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“Weekend in a Pod with Friends”

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Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park
Reviewed August 22, 2012

Last minute idea to spend the weekend somewhere up north with access to beautiful walking locations, uncertain weather, lack of camping equipment - glamping became a new learnt term for us all, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Our pod at Rivendale, was located up a hill, away from the main sections of the campsite, which suited us fine. The site was very well kept, water available very near by, each pod has a connection to electricity - what more could you ask for? :)

We were quite conscious regarding noise levels for other campers, as the spacing between the pods isn't huge. Our intention to walk wasn't so much held back by the rain, we walked during the night instead :) But coming back to the site we couldn't help but feel that we might be slightly disturbing others. No comments were made or complaints risen though.

There is an on site pub serving food - those that ate were happy enough. On site shop for supplies, even for BBQ was handy. And regarding walks, a number of possible trails can be reached either by foot or by car from the camp site. Wash facilities were impressive, couldn't ask for more at a campsite.

Would recommend, do recommend! I imagine for couples, families - this would be more suitable. Will be doing something like this again, although maybe next time looking for something more secluded.

Room Tip: The pods up on the hill were more private than those on the main campsite. Depends on you though, we...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Chris L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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335 - 341 of 397 reviews

Reviewed August 17, 2012

We are a family of four (including two teenagers and a dog) who have experience of camping pods elsewhere in the UK. We LOVE Pod camping. If you've not tried it before and wonder what all the fuss is about.....there are a few plus points over tents. The roof is insulated, which means they are cosy and you are not woken up by kids voices at 5am, rain, dogs barking or tent material flapping in the wind. You don't have to pack away a wet tent in your car. Also, the floor is raised off the ground, so no need for insulating ground mats. A heater is standard, so you can easily dry towels etc.

LOCATION - The location is very convenient for Ashbourne and Dovedale etc.

THE POD - Good, with all the standards ie. wall lights, double plug socket, fixed mini heater and a small decking area out front. Other pods we have stayed in have also had an outdoor Store-it-Out box adjacent, which has proved invaluable for storing stove, food, cold box etc. rather than trying to squeeze it all in to the pod itself. Having discovered during my telephone booking that this was not provided at Rivendale, I asked if we could erect a small pup tent next to the pod to use as storeage and was told that would be fine.

STAFF AT RECEPTION - Friendly.

SHOP - Well stocked with some local produce.

SHOWERS & TOILETS - Considering it is High Season and very busy, the toilets and showers were in reasonable condition. We used the showers at night and in the morning and at both times found them satisfactory. The fixed shower temperature was good.

CHECKOUT TIME - The e-mail booking confirmation plus the campsite info. sheet given to us on arrival stated checkout time on day of departure as 12 o'clock midday, which in our experience of camping and Pod camping is the norm even in High Season (11.30am is the earliest we have had to leave a Pod in the past). We had arranged our leaving day around this time, but on entering the Pod on the first day, found a sign stating 10.30am as checkout. Asking at Reception I was told that it WAS indeed 10.30am and that the e-mail and info. sheet had not been updated. I suggested that updating the time on the e-mail and even just handwriting in the altered time on the printed info sheet would be easy to do and should be a priority. It is essential the customers are made aware of the correct checkout time BEFORE their stay.

THE POD SITE - We stayed in the larger Family Pod in highest part of The Shire area, which is high up on a slope just above the main campsite, east facing. Cars can not be parked right by the Pod, but in a stony area below, which means a 2 minute uphill walk to the Pod. We were informed of this on booking. The toilet/shower block down on the main camp site is a 5 minute walk. We were also informed of this on booking.

There are 3 Pods (plus a couple of camping pitches) next to each other in the highest Shire area and compared to other Pod experiences, we and our Pod neighbours felt that they were much too close to each other for comfort and that the space was suitable for 2 Pods. We were aware from the website that the site is on an old quarry and we weren't expecting it to be particularly pretty..... although we could see that from all the tree planting in the Shire area that it will probably look much better in 5-10 years or so. The Rivendale site is very obviously not an easy area to landscape and possibly not the best terrain for a campsite. Parts of it are definitely a 'work in progress'. The area behind the 3 pods is currently mud and stones and a scruffy metal shed is currently an eyesore, but again there is tree planting around it, which should screen it in the future. About 50 metres further on is the main road, mostly screened, although we could see larger vehicles and lorries. The traffic noise was not too intrusive, but we were certainly aware of it. The area to the front of the Pod was limited, a few feet and then a safety fence at the edge of the quarry. There are no views this way, because of the high vegetation. The view to the West behind the Pod is better, but again currently spoiled somewhat by the mud/stone area and metal shed. Children's voices inevitably echo around the quarry below well in to the evening.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
3  Thank Gillypops1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you for your review, I commend it for its detail and usefulness. Our apologies for the confusion regarding the check out time. Our policy is a 10.30 a.m. check out because we currently have about 15 pods and Yurts in various locations to clean, with a finite number of staff to achieve that with. There is no problem with leaving your car in our parking if you want to go for a walk/cycle ride etc from site to make the most of departure day.
This family pod was new about 6 weeks ago, and some work that was planned to have been done has not been achieved due to the poor weather - which has also made improved drainage a priority. We will be transplanting some mature trees and replacing the temporary metal shed over the next few weeks. However, whilst accepting the immediate environment to be sparse in terms of a maturing landscape, the lower slopes are covered in mature trees and there are far-reaching views to the south and west. The surroundings of each pod and Yurt vary considerably with their location on site, so it is important to be clear what you want from your stay at the time of booking.

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Reviewed August 12, 2012

We've just got back from spending a few days at Rivendale staying in a Pod. We thoroughly enjoyed our time! This was our first time camping as a family and we broke ourselves in slowly by starting with a pod. It was great, camping just without the tent. We are looking to go back in winter and reckon they would be well cosy as they are fitted with a small electric heater and well insulated. Slightly confused by reading other reviews with respect to the toilet block, the amenities block we used were seperate men and womens. I'm surmising that this was a newly built block, anyway we found them to be well cleaned and pleasant to use. Staff couldn't have been more friendly and were always helpful with our enquiries. We tried the eco hot tub while we were there and loved it! Bliss lying in a roasting hot tub whilst watching the sun go down with a cold beer. I would recommend this camp site to anyone.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank GaryandNicki
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you very much for your kind words.

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Reviewed August 12, 2012

We stayed at Rivendale in the Yurt for 2 nights, we were a bit shocked as firstly it looked nothing like on the webite, it was sited right by the entrance on the road that runs through the park, so a view of the road, again not what it said on the website, screaming kids all night outside as their parents left them whilst they were in the pub opposite, and behind the yurt was Where the bins and recycling bins were located,this was not mentioned on the website. It also had a building site feel by the yurt, although its located near a quarry it gave no views nor felt relaxing, it was also a bit muddy on entrance to the yurt, even though the weather was dry and warm.
On the website it says the yurt was equipped with kettle, and pans for cooking on the wood burning stove, so we didn't take our own, only to be told they had been stolen by the receptionist, well if your charging £90 a night, buy some more for your next customers!! We asked for a kettle to make a cup of tea in the mornings but it never came,overall I don't think it was worth what I paid.
On the positive the weather was brilliant and we love Dovedale

  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Value
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Thank Kindred123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 29, 2012

Thank you for your review. This Yurt does not look like the one on the web site because it was new 2 months ago, being 3' in diameter bigger, with a felt lining and lining curtain to make it considerably warmer and better sound insulated than the Yurt shown on the web site; that has been appreciated by most guests, as has the terraced setting.
The recycling bins are about 40 metres away seperated by some trees from the Yurt. They serve just the 6 pods and Yurt in this area, not the site, we find if they are any further a walk, people tend not to recycle. However, they could be concealed behind a fence and we will do that over the autumn.
The provision of pots and pans was intended to reduce the burden for guests using the Yurt arriving by bike or public transport, sadly some guests forget to return them so we will reluctantly be requiring deposits in the future. I personally ran around and mustered some pans and a kettle for you to use - but you had gone out by then, the cleaner did not want to leave them outside for obvious reasons. The same thing happened the following day - we should have left a note on the door - our apologies.

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Reviewed August 8, 2012

Having stayed at this campsite previously in a wooden yurt I thought that I knew what to expect. We tried to book electric hook-up for our tent but it was fully booked and we were put into the camping meadow. I read on the website that it was Unisex facilities on this part of the site and I didnt think it would be a problem but I 'm afraid that it was. The toilets were cramped and not at all clean. My daughter in law tried to have a shower with her 30 month old daughter and it was impossible. There was no where in the cubicle to put your clothes to keep them dry and because of the uni-sex arrangements you couldn't hang anything up outside the cubicle. In the end she gave up. The next morning she tried to drive down to the shower block on the main site to have a shower with her daughter but the site entrance was blocked. It is quite a long way to walk with a toddler, clean clothes, toiletries and towels. I went for a shower and had to clean all the hair and tissue out of the plug hole before I started so that the water would run away. I also struggled for space - there is no bench to put your clothes on and just one peg. Also, I am sure that I am not the only one, men and women alike, who found it a bit strange being in a toilet cubicle and someone of the opposite sex being in the one next door. I found it all a bit embarrassing and I am certainly not a prude. For the small extra expense why couldn't they have partitioned off the toilet block into two separate sections????
The main part of the site is lovely but the meadow campsite and the facilities are disgusting. I won't be going back.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Thank Susan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2012

We a very sorry that your choice of the Camping Meadow has soured your view of our park. However, to be fair we did not put you in the Camping Meadow, we explained that we were fullly booked in the main pitching area, described the Camping Meadow, including the unisex toilets and you chose to book it.
We take your point about the hanging facilities which need improvement.
Ref. unisex. Any man who has gone into male showers at a swimming pool or holiday park only to find young girls in there because the girl's father has chosen to take them into the gents rather than leave them on their own in the ladies will appreciate the advantages of a unisex facility. So will people with a partner of the opposite sex who requires assistance to have a shower or go to the loo due to illness or disability. This is why many modern amenities - such as the showers/changing rooms at Splash Landings at Alton Towers have unisex facilities. However, we appreciate they are not everyone's cup of tea - which leaves the option of walking about 500 metres to the other toilets - or booking earlier into the main pitching area where the toilets are segregated by sex.
All the toilets and showers on the site are cleaned 3 times per day in high season and checked in between times, but nothing can prevent somebody who drops tissue paper into the shower tray from blocking the outlet.

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Reviewed August 7, 2012

We stayed for 2 nights for an annual family get together. My niece booked several months in advance but our pitch was adjacent to the road which is very noisy. However, it was quite separate from the meadow and being a fairly large group, that was preferable.
Our children enjoyed playing in a small wooded area next to our pitch and this was a definate highlight for them.
On a negative note, the toilet block is totally inadequate. 4 loos and 4 showers simply isn't enough and I don't understand this new trend for unisex toilets.
The showers were hot but one peg is not sufficient to hang clothes and towels and the drainage in the changing area leaves much to be desired. I had to mop the area before I showered.


  • Stayed: August 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank Suziejt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2012

Thank you for your review, which was very helpful. We note your comments with regard to the drainage and clothes hanging and will sort that out as soon as we can. There are showers and toilets (segregated by sex) on other parts of the park that may be used, the numbers exceeding the ratio of toilets and showers per person recommended by Model Standards/Quality in Tourism. There are, for instance a further shower & 2 toilets about 75 metres away from the block in question. If we failed to communicate that when you arrived, please accept our apologies.

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Reviewed August 4, 2012

Arrived just as the rains stopped. From then on it was happy days. The yurt is situated to the rear of the campsite. Fire pit and wood burner made for a warm time both indoor/outdoor. Staff really helpfull and polite. Facillities great and clean. Steak and stilton pie? To die for :-)

  • Stayed: July 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Thank Tea1963
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gregpotter, Manager at Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park, responded to this reviewResponded August 10, 2012

Thank you for your review, I will pass your kind words on to the staff.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park

Address: Buxton Road, Alsop en le Dale, Peak District National Park, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Peak District National Park > Alsop en le Dale
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Alsop en le Dale
Price Range: $25 - $38 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park 4*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Holiday Park surrounded by fabulous scenery offering Yurts, Camping Pods, Pine Lodges, B & B rooms, Holiday Caravans & tent or caravan pitches for rental. WiFi cafe, pub & restaurant on site. Ideal for walking & cycling just 100 metres from the Tissington Trail with footpaths from site leading into Dove dale. Convenient Alton Towers, Chatsworth, Matlock, Carsington Water, National Tram Museum etc. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park Hotel Alsop En Le Dale
Rivendale Caravan And Leisure Park
Rivendale Caravan & Leisure Park Alsop En Le Dale, Peak District National Park

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