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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
Ashburton
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   5m  1m 
Featured Site

Pitches: 295
Open: April To September

Rating: Average Review Score: 9/10 from 94 Reviews
              9/10 from 94 Reviews


Units accepted:    Tents  Caravans  Motorhomes 

Photos (20) and Video

Reviews:  94 in total, now showing 1 to 6                 Previous 6          Next 6
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Date of Visit: August 2017 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Macarw 11 reviews from this member

We booked for 3 nights with some friends. They were in a campervan and we were originally going to be in a tent but upgraded to a caravan between booking the pitch and staying. We had originally been allocated a grass pitch and a hard standing across the field from each other. When I rang to ask if we could take a caravan instead of a tent we were told it was fine but we'd be better swapping pitches so that the caravan had the hard standing, and it worked out well. However the ground was very muddy and slippery in places due to the weather, and when we took up the awning carpet it was very wet and muddy underneath. (however the hard standing areas had gravel 'driveways' big enough to lay the awning on to pack it up avoiding the wet grass. The pitches weren't cheap as you pay for park entry as well as your pitch. Our friends in the campervan were told they could pack up and park in the car park and spend their last day in the park, but with our caravan in tow we weren't offered that option.

We had an email a few days before we were due to arrive reminding us that we needed a 25m hook up lead (definitely needed as the electric posts were well spread out)and reminding us not to follow the Sat Nav but use the signs.

We came off the A38 following the signs (easy to find) but got a bit worried when we ended up on a very narrow road on a hill for just over half a mile - a bit of a nightmare as cars passing our outfit had very little room, and hubby was not impressed to have to do a hill start on the narrow hill with the caravan on the back. We did check and that is the only access road. There are passing places once in the boundary of the park, but it would be really awkward for 2 wide vehicles to pass each other on the approach road. With this in mind, I would advise people to not arrive early for their pitch, and to leave by the 11am check out (or even before 10am when the park opens to the public) to avoid meeting another outfit on that road - I don't know what we would have done had that happened!

The site was huge, and there didn't seem to be enough toilet blocks for the number of pitches, however although they were busy they were mostly clean, and I only had to wait once over our 3 nights to use the facilities. As well as soap and water anti bac hand gel was provided for hand washing. The family room was spacious and had a bath, toilet and sink in but no shower. There were plenty of dishwashing sinks. Water taps were dotted around (not easy to spot) and the toilet waste was at the amenity block, however the grey waste water disposal was a long walk away - as we were on the riverside pitches and hubby couldn't find a disposal point and was told he had to go to the amenity block on the meadows pitches past the shop. This might explain why some of the fresh water tap drains were blocked and overflowing.

The pitches were large, we easily fitted our car, caravan and awning on ours, with the car beside the van, but they seemed very close together - the outfit next to us had a bedroom annex which was no more than an arm's length from the back of our caravan which was sited on our hard standing area. The tent pitches seemed very close together too.

The shop had some camping gear in it, lots of gifts/toys and a small selection of groceries which were really expensive, e. G. 3 for a pack of ham, 2. 20 for an individual bottle of coke, 3. 50 for a pack of sandwiches. I'd definitely recommend stocking up before you go (the site doesn't accept grocery deliveries) as supermarkets are a bit of a drive away. The food in the Sawmill again was really pricey - 12 for a burger. We had a drink in the bar one evening, and our puppy had 'doggy ice cream' for a treat! We were able to sit outside with her.

The activities available on site were brilliant. Our children thoroughly enjoyed the 'free' activities - the water activities, the play parks, the low ropes and the pump track, climbing trees and scooting/cycling/exploring the grounds. We also paid for the canoeing for which they bought a card 8 for a canoe that seated 3 for 1/2 hour - which was refundable if they didn't end up using it which we thought was a really good touch. We packed up early enough on the Sunday for the children to have a short time playing in the lake, and they had it to themselves - whether it was because it was early, and day visitors hadn't arrived, or whether it was changeover day, or because the sun wasn't out I don't know but it was great! The children had a quick look in the games room, there were a couple of pool tables and some arcade machines including a 2p 'penny falls' type machine, some 30p grab machines and others that were 1 a go.

It was a very dog friendly place although dogs needed to be kept on a lead. There were lots of lovely walks, and many dog litter bins around the site.

There was so much to do for the children we'd definitely return, but maybe out of peak season when it wasn't so busy.

Date of Visit: July 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Chalkybertie 2 reviews from this member

Easy to get to from A38 but after this tye road to the park is very narrow and will only fit a caravan with no passing place so be aware as this can cause some issues with people not understanding that caravans need extra room to manuevre.

You are checked at the payment booth so you don't have to pay to enter the park and then move to check-in. Check-in is fine butyou have to park in a lay-by which if any more than 2 caravans it will be full.

We were given pitch 119 but once we had found it was awful, the slope on it was herrendous, in fact about 90% of the pitches are on slopes varying from slight to steep. I went back to reception and the young lady gave me a choice of another 4 or 5 and we plumped for 152 even though on a slope we could live with it and the pitch was really big. However, after 2 hours someone came and asked us to move back to our original pitch - I refused and we stayed with it. On the friday night hordes of people descended on the site (didn't mind as been on busier sites), it was the amount of groups which was slightly off putting as if they weren't together they would be a couple of pitches and were still being a group.

Toilets - spotless

Laundry - reasonably priced

Adventure playground - brilliant

There are extra activities but these can be a little expensive dependant on which ones you choose.

Good location for the south coast area but would probably not go back due to the pitch level and the amount of groups on site.

Date of Visit: May 2016 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Susie Jo Anna 1 review from this member

River Dart Country Park campsite is by far the best campsite we have visited in the UK. It's set in an ideal location settled in the River Dart valley amongst the most beautiful scenery. It's a children's paradise with adventure playground built along the river with every conceivable rope, zip wire, slide, log, swing and tunnel you could wish for. All facilities are immaculate, staff are friendly and welcoming. Big spacious sites so no feeling of living in each other pockets. Somewhere to eat if you are fed up cooking. Beautiful woodland walks and tranquillity if wanted. We have not found anything to beat this yet!

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.

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