Reviews of Batcombe Vale Caravan & Camping Park,
Review by Ilovecamping83 on 17th August, 2009
Add your review Date visited: August 2009
WASPS Firstly it takes a certain kind of person to happily take your money off you as you register at reception and then personally walk a family with two young children and a baby to a specific pitch within METRES of a clearly visible WASPS NEST! If your idea of idyllic relaxation is spending an entire weekend following the kids around constantly swatting the air around them, yourselves and your food in attempt to rid the place of at least one of what felt like hundreds of wasps then this is the place for you. (For any of you not clued up on wasp habits, by mid-late august wasps have been inhabiting/building their nests for months and so it is almost at its largest with up to 10,000 wasps occupying it and as there are no more lave to be pre-occupied with nurturing, they like to take their time feeding on the sugary sweets treats that we all love to take camping and are far more likely to sting you!) If however the idea of taking your family home covered in wasp stings has not put you off completely then please read on. OVERCHARGED Firstly there was confusion with our booking and instead of trying to rectifying the situation and coming to an agreeable compromise, Gary simply insisted on charging us even more (we actually ended up paying more than the advertised price) but due to the extremely unusual circumstances (too lengthy to explain here) and as we were hours from home we had no choice but to pay up. This was after making unnecessary comments regarding recent changes in our financial situation. What’s more despite having already been camping twice at different campsites across the south this year amongst others in previous years, I have never been to a campsite where the owner felt it necessary to walk round an hour before checking out time just to make sure you weren’t going to stay 1 minute longer than you have paid for. AMENITIES One of the things that surprised me with this campsite was the price. It was surprisingly cheap compared to some of the campsites we have been to recently and it is at this point that you would expect to read the expression ‘you get what you pay for’ however I’m sad to say I don’t think you even get that. My first impression of the toilets was one of the most small (only 2 toilets and 2 showers for all the ladies on the site) and basic I had ever seen but nevertheless extremely clean so when I decided to join the queue for the showers at what is usually the busiest time of the morning I was more than surprised to find no queue at all. This was until I got in the shower and found it could only be described as little more than a warm dribble. What’s more they are so ‘well ventilated’ it was somewhat chilly once the warm dribble was turned off even though it was a very warm weekend that we happened to go. I would hate to have experienced this on a day with our more traditional summer weather of wind and rain. Other than that, there was a tap and that was about it. On our first day there we couldn’t quite get over how quiet the campsite was during the day being as it was fully booked with such beautiful surroundings to enjoy such as the free boating lake and children’s playing field. This was of course until we realised how many ‘rules’ there were regarding just about everything with the breaking of any resulting in being told off or just plain screamed at. Only then did we realise why everyone seemed to choose to spend their days well away from the campsite itself. I’m sure by now anyone reading this must think that we are simply a grumpy trouble making family that have nothing better to do with our time than to have a whinge on review sites however this couldn’t be further from the truth. I can honestly and truthfully say I have never been disappointed and insulted enough to actually make the time to write a review about anything, ever! What’s more, although you may not believe it, we are actually quite a likeable, sociable family and after some friendly chats with other civilised campers over the weekend we found out that as far as the reprimands for breaking the ‘rules’ go, we actually got off quite lightly. That said, the valley itself was absolutely beautiful, well away from the hussle and bussle of ordinary life and the views were absolutely stunning. Along with most of the other reviews, the campsite would definitely benefit from a shop of some sort as everything is driving distance away even if you only need a pint of fresh milk for that all important cup of tea in the morning etc. I can’t say I will ever ever be returning to this site despite my love of camping but I can understand that as long as no unexpected complications arise during your idyllic getaway whatsoever and your idea of camping is either sitting in your tent in silence or spending all your time away from the campsite then this campsite may be appealing to you.
Date visited: August 2009
Review by NewtoCamping on 17th August, 2009
Add your review Date visited: August 2009
Despite being over 30 years old I had never been camping before this summer and I have to say, this is the kind of campsite that can put you off for ever. Firstly I have never seen so many wasps in one place in all my life. They were literally everywhere especially around meal times. As I assume is normal , we kept the zip to our bedroom pod within our tent closed at all times but still wasps managed to get in there. Thankfully we weren’t stung during the night but my wife was mortified when she found the wasp buzzing around in there the next morning. There were others however on the campsite who were stung by the wasps including a small child on the pitch opposite us and you could hear others commenting on the excessive number of wasps absolutely everywhere. The surroundings were indeed very beautiful, a picturesque getaway in an area I had never before visited but the conduct of the campsite wardens sadly took all that beauty away and more. Unfortunately our holiday was under difficult circumstances which the wardens had no regard for whatsoever so when we came across a few complications, we were simply treated tersely and with a totally unreasonable, penny pinching attitude. This is not something I am used to as I would normally holiday abroad where they are keen to ensure repeat custom whereas all this campsite seemed interested in was taking your money off you then getting you off the plot the minute your stay was up. The toilets were very basic and I was advised not to bother having a shower if I could stand it as they really weren’t worth using. Also I was told they were very cold once you turned the shower off as the block was very small and they were open air one end, even though it was a warm weekend. I’m not sure they would even be usable if it were cold. My only other gripe was that there was nowhere within walking distance to get supplies so no matter what you needed, you always had to drive. Thankfully this is not the first time I have camped in England this summer so I have not been put off forever but I will certainly not be returning here anytime soon and I’m afraid that despite its stunning location, I could not recommend it to anyone.
Date visited: August 2009