Wood Farm Caravan Park
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Given the 4 reviews for 2018 we had high hopes for our 5 night stay at the beginning of July. Firstly the positives. Situated in a valley with a number of terraces to accommodate vans and motor homes, the backdrop to Wood Farm is very picturesque. The dog walk is immense and a stroll down through the site to the fishing lake is well worth the effort. The on-site cafe and the swimming pool appears to be fairly new and reasonably priced. Access to the site from the A35 is easy and a walk down into Charmouth is recommended. Buses are reasonably frequent from the stops near the site entrance. Our stay here was however disappointing. Unlike club sites pitches are allocated on arrival. After a brief but friendly check-in we were ushered to our pitch. We were left to try and manoeuvre our modest. Sized caravan onto a small pitch not far from reception. It was clear from the beginning that we would struggle to fit it into the tiny concrete slab located below road level. The A-Frame rested against the grass bank and even with the jockey wheel wound right in and set at its minimum height the van sat nose up. A visit to reception resulted in the offer of only one possible alternative pitch: adjacent to the main thoroughfare with the water carrier and waste master sitting virtually in the road. When questioned about the possibility of other pitches round about I was informed that they were for larger vans and if we wanted to erect an awning this was all that was available. My van is 6.88 mtrs end to end. How big does your van have to be? Noise. Never before have I pitched so close to a racetrack. The noise of motorised vehicles pulling away from the adjacent island up the A35 morning noon and night was off-putting to say the least so I suggest you push for a pitch as far away from the site entrance as possible. For us, the biggest disappointment was the toilet block. Hygiene left much to be desired. It should not be left to campers to inform wardens when toilets and showers need cleaning. At peak periods these should be cleaned daily. In our 5-day day it appeared that the ladies and gents communal block was cleaned just once. Other reviews on this site read differently but after many decades of caravanning I can only speak as I find. Paying premium prices I expect premium standards in all areas of customer services. Come on guys, smarten up your act.
Response from the Site:
Thank you for taking the time to post a review about your recent stay at Wood Farm. We are pleased that you found lots of things good and convenient.
Many apologies that we weren’t able to give you a greater choice of pitch. We have been running so full during July and unlike some flatter sites all our pitches are different, meaning we must be careful when siting motorhomes and double axle caravans in particular.
One point you raised was that during your five days you only saw the toilet blocks cleaned once. We do try to clean at times that are convenient to our guests, when people are out and about for the day. Rest assured all four toilet blocks are cleaned daily and checked at regular times between.
We booked a two week stay at this site on the strength of several good reviews. On arrival, we were dismayed at the very small and steeply sloped pitch that we were allocated. Looking around the site there seem to be two classes of pitch: A fully serviced pitch which looks like a normal sized pitch for an average sized caravan and is level, and the non-serviced pitch. Ours was a non-serviced pitch. It consisted of a concrete apron less than two thirds the length of our two berth caravan. It was impossible to get the jockey wheel and all four corner steadies on the concrete. We elected to have the jockey wheel and front corner steadies on the concrete along with the caravan wheels. The rear steadies were on the grass. Furthermore, the pitch was unacceptably sloped with the front of the van more than two feet above the ground and the rear almost touching the grass with the rear steadies only wound down two turns. The approach to the pitch required mounting a kerb and driving up a steep grassy slope on the first pitch we were offered. And on the second pitch we had to drive over the adjacent vacant pitch to get the caravan positioned successfully. The management keep some wooden blocks for loan for sloping pitches and looking around the site, several pitches were steeply sloped. In practical terms, unless your caravan is fitted with a motor mover or you choose a fully serviced pitch don't book this site if you value your car's clutch. The excessive slope of the pitch meant I had to buy extra hose to use my Wastemaster and they charged an exorbitant price for it it the on site shop. The management offered to pitch another customer's caravan using a small tractor and wrecked his jockey wheel, dragging it over soft grass in the process. He complained and they replaced it for him. The weather was unseasonably cool on some days and the shower rooms were unheated even though there were radiators fitted. The showers were not always as clean as they could be. The site advertises good tv reception but we found it very poor with far less channels that we expect and achieve on other sites. There is a games room with a pool table but several of the balls were missing. The management's response to a complaint about it was 'well there were lots of children in last week'. There is an on site indoor swimming pool but this is not for the exclusive use of site residents and was rather over crowded at weekends. There are other facilities; fishing, tennis courts, giant draughts etc but everything is charged for. The site is in a good location, less than a mile from Charmouth village centre and about two miles from Lyme Regis but aside from that, I found little to recommend it and we will not be returning to this site.
Response from Wood Farm Caravan Park:
We are always very sorry to hear when someone has not enjoyed their stay with us. If a guest lets us know that they are unhappy with their pitch we will always try to find them an alternative. Wood Farm is set on a hillside with far reaching views. We have done a lot of work on terracing our pitches and about 60% of our standard touring pitches are flat and can accommodate caravans up to 7.5m, whereas nearly all our premium pitches are flat and can accommodate caravans up to 8m. Many people have motormovers and that certainly helps with pitching, for those who don’t we escort everyone to their pitch and we are happy to offer assitance to pitch when needed. If it is necessary we can pitch the guest’s caravan using our landrover, we never pitch with a small tractor. Recently a guest did damage his jockey while he was driving to pitch and we offered to replace it. We went to the nearest accessory shop and bought a new jockey wheel and our maintenance engineer fitted it for guest all within an hour of the incident.
We keep a stock of spare pool balls and we check twice a day and replace them as necessary. We do charge for the use of our pool and tennis court but do not charge for fishing or draughts. We do, however, make every effort to make the charges known prior to booking and arrival.
Wood Farm has very many returning customers and we seek feedback from every guest (with an email address) after their stay and I am pleased to say that the majority enjoy Wood Farm and remark on the friendliness of our staff.
We have just come back from a 7 night stay at Wood Farm. We have not been to the site for 10 years but nothing has changed and it is still the same good site as ever. We should have visited the site at Easter but my husband fell ill and so we deferred the visit until the Summer. The staff at the site were very sympathetic towards us having to cancel the booking at the last minute at Easter and we did not lose our deposit. Very fast check in and extremely pleasant staff. Our pitch was near the busy main road but the sound fades into the background once you have been there a few hours. We were under trees and so we could not have a bbq or eat out in the evening and our washing struggled to dry. We also had a pitch next to the entrance to the play area but again we had no problems at all with children entering this area. A fab place to visit and you can walk to Charmouth within 10 minutes. We had 2 cars with us which allowed us to park a car at Lyme Regis and then we walked the path from the site to Lyme Regis which is very pleasant. Maps are in the shop for free. We also parked a car at Lyme Regis and walked on the beach from Charmouth to Lyme Regis at low tide and hunted for fossils. A lovely place to visit is West Bay where Broadchurch was filmed and the walk to Eype is fab over the coast path. Eype beach is also lovely. The great thing about parking is just £2 for the whole day. There is also a micro brewery in Lyme Regis which is hidden down in the bottom of the town near the mill. Great facilities and reasonably clean at Wood Farm depending upon which part of the day you go. All in all a good break.