This was our first ever time caravanning. On arriving at Merley Court we were welcomed by polite young girl in reception (which is at the back of the shop)who explained that we could use the facilities at their sister park Oakdene. Merley court grounds were well kept loved looking out the window to watch the squirrels running around. The barriers in and out of the camp are registration recognisable. The showers were nice and clean and water hot. We didn't use the club as we had the dog with us but found some nice pubs in Wimbourne in particular The Cricketers Arms good home made food.
Merley Court was very quiet and as it was so early in the year the outdoor swimming pool wasn't open but the area around it looked lovely and clean. Would definitely come back
Just back from a 4 day break at this nicely laid out park. Reception/shop and bar staff were all friendly and helpful. Nice refurbished club which at the rear opens out to overlook small outdoor pools. Children's play area was a bit basic and was near the entrance to the park which wasn't ideal. You can use the facilities at Oakdene park which is a sister park to Merley Court, they have a nice indoor pool/gym/steam room/sauna and is about 7 miles away along A31. Shower and toilet blocks were always clean though shower cubicle were a bit small. Overall nice park nice stay and about average prices for the area
A large, very nice well laid out site with a big grocery area that also stocks caravan and camping parts, while the staff in reception were friendly and helpful. The toilet block was clean, warm and airy, with plenty of hot water for the sinks and showers. Dumpsters are around the site for recycling/ordinary rubbish. Dogs are welcome on leads and only a couple of miles away towards Broadstone is a very big heath with lots of dog walking. I will certainly come back again.
The site is within easy drive of Poole with its quay and waterfront pubs/restaurants. Brownsea Island is reached by ferry but be warned, if not a NT member there's a further £6. 40 to get off the boat.
Bournemouth has good beaches, and the lovely Compton Acres gardens, with Weymouth and Portland Bill about 1 1/4 hours away, as is the New Forest. Broadstone is a small village with a nice shopping centre, and a Wetherspoons for a nice meal.
Good location just off the A31 roundabout so very good for trips out and about (Kingston Lacy is a *must*).
Mostly caravans/motorhomes with some tents. On the plus side this does mean that there is less queuing for the loos and showers!
Somewhat regimented site (laid out in rows) with marked pitches. Pitches were a good size with plenty of space for our 6m tent and car. (Pitches numbered 82-127 are even bigger if you have a large awning on your van - you can request a particular pitch when you book. )
If you want electricity in your tent then you'll be put in amongst the caravans. Not a problem, they're usually a friendly bunch
Toilet blocks (x3) very clean. Only let down by missing hooks on the wall or hooks hanging off. I know it's late in the season but really that is not an excuse - any campsite pulling in over £4, 000 each and every day ought to be able to fix these as and when they occur. The site workers are however very good - report a fault (e. G. Bulbs blown) and they'll fix it very quickly (and cheerily!).
Showers hot all day, and free which is a big plus.
Being picky I would say the toilet blocks are starting to look tired (aforementioned missing hooks, no shower curtains, scaled-over shower heads, grubby pipework / window woodwork) and could do with a facelift, but I've seen a lot worse (for which I've paid a lot more!).
We went late in the season - if you went in July/August I would imagine there would be a lot of children there, so bear this in mind if you dislike children.
Swimming pool was closed due to no lifeguard (thinks: what's wrong with parents watching over their children instead of expecting someone else to do it?!) - it's probably only open during July/August.
On-site shop has all the basics, and has a bar room (Freeview tv - no Sky) although we didn't use it.
Some background noise from traffic on the A31 during the night but not intrusive. Early flights from Bournemouth leave at 06:30 and 06:40 which will probably wake you up!
Cancellation insurance is very expensive (and added automatically) - minimum £17. 50 ! - but they'll cancel it if you ask when you book by phone.
Overall a very nice site: good location, good facilities, good price (in low season)
Having grown up with parents who were avid Caravanners we made a decision to purchase a used Caravan in June 2012 a Swift Challenger 550 (2005). While trying to decide on tow car and unit combinations we struck on the idea of storing the Caravan on site for the first year and looked around for locations. After a good search we decided upon Merley as it ticked many boxes.
Very friendly staff, they helped us every step of the way when we had our van towed from Oxford Caravans to site and made sure everything went smoothly. On each visit we have had excellent service.
After the first initial weekend after delivery we have stayed with our family on several occasions and each time it has been enjoyable. The tow in/out service is £10 in total and we have found it very easy to plan and book a weekend away and arrive on a Friday night to find the Caravan already on the pitch waiting for us.
We have used the toilets and shower blocks on many occasions and have found them clean and the showers a good temperature. The shop is good but a little expensive but there are plenty of other alternatives in Poole etc.
In terms of location we find Merley ideal as shops such as LIDL, Tesco, and Sainsbury are within driving distance. There are excellent restaurants around the area and we found no problems in finding something suitable to eat. We have enjoyable days at Sandbanks, Bransome Chime, Boscome and other beaches in the area.
Having visited Dorset over many years it is very loved by the family and we plan to visit many of Dorset's gems such as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door, Corfe Castle and the Jurassic Coast on future visits.
Very good site overall when you weigh up all the factors such as location, nearby shops, restaurants and lovely beaches within 10 mile radius.
We found that on a couple of Saturday nights there was a lot of noise after 11pm coming from a nearby Club. The level of noise was unfair on people on site especially those with young children. We are reasonable people and enjoy music but after 11pm it needs to be a reasonable level.
Could be more facilities on site but we have access to Oakdene and have already used the swimming pool there although it can be a fair drive in traffic.
Traffic getting to site can be fun and we were held up several times on the M3/M27 and A31 but that is not the sites fault just the popularity of the area.
One of our friends stayed at our Caravan recently and found that the nearest bus stop was quite tricky to walk to and she had to cross a busy road with her daughter to get there. In the end she booked a taxi each day for £20 to ferry her around Poole, Bournemouth etc
We have just returned from a week camping at Merley Court and were pleased with our stay. Earlier reviews comment on problems with hot water; we had none. The toilet blocks were clean and never really full even though we were there at peak season. Washing up areas also very clean and plenty of hot water.
Although our pitch was flat and in reasonable condition, it was rather tight. We do have a rather large and akward shaped tent with 3'pods' + a porch, but most other tents were squeezed in too. We didn't have much space for cooking and playing in.
There were lots of families and our children found friends to play with in the playground where there was an open air table tennis court. The playground equipment was mainly directed at the under 7's. Noise curfew was 11pm and was mostly adhered to. I did make a complaint about a nearby pitch one morning after a very noisy late night drinking game with loud offensive language. Although nothing was done during the evening, the wardens obviously not listening out around the park, we had no further problems and the noisy pitch was very quiet thereafter.
Tennis courts were available with a deposit paid at the shop. The outdoor pool was well cared for and the lifeguards were very friendly and did a good job. We enjoyed some lovely sunny weather and the pool was kept at a reasonable temperature.
The bar was a little pricey, especially if you drink beer rather than lager on tap. We did spend some time in there without mking a purchase to watch the Olympic coverage and this was not a problem. Staff were very friendly and helpful.
The shop was stocked in the usual way and again was quite pricey, but then they usually are! There are plenty of supermarkets in the area and we were able to keep ourselves stocked up on our way home from days out.
It is well worth being a member of the National Trust if you are visiting the Poole area, some lovely beaches on Studland bay with expensive parking but free for NT members. (Access via chain ferry at Sandbanks for £3. 50 is quickest but beware long queue on sunny days. ) Also, NT sites include Brownsea Island in Poole harbour and Kingston Lacey.
All in all I think we would revisit this site. The staff were friendly and the site was just the right size. Fully serviced pitches, clean amenities and reasonable price.
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