The site is massive - well over 1200 statics. There is a massive range of things to do - pools, slides, play areas, pantos, shows, kids clubs, bungie trampolines. The list goes on and on. Depends if you like that type of thing which you must do to book the place!
The site beach is wide and sandy with great rock pools for the kids - can get seaweedy though, the Exmouth beach up the road is less so
The touring area is disappointing. There are no pictures of the touring areas on the website or in the Haven brochure and you realise why. The 'premier' pitches are very close together with little space for the kids to run around. You would think you would have the same run around space as the statics but they just seem to pack the tourers into as small as space as possible.
Showers were clean when we were there and rarely busy. However they are the push button type where you get 5 seconds of water before having to push again. Hardly enjoyable and impossible to shower your children at the same time
Touring warden? rarely seen - off helping with the statics most of the time or off duty. So no one to help with queries.
So overall a good holiday site if you want something busy and with plenty to do, just don't expect great touring facilities
We came here to spend time with our grandchildren who were staying in a static. But the pitches were small, our 23ft caravan overhung onto the road, on concrete that was not level. There was a dedicated place to park your car.
No one was there to greet us, we had to phone to find out where our pitch was. The toilets were clean but the showers were too hot with no means of turning them down. They were on a push button system that lasted all of 3 seconds per push. We had our own water tap and a drain for the waste water. But we had to empty our water tanks on site, which being on a slope and concrete, ran down down hill. We did feel like the poor relations, as we were in a 'car park'
There was something going on all the time if you wanted it in the huge complex. The pool was nice. The beach was nice, be it down a 'cliff'. The entertainment in the evenings was geared for the kids and the noise from the amusement arcade was deafening. We would not go back as it was too noisy and with 1800 static caravans on the site was too big for us. There was only 42 pitches so read what you like into that. It was very expensive and next time we will find a site near at 1/4 of the price.
This place is huge, but doesn’t feel it as the various fields are broken up nicely. We stayed here before in a static and had a fab time, this time we took our own caravan. The general facilities are 1st class and there is a lot to do here - you would never be bored! Many food choices, good shop and laundry facilities. We loved the clifftop walk to Exmouth.
There were some negatives however.
When we stayed in 2009, only people staying on the site were allowed past the security barriers. This year, there is no security at the entrance and with the barriers permanently raised anyone can come in, use the carpark pay and display and go to the beach.
I went down to order the fab pizza from Papa Johns one night but when I came back down to collect it, I forgot my entertainment pass and the security guard, who recognised me from 20mins previous, still wouldn’t let me in. So I had to walk back up to the ‘van and back down with my pass and he just waved me past without even looking at it. By this time my pizza was way past it best.
Most important concerns for us were on the touring field. The warden was rarely there - she is a taxi driver in Exmouth and only works part time at Haven. She was nice enough on the one time we did see her. The toilet block floor was filthy, the sinks in the mens were not cleaned for 3 days, plus someone had been sick on the floor and all that was done was a traffic cone was put over it and left for 2 days! Most evenings there was no loo roll in any cubicle and in the ladies showers, my wife mentioned a disposable razor that was on the floor untouched for all the time we were there. We booked and paid for a premium super-pitch at over £40 a night (some of them slope badly but ours was ok albeit right behind the noisy smelly vent for the fish and chip shop) but the pitches are actually quite small. The aerial connection for our pitch never worked and the tap leaked, flooding the grass area if we left it on. We asked for it to be fixed on 3 occasions but nothing was done. So much for a a premium pitch!
We love this place, but were very disappointed with the touring area and if truthful, the staff couldn’t care less about the tourers either. Next time we will use a better, cheaper site down the road and just drop by Devon Cliffs when we want to and pay the £5 parking.
We arrived at the site at 3 o'clock and were told we could have the keys but were not able to enter the Caravan until the official time of 4'oclock. However when we went to go into the Caravan at 4 o'clock it was still being cleaned. Finally at 4:20 we managed to enter, Another couple close by had to wait 40 minutes before they could gain access to theirs. We chose the Prestige caravan (3rd from bottom on the list) as we believed it to be sufficient for our needs it included a tv, cooker & microwave. Upon entering we noticed there was a strong smell from the van which was obviously there to hide something. When this finally went there was a musky smell and the van felt damp. Rather than complain as we had already unpacked everything. We went to the shop and bought a bottle of Fabreze, which we sprayed all over the seating area.
Other faults we noticed with the van were no handle on the inside of the bathroom door, the fire in the lounge didn't work & there were lots of unpleasant looking stains on the seats plus they didn't smell very nice even after being Fabrezed a few times. To get rid of the dampness every morning we had to light two of the rings on the cooker, This was also done on an evening as well when it got colder as the fire didn’t work.
It's been 5 years since our last visit to Devon Cliffs and it has changed a lot in that time for the better, The Pool complex had changed a lot, new lockers, showers, changing rooms, a small swim orientated shop in the Pool area & a Millies Cookies shop. The stage had disappeared from one of the entertainment venues and it was now a Restaurant (Barrel & Mash). Out on the large balcony is a hut that sells cocktails at a fiver each. Its nice to sit outside to have a drink overlooking the nice view of the sea and site. You can eat outside as well if you like but be careful because the Seagulls have been known to swoop down and steal peoples food - there is a sign warning this.
Activity wise there's loads for the kids to do, wall climbing, mini golf, trampolines, ice skating etc…(I never saw anyone use the plastic ice rink all week). However all these activities were chargeable and weren't cheap either. As others have said it is £5 for 2 minutes on the Trampolines with bungees wires attached.
Our 4 kids had £40 spending money for the week and chose not to do any of these activities but spend it in the arcade and various shops on the site.
The fast food outlets were very expensive, We paid £2. 50 for a supposed 'large' portion of chips, & also paid £5 for an 'Angus' burger from the Burger King there. However the Papa Johns pizza we had wasn't too bad for the money. (Large Pepperoni for £12. 99)
For info if you turn right at the T-junction at the end of the road, just after the shops and go past the 24 Hour Tescos, there is a Mc Donalds just past there on the left there is also a nice Chinese takeaway just down the road from the site.
We went swimming every day. The kids loved the various water slides they now have there which cater for all ages. We even ventured to the outdoor pools as the weather was hot & sunny. One day the water was surprisingly warmer in the outdoor pools than it was inside !
Summing up the week the free items which are included in the price of the holiday are great, However it seems to be now geared up to get as much money out of the Holidaymaker as they can.
We visited Devon Cliffs on a nice sunny weekend and stayed with friends in their static van. It was our first visit to Sandy Bay but having heard loads about the place over the years we went with high expectations…
The site itself is huge and I believe one of Haven’s flagships and as such really benefits from the economies of scale. The facilities are amazing…indoor pools, outdoor pools… indoor slides, outdoor slides…awesome putting, climbing wall, showbars, Starbucks, bowlingo, Sky Sports screens (great to watch the England/Switzerland game with a few pints of Pedigree) etc etc. The list could go on and on. As a number of posters have said you can certainly spend some money here, but as much as anything because there is just sooo much to do!
The food is very good, from the relaxed ‘forecourt’ type of area that has Burger King, Papa Johns and a good local chippy to the smart (but still relaxed) restaurant that has leather sofas and such like.
We were all impressed by how spotlessly clean everything was. They certainly look after this place.
For me, getting Pedigree (albeit cask) in the bars. Often I find myself forcing down John Smiths or ruddy Tetleys if I don’t want a lager. Also the gorgeous outdoor patio area.
My wife thoroughly enjoyed the fish nibbling the dry skin off her feet (£10 per session in the spa)
My 6 yr old daughter loved the grab cranes where she could get all manner of cuddlies. They were relatively easy which is a nice change and we came home with stacks of the things…
You have to bear in mind the site is very hilly. That said, I’m not sure this is a lowlight as it certainly enhances the beauty and it’s not as though anyone could change it!
Overall, it’s always difficult to go somewhere with high expectations but bloody hell, even with that we still weren’t disappointed.
Just arrived back from an 8 day stay at Devon Cliffs and can only describe the site as haven's best. It's a massive site on various levels with great views over the bay.
We travelled from Nottinghamshire (over 200miles) through the night with our 9yr old daughter and 2 year old son. I'd rang ahead days before to ask what time we were allowed on to our pitch and explained the distance. The touring warden was a great help and allowed us to pitch up when we arrived early morning as our pitch was vacant.
The touring site is on two levels and some caravans did look a little awkwardly perched on blocks. We had to use an extra large pitch due to our size it was almost level and there is more then enough room around your pitch.
You park on the tarmac road in front of your pitch.
The shower block is brand new and kept spotless.Only grumble is the showers don't stay on much more than 10-15 seconds before you have to push the button in again, they are toasty warm and good pressure.
The entertainment complex is well equipped although capones bar which is the later opening for older kids and families has a very sweaty stale aroma and could do with some ventilation.
Entertainment is good quality and seems this year to have moved away from completely funstar based to visiting acts which are all good.
Pappa johns pizza great value,mash and barrel usual Haven poor quantity but good quality Daughter got more chips on kids meal than husband did on adults.
Chip shop was very pricy and poor value. Fish chips &peas £6.70 and we've had bigger gold fish from the fair.
The site is the usual haven middle of nowhere and is a 20 minute drive to get to the main routes around south Devon. Exeter is beautiful city centre,Torquay and Paignton are great. Visit Maisons Cafe in Paignton near the train station for cream tea its excellent we went back twice.
Although we had a long journey this was one of our favourite haven holidays and we have had quite a few. We will definitely be re booking for next year and hoping for a little warmer weather and a lot less wind.
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