Rated 4 of 5

Rated 5 of 5

Peace and tranquility

Rated 3 of 5

Access to local places of interest

Rated 3 of 5

Beauty of surroundings and scenery

Rated 1 of 5

Ease of arrival/welcome

Not a welcoming CL

I booked this CL by email in March for a stay at the end of June. Upon arrival I was confronted by a padlocked gate with no instructions for unlocking. Apparently the code for the padlock was in my confirmation email from the owner. Fortunately I had the email with me. The code stated was 0000. I tried this code but the lock did not open. I telephoned the owner but the call went straight to voicemail so I left a message asking them to call me back. I did not receive any callback. Fortunately someone already on the site realised that I was unable to gain access and came to help. Having shown my confirmation email to this person they kindly gave me the padlock code which was actually five digits and different numbers to those I had been given. On entering the site I realised that the CL was part of a much larger caravan site with hardstanding pitches separated by hedges. I had booked a hardstanding pitch but as the two on the CL were already occupied I used one of the pitches on the larger site. By doing so we lost the benefit of the views from the CL including a great sunset. There was no information immediately visible as to making payment or where the toilet dump and waste bins were located. Again a fellow camper provided the information. Both were located behind hedges through a gate in an overgrown hedge. The location was not signposted and the gate itself had no sign on it. Inside this small area were a well designed toilet dump, recycling & waste bins and a notice board! On the notice board was some useful information, particularly about paying. Payment was to be made by placing the requisite amount in a small black post box fixed to the wall surrounding the toilet dump & waste bins. How this was to be achieved in such a way as to inform the owner of the person making the payment was not stated and no envelopes were provided. Again my fellow camper came to my rescue and provided an envelope - thank you Ian. The evening wore on and no-one came to check if we had arrived, had found the facilities, etc. nor was my telephone call ever returned. This is a very pleasant site with good facilities but the arrival/welcome is non-existent. More information and clear signage is required if arrival/welcome is to be a DIY process. The location of the CL needs to be signposted and the owner needs to answer their phone or return calls when requested to do so. Information needs to be more thorough and should be displayed at the main gate rather than be hidden away as at present. I felt as if the owner did not really want us there and was only interested in the money to be made. This view was reinforced by a notice on the notice board advising users not to call at the owner’s house as “the dogs may be loose”! Altogether not a welcoming experience.

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Aston Martin replied on 09/07/2023 10:07

Posted on 09/07/2023 10:07

Dear Portandhu

The Old Orchard CL is part of a working farm and unfortunately we are not in the position to retire. All CL’s are run slightly differently and a lot are run by semi retired people. Our aim is to provide a well cared for, beautiful site with a choice of spacious pitches for our guests to enjoy 

We have spent a great deal of time and effort planting hedges and wildlife strips around the Caravan CL. At certain times of year, when birds are nesting we are not allowed to cut the hedges protecting the wildlife habitat 

I sincerely apologise that you were unable to contact me. On this occasion, I was away with limited access to a signal and believed I had informed all the necessary guests of the code