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Visitor Reviews - Thistledown

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > England > Central > Gloucestershire > Site Reviews

Tinkley Lane
Gloucestershire   (Browse area)
GL10 3UH   See Map                                 Share Google Plus  Tweet This!  Share on Facebook
Tel: 01453 860420

Facilities:  (Key)

Nearby: (within x miles)
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Featured Site

Pitches: 80
Open: Late March - October

Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 43 Reviews
              9/10 from 43 Reviews

Units accepted:    Tents  No Caravans  No Motorhomes 

Photos (6)

Reviews:  43 in total, now showing 31 to 36                 Previous 6          Next 6
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Date of Visit: August 2010 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Talie and tribe 2 reviews from this member

Arrived back after four nights at this site today still unsure as to whether we liked it or not.

This is real camping, for organised people or people without kids in the group.

The owners will take your things up/down to the lower site for 2.50. Well worth the money it's harder than it looks. We wish we knew this before we took everything down.

There are no shops near to the site, sainburys is the nearest in Sylsley village. About a 10-15 minute drive. Medium sized store selling everything you need food wise and womens clothing.

Some things are brilliant. We all loved the fire pits. Richard drives round each evening selling barrow loads of wood for 10 or half a barrow 5. There are plenty of pits and half oil drums to contain your fire.

The site is huge. There are lots of walks, rope swings, animals, flowers. Plenty to see and do. It's all very hands on. Going in to the animal enclosures to have a stroke or offer a carrot is encouraged and the animals seem very tame and used to the attention.

The family really want to help, nothing is too much trouble.

You can walk through the site over to a near by national trust property with a lake, it's a long walk but lovely.

Unfortunately the whole thing isn't quite there.

We did stay for the bank holiday, so it was very busy. The site is spread out over a large area with a few toilet areas to see to.

However the toilets were literally over flowing several times. With no toilet roll or sawdust (for the composting loos) The composting loos would have been fine if the doors locked and were stocked. They could do with some soap and hot water.

There is no lighting anywhere, inc toilets and showers. They do have transparent roofs or windows for day light/moon light.

The showers were very hot but there were only two of them. Not the solar showers stated (thankfully) It was lovely to have a hot shower after muddy walks and feeding pigs.

There is only cold water to wash up. People were using showers to wash up which clogged the showers and lengthened the queue.

The walk from the car park to the lower camp site is quite steep. Not suitable for injured / elderly / toddlers. This made it really difficult to get our things down to the site. Barrows were provided but it was very muddy and raining when we arrived. We all struggled and all of the kids fell. It put a huge dampner on our first day/evening.

Saying all this the place does have a charm rarely seen. If your fit, enthusiastic about the environment and looking for somewhere very different you should try it out.

I'm looking forward to going back but I may be alone.

Date of Visit: July 2010 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Papamet 2 reviews from this member

Quite simply the loveliest site we have ever used. The owner and his son are amazingly helpful and friendly. The children can be children and enjoy playing in the woods and have great fun (we only saw ours when we checked on them or they were hungry!)

I think someone in a previous review said there are no warning signs around but in my humble opinion it would ruin the ethos of the whole site, you just have to use common sense and be responsible for your own children.

The upper orchard site may be more appropriate for those who don't want to go camping but prefer 'glamping' but personally I think the basic camping adds to the charm and adventure of the Thistledown experience.The other thing I must point out, that when it comes to rubbish there is one of the most extensive recycling centres I have ever seen just a couple of miles away from the site and if you are generating that much rubbish you're sure to pass it on your stay when you visit one of the charming local villages so I do not see that as an issue.

We are afterall looking at an eco-friendly site and not a glam, noisy and expensive commercial site, if you have a problem with such things you only have to ask the owner and he'll take it away for you when he is doing other jobs like cleaning the loos, delivering firewood or assisting people moving their kit.

The showers are up and running and are fantastic and the very clean and non-smelly compostable toilets are perfect. Having a proper campfire makes this such a special place. This is our second visit to Thistledown and we have yet another planned for later this summer, can't wait.

Date of Visit: July 2010 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: MikeyBlondie 1 review from this member

We had a lovely weekend here and will return. This recently opened site has a great sense of spacious Gloucestershire countryside/wooded valley, and is well located for enjoying green England at its best. There is also a super pub along the road in Nympsfield called the Rose and Crown, apparently under new management recently, and it served us very good food both lunchtimes, the Eton Mess was to die for.

The campsite is passionately run by a father and son who really seem to have their hearts in what they are doing, to the point where there is a slight sense of utopia at the expense of some more serious practical detail like efficient recycling/disposal of the vast amount of rubbish generated on a site this big (that was hopeless on our w/e); selling eggs (no food in sight on our w/e), providing more barrows for schlepping kit (people waiting); teaching the toddlers to use the funny loos properly so wood shavings don't go all over the place; plus. There is no demarcation of pitches so it's a bit of a free for all, which is fine if numbers are restricted and everyone is sensible about where they pick a spot, but is a bit unnerving if you have a vast space next to you but think a family of 15 could arrive at any moment. I very much had the sense that the whole set up is a work in progress; it's wonderful, but could be even more wonderful, and it will be interesting to see how the place evolves once more people have found it!

I must stress that I'm very positive about the place compared with many other campsites overall. The showers on our lower area were fantastic by the way, hot and free, although sshhh rumour has it they're not entirely solar powered, never mind, I loved them. The wildlife is super, pheasants outside our tent, and plenty of birds although some turned out to be local gliders drifting about!

My final point is to beware young children running off into the woods at the bottom, there are watery ponds in there, green on the surface, and rope swings, and I sincerely hope that is not just an accident waiting to happen, there are no warnings and it all looks so safe down there whilst you're pre-occupied with the tent.

Looking forward to the next visit.

Date of Visit: July 2010 Unit:  Motorhome Rating:
Reviewer: Spridds 1 review from this member

Great site, admirable green philosophy, clearly needs investment to realise the dream but actually feels great already. Loved parking our camper (vw) in amongst the Elderflower trees, felt like we were on the Serengeti. The log pile is well stocked and fun to have proper fires / real logs, walking around the camping pitches / through the woods was great although you cant drive to these the walk is only 5mins, great settings amongst the trees real seclusion and a magical feel. Toilets are basic in the top fields (festival style) new toilets / showers for the campers are as expected, green as can be, sawdust etc = Fun and again in line with the eco dream. Left feeling like I wanted to stay longer and get more involved in the dream.

Maybe a great site for grown up Hippies.

Date of Visit: May 2010 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Eveliendehoop 1 review from this member

This campsite is truly wonderful. As it says in the other reviews, there are no showers yet but I've witnessed the work that's being done on them. They will soon be up and running.

The area is gorgeous, and offers something for different audiences. The National Trust house down in the valley (about 2 miles from the campsite if not less) is well worth a visit (woodchester manor) and I spent a wonderful time walking in the area.

There's some badgers living at the edge of the campsite, so if you're silent at dusk, and stand very still, you can see them! A magical experience.

Date of Visit: April 2010 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: ScottN 1 review from this member

Very friendly, family-run business that's apparently been open about a year. Richard and Ryan, the father and son team who seem to manage the campsite (and the farm / eco-reserve that opens Thistledown up to non-camping visitors) are incredibly helpful and enthusiastic and genuinely have a passion for making the site something special.

The campsite has three levels - an upper, 'middle' and lower site. We stayed in the lower site - although you can't bring your car down there it is a much more secluded space with some amazing views across the hills and valleys. To get your camping gear to the pitch I'd recommend taking the 4x4 'mule' - an exciting way to introduce yourself to the scenery.

The pitches are big and spacious and there are numerous picnic benches and fire pits nearby. The site will happily sell you a large stack of wood or you can bring / collect your own.

Facilities, at the moment, are fairly basic, with some earth-compost toilets and a spring water tap. I understand that they're building / installing some additional toilets, taps and some heated showers.

The surrounding countryside is very beautiful and peaceful and there are some lovely walks to hand, ranging from a turn around the grounds to much further reaching parts. Personally I'd heartily recommend the walk to Woodchester and a pub lunch in the Ram Inn - great food and a very sunny beer garden. If you can handle going further, the views from Selsea common are spectacular.

All in all, we had a fantastic weekend at Thistledown and wouldn't hesitate at going back. The only negative for me is that, until some showers are installed there, I wouldn't want to stay more than a couple of nights - but I'm no hardcore camper!

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