easter due to waterlogged ground and terrible weather.

Will they not give you a credit for a time later in the year?

I would call anonymously the day before you go and try and book - and then if they say 'we're not taking bookings due to boggy ground, snow and frozen pipes in the showers' you will know that they would have had to refund you by closiing - and can seek consumer advice.

I feel really sorry for those trying to make a living from campsites, what with last summer's horrible weather and this arctic spring, but it seems v v harsh not to have any refund policy. sad

cheerup Mon 25-Mar-13 14:09:50

foreversunny - that's terrible. have you asked them if they will let you change the dates or roll it over until next year? The weather is unseasonally rubbish even for the UK and it's not like they will have been turning other bookings down. You mention their head office, are they a big operation?

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 14:20:28

Yes, I originally asked to move the dates forward and they said we would just have to rebook another holiday, write this holiday off and pay again for the new date. They refused to give us a refund for this holiday. They told me we have to pay for this holiday irrelevant of if we came or not.

What grates me the most though, is the fact it's not a small, family run campsite, it's a big, branded, leisure facility type site angry

Very good idea blu with regards to calling them anonymously, will do that.

Blu Mon 25-Mar-13 14:47:54

I think they are the worst for this kind of 'no refund' thing.

Is it just a tent pitch you have booked?

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 15:13:49

I agree blu. It's always the big "giants" that are the worse when it comes to being compassionate.

Yes, just a tent pitch in a field. No hook up or anything, literally a square of grass!

duchesse Mon 25-Mar-13 15:31:34

Forever, ring them back and say you're coming anyway then give your booking to the baddest hell's angels you can find! If they've had to shut the site that will be an embarrassing climb-down for them.

Theas18 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:37:04

I'm with Duchesse. TEll them you're coming and see what they say, after all you'll expect all the facilities in good working order and the grass in a campable state...

Or name and shame on MN!

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 15:47:58

"the grass in a campable state"

Could you elaborate on this?

I've read in past reviews that this particular site doesn't have the best drainage in the camp field and it's flooded on several occasions.

So.....knowing that, if we go there and the tent pitch is too wet, where to we stand? (other than in a lot of water grin ).

By paying for a tent pitch, if they can't provide a decent one, do we have legal rights to a refund/exchange? Surely there's some sort of trading law that the item you pay for has to be in good, working order so to speak? (something about being "fit for purpose" or something?)

The camp site itself isn't too far away (we tent to stay reasonably local to save on petrol).

Actually, thinking about it, we might actually go and see if we can find a ground to stand on to fight back. By simply not turning up, it's like we're just allowing them to keep our money.

Irony is, we really want to go! sad

EggBasket Mon 25-Mar-13 16:00:13

That's crap. We couldn't make it to Center Parcs one year in Jan when the weather was atrocious and they did at first say we wouldn't get anything back. We kept trying their customer services people (ask to be referred up the chain) and eventually they capitulated and let us rebook for another date.

If all else fails, maybe you could recoup some of your money by selling the pitch half price on ukcampsite??

millimat Mon 25-Mar-13 17:56:09

Forever if its a big chain, does it mean they have lots of facilities? If there's indoor things you'll have more to do / keep you warm.

I also think you need to name and shame them on here, I don't want to support a site with that attitude. Forums have a lot of power - tell them you're naming them on here and they'll soon climb down. i remember it happening with someone else - though unhelpfully can't remember who it was. It was definitely a company but think it sold camping gear - they definitely backed down once named on here, all to keep their reputation!

millimat Mon 25-Mar-13 17:57:59

Oh and would definitely demand a phone number for head office and speak to the person at the top. Keep giving them grief until you achieve grin

DeepRedBetty Mon 25-Mar-13 18:01:01

Agree with millimat. I've been supporting name and shame of Asda and DM through this site in the past 24 hours and will happily add your evil holiday park company to the list!

foreversunny Mon 25-Mar-13 21:42:40

Thanks all.

I'm still currently fighting it out with them this week. Once it's well and truly over, I will name and shame.

MrsHoarder Mon 25-Mar-13 21:52:21

Haven't made the final call yet, we're booked with the camper van for mid-Wales but its starting to sound cold. Will ring Thursday morning and ask if they're open.

hillbilly Mon 25-Mar-13 22:34:30

foreversunny - which campsite is it?

hillbilly Mon 25-Mar-13 22:35:21

sorry cross post foreversunny - will wait until you out them!

llynnnn Tue 26-Mar-13 03:03:37

We have cancelled our touring caravan pitch hmm unsure if its the same company, foreversunny, but they also wouldn't give us a refund. confused They have allowed us to change the booking to one of their static caravans and just pay the difference. It's not the same, but at least we will be more comfortable, still get a break away, and not have the worry of towing (for the first time ever!) in these windy, icey conditions!

Quenelle Tue 26-Mar-13 08:12:11

I'm really angry for you foreversunny. I hope you can get most of not all your money back. Sounds like they don't care about return business.

Lynnnn glad to hear you managed to get some sort of resolution. Hope you have a good time.

victoriasmith Tue 26-Mar-13 12:52:37

That is awful Foreversunny, it really is heart braking when the holiday you planned and saved for is taken away from you. If they are a large company with a head office as previous poster said I would take it as high up as possible and keep pestering them relentlessly, also seek advice from Citizens Advice Bureau who can be really excellent in such cases and advocate on your behalf - often a letter from them really shows people you mean business and aren't just going to go away.

I spoke with our campsite today who although wouldn't agree to a refund which I understand, they need to make money as well, they have changed our dates for us.

I agree with previous posts that often naming and shaming on mumsnet, particularly if the thread has many followers and posts, can have some influence i'm sure i remember last year someone having problems with a featherdown farm holiday where two family groups were split up on site after specifically at time of booking saying they needed to be camped next to each other and the rumpus it caused on mumsnet helped their case.

Good luck let us know how you get on.

Is anyone out there still camping this weekend?

cyclecamper Wed 27-Mar-13 12:59:44

Yes, we are, unless the meet is cancelled. My main worries are getting there (it is fairly hilly at that end and could be dicey) and using a bigger tent than usual because of my pregnancy - a cycle camping tent is nice and warm with 2 people in it, but less so a bigger one. (It's still pretty small, just bigger than normal for us). We missed out on our March trip due to my work and my Husband's chest infection, so I'm looking forward to it smile.

We do have a bail out option of going to my in-laws, but hopefully we won't need to use it.

We are cheating caravanning in our tourer at Haven Pwllheli from Friday to Monday. Not to fussed about the cold as we have heating, electric, etc, and there are plenty of activities and things to do nearby if it's really cold and wet, but DH is a bit worried about towing in this weather, and whether the roads will be passable.

Good luck to everyone that is braving it!

millimat Sat 30-Mar-13 08:21:53

Forever, how have you got on? We need updates!!

Blu Tue 02-Apr-13 14:53:47

Yes, I have been wondering how the easter Campers were getting on.

No rain, but it did snow overnight where I was. Brrrrr.

cyclecamper Tue 02-Apr-13 22:07:13

It was lovely. The weather was much better than expected and it is a lovely area. The only downside was that the drive was very uncomfortable for me. smile

millimat Wed 03-Apr-13 07:59:50

Cycle camper, where did you go?

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Apr-13 09:43:01

We were in wrapped and it was lovely and sunny in the daytime but we were glad of being in the heated van overnight.

MrsHoarder Wed 03-Apr-13 09:44:07

Wales! Southern half...

colleysmill Wed 03-Apr-13 21:06:40

We took the camper to Chester - very nice sunshine during the day and dry but twas a bit nippy at night, especially Saturday. Iced up on inside Sunday morning. lots of people under canvas too.

Apart from the obligatory AA call out on Sunday night jolly good weekend in all.

serin Wed 03-Apr-13 22:18:31

We went down to Glastonbury, quite a few hardy types in tents and they all seemed to be having a good time. Weather was much better there, and we were shocked to get home and see the same snow lying on the ground here as when we left.

We were in the van, so toasty warm but honestly I would not have liked to sleep out, too old!.

foreversunny Thu 04-Apr-13 12:21:09

Sorry for not coming back to update blush

Well, have finally won my battle and took it as high as I could (which involved actually driving to the site itself and seeing the manager face to face)......but I'm pleased to report that they agreed to move the dates for us smile

Am annoyed that we had to fight so hard but pleased that it's been moved and we can still enjoy a family holiday.

Blu - I did what you suggested and called anonymously to "book" and I was told they were fully booked all Easter. When we got to the site, there were only two caravans there. TWO! Fully booked my arse hmm

Quenelle Thu 04-Apr-13 13:43:08

Glad you got satisfaction in the end forever. What a shame it was so much hassle though. I would think twice about booking there again.

Do you think they were saying they were fully booked so they didn't have to say they were closed due to the weather?

Blu Thu 04-Apr-13 14:36:51

Really pleased they have agreed to move your dates, ForeverSunny - I was looking at the ice on our pind and worried about you!

Cheeky bastards. 'Fully booked' indeed!

Anyway, at least you can look forward to your holiday, if summer ever arrives.

foreversunny Thu 04-Apr-13 20:33:16

God yes Quenelle with out a shadow of a doubt. The tent field was actually half under water, the other half was thick, soggy mud (remember that particularly wet Glastonbury festival, well, like that!).

All well that ends well or whatever they say!

Blu Thu 04-Apr-13 21:45:34

So the camping field WAS uncampable! Suppose you had turned up all eager with your hot water bottles and thermal sleeping bags!

They would have given you a refund, in that case.

How very dodgy.

Full, indeed! Did you take pictures of the flood and mud?

Quenelle Thu 04-Apr-13 21:48:49

Good job you were able to go in person. They could hardly brazen it out to your face. Nice one, foreversunny.

foreversunny Fri 05-Apr-13 19:26:49

Yes, we took ample photos wink

It's just a shame that if we hadn't had gone, we would have been none the wiser and they would have just kept all the money!

Makes me think how many other people had booked and simply not turned up.

CampSiteOwner Sun 07-Apr-13 07:54:37

We have a small holiday park and have to say that this Easter break has been the coldest and most challenging I can remember in 25 years..!

We recognised very early on that the weather was going to be just too cold for 'family camping' and contacted all our tent bookings to let them know our thoughts. Nearly all seemed to welcome the chance to rebook at another time this year. In the small number of cases where this was not possible refunds have been made less an admin fee.

Beacause we are open year round the cold (but glorious!) weather has just been an extension of our winter trading (inside water taps, heated services etc) and has resulted in more touring caravans and camping Pod bookings and less tents (yes some did still come!)

Before making a booking check the cancellation policy. Check your chosen site is a member of the BHHPA as if anything goes wrong they have a clear code which member parks are obliged to follow.

The weather is starting to warm now and last nights frost looks like it may be the last..!

I wonder what sort of summer we will be getting?

MrsHoarder Sun 07-Apr-13 10:57:52

Hope we get a good summer CampSiteOwner. We could certainly do with it.

I'd like to give our campsite credit: we got a free upgrade to hard standing (they didn't want our van on the field any more than we wanted it sunk in the mud). I was impressed by the hard core campers though: the water in the tank outside the van was freezing overnight even if the valley we were in was nice and sheltered.

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