This was our fifth time at Hillhead. The plus points of this site are seriously impressive. The views of the sea, including on three sides at the play area. The easy access to Brixham, Paignton and proximity of amenities. The excellent wardens who are courteous and working really hard to maintain the site.
In the last few years this site has started to flag somewhat. As another commenter below notes, it is now the norm at this site for vans/motorhomes to turn up early in search of the best pitches. The wardens are forced to let them in otherwise they’d block the roads. That means those of us who obey the rules don’t get the level or seaview pitches we’d like. This was described to me quite openly by one of the wardens who advised me to move my van in the morning to a better pitch to beat the early rush. There has to be a easy fix for this. The pitches that are left are generally the ones you need some serious levelling equipment for, and are on grass. I saw several people unprepared for this with lots of stress involved.
During our stay this time it was also quite noticeable that for the first time there were large (20-30 strong) groups of teenagers on the site. On the whole they behaved well so this isn’t a Victor Meldrew style gripe – it’s great to see teenagers with their families. However on several occasions they had clearly been drinking which resulted in some cringeworthy behaviour on the dancefloor, resulting in many other families quietly leaving the entertainment hall. It may be time to think about some kind of “quiet word” where needs be.
Lastly – and this isn’t an issue unique to Hillhead – there were quite clearly a lot of caravanners and motohomers who had very little experience and were in some cases potentially dangerous. This included one rented motorhome which had to be towed off a downward sloping muddy pitch he'd charged on to, stopping just in time to avoid the hedge at the end and another caravanner driving at speed the wrong way down an access hill, in search of a pitch during the Morning Mad Pitch Scramble. I don’t really know what to do about this but it seems to be getting worse and on a site like Hillhead which has a lot of wandering young children around is clearly a risk. Better enforcement perhaps.
So – I would suggest some overdue investment in this flagship site which is still a real jewel. And perhaps some thinking about how to manage what is a changing customer population, more similar to some of the large commercial sites.
One other tip – if you stay at the end of the cul de sac (pitch 217 and the neighbouring ones) – expect a lot of traffic noise, and vibrations from heavy vehicles. It wasn’t too much of a bother to us but could be to others.
Thanks to all of the team there – they were a credit to the CMC