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“Somewhere between average and poor” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Callow Top Holiday Park

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Callow Top Holiday Park
4.0 of 5 Cabin/Campground   |   Buxton Road | Sandybrook, Ashbourne DE6 2AQ, England   |  
Hotel amenities
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
1 review
“Somewhere between average and poor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2012

This is a beautifully situated site with many good features, although it’s blighted by a culture of ridged rules.
We have just returned from 5 nights oh sorry 4 nights stay at Callow, 2 adults and 3 children. 4 nights as we had to be off by 11 am when we booked we were told lunchtime. I worked so it would have been my wife's 1st depitch on her own with 3 children. Probably just doable by lunch. When enquired I was informed that when the site was full during peak season there was no leeway on this, I asked if the site was full Friday, no reply given.
On arrival I was greeted with "may I draw your attention to the voting slip for (the top 100 sites), then a hello.
What no visitors. We had a situation where the first part of our holiday was spent in France and then later part at Callow Top, due to me having work in Derby. When I booked I informed the receptionist that I would need my car to be brought by a visitor! "We don't allow visitors sir!" Well as we arrived I again told the receptionist that my car was been delivered later by a relative, I was told by this receptionist that I had to make the excuse they were helping us set up so they would be able to come in. When I mentioned they were bringing another car so they could get back it was as if I had grown another head! After paying a £10 deposit refundable if they left by a certain time that being 1 hr, I wish I could set up that fast.
So yes the site is noisy, but does get quiet by 11 pm and it is peak season.
The 20 pence shower, that was kept quiet, so it's 20p for 4 mins, that’s ok if they were clean. We must have been spoilt, because most of the other sites have mops and squeegees to use after the shower have been used.
Anybody like been dive-bombed by wasps as they go to the toilet, above door to the gents toilet near field 2 there was a wasps nest. When I enquired at reception about the safety of it with respect to children they said we know about it.
The pool, our children enjoyed it, it was busy but again it was peak season. We couldn't understand why there is no foot wash or even shower as you go and come out for basic hygiene and skin care unless you pay 20p and walk across to them
The pitch size, caravan awning and car then the other car, where does that fit safely. I had to squeeze it in, although if there had been an emergency getting out quickly would have been difficult. Maybe they thought I should have bought 2 minis. The site wasn't full but I wasn't allowed to park anywhere else.
The play park was good, the site was clean, facilities, football and volleyball field good, and access to Tissington trail good.
I have read some replies to these reviews and the claim is that customer services is a top priority, it seems like the top priority is adherence to the rules.
This was our experience a site with a lot of potential to be excellent but not achieving this.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2012

Arrivied on the sunday, within 10 minutes we were at our tent pitch, huge compared to other sites visited, the facilities were excellent, 20 pence for a shower stops people staying in there for an hour, never saw a queue for the showers, the play park and pool kept the kids busy. We never saw the pub open but then there is a bar in the next building. We were very fortunate that there were no "families from hell" all the time we were there. As said before, the tent pitches are more than ample, there is a big grassed area in the middle of the tent pitches for people to let their kids play. The shop had food and camping basics, there is a couple of supermarkets just down the road. With reference to a review that has been posted by a big group...... you got visited by a warden more than once and you wonder why you were kicked out. An 11pm curfew is more than late enough for a family site, we booked it because of this enforcment.

To conclude, perfect family site, all sites get the "chav anti socials" they cant help what goes in but they can certainly try to control them. I would definatly return.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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West Midlands
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2012

spent 5 nights here in August. Big pitches so lots of room. We were in field 6 that has a lot of space in the middle to play rounders, football etc. Nice playground for kids which is a 1 min bike ride from pitch, we were happy for our 6 and 9 year old to play there alone and come back. Nice walks in the area and next to Tissington Trail for bikes. Pub on site nice and outdoor pool amazing for kids (I think the lovely sunshine helped). Quiet at 11 pm, which most people respected. The only things we found a bit annoying was it was a 2 min walk to toilets and showers (or 1 min bike ride! We were at the top end of field 6) also the if you're pitched on right hand side, next to the trees the tent doesn't dry out too well before you pack up before 11, as not much sun until later on after 12, but lovely for the day and evening. If we go again, we'd ask for half way up the field so closer to loos and also an inner pitch. Beware right hand side, no sun in the evening for BBQ.
Shop on site good and not too expensive, sells most things. Also a place to put ice blocks if needed.
If you're in a camper van or caravan, you're quite close to the playground, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending how you feel about it, so mention that when booking if you feel the need.
We'll go again next year with friends who have a camper so we can pitch in another field with them.
Family disco was outside and good fun. Bring your own chair though as not enough benches for eveyone.
Overall really lovely, safe, clean place.
p.s. showers 20 pence and not a lot of them, think they do this to stop people showing for 20 minutes, which has happened to us on previous trips!
ENJOY

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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West Wales
Top Contributor
125 reviews 125 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
89 helpful votes 89 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

We chose this park because it had a swimming pool for the kids, and the Callow Inne and village green looked good on the website.
Efficient check in.  Separate lane for new arrivals.  We asked to be located next to friends, and every thing was arranged without any problem.  Security is also their priority, with manned barriers and strict no visitors policy.  The main gates are then locked over night.
Nice level field, but the electric touring pitch was small, limited space to manoeuvre the car and caravan, and once the awning was in place, there wasn't much room for the car.  The hedges gave us a bit of privacy, however they were overgrown, and taking up the pitch space.  Hard standing pitches are good because there is good drainage, however take a good hammer with you to knock in the awning pegs.  Hard standing pitches in Callow Top means HARD.  I broke my hammer and bent most of my pegs.
I loved the Callow Inne, nice village pub feeling.  And the village green looks good, however, by evening it gets a bit noisy with a lot of kids around.  Therefore if you ask for a pitch with electric hook up near the toilets, it could be noisy because both toilet / shower blocks are next to the Inne or the cafe and kids park.
The food in the cafe and Inne are good, plus there is free wifi in the cafe.  You can have a good pint there as well.  They also do breakfast from 8.30am.  However, the cafe is a bit small for the entertainment provided - bingo, quiz, play you're cards right, disco.
Nice showers, but could do with a bucket and mop to clean up afterwards.  Showers cost 20p per 4 minutes.  I feel this is a bit tight.  We had already paid for 10 days in Callow Top which came to about £300.  Therefore one would expect the cost of using the showers to be included.  The toilets/shower blocks are regularly cleaned, but some users manage to spoil the these facilities for others by making some mess
The outside swimming pool is heated and clean, and ideal for kids.  Gets a bit crowded at times.  It would have been nice to have the other side of the Inne open for refreshments and ice creams.
As far as the caravan site's location, it's just outside Ashbourne.  A lovely town, with plenty of small shops (several small butchers, ideal for BBQs),  it's own radio station and four supermarkets (Sainsbury, Waitrose, Cooperative an M&S food).  It's also got a market in the centre on Thursday and Saturday.  
The Tissington Trail starts in Ashbourne and passes the caravan site's entrance.  This is a cycle path that joins other cycle paths in the Peak District.  We cycled to Ashbourne several times.  A very quick route, and saved us paying for parking.  You could easily walk it.  Going towards Tissington has a slight incline but nothing too major.  Then it's freewheeling all the way back.  I took the kids once to Tissington Station, treated them to ice cream there and decided to go from there on our bikes to Carsington  Water.  It was a bit of a struggle.
Dogs are welcomed as long as they are kept on leads.  We would have appreciated part of the site designated for non pet owners.  It would have been nice not to have dogs barking in the morning, and not to discover dog mess outside our awning!
It's about 30 minutes to Alton Towers in the car and about 45 minutes to Chatsworth House.  Both well worth visiting.
We enjoyed our stay.  Thanks.

Room Tip: Take a good hammer with you to knock in the awning pegs.  Hard standing pitches in Callow Top means...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston-upon-Hull, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
145 helpful votes 145 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012 via mobile

We stayed here about 15 years ago and it's certainly expanded. We decided to have a few days walking in the peaks and as the weather had picked up camp rather than stay in a B&B. It's a very busy site and as we were only using our small 2 man tent they managed to find us a pitch in one of the smaller fields, (field 2),which had about 6 caravans and 4 tents in. It suited us perfectly, nice and quiet, and fairly private, something that is a plus when you haven't got the luxury of a walk in tent with standing room.
We found the young staff on reception very helpful and willing to answer any questions that we had. The site is very clean and tidy and we saw people picking up litter and generally sorting out anything that needed doing. We had read on Tripadvisor about the tight security and felt that on a site this busy ( there were children and teenages everywhere) that it helped the site feel safe and run smoothly, and that it could have been far noisier without the rigid rules. Another plus when your in a tent and need to get to sleep.
The only thing that we found a problem was the toilets. Our toilet block was housed in the same building as the cafe bar and the toilets were shared with the very busy bar. This was a problem in the evening when trying to get ready to turn in, cleaning your teeth and having a wash is a time you need a little privacy and with people coming in and out from the bar you didn't get that. One lady was trying to sort out her 2 young children in their pyjamas and was having a tough time telling them it was bedtime and they had to get ready because they could see lots of other children coming in and out and playing around. Also the toilets tended to be not as clean later on as it was shared with the bar, whereas camp blocks are usually left cleaner when your just using them for washing and personal hygiene and not as a general public toilet. But that was the only thing we felt needed addressing, everything else was spot on, a very busy site that was well run and very popular if the numbers on camp were anything to go by.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oldham, England, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2012

We've been to Callow Top twice now. (2 adults 1 child age 7). Both times we've had an ecxellent time. The booking is easy and staff polite and helpful on phone. Booking in on arrival was easy and the satff were very helpful. Pitch size was large enough for a 22ft motorhome with awning and still room to park the xtra car we had taken. All facilites are clean, all staff are polite and very helpful. Facilities for kids to play/swim excellent. Shop well stocked with most basics and even some luxury goods (wine and beer). The site is a family site and behaviour of other users was not a problem. 11 o'clock is a very reasonable curfew for noise. Most campsites it's a lot earlier or not allowed at all. The site is excellent value for money and all facilities on site are free to use. Not like a some other places where everything is an extra. The pub is quieter than the cafe bar but both were reasonable on price and quality was excellent from both, on products as well as customer service. Both were also kept spotless, as was the site in general. The is a constant stream of staff attending to cleanliness and site tidyness. All the grounds were well kept. The shower bocks, laundry room and toilets were always available and perfectly clean too. There are full laundry equipment available to use and even a freezer for ice packs. We first came across the site when another let us down badly, it was the best thing that could have happened that holiday and we will definitely use the site again soon. For us it is an excellent place to relax and also a good base for looking around the area.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Hebden Bridge, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2012

The facilities here are wonderful at the weekend, but the site is very popular and busy, especially, it seems, with large groups, so at night, the place resembles a council estate as you lie in your tent, forced to listed to chav families braying at their kids, overexcited teenagers running around, and groups of adults sitting around getting drunk and listening to loud music.

To be fair, most of the noise ceased at 11 (the "curfew") but don't expect any sleep prior to this.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Callow Top Holiday Park

Address: Buxton Road | Sandybrook, Ashbourne DE6 2AQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Derbyshire > Ashbourne
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 11 Specialty lodging in Ashbourne
Hotel Class:4 star — Callow Top Holiday Park 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Callow Top is an award winning family run holiday park on the edge of the Derbyshire & Staffordshire Peak District.Our 4 star facilities include a heated swimming pool (May - Sept,) shop, children's play area, cycle hire, pub & restaurant, coarse fishing lake and our very own micro brewery. We take tents, trailer tents, caravans & motorhomes and also have two holiday cottages on site.We're within easy reach of the market towns of Ashbourne, Matlock, Bakewell and Buxton. Local attractions include Alton Towers (20 mins drive,) the Heights of Abraham, Trentham Estate, Chatsworth House and lots more. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Callow Top Holiday Park Hotel Derby
Callow Top Holiday Park Ashbourne, England

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