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“good location, but nothing remarkable.” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Herston Caravan & Camp Site

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Herston Caravan & Camp Site
West Dean, Salisbury, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“good location, but nothing remarkable.”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 7, 2013

We had a good 2 night stay at this campsite, which suited our needs but if we had camped for longer the toilets/shower block would have been a real problem. The u-bend on the sink in the family field leaks, so that the toilet block floor is often wet and mucky. We saw a cleaner come a couple of times but within 30 mins they were unpleasant again. The showers were very basic, not powerful and water lukewarm. As I said, fine for 2-3 days but inadequate for a longer stay.
An easy walk to the train station to get the steam train to Swanage made the location a real plus. A van came around daily to remove rubbish which was a great service, and the site has a bar/pub, shop and a small playground. We were glad the family field wasn't full, so the noise levels were manageable overnight. Travellers living/staying in next field and their generator and dogs caused quite a bit of noise in the evenings. I would stay there again, mainly for the location.

Room Tip: some of the camping has electric hook up etc, but the family field doesn't. The family field cos...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Sarah L
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
Many thanks for taking the time to leave a review. We will address your points in order.
The main shower blocks are by the reception. These are some distance from the more secluded parts of our site. Therefore, we have taken the time and effort to locate other ones in locations nearer to the campers for their convenience. About the leak: it was not the u bend. It was due to a leaky tap. The spare part took three days to arrive and we have now repaired it. However, we did not want to inconvenience our customers by closing down the whole unit.

Some traveling showmen did stop over on the neighboring land who were on their way to the Great Dorset Steam Fair. However, there were also many other happy campers who brought their pets with themselves, so it is hard to assign noise to any particular group. We have had the Electricity Board working nearby, who are upgrading the electric supply to our local railway halt. We have to apologise for the work noise they make during the day, but it is vital that they do their work. They have been working quite late to ensure that our lovely local steam train service is maintained.
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409 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (39)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Birmingham, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

I chose this site as it suited my needs perfectly - fantastic location, proximity of the Swanage Railway and a good price. I had intended to stay four nights but extended it to five because there was so much to see and do in the surrounding area.

The highlight fo me was seeing the steam and diesel trains pass the site and the access to wonderful inland and coastal walking. I would definitely return to this site and recommend to others but I hope they tweak the showers
Very nice, relaxed site in a beautiful location.

Coastal walks are spectacular and inland walks into Corfe and to the Square & Compass (in Worth Matravers) are a must. The location is ideal for exploring the whole south Dorset region, with stunning scenery and picture-postcard villages at every turn. Durdle Door is one of many recommended local sights.

Steam railway runs adjacent to field one but this just add to the charm, and the train is a lovely sight rumbling through each day.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Winston M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 6, 2013

Stayed in the family field on the 1st weekend of Carnival week. Nice and quiet at night. An easy 15min stroll down to the town and plenty of showers and wash up sinks which were nice and hot and pretty clean. Had a great time and would recommend to families, especially as only £25 per pitch without electric hook up. Would also recommend Ulwell camp site for paying to use the pool even though not a guest - which is about a mile up the road - in case it rains.....

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank MandyBlackmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, GB
Level Contributor
29 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank scott-white
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ross on wye
Level Contributor
98 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      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
3 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      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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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles 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
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      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.
Report response as inappropriate
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
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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