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Feather Down Farm - last minute group split... Advice

(462 Posts)
Nicky1234 Tue 02-Aug-11 17:37:23

A group of 5 families has booked early in the year to stay with feather down farm and were advised that we would all be together. Now 2 weeks before our stay we have been advised that in actual fact we are being split up because a group of 2 wants specific tents and so it makes that field too small for us.
Anyone been to one of these farms and do you think it will be a problem, we have 10 kids between us, 6 and under, so I am worried that they'll disturb other guests (rather than all being together they'll have to find each other). Also though there is a brook between the 2 fields so we're going to have to shepherd them about and it seems such a shame they cant just roam a little free (poor loves get no freedom). Selfishly the adults won't be able to hang out in the evenings either...
Im also really upset that we have to split up as seems unnecessary and unfair...
Any thoughts/ideas/suggestions to put my mind at ease.

virgiltracey Tue 02-Aug-11 17:50:29

Which farm is it? In all likelihood it won't be a problem at all since they will just run backwards and forwards constantly as a gang if our experiences are anything to go by - plus the adults will congregate around one tent each evening won't they?

As long as you haven't got four tents and then one on its own it'll be fine. Otherwise I'd be asking why you have to be split and not the other group.

Blu Tue 02-Aug-11 18:07:13

Are the two families who want specific tents in your group of 5?

ChiddelyPie Tue 02-Aug-11 18:24:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SeaShellsMyDogSmells Tue 02-Aug-11 18:39:39

Given how expensive they are would would call then and get them to sort it, if you had previously asked to be together.

If the kids are under six I wouldn't be happy to go to the next field at night to congregate and chat whilst they slept, nor have them tear around where you can't see them. It's adding stressful situations to a holiday where you are paying to avoid them.

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 18:43:40

Is it your group who wants the specific tent?
Or another group?
If it's your group then you need to suck it up or they need to weigh up whether they would prefer you be together
If it's another group of people then you need to discuss with with featherdown farms as you confirmed you'd all be together when you booked it, and explain the situation.

OneHundredPercentFucked Tue 02-Aug-11 19:02:23

If you booked before them then why what they been given 'preference' over you?

Nicky1234 Tue 02-Aug-11 19:03:12

The farm is in Dorset, there are 2 fields with 4 and 6 tents in. A seperate group of 2 tents have requested 2 of the tents in the 6 field which messes our 5 up. They could easily go in the field of 4 but are apparently refusing.

When we booked in January (I think but ages ago anyway) we were told there was space for us all and we would definitely be together which is why we chose that farm. Now 2 weeks before we are being told the group is going to have to be split up because these people booked before us!

I know its rude to ask peopls to switch tents if they want specific ones but it just seems to make life so complicated splitting us up and really doesnt make that much difference to them - they will still be together. The kids in our party are too little to let them run across a brook between the 2 fields and so our idea of them happily playing in the field while we looked on (from a distance to give them SOME freedom) has been dashed.

And as you say Seashellsmydogsmells evenings are now going to split as we cant leave kids in a tent out of earshot.

We have spoken to the company and all they are trying to say they can do is squeeze us in 4 tents (so we get a refund for 1 tent plus a 20% discount for next year). But as 5 familes (10 adults/10kids) we cant do that. They are refusing to consider moving the group of 2 tents as apparently the man shouted at them.

Initially I couldnt decide if I was being silly thinking it would be bad not alll physically being near to each other as I havent been before but now seeing all of your points I'm more nervous...
So upsetting. Frustrating and we feel so helpless.

SeaShellsMyDogSmells Tue 02-Aug-11 19:07:13

You shout at them then! Why risk losing 5 families for the sake of 2, who could go in the field next door?

You are 5 families, after 5 sets of parents call up and explain the situation you would hope they would revert to what they originally agreed with you.

If you have that arrangement in writing I would remind them of their initial promises.

virgiltracey Tue 02-Aug-11 19:09:43

Is it knaveswell? Its hardly got a brook between it. There is a small wooded area which has a muddy path going through to the bottom field. There is a brook at the side of the wooded bit but it has all of about 2 cm of water in it and you certainly don't have to go over it. Kids will run back and forth with no problem at all.

If its Aller (although don't think it is unless they've added more tents into the smaller field) then there is a stream to cross to get into both fields but there is a bridge.

Honestly either will be fine unless you have very small Dcs (in which case you wouldn't let them out of your sight anyway would you?)

I'd still ask featherdown to go back and say that they will put the other families together but they can't have specific tents. I don't think you get to specify partcular tents when you book and so I don't see why they can't refuse if you were also told that you'd be together.

virgiltracey Tue 02-Aug-11 19:12:30

haven't been to mount pleasant if its that one smile

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 19:12:55

No way

You shout louder

Metaphorically at least. Tell them it will ruin 5 families' holidays. Tell them what you have written here. Get all the other families to ring up too and express their disappointment. Make sure you all speak to the same (senior) person. Basically they should honour the earlier agreement, and compensate the others for their cockup. The company will be making a SIGNIFICANT margin on this and should value the importance of customer service more.

virgiltracey Tue 02-Aug-11 19:13:18

by the way take parafin for the lamps and loads of extra nightlight candles!!

Nicky1234 Tue 02-Aug-11 19:17:00

Oh thanks Virgiltracey - its Knaveswell. That is one weight off of our minds at least. We have 6, 4 and 2 year olds. 6 year olds definitely be fine but the others will obviously think they'll be fine although we may have other ideas.
I think from this we should keep pressing the point (I might even pull a diva strop out of the bag!) - the other group of 2 can easily go in the other field. Sticking to our guns seems the best plan.
Such as shame as we were all so excited but this put a bit of a dampener on it! We have been promised to all be together but not specific tents which apparently is their policy, we're now being told the other group have been promised specific tents!

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 19:17:49

Got to bear in mind that it is the other folk's holiday too, though and presumably they have chosen those particular tents for a reason important to them. FDF should have told you it was a problem beforehand though and come up with some decent way of making you feel better about it.

Nicky1234 Tue 02-Aug-11 19:18:11

PS thanks for paraffin and nightlight cadle advice! especially as we'll be roaming the fields - haha!

Nicky1234 Tue 02-Aug-11 19:22:41

merylstrop I agree but FDF specifically said we would be together and surely most reasonable people if asked would switch especially with being faced with the prospect of more children in the field than is totally necessarry!! If FDF had come back to us and said they are really sorry but they need/want the tent for a reason (even if they didnt tell us it) then we woudl totally understand. We have had this booking for months and apprently so have the other people so its hardly something they should be dealing with 2 weeks before we go. We didn't need to stay at that specific farm - they suggested it would accommodate us, tere were plenty of others.
Multiple phone call time me thinks...

virgiltracey Tue 02-Aug-11 19:27:06

you will definitely need extra of both. plus take paper for lighting the stoves.

I might be wrong here but I don't think there are six tents in the top field. We were in the bottom field and so I didn't pay much attention but I thought there were four tents in the top field and then the shower block. I could be completely wrong but if I'm not then that would explain why they can't accomodate you since there are only four tents in the bottom field.

Lilyloo Tue 02-Aug-11 19:33:12

I also wonder if they are busy and are struggling to let one tent in your field of 5 (presume you are in 6 tent field) so easier for them to split you and let more than 1 tent in either field (cynical)

MerylStrop Tue 02-Aug-11 19:37:13

If you see my other posts I am totally on your side - I reckon FDF have ballsed up big time and should go out of their way to sort it out or make it up to you!

But I don't think you can direct your ire at the other holidaymakers - at that kind of £ they will want it to be how they want it to be too.

SeaShellsMyDogSmells Tue 02-Aug-11 19:45:23

(when I say shout I mean metaphorically too, as in RL I would be apologising to them and dh would have take the phone off me and actually try and get the situation sorted for everyone blush grin)

MrsEricBana Tue 02-Aug-11 19:50:14

FWIW I think you need the 5 tents together. We went to a dif Featherdown recently and had 5 tents in one field and the whole point relaxation wise was that the kids could run free but were never really out of sight, and in evening they could all be put to be in own tents while adults congregated in one tent from which all the other tents could be seen. I would not have been happy leaving dcs asleep in tent in another field, no way. I think you should stick to guns or demand a full refund.

hocuspontas Tue 02-Aug-11 20:04:23

It's a shame you can't all band together and pay for the 6th tent! I don't think I would enjoy the holiday. The whole point of going, for me, would be the community feel and with a 2/3 split it means that's out of the window. I'd call their bluff and demand a full refund. I can't see why they just didn't tell the other tenters that the field was full. Wimps.

NettleTea Tue 02-Aug-11 20:05:38

By the way FDF pay bugger all to their farmers - top whack is £30 a night per pitch during high season, some only get £15 a night. They rely on the farmers working their arses off to provide 'extras' for you to pay for.

FernandoBanjo Tue 02-Aug-11 20:07:51

Sounds to me like they are only telling you this now, although they've been aware of it for months, in the hope that it's too late for you to cancel and find somewhere else.

I would be really annoyed.

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