We haven't visited South Winds for about 14 years and it's certainly grown in that time! I generally avoid anywhere that has 100+ pitches, but this was the only place that could fit us in at short notice so we went ahead and booked.
I can happily say that my preconceptions of large sites/inadequate facilities were (largely) unfounded. There were plenty of showers with freely running hot water at all times of the day – a huge bonus after a day on the beach. A few more hand basins would have been ideal, but nothing to gripe about really. We never had to queue to use bathroom facilities, even as it got busier and busier towards the bank holiday weekend.
There's a freezer for freezer blocks (double bag them, they get turfed over and first time round I found mine all over the place), washing machines and tumble dryers. There's also a family/disabled bathroom which requires a key.
The pitches are a little more snug than we usually like, but perhaps that's because more and more of us are going for spacious tents (hands up, we are a family of four in an 8-man tent!). Fortunately, we had a succession of pleasant 'neighbours'. Most people were very respectful of the 10. 30pm quiet time. It's just a shame that three families camping together (despite the site's claim to not accept groups) chose to disregard this and made lots of noise til late.
There are no playground facilities for children, but it didn't bother our boys. They kicked a ball about with other children (think we slightly broke the rules there!) from time to time, but we were only at the site first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon/evening so it really didn't matter.
Didn't see much of the staff, but those I did come in to contact with were very pleasant. The site is clean and well kept, pitches are mown as soon as they are vacated, so long grass is never an issue.
It can get windy from time to time, the fields are fairly exposed, but it's what you'd expect for the location – and it is a great base for exploring Cornwall. Polzeath is great fun for bodyboarding, albeit rather crowded on a sunny day, but it also has excellent lifeguards and you can't argue with that. You can walk along the cliff top to get to the beach from the campsite, but with boards and wetsuits and two kids it was easier to drive and park on the beach (we got lucky there!). There's lots of other, quieter beaches to discover, but we found no others with lifeguards. We also drove down to Heligan and explored the southern coast. Hiring bikes in Wadebridge to cycle the Camel Trail made a great day out – the pub en route to Bodmin offers fairly basic food, but the tea garden (save it for the way back!) served great cream teas!
Carruan, next door to South Winds, still has a small shop (limited supplies from what I saw) and a restaurant that changed hands a few months ago. There's no farm animals any more, but children can have fun in a large barn with pedal go-karts. The restaurant food is okay but not great – large portions, very reasonably priced but quality is rather lacking. We put it down to teething problems, but regretted eating there a second time. Much better was The Point, which is drive along the lane virtually opposite the campsite.
Wifi is not free, you can pay for just a few hours or an entire week, which seemed a pretty good set up and reasonably priced – other sites I contacted had little or no access.
All in all, we had a great experience at South Winds and will happily return.
Beautiful view to the sea. Indeed, there is wind, that is in the name.
Clean toilets and showers.
I missed a small playground on the campsite for the children. Especially since there is space enough!
We had a lovely stay and enjoyed the surroundings and the beach. You can walk this, as said on the website, but we found it too long with little kids. Sometimes we took the car and when there was no parking space in the village one of us drove back and walked to the beach
Small shop and restaurant next to the campsite, okay.
Despite its proximity to Polzeath (a surfing beach popular with youngsters and with a reputation for occasional rowdiness) South Winds is a family campsite - in fact, a large sign at the gate says 'no single-sex parties'.
The services block has all the usual facilities and was immaculately clean on my visit. The showers are locked overnight (although the exact opening times weren't displayed) but the loos, washing-up area, water points and elsan disposal are open 24 hours a day.
The reception office is upstairs above the services and you should book in before pitching. I found the staff to be very friendly and helpful. The warden appears to live on site - certainly he was patrolling during the evening and told me that he had a last look round at about 11pm.
My overnight stay for one person, one dog, and a small dome tent cost £9 (the site admits dogs but charges an extra £2 per night for them). The pitches are well maintained, the grass in good condition, and the soil is fairly soft (no need for rock pegs).
The location is superb. Polzeath with its wide sandy surfing beach, busy beach front and shops, is half-a-mile away by road or three-quarters of a mile by footpath. Pentire headland with its spectacular section of coast path is just over a mile's walk. The campsite is on a sloping hillside and the views are fantastic; looking northwest, Pentire Point rises majestically from the sea, looking west is the wide expanse of the River Camel estuary, and to the south and southeast are wide panoramas of north Cornwall's rolling hills.
The downside of this elevated location is wind. If there's a westerly, it blows up the slope straight off the sea; and if the wind is from the south it hits the ridge on which South Winds is located (the site has an appropriate name if ever there was one). Even on a relatively calm day, it is a gusty spot.
The entrance to South Winds is on the lane which leads to Polzeath from the B3374 Wadebridge-Delabole road. The lane is very busy in the season and this means that the pitches nearest the entrance suffer from traffic noise late into the evening. The lane is also narrow and has no footpath which makes it hazardous to walk from the site to the beach; however, there's a public footpath from the north side of the site which, after a few twists and turns, leads to Polzeath.
The first camping field is between the entrance and the services block and is adjacent to the lane. Another, larger, field lies beyond the services block. Both these fields had a mix of tents and caravans, both had EHU points and both were close to the services.
A third, larger field, lies west of the other two with a walkway between it and the main site. However, vehicle access to the third field is via a separate gate which is approx 200 metres from the main entrance. This third field also has EHU points round the edge and it certainly has the best views. Being further from the road and services, it feels more isolated, is quieter at night and, on my visit, was almost deserted.
Carruan Farm Shop, restaurant and kiddies' fun farm is right next door to South Winds. The shop sells excellent local farm produce, the restaurant is comparatively inexpensive and serves breakfasts as well as cream teas and main meals, and there's lots to entertain children. I've visited Carruan several times for meals and can recommended it to anyone who doesn't want to spend their holiday time cooking.
All in all, I found South Winds to be a very well-maintained and clean campsite with friendly staff and a nice family ambience. It enjoys a great location and the only drawbacks are the busy lane and the exposure to the wind. I recommend it.
As previously stated the only negative is the wind. However the camp itself is ideal. Situated just outside Polzeath it is within short driving distance of Padsow, Newquay and Tintagel.
The facilities were spotlessly clean and easily accessible at any hour of the day. There is a farm shop and restaurant next door with children's play area which does excellent meals. The Hog roast on Wednesday evening was superb.
The nearby beaches at Polzeath are beautiful and the village itself has all amenities. I would recommend the campsite but beware the wind.
Well we have just returned from a week at South Winds, this being our first ever camping trip. The view was amazing from the site. Its the first thing you see when you get out of the car. The facilities were perfect, spotless toilets and hot showers and a great washroom. There was also a freezer for your ice packs. In the toilets there are a couple of hairdryers costing 20p which was plenty of time to dry my long hair and also a socket for your own hairdryer and straighteners also costing 20p.
We had pitch 6 which was totally fine for us, it was near the entrance and road but it never bothered us. It was also far enough from any light which was perfect for star gazing at night.
We had lots of different weather from glorious sun to lots of rain. A windbreak helped when the wind picked up. Overall the wind didn't worry us after all you are right on the coast what can you expect.
Polzeath was lovely and had good surfing. We headed to new Polzeath as it was easier to park and you had direct access to the beach from the cliff top. Including some free parking
We visited a few places,
Eden - was a nice day glad we visited.
Padstow -wished we hadn't visited just had no soul to it and way to many people, we felt we had to visit.
Port Issac - very nice actually didn't realize it was were doc martin was recorded as we don't watch it. It's what I imagined a Cornish fishing village would be like. Get there early and park at the top and walk down.
Tintagel - lovely place. Very yummy fudge shop. Grandma Wobblys I think it was called.
Had surfing lessons with Harlyn as we could use our tesco vouchers, very good.
Just like to add that we always felt safe on the site the staff were great.
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