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“Newish Campers”

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Herston Caravan & Camp Site
Surrey, GB
Level Contributor
35 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Newish Campers”
Reviewed August 5, 2013

My initial thoughts about this site were coloured by some recent reviews, but having stayed there for a long weekend just passed I must say that some of the criticisms are over the top as we had an excellent pitch (arrived reasonably early on Friday morning before the huge rush to Swanage and nearby beaches started) and the main shower & toilet block were clean and fully stocked with the usual essentials.

Bar/club-house prices were in line with our expectations and whilst we did not stay for the Sunday lunch as we were visiting friends in the area, we have been there earlier this year and it was superb not only due to the quality of the offering but also very well priced and the staff were very friendly and welcoming.

Yes, we would return but more likely to be a stay in one of their mobile homes or yurts.

Room Tip: Arrive early !
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank scott-white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
ross on wye
Level Contributor
109 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 4, 2013

Arrived early Saturday 27 july. From the beginning of check in nobody seemed to know where to go and what to do. Finally got checked in and basically told to go and find a pitch. What a joke, it was only 9 30am and the place was heaving overcrowded was not the word. Seen better organisation at Glastonbury pop festival. Anyway found a pitch which to be honest was nice and flat and by Monday was ok after the weekenders had gone. The plus side to the campsite is the location, 10 mins walk to Herston Halt train station, 30 mins walk into Swanage town.
The down SIDES. Toilet block on camping field is a portacabin. Dirty toilets cold water in shower portacabin. Hot water turned off at 8 30pm and not switched on until 6 30am next morning [what world do they live in]. Rubbish bags piled up out side portacabins for a few days, no locks on shower portacabin. See photos attached. Disgrace. The shower block which is shown on the website at the entrance is only just marginally better but the walk is between 200 to 400 meters depending where your pitch is. Always 1 or 2 toilets out of order, poor drainage from showers which left water whilst trying to dry. The cleaners idea of cleaning was just moping showers and toilets. Didn't see much evidence of bleach etc etc. See photos.
Laundry room 4 washers 1 dryer mostly out of order. See photos. Camp shop over priced and very little choice.
Takeaway, asked for a cheeseburger one night to be told sorry no cheese, coffee please, you have to order that in the restaurant, ok no problem I said, O but its shut now said the takeaway man. Gave up on that.
Would I go back to Herston Leasure not in a million years. there must be other camp sites locally which are a hundred times better. Where some of the reviews come from I don't know, must write them thereselves. Its a pity really as Swanage is a beautiful seaside town and put on a fantastic carnival week which we were lucky enough to see. Last word just DONT GO TO HERSTON CAMPING AND LEISURE ITS THE PITS.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank paul h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herston, Manager at Herston Caravan & Camp Site, responded to this review, August 11, 2013
As a responsible site operator we welcome constructive criticism to help us to improve the site where ever possible. We feel that in this instance your comments are neither helpful, constructive or in some cases truthful, I would like to address most of the points raised in turn.
Firstly, you arrived early on Saturday morning of the 27th and state that the reception did not have any idea or any notion of where you should go. We have two separate and distinct receptions, one for holiday rentals, statics and touring pitches and one solely for the campsite, both are manned from 7.30 am. If you enquired at the first reception you would have been directed to the camping reception, both of the receptions are very well signposted. The staff are well trained and are very knowledgeable about the site and surrounding area. It is possible that you experienced some delay checking in due to the above average demand for camping pitches at the start of carnival week, the busiest period in the Swanage tourism season. Once checked in at the reception it is common practice for you to be directed to find an area within the camping field that was to your liking, which according to your comments you were satisfied with.
Although you list the “plus side” as being our location you are somewhat inaccurate with your timings, Herston Halt Train Station is only 5 mins walk from our site and it only takes 15 mins to walk to the town centre from the camp field along the well trodden footpath, rest assured we have timed this on numerous occasions.
The camp field toilets and family showers, as you rightly point out are in fact portacabins. Our main toilet and showering facilities are located in the top right hand corner of the camp field as well as at the main entrance to the park. The portacabins were installed as an added convenience to our campers and in response to helpful comments, so that no camper is more than 100 yards from toilet facilities. The hot water is turned off at night to minimise the disturbance from the noise of the oil fired water heater to the surrounding campers, and indeed in response to your comment we have altered the timing so that the water switches off at 10.00 pm. We would also point out that the two main shower & toilet blocks are open 24 hrs per day with constant hot water at all times.
We dispute that rubbish bags were left for days piled up outside the cabin, any rubbish is collected on a daily basis throughout the campsite, you’re photo shows fresh & clean bags, any bags left in the open at night are usually ripped open and their contents spread over an area by the local wildlife scavenging for food, this is clearly not the case from your own evidence. We are meticulous about our rubbish collection for this very reason.
With regard to the locks on the shower cubicles, at the time of your stay we replaced these bolts more than half a dozen times over a two day period. Since your stay we have not had to replace a single bolt.
The cleaners have a very difficult task particularly during carnival week, the toilets and showers are in constant use by campers, we also had frequent rain showers during the week mud, grass etc is continually traipsed into the showers, the blocks are cleaned four times daily. You would not have seen or smelt any evidence of bleach being used as this is strictly against Health & Safety requirements for areas accessible by the general public. We use modern up to date eco-friendly cleaning chemicals throughout the site.
Laundry Room, the equipment available to the public is in fact 5 washing machines and three tumble dryers. Despite our best efforts mechanical breakdowns do occur, we endeavour to fix these problems ASAP but delays do occur waiting for spare parts. Most of the difficulties can be attributed to misuse of the machines by the public despite our warning notices. The washing of trainers or drying of wellington boots seems to be a regular occurrence.
The take away is open until 12 midnight as is the bar both located in the same building, so it must have been past midnight when you required a cup of coffee?

In your conclusion you also declare that we write reviews ourselves, perhaps you should contact trip advisor to verify their policy on who can and cannot post reviews and the measures they have in place to prevent this fraudulent practice.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed August 3, 2013 via mobile

Firstly I would like to say this is a genuine review from a person fairly new to camping (have only been camping for a couple of years) So let's get the negative things out of the way. On arrival at the site we were informed that our pitch had been allocated to someone else - no problem just offer us another pitch. Unfortunately the pitch we were offered was awful and far too small for our tent then we were offer to 'squeeze' in between some other campers. Again I pointed out we would not fit in the pitch (our tent is a family tent but not massive!) I had to be quite forceful in my refusal or I think we would have been left with no choice. Eventually we ended up on the edge of the grass not even on a pitch however it was satisfactory. The only other complaint is regarding the shower facilities. Now the facilities are advertised as luxury and the are NOT! I have been to sites with luxury facilities and suggest the owners of Herston do the same. On the first morning the showers were not working properly and just s dribble of water was coming out on a subsequent morning the showers were freezing cold. We ended up paying to go swimming at Ulwell so we could have a decent warm shower twice. The block near the camping field is also unclean and basically needs a complete refurb as its mouldy and the Lino is broken - and I did try to mop the floor but the mop stank! So finally on to the positives - the site itself is lovely, the club house is great and really homely and it's in a prime location - couldn't find one better. If the management would open their eyes to the state of showers etc and get them sorted this site could be a little gem. Btw I think if we return I will pay the extra and stay at Ulwell until Herston sort out their loo's!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Emmajane77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herston, Manager at Herston Caravan & Camp Site, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. Many of our customers are turning up with tents bigger than they described, when they booked. All tents are getting bigger anyway. When we allocate the pitches to customers, they are based on what we are told. However, sometimes, our customers take up a lot more space than originally planned. We always try to make our customers happy and we will take the time to help out with pitching situations.

There is a main shower block near reception. It is for use for everyone on the site, not just for those with touring caravans and motorhomes. This is brick built, tiled, central heated with lots of continuous hot water.
We do have other other units around the camping fields. These are for the convenience of our customers to save them from walking to the main block. The secluded parts of our site are some distance from the bar, reception and main showers. That is why they are secluded.
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1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed August 2, 2013

Went for a long weekend. Second time. The site was full we were in the family field. They had provided new family showers in the field next to the toilets. These were filthy and never had toilet paper. The toilets leaked. There was only one toilet for the men. The other toilets showers were not much better. the cleaning lady was overheard telling a new colleague that they didn't use cleaning products just water. It showed. The site is nice bar the bathrooms and expensive shop. Staff were nice and helpful. Beautiful views and close to steam train into swanage. Can walk to town about 30 minutes..

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
1 Thank keebabs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herston, Manager at Herston Caravan & Camp Site, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to leave a review.
The main showers and toilets are near reception. This is a bit of a walk from the distant camping fields.
We have placed more showers and toilets around the camping fields, but these are just for the convenience of the customers.
The floors of the units will get a bit muddy, because they are located in our grass fields.
We have many cleaners, but they can get a bit overworked and it make take a few hours for them to get back to the units in our more secluded areas.
However, we do get our staff to work hard in cleaning them from dawn until past dusk.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Berkshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2013

We stayed on this campsite for three nights and definitely won't be returning unless some money is spent on modernising the site, particularly the toilet blocks!

The toilet block near the camping field is very run down and dirty. The block is very heavily used by a large number of campers daily but only has a few toilets and showers, with several doors having faulty locks. It appears that cleaning is sporadic and ineffective. The other toilet block near the main reception is slightly better but the shower water sprays all over the changing area and they have very poor drainage making it quite a mission to get dry and changed after a shower.

The overall organisation of the site is very poor and there is a lot of confusion over pitch boundaries (which are not separated by a hedge but open spaces in a large field). We were aware of several families experiencing similar problems at the same time with paid for bookings being cancelled and other people who were allocated their reserved pitch. Even the onsite camping reception staff were confused who was supposed to be where!

Unfortunately, we also had our camper van ramps stolen whilst we were off-site for the day, despite them being put away safely out of sight.

We were there for four days, during which time the large skips that were used as bins were only emptied on our last day, despite being very overflowing with many, many rubbish bags all over the ground. Not good, especially in the summer months!!!

I think the site would have been lovely 10 or 15yrs ago but is now in need of serious updating. It's a shame as it is a great location for access to Swanage, Corfe and other local attractions.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
Thank VWT5Campervan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herston, Manager at Herston Caravan & Camp Site, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are sorry that you did not enjoy your stay.
Our campsite does get busy in the school holidays. We have many,. many customers who enjoy being able to come to our site with lots of their friends.
We try to plan our pitching based on what we are told by our customers when they book. However, many customers now have much larger tents and they take up more space than even they realise. This does lead to some situations when we try to cater for their needs to camp all together.

We do not have many complaints from customers when they are staying at our site. Most of the comments are words of praise.
The showers and toilets are constantly cleaned. They need to be so, because they are busy in the school holidays. They can only be pristine when we do not have any customers.
Sorry about your ramps, but we were not told about them until now, otherwise we would have given you some or gone out on the look out for them.
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Wiltshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

Our 3rd stay for the Regatta / Carnival weekend. The number you will spot there is "3rd", if the site was as bad as some people make out on here, I wouldn't have even got to 2nd - trust me. Am planning on booking for next years Carnival which will be our 4th stay. I am not too demanding, the shop is good for basic needs, there are discounted tickets for the train, the bar is good, the location is excellent, the toilets are fine, and the staff have always been excellent in my opinion, with nothing too much trouble. However, If you would prefer to stay somewhere where they wipe your backside for you, I would suggest a more upmarket hotel in a larger Town or City, rather than a campsite in Dorset !

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nick M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
61 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed July 29, 2013

Location was really lovely. Price was quite expensive. You were charged per tent so a two man cost the same as a 12 man but takes up much less room! It cost £5 a night for a separate gazebo but if you have a giant gazebo attached to your giant tent, no extra charge! Campsite patrols almost every hour. Felt very watched. The weather was fabulous so loads of people, felt too cramped and more like festival camping than lovely wide open spaces. The showers and toilets in the family field were pretty horrid, Dirty and only a mini step up from a portaloo. No mirrors at all either! 3 ladies loos, 1 male loo and 2 showers which had intermittant power cuts so water for us on all 3 mornings was FREEZING. The rubbish bins were constantly overflowing, more collections needed during busy times. The location is amazing. 5 minute walk from Herson Halt on the Swanage line (you can buy your tickets at the onsite shop) so getting into Swanage or Corfe Castle was easy even without a car. Staff in the bar and the shop very friendly. Bar did nice food (as long as you like chips with everything) but there was salad and the food and drink was easily worth the money. We had a great holiday but overpriced and need seriously better facilities in the family area and to limit their numbers further. Also to tone down the obviousness of the patroling.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank traveltastica
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
herston, Manager at Herston Caravan & Camp Site, responded to this review, August 9, 2013
Thanking for taking the time to leave a review.
We dont seem to have many who commend us on our simple pricing policy. We do charge a bit extra for very big tents, but our pricing policy is designed to be family friendly and allow families to have an affordable holiday by the sea.
The main shower and toilet block is by reception. It is brick built, tiled and central heated, with lots of constant hot water
It is a bit of a walk from the secluded parts of our camping fields. For the convenience of our customers, there are smaller units around the camping fields.
The walk to the luxury units is a choice we leave to our customers.
Our facilities are constantly cleaned, but when it is busy, it can take a some time for the cleaning staff to get back to the more distant units.
Swanage carnival week is the busiest week of the season in Swanage. We do get busy in carnival week, but there is still plenty of space around everyone's tents.
We have a warden going around the whole site every day in our little rubbish truck.
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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 Herston Caravan & Camp Site

Property: Herston Caravan & Camp Site
Address: Washpond Lane, Swanage, Dorset BH19 3DJ, Swanage BH19 3DJ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Dorset > Isle of Purbeck > Swanage
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Swanage
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 120
Also Known As:
Herston Caravan & Camp Site Hotel Swanage
Herston Caravan And Camp Site
Herston Caravan & Camp Site Swanage, Dorset

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