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“Lovely stay”

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Woodlands Camping and Caravan Park
Swansea, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lovely stay”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Although the weather was terrible, excellent site! Wardens extremely helpful along with reception staff, this site would be even better if weather is good. Very well kept site, with good facilities and free access in to the park, great for all ages, my typical 18 year old teenage daughter enjoyed (which was an amazement).

One suggestion to the site is to have heating in the shower blocks and better lighting on site roads.

Would DEFINATELY go back and we've already recommended site to friends.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank anne b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Somerset, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
29 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We bought the 7 day wrist band online which was good value for a family of 2 adults and 2 children. We arrived early and could get parked easily. The car park was near the entrance and this was useful if you wantyed to go back out and get food and drink etc.
Plenty to do at the park. Lots of rides for different ages and the staff were helpful and ensured that everybody was kept safe.
There were not massive queues which was great for us and so we got to go on all the rides we wanted.
There was also enough to do inside when it rained. Our children enjoyed the big blue barn and also visiting the animals.
We thought that the food was reasonably priced and there was no pressure to buy their food as we could take food and drinks in with us. The toilets were clean and there were plenty of them.
Somewhere we will be taking the children again - a must for people with yojng children visiting Devon.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank Mrs_Mc_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cumbria
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

We stayed here in August 2012 for 6 nights in a tent and even though it rained (almost) every day, it didn't spoil our stay as the free entry to the theme park more than made up for the bad weather. There is a huge indoor play area which our 7 year old loved - very well staffed - with a tower of terror drop ride thingy, a rotating climbing wall, as well as loads of the usual slides, tunnel mazes ball pools, rides etc. The theme park itself was awesome and although really busy, patrons of the campsite do get an hour in the park before it opens to the general public. The birds of prey centre on site was wonderful; calm and relaxing and obviously staffed by experts who are very keen to impart their knowledge.
Some reviewers have commented on noisy teenagers etc. which we didn't experience at all despite visiting in high season. I think the site is split into 2 sides and we were obviously fortunate enough to get a massive pitch on the right hand side of the site, straight up to the top of the hill from Reception. Despite the rain, the site was well drained and dried out quickly each morning.
We had a lovely meal at The Sportsman inn about 5 mins drive away, which was jam-packed and we're glad we booked in advance. We also tried the pizzas on the campsite which were delish, but pricey. Overall, we didn't see all of the theme park or take advantage of all the activities on offer at the campsite despite being there 6 days. We'd deffo stay there again if making a trip down to Devon.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank 66sound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burnley
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2012

Woodlands Theme Park and Camp Site | Wells Park | 12 night stay | Mid August 2012 | Our second and last visit

Summary:

A very large 5 star camp site accommodating camper vans, caravans, trailer tents and tents. Camping pitches split into terraced areas (Saturday to Saturday bookings only) and non-level pitches (short stays or non-Saturday/Saturday stays).

Generally has fantastic facilities in an attractive setting with the option of free entry into the adjacent family theme park (for stays over 2 nights), this within the fees charged. Located close to some gorgeous beaches and South Devon attractions.

Exposed pitches in many parts of the site with obvious drainage issues as the site waterlogged quickly and where campers are asked to park away from the pitches when it gets wet.

No real site management after dark which leads to nuisance and unacceptable behaviour and negates all the good aspects.

Our Experience:

In 2009 we had stayed for seven nights on the terraced pitch area. Our children were younger and despite the awful weather we had a great time.

Three years later we returned to the site but as we were staying for just 12 nights (and not 14) we had to stay on Wells Park. Despite exchanges of emails with Woodlands about proximity to the toilet facilities and not wanting an un-level pitch we were assured everything would be ok.

We arrived and were allocated a pitch close enough to the toilet block but sadly on a hillside with a 20 degree incline running downhill across the pitch. We asked a passing warden about moving but he advised that we had to go the office where we would then be told that the level pitches were all taken. We were tired (after a 7 hour drive) so decided to make the best of it, but it really did make life difficult over the 12 nights on site and in some ways spoiled our holiday.

In terms of the gradient within the camp site and the park this will undoubtedly present some accessibility problems to visitors with disabilities as some of the paths (especially in the park) are extremely steep and slippy. Many of the rides will be inaccessible due to the gradients, the types of rides and attractions and the queuing systems.

Despite the very stern warden who greeted us at the entrance we have to say that we were impressed with the friendliness of the majority of the site’s wardens, who worked very hard at getting people to their pitches and kept the park and facilities really clean. However we had one quite bad experience with a warden, who threatened to wheel clamp our car if we didn’t remove it to the car park (to protect the grass parking areas adjacent to your tent from damage) as soon as we had finished our breakfast cup of tea, but this was sorted out quickly with an apology from the reception manager.

I know from talking to our neighbours that many were shocked at being separated from the cars as valuables were kept within them and many said they would not return after paying between £50 and £60 a pitch/per night but were let down by a lack of investment in drainage or creation of stoned parking area. We had the same problem on our previous visit so it was not a one off issue and the signs erected on poles looked well used.

The majority of the pitches were on unbroken stretches of grass with few hedges to offer shelter from the strong winds. Over a two day period we saw three tents damaged and some of our neighbours asked to move with many deciding to leave early to avoid damage to the kit. We took down our porch awning and doubled guyed our tent and although the only people left for a day we managed to ride out the storm. I appreciate that strong winds can’t be helped but we have not had this problem before on sites with more natural shelter from careful planting.

Oddly many of the younger lads working in the theme park were not friendly, chatty or polite but we put this down to age and lack of social skills. They were not offensive or anything, they just talked to each other and not to customers, which was odd.

There is no pub or bar on the park (which we thought was a good thing) so you have to arrange your own evening entertainment, although you can access certain parts of the theme park and make use of superb playground facilities and slides on a non-supervised basis, beware of gangs of non-supervised kids on skateboards and bikes who ran riot most evenings. Above the toilet facilities is a large games and TV room with the usual video games, pool tables and two free table tennis tables which were well used by us and other families.

The on-site shop is quite well stocked with camping kit, food and toys, but of course at prices a lot higher than you would pay outside the park. The chap who runs it though is lovely and can't do enough for you. Conversely the theme park shop had momentoes and gifts to buy at reasonable cost but were manned by young people busy calling other workers and texting.

WI-FI is available on site but seemed expensive. Signal quality seemed good though. If staying for a long period buy a cheap 3g dongle and data sim – we used the “3” network without any problems for a fraction of the camp charge.

Fast food in the park is sadly truly awful and a total waste of money. However, the log cabin food outlet adjacent to the water coasters is run by the people who run the take away (open after the theme park closes) where the food is excellent and reasonably priced. Spend your money there and not the parks fast food outlets – trust us. Outside the park there are a few pubs serving good food according to other reviews I have read.

The nearest supermarket (Sainsbury’s) is found in Dartmouth about 4/5 miles away. Dartmouth is a very pretty resort with lots of cool shops and eateries. Morrisons is found in Totnes and in Kingsbridge (8/9 miles away) and there is a big ASDA in Newton Abbott (13/14 miles away). There is a medium sized TESCO in Kingsbridge where the staff were amazingly friendly and helpful on two of our visits.

Beaches to visit – we loved Slapton, Blackpool and the South beach at Salcombe (the latter having sand rather than shingle).

After dark we had too many late night noise experiences with inconsiderate campers (once finally quietening down at 4:30 am after a massive row and on a few occasions we had young children allowed out to run around unchecked and one one occasion unsupervised at 6:00 am !). We didn’t see any wardens after dark despite Woodlands clear rules on night time noise, which was a shame as the offenders repeated the noise the night after. Thankfully the worst of the offenders only stayed for a few days (inconsiderate gits). We also had a couple of nearby families constantly shouting at their kids which was annoying and we now shout out their kids names in the house when the kids are getting noisy as a joke !.

Despite the above we tried to have a good time but personally felt that our kids (the youngest is 10) are now too old for the park. In our opinion the rides for older children are limited to the water coasters, the toboggan, water slides and the water dragon ride, so we will sadly not be returning. You can check out the theme park’s attractions and facilities on their website.

On a positive note the Bird of Prey centre is just amazing – you must attend one of their live shows, we were blown away by the size and power of the birds flying freely over our heads and the trust the birds had with their handlers.

Positives:

A beautifully maintained and clean site.
Close to beaches and lovely towns and villages
Good park for under tens
Many play facilities remaining open for campers after the main park closes

Negatives:

Be prepared to be allocated a non-level pitch despite written assurances to the contrary.
Be prepared to have to move your car (or stand your ground) if the weather is wet – Woodlands really should invest in better drainage or create hard standings for parking – it is after all a 5 star site.
Certain parts of the site are really dark at night and not well lit so take a torch for visits to the loo.
The higher parts of the site are more exposed and in strong winds damage is inevitable (we sadly helped a few people recover their smashed tents during a 48 hour storm).
The ground seems to be generally quite rocky in places – take substantial pegs with you.
Do your shopping when you are out and about and DO NOT BUY ANY FAST FOOD IN THE PARK.
Take ear plugs with you if you want a good nights sleep.
Queues for the private bathrooms can be long in the morning so plan your visit to be after 10:00 am or use the main shower/toilet facilities inside.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dybdybdyb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bristol, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2012

First off let me say this was not our first trip to Woodlands but it will be our last. Last year we stayed over the easter break and we had a great time. The problems this year just kept on coming. We booked well in advance with some friends and let the park know the dimensions of our tents and camper van, so when we were shown our pitch I was a little puzzled as how we were all going to fit on it. Asked the warden who was pitching us and were told "that's your pitch" very helpfull. We managed to squeeze our three tents and camper van onto the space, but it meant that the van where my children would be sleeping was right next to the access road. Not really a problem until one night at 10pm wardens starting siteing two caravans that had showed up late and left their buggy next to my van with the engine running for 20 minutes while they tried siteing 2 caravans in the dark.

There was regular loud music during the day and sometimes late into the night.

One day we returned from the fun park to find two more tents squeezed in front of us with very abusive and foul mouthed people. We complained to a different warden, nothing was seen to be done. Now don't get me wrong I'm not saying people should be veted before camping on the site, but surely someone from the site could of had a word with them.

After a few days they left, great we thought but no. Returning to our tents on our final day we find that another tent has been pitched across the door way to our tent less than six feet away.

I'm not really sure what the wardens jobs at this site are, if some one makes a complaint surely some one should look into it.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Mobeye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bognor Regis
Level Contributor
47 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2012 via mobile

We stayed in a caravan on Falcons view near to the shower facilities and games room. We are a family with 3 boys 14-17 years old. The boys were kept amused in the evenings in the games room and met with teenagers of a similar age. Overall the facilities are adequate. We were hugely disappointed that dispite peak season prices, we were unable to keep vehicles on our pitch due to water- logged site. The walk to the car was approx 10 minutes and car park was not secure and did not have any means for surveillance. Other sites in the area did not have the same problems, I wonder whether this was due to lack of investment in drainage. Woodlands could have managed this problem a lot better. We had six caravans on our 'field'. We were all of the same opinion. None of us would return to Woodlands. This is our third stay and last!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank nicholamullan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed August 24, 2012

Right, tough one this. As a family, we generally travel to the South Hams area if we are holidaying in the UK although usually a cottage or lodge. Whilst we are regular campers, this is our first time camping in this area and we thought, from the kids perspective, it would be nice to book a site attached to the leisure park.

First impressions were good the set-up was very slick and well organised, the staff friendly and efficient and the site and facilities were very clean and well presented. There was a slight drawback in that, as a result of the recent weather, we couldn't keep our car on the pitch (obviously not the proprietors fault and the right decision in my opinion).

The pitches were a hardcore standing which initially caused a furrowed brow but actually meant that our tent was on a free draining pitch and out of the wet clay that is a feature of the local soil. I would suggest an extra tarp to bridge any gap between your tent and the grass as its not the most pleasant stuff to walk on in bare feet.

Unfortunately that is where it all went wrong for us, on night 2 the family (4 adults) in the tent next door decided to have a full on row in the early hours. The language used and general conduct of the people concerned was disgraceful and went on for about 20 minutes until the main protagonist walked off for the remainder of the night. The row kicked off again upon her return the following morning.

On night 3, the lady in the opposite tent took exception to some act perpetrated by her young daughter (about 12) and proceeded to verbally (and unpleasantly) bawl her out causing my eldest son to abandon his bedroom and come into ours. The same girl seemed to attract the attention of a number of slightly older boys who took to loitering around her tent like tom cats, frequently choosing to wait for her (even in the dark) if she wasn't in. This was not a time where you would want to leave your tent unattended.

Whilst two extreme examples, there was a tone throughout the park of similar aggression of families towards each other which, whilst not the camp or its managements fault (or as far as I can see much that they can be expected to do about it) anybody visiting the site should be aware that many of the occupants are there purely with the intention of using the free entry to the amusement park and are unlikely to leave the site for the duration of their stay. If you are looking for a quiet camping break I would probably look elsewhere for a campsite and perhaps spend a day in the amusement park rather than stay on site.

This is a difficult review to write because I have never thought of myself of any more of a snob than the next man. The park has got so much going for it mainly as a result of very good management but I don't want my kids exposed to the atmosphere (or the additions to their vocabulary)

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jimbo37_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Woodlands Camping and Caravan Park

Property: Woodlands Camping and Caravan Park
Address: Woodlands, Blackawton, Dartmouth TQ9 7DQ, England
Location: United Kingdom > England > Devon > Dartmouth > Blackawton
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Blackawton
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 225
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Touring park 5 miles from Dartmouth and stunning South Devon coast. Spacious pitches and tranquil surroundings, beautifully equipped family bathrooms, laundries & showers, all set in countryside of outstanding natural beauty. Ideal for a relaxed adult break during term time – enquire for ‘Adults midweek special.’ Families have the option of free entry into 90 acre theme park; you don’t need to take the kids on expensive day trips - it’s all here, rides, slides, action & animals. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Woodlands Camping And Caravan Park Hotel Blackawton
Woodlands Camping And Caravan Park Blackawton, Devon

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