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Visitor Reviews - River Dart Country Park ( River Dart Adventures)

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > England > South West > Devon (South) > Site Reviews

River Dart Country Park ( River Dart Adventures)
Holne Park
Devon (South)   (Browse area)
TQ13 7NP   See Map                                 Share Google Plus  Tweet This!  Share on Facebook
Tel: 01364 652511

Facilities:  (Key)

Nearby: (within x miles)
10m  10m   10m  5m  1m 
Featured Site

Pitches: 295
Open: April To September

Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 91 Reviews
              9/10 from 91 Reviews

Units accepted:    Tents  Caravans  Motorhomes 

Photos (20) and Video

Reviews:  91 in total, now showing 1 to 6                 Previous 6          Next 6
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Date of Visit: August 2015 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: J Lo 5 reviews from this member

We stayed in the village green field on pitch 106.

First the good stuff, the Water feature/Boat in the lake is brilliant. My little girl loved it, although it was very busy with boisterous boys squirting everyone in the face (Which was a theme on all 4 days we visited the lake, as they sell the water pumps at the ice cream kiosk) So brace yourself for that. It is also extremely cold even in the height of summer - It is a lake in the UK after all! Most people wear wetsuits. Sadly the loos (portaloos) in the area behind the ice cream kiosk are disgusting.

We also enjoyed the Water Zorbing, well my 5 year old did. Worth noting that most of the activities require you're over the age of 8. Zorbing over 5 years old. All the activities are extra, and you buy tokens for them.

The large play areas in the woods and the climbing course are great, and we also enjoyed walking along the river in the woods.

Now the main camping area. Pitch numbers, they had put them in the grass flat on the ground (so you can't see them as you drive around the field) at the back of the pitch, furthest from the road. I lost count how many people looking lost asked us about pitch numbers.

The loos were passable. They only seem to clean them twice a day. I had to wait for a basin to wash my hands a few times (All bar one basin is in a cubicle) I also had to wait for the showers once. We did have no hot water one morning, but on the whole water was always hot. The Washing up area was at the front of the toilets, and looked very pretty with lots of hanging baskets.

We visited the Saw Mill Cafe/Bar. The food was nice, huge portions, almost too big. In fact we ordered a child's meal of fish and chips with beans, 4 Fish fingers and huge portion of chips and most of a tin of beans. I would say you could have fed 2 kids with that, so maybe just ask for an extra plate and save a few pennies. It also had a play area outside for the kids with swings and a slide which was nice. It gets VERY busy in the evening, and was full a few times when we came in, so best to book if you want to eat.

The camp shop has a selection of the most basic bits, like milk, bread etc, some camp essentials, but mostly its novelty tat, which was pretty expensive. Best stock up from the nearest supermarkets in Newton Abbot.

The down side for us, was sadly the pitch we had been allocated. It was opposite the loos and a small play park. Great we though on arrival our 5 year old will enjoy that - Ugh how differently we felt come 10pm as it was still busy LOUD full of kids. We hardly saw any parents in this little area, the shrieking and screaming was over whelming. Add to this the constant sound of the loo doors banging the sound of the hand driers and the constant squeak of the swing in the playground. Just after 10 - 10. 15 parents arrived and tell the children its time for bed - Hooray peace I think - NO! Then the teenagers all sat perched on fences around the park telling stories and making a racket. We had booked for 2 weeks, but after 6 nights we could stand it no more. I counted 40 children in this tiny park at its peak.

Maybe things would have been different had we been tucked away in a corner away from the loos. I know you can't change the fact that its a busy site, but for anyone else looking at this site, make sure you are aware that at peek time it is a very loud busy site, and I would avoid being this close to the amenities, unless you're looking for that festival party all night kind of camping experience.

Date of Visit: March 2015 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: XSASSx 16 reviews from this member

I had very high hopes for this camping trip and of the various camps we have planned for this year, this is the one most eagerly anticipated by my kids (15, 10, 8). I would normally disregard this type of site as too expensive but we decided to take a risk on a low/mid season deal as it's exactly the sort of adventure we love.

Whether you deem this place to be good value for money, depends on how willing you are to use all that is on offer, and to an extent that depends on the weather. It was very windy and fairly drizzly for most of our trip so we only had one day of donning the wetsuits and playing in the river / lake. Nor did we see anyone else taking advantage of the facility. The bonus for us was that we had the whole pirate ship to ourselves.

We got more use of the fantastic dry adventure play areas though so for what was included we got our money's worth. My only disappointment with this was that the site was so vast you couldn't let the kids play while you're making dinner for example, and the nearby playgrounds were a bit rubbish by comparison.

Similarly the games room, which I hoped could be a sanctuary for indoor play, was full of coin operated machines. Something free such as giant garden games, or board games (even if kept behind the bar and available on request) would have improved this apparently permanently empty facility.

The campsite itself is beautiful and spacious with gaps between the rows of pitches. Unfortunately ours was accessible only by driving on grass between other pitches. The west country had clearly been on the receiving end of more rain than we had back home as the ground was very soft, such that any manoeuvring got the car stuck and attempting to drive up the slope was futile. I developed a sort of 'roll on, roll off' style one way (downhill) system.

The site also offers no shelter from the wind. I naively thought being on the leeward side of Dartmoor would shelter us from the wind but it blasted us with 50mph gusts from all directions. There were a few awning casualties one night and I would suggest it's not the place to take a cheap tent. Saying that, the day we went up Dartmoor it was evident that the weather was increasingly bad the further up you go and we left a drizzly, misty Princetown to return to a drier brighter campsite so it could've been much worse.

We visited the cafebar on our final evening. It's a lovely cosy bar and a great place to make yourself comfortable with a couple of drinks and card games. All the staff we encountered in the bar and on the site were lovely and helpful and the location is stunning so all in all this was definitely a trip to remember.

Every time we go camping we conclude that we would love to return but probably never will because there are so many new places to explore. RDCP is one site we probably will return to, for the simple reason that it has so much to offer and there are so few places like it. Next time though, we'll save up and either visit in better weather to make the most of the free activities, or pay for some 'DareDevils' activities.

Essentially, if you have older kids that love adventure and you're keen to get stuck in and play yourselves, you'll love and get good value from it.

Date of Visit: August 2014 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Linus 4 reviews from this member

What a great time we had at RDCP. We (a family of four with two boys 12 and 9) had a brilliant time and our children wouldn't let us leave without us agreeing to go back next year. We've never had this from any site before.

We stayed for 9 nights during a very challenging period for the site which it handled with openness, honesty and achieved the utmost respect from most campers.

When we were packing up to leave we discovered a puncture on our trailer tyre and the staff were fantastic, they helped us to take the wheel off (as our socket set didn't fit!) and then took the wheel to a local tyre company to be fixed and then returned it. Amazing!

During our stay we ate in The Saw Mill three times at breakfast and in the evening and thought the food was good and reasonably-ish priced.

We also experienced the high ropes (£14/pp) and the zorbs (£5/5 mins) both of which the boys, big and small, thought were great.

We stayed in the Meadows which was a lovely position. We seemed to have the sun for most of the day. Our only gripe was that the pitch was on a slight slope so it was a bit tricky to keep food on the table and it took a bit of getting used to sleeping - I just seemed to roll-off our SIM!

The amenity block was clean most of the time and there were plenty of showers. I only had to wait once.

The park is picturesque with lots of space to wander and play. In the surrounding area there is Ashburton (great butcher) or Newton Abbot for supplies. We also took a trip to Torquay one day and also the steam train from Paignton to Kingsmead and then the foot ferry across to Dartmouth. All good days out.

I'd have no hesitation to recommending River Dart Country Park to anyone.

Date of Visit: July 2014 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Gerrym2 4 reviews from this member

Literally just returned from river dart country park. 2nd time of visiting and it doesn't disappoint. Huge pitches (we were on pitch 28 with electric hook up). Large pitch easily fitted our 8 man tent and car alongside, nice and flat and caught the morning sun to early evening.

Kids loved the lake with assault course, my 7 yr old skillfully mastered very quickly and spent many an hour playing, whilst the 9 yr old joined forces with other children to storm the pirate ship and had to be retrieved by his younger sister once it was time to go. Huge play area in amongst the trees plus smaller toddler area within view of the tents. Kids played here happily with their new found friends.

Shower block cleaned daily and was adequate never had to queue for a free hot shower. My only critism would be not much of a partition between shower and drying area within the cubicle meant the odd damp towel, if this was only a couple of inches wider then it would be perfect.

Staff very polite and helpful.

Shop sold the basis, but it's not far to ashburton to stock up on more. (Lovely little tea shop in ashburton worth a visit for afternoon tea).

Ate once in the restaurant, food was delicious and plentiful, although not the cheapest.

Security patrolled of an evening, but to be fair we found all noise had died down by 10. 30, not that it was loud in the first place.

Kids did high ropes £14 and zorbs £5 for 5 mins, staff running these activities knowledgeable, polite and a credit to the company. Felt the activities good value for money.

Would we visit again, yes absolutely in fact 2015 already booked! Highly recommend this campsite.

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Motorhome Rating:
Reviewer: Mr_jprice 6 reviews from this member

What a fantastic park for children!

The playgrounds are brilliant with an area for children under 4, large slides, a fort, zip wire and even an assault course. There are also a number of chargeable activities such as high ropes and water zorbing which makes this a great place to stay.

The crème de la crème of this site is the river which is a small trickle into zoned play areas with a little beach for babies, a submerged pirate ship for larger ones and a number of rope bridges. The kids (2, 6&9) spent ages here and it had a really good 'back to nature' feel to it.

The site is kept very clean with clean toilets and showers and a restaurant serving food and drinks in the evening (not very reasonable) but to be fair the food was fantastic.

We will definitely be going back, my 9 year old hasn't stopped asking me since the moment we left!

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Nomad66 12 reviews from this member

This is our third visit to River Dart Country Park and it won't be our last. If there is a better family campsite in the UK, we've yet to find it. This time we stayed in our caravan, but previously we've used our tent.

The facilities are excellent, always clean and the showers never run out of hot water. This is a major achievement given the activities on site.

The pitches are large and well spaced out with good access, no trying to reverse a caravan around a tree into a tight spot. There are plenty of water points and pitches with electric hook up. It is busy in the summer holidays, but it's a huge place and never feels cramped.

The kids activities really take some beating - they are not 'worn out' as mentioned in another review, they are in a forest and made of wood, it's how we used to play as kids. If you want arcade games, an indoor swimming pool with lots of rules and health and safety posters everywhere, this is not the place for you. Activities are 'old school' and designed to be a bit of a challenge. Rope swings, assault courses (for different ages and abilities), zip wires, and friendly water fights in the lake with a pirate ship to invade or defend. These are not small play areas for a few kids - the pirate ship can handle 50+ on it's own and the free zip wire is about 50m long. And don't think these are just for kids, any adult in the lake is considered target practice and expected to join in. All these things are free to those staying on the site.

For young kids there is a small beach on the edge of the lake and for older kids and adults there is a 'paid for' high ropes course, canoes and water zorbing. For teenagers they run activities out onto Dartmoor. Our grandson is only 9 so he's not done those, but if the other activities are anything to go by, they will be well run and just challenging enough that they come away with a sense of achievement that you can't get from a theme park or video arcade.

As mentioned in other reviews, the bar is very good value with a wide range of beers, wines and soft drinks (inc milkshakes for the kids) and you can't fault the food. The shop is basic but in fairness probably holds a better range of essentials than most campsite shops, including water squirters for use on the pirate ship and children's wetsuits and it's not over priced.

This site is really designed for families, so there are a lot of children. But it's always quiet by 10pm - I think they are exhausted by then!

I've tried to think of a negative to balance out the review, but I can't. There are plenty of staff about and all very helpful and friendly. The owners have clearly thought long and hard about what makes a great family holiday in the UK and made it work. The only thing I can thing I can think of and it has nothing to do with the site is the road from the A38 is tight in places and it can be quite busy. The site is well away from the road, you can't hear or see it at all but for some reason coaches use it to take people onto Dartmoor. I've no idea why because there are better, wider roads. I can only guess it's the way the sat nav directs them. It's never happened to us, but you wouldn't want to meet one coming the other way if you're towing a caravan.

One thing worth mentioning is; you'll need a wetsuit. The water is diverted from the River Dart. The source is only a few miles away so it's pretty cold. The kids are having too much fun to care, but if you plan on going in the lake or using the rope swing with them - you'll feel it!

The only downside for us is it's a long way from Essex to South Devon. But it's well worth the trip!

Already thinking about when to visit in 2014.

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