29 August 2009
Our first camping holiday since having children was at Ruda, Croyde Bay Devon (Parkdean holidays caravan site), we did however go camping quite a lot before we had children.
Our second camping holiday with our children was to Ty Mawr Park Resorts Caravan and Camping site near Rhyl in North Wales. We went for a weekend away from Friday night to Sunday.
The site was expensive, but with having young children we thought it would be better going to a site with good facilities and entertainment. Unfortunately we were disappointed in many respects with the site and don't plan to go there again.
We arrived at about 7pm on Friday night and reception was already closed, so we had to go to the bar to collect the welcome pack. After waiting some time to be seen to we were given directions and told to just find any spot. We found a spot and with the help of the occupants from a neighbouring tent put up the tent. The tent can normally be put up by two people, but due to the high wind the help was very much appreciated.
There was a fish and chip shop on the site, but it only had fried food, whereas the one on the site opposite (Golden Sands) had some healthier choices and as I was on a strict diet I went to that fish and chip shop instead.
On the following evening we ate at the on-site pub restaurant, which was good food and reasonably priced.
The toilet and shower facilities on the camping area were a very big disappointment. During the evening only the night toilets were open. The night toilets included one shower in one of the blocks and two in the other. The showers in the night toilets were particularly bad condition, with only a small area for getting changed in and no clothes hooks. The main shower block opened at about 9am, but was not much better with broken showers, broken locks and despite only just being opened were not particularly clean. On one of the days the showers were particularly cold, but I believe that was a temporary fault rather the normal condition.
There is a swimming pool with slide and a very shallow end suitable for young children. The pool was busy and we had to wait about 15 minutes before we could go in. The changing rooms were not very good and did not include any benches to get changed on. There were not enough cubicles and quite long queues. There was one cubicle that had a baby changing table inside. The lockers required £1 which was non refundable. As a result of the lockers being so expensive many had bags in but were not locked and there were also lots of bags occupying the tables and chairs around the outside of the pool.
There was a very good playground for older children. It did include a toddler swing, but not too much for toddler age children.
There was entertainment for the children during the day (time we normally spend together visiting tourist attractions or the local beach etc). I assumed that there would be some form of children's entertainment in the evening (as there are at most other holiday sites). There was no specific children's entertainment listed on the board, but it did say that entertainment started from 6:30pm. We turned up at 6:30 expecting there to be some form of children's entertainment then, but all they were interested in was selling tickets for the Bingo. With no sign of a children's bingo (which was particularly good at John Fowler's) so we ate tea during the bingo. We checked back at what activities were going on several times after that but it all seamed to be aimed at older children or adults. If there was some evening entertainment for young children then it would be nice if they could tell you when, but all I can conclude is that there wasn't any.
There was a good amusement arcade on the site but that was the only entertainment we did find. The amusement arcade was well manned, but when the vending machine did not work those looking after the amusements were unable to assist and there was a long queue to get to the bar to find someone to assist.
There is no direct access to the beach. There is a caravan site nearer to the beach, but I'm not sure whether that has access as there is a railway line between that and the beach. We went into Rhyl to go to the beach.
I feel that we paid a premium for the site, but we did not get value for money from the site. Perhaps with older children (such as teenagers) then we would have got more from the site, but I do not consider it a particularly good site for young children.
For evening entertainment a far better site is John Fowlers Caravan Site – Widemouth Bay, Near Bude in Cornwall or for a site with good general facilities Parkdeans holiday's Ruda at Croyde Bay Devon is better.