Just returned from a nine nights stay at this camp site.
We travelled from the North using the M5 and it is fair to say that the site suggested using Junction 30 of the M5. This was a good move as our Satnav gave us junction 28, slightly shorter route but not really suitable for caravans along these roads.
Arrival at the site is easy just of the A3052.
Reception was bright and modern and the staff friendly and we were taken to our allocated pitch by Steve who guided us in and before I got out of the car he was in the process of un hitching our caravan, he was very competent but might not suit some people.
The site is flat and our super pitch was flat and had hard standing for the caravan and area for the awning is on chippings, which were a little thin as when it rained which it did a lot while we were there and the ground became slightly muddy. No pitch appeared to have a TV socket, which I expected with a Super pitch, the caravan Digital ariel was fine.
The well cut grass dried out very quickly even after really heavy rain.
The toilet block is very modern and very clean with piped Radio Two and always very warm.
There were three showers in the male and likewise in the female side plus a good sized disable shower room with bath.
The site was not fully booked and my gut feeling is that the toilet block may be inadequate if the park was fully occupied.
There is a great dog walking area out of the site and you can walk for miles, taking in the Donkey Sanctuary.
Sadly the great British weather was not so great, it was extremely windy with persistent rain ( I know this is uncontrollable but it is June )
Good touches on the site, disinfectant dispensers and good recycling in place. Really good play area for young children.
Well worth a stay if you like the area.
The only criticism I would make is that when you come out of the well-lit toilet block across from the reception the lighting is poor and perhaps a low wattage lamp could be installed. ( I was going to mention it to the staff )
We chose to go to Oakdown as it is close to the in-laws. It was our first time with a caravan. We hired the caravan (not from Oakdown, but from near us) to see how we got on before taking the plunge and deciding to upgrade from a tent to a caravan. It was great! We thoroughly enjoyed it and we are really looking forward to getting our own caravan and exploring more sites in the near future.
So, what else made us chose Oakdown? The positive reviews was a big contributory factor and the fact that it was dog friendly was essential as it was our dogs first proper holiday with us. We were welcomed to this exceptional site by very friendly staff and were shown to our pitch by one of the lovely wardens who even offered help with reversing the caravan into place when we explained it was our first time with this set up. By the time my husband had taken off his seatbelt and opened his door, the warden had put the legs down and lifted the jockey wheel. What a lovely chap, totally unexpected!
There were a few other dogs on site but not loads. They were all well behaved, kept on leads, friendly and there were no doggy do-do's on the ground so you knew the owners were picking up after their pets. The site is very well situated wth excellent walks and plenty of lovely pubs with gardens where dogs are welcome, especially The Bowd and The Blue Ball (not sure if the latter is dog friendly but a lovely pub we have visited often for food and drinks). The Bowd also has a small but nice play area for the kids. Very nice walk just over the road to the donkey sanctuary, dog friendly, loads of poo bins, all with bags on them so no excuse not to pick up after your dog.
Ok, facilities at the site. Where do I start? The showers and toilets would not have been out of place in a hotel, let alone on a campsite! They were immaculate, clean, modern, fresh, lovely hot showers, well stocked with soap at the sinks and I never found an empty loo roll!
The shower cubicles were lovely and roomy with hooks and a bench behind a partition wall to keep your clothes and towels dry. Oh yes, and the showers are free so no faffing around with 20p halfway through your shower ladies! There is a free hairdryer located in the shower block as well. If I was to be really, REALLY petty, and I mean really petty, there was no hook for the bath scrunchie. This was the only thing I would change because these facilities were amazing! Been on sites with mouldy showers, filthy floors, spiders everywhere and this was the absolute opposite, so well lit, everything, they even had radio 2 playing in there!
The washing up area again, very clean, well laid out with plenty of hot water, lots of sinks, draining racks etc.
We never ventured in to the TV room so cannot comment on that. We were close to the play area which was lovely, there is even a climbing wall. We do not have children (the dog is enough!) but it was well maintained and inspected by the staff in the mornings for safety which was refreshing and reassuring.
Although we had no need to use them, there were laundry facilities, a FREE microwave and FREE freezers for freezing ice blocks etc.
There is also a golf course at the site, again, not used by us so not able to comment on this facility.
The shop is well stocked but it is worth asking about opening times on arrival as it is not open all day!
The staff we met were all very helpful, polite very friendly, definitely hard working to ensure the site stays looking its best and the facilities are clean and bins are empty etc etc without being over bearing or appearing as though they were watching you.
The site strives to be as environmentally friendly as possible and has facilities for recycling many items. The grounds are beautiful and very well maintained. The butterfly area was near our pitch and very colourful. The morning chorus from the birds was stunning!
We were lucky enough to have enjoyed brilliant weather on our stay so we could sit outside every evening and afternoon and the variety of birds around the site was lovely, a real treat. We did not experience any of the noise from the road until the road works started up then we heard the heavy machinery beeping as it was backing up etc etc but that was unfortunate and not avoidable and by no means a bad reflection on the site.
The pitch was a lovely size, we didn't have an awning as we were only hiring our caravan, but the people who did have awnings had plenty of space, plus you can park at your pitch regardless of what type of unit you have so no lugging tons of tent etc across half a mile to your pitch! Even though there are 150 pitches plus caravans in storage, it did not feel like it because the site is so well laid out with small hedgerows dividing each pitch.
My advice, if you are going to south Devon and you want a site with superb facilities and helpful friendly staff, regardless of whether you are a couple, a family, with or without a dog, whatever unit you have, go to Oakdown!
Would we return to Oakdown? YES! We can't wait to get our own caravan and come back, maybe use it as a short stop-over on our way to and maybe also from Cornwall in the next couple of years? Who knows, but we will certainly come back.
Thank you to all the staff at Oakdown for all your help, cheeriness, advice and making our stay memorable for all the right reasons. You deserve every award that you have received. 10 out of 10 from us
This was our maiden voyage as campers, so nerves and emotions were running high!
We took a punt on 'Oakdown' as it was close to home in case A. We couldn't get the tent up B. Had a massive argument and went our separate ways or C. Realised we really aren't cut out for camping.
Luckily none of the above happened, and we found Oakdown to be a cracking campsite. As our experience was limited every little step was a new adventure. Our pitch was large and had the added bonus of a picnic bench, which we made good use of day and night. The wash areas were next to be explored and wow, better than home. Nearly, really clean and catered for all our washing needs.
Staff wise very good, though we did encounter a slightly grumpy lady when we asked to play pitch and put, clearly she wasn't a golf fan but this didn't sour our great game of golf, which I won on count back.
The campsite is ideally placed for exploring Sidmouth, and the surrounding areas, Beer a must visit if you get the chance. Another nice bonus was the dawn chorus of donkeys braying, no need for alarms with our friendly neighbours to wake us up in the near-by sanctuary.
So to sum it up, as a first time camp experience this ticked all the right boxes. We both agreed right from the start we would return again, so that says it all really, even though it's so close to home.
Quite simply we had a cracking time, a lot to do with the campsite and atmosphere, and that's all we wanted from our camping trip!
So visit Oakdown, you won't be disappointed, and if you see a grey Vango tent pop in for a brew and a game of frisbee.
Lovely camp site. Good size pitches. Lovely walks down local lanes' or to donkey sanctuary near by. Lovely beaches within easy drive- plenty to do locally, on bus route, buses run to Exeter and nearby coastal towns reasonably late. Small cafe and shop nice-is more than you have on many sites, and is plenty of alternate cafes and large supermarkets a very short drive if you are desperate for more. Staff friendly and helpful. 1030 leaving time a little early, but means an earlier check in time, and its your last day any way, why put it off, get on and enjoy the coast on the way home. To be honest, only the petty minded could pick fault here.
This is a great site in many ways and I might return but there are quite a few negatives which I'm surprised haven't been reflected by other reviews. Yes I am a bit fussy but I don't think overly so. We stayed as part of a 5 family group. We had 3 touring pitches and 2 statics. Pros and cons as follows
Really friendly wardens (apart from 1 major upset - see below).
Spotless site. One of the best with respect to maintenance. Grass meticulously maintained. Showers well maintained etc.
Pretty peaceful if you get the right pitch as quite a lot are close to a busy noisy road.
Excellent kids play area and a pretty small games room.
Donkey sanctuary is a nice place you can walk to and also has a maze for the kids. Can't walk or cycle to much else though.
There is a great par 3 course for practising your golf on the site (it's an up market pitch and putt)
You have to be off your pitch by 10. 30am - even if you have had 5 pitches over the past 2 weeks and they haven't got new arrivals on the pitch. Even though our little boy (6 years old) was very ill resulting in us going to hospital when we were trying to leave, my wife was still hassled for payment showing no concern at all for our son. Be aware that if your late leaving you will be charged (and hassled for it!)
If you have young children and you want to bath them it's £1 extra for a bath each evening.
The showers in the mens area are small and the shower head points to the door drenching everything so drying yourself and putting on dry socks is pretty difficult.
You have to press the shower button roughly every 15 seconds to keep it going. That's quite a hassle.
It says it now has a cafe. If you call a cafe, coffee from a machine and panini heated in a microwave then it's a cafe but don't expect to meet friends here for any sort of decent breakfast.
Can't ride your bicycles anywhere on the site. If you have kids take their scooters!
Difficult to get a good pitch as many are seasonal so book well in advance.
Not much to walk or cycle to from the site.
It is a nice site that's well maintained and such a shame that the issues above exist as we would otherwise go here often. I would return for a short stay but be very hesitant with kids if it's more than a few nights.
Management response: We are sorry that you feel you need to use the term hassled, we certainly don’t intend on hassling our guests, but we have to have strict policies across the board and the reception team have to adhere to these policies for all guests. We have a very high return rate of guests all of whom respect our policies and many of which stay for an average length of 2 weeks. Unfortunately we were not informed of your son’s situation until later and certainly not told that your son was taken to hospital. We have always respected our guest’s needs, which reflects in our awards and reviews, if we were informed of the severity of your situation we would have made arrangements for you to stay late. We do genuinely hope your son is feeling better and apologise again for your disappointment.
Regarding the showers, the heads are directional and there is a screened seat in each cubicle with plenty of hooks to hang belongings. You have to press the shower button roughly every 15 seconds to keep it going. This time length is the standard button press length of time, which is intentional as part of our ‘green’ approach to the recent refurbishment.
We are very confident in the quality of the coffee produced by our machine, it is a genuine roasted bean machine with fresh milk and a hard coffee to beat from what the locals tell us. We do offer 6 types of coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as cold refreshments, cakes, confectionary, pasties and pies. The Paninis are what many coffee shops supply, they have had fantastic reviews and are a very high quality product which we did considerable research into to find a ‘self-service’ high quality product. Unfortunately we do not have a license to cook foods on the premises hence why we cannot offer breakfasts except the breakfast panini.
We introduced the no cycling rule as a result of an incident a few years ago to eliminate any risks, scooters are welcome however as children have a little more control and can step off of them quicker than a bike should they need to in a hurry.
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