Just returned from 8 nights at Normans Bay, which started with a bang and finished with one too.
When we checked in the reception staff informed us they had just finished picking up the debris of broken windbreaks, canopies and tents, from the previous nights thunder storms.
Reception staff were friendly, in a school teacher type of way, explaining the rules.
Contrary to a previous review there are jumbo pitches with electric (2), we were given a choice of both, but we chose the pitch with shelter from a hedge, nearer the new toilet block. Be aware that for seven of our eights days the sun shone, but the wind also blew and the direction of which could change by the hour, so pitching beam into the wind did not help.
Our pitch was large and we had plenty of room and it was also flat. When we arrived the site was sparsely filled, but as our break encompassed the first weekend of the local school holidays we soon discovered what the site was like full.
The new toilet block was clean, but had a school facility feel to it. Of the three showers in the male toilets, one was good, the middle one, you had to run around to get wet and the third the head was angled so the supposedly dry area got flooded.
The older toilet block needs an upgrade.
If you go with a family expecting a play area, the toddler swing, normal swing and a small slide did not hold their attention for long. Also when the site was full campers used the play area as extensions to their pitch.
The reported beach:- sand at low tied has gone post last winters storms, at best is 50:50 sand/ pebble.
Be aware when going to the beach stay to the left of the groin, as some helpful person has stuck a series of wooden spikes below the high tide line to warn that the pebbles here are covered in barnacles and rip flesh to shreds.
There is a laundry room and a washing up area, three sinks crammed in, is not sufficient when the site is full, also have to clean off dead flies constantly. There is also a recreation room, which was dominated by a few.
The site is a long linear site with an entrance at only one end (also all waste recycling at the entrance only), the site is sandwiched between a minor road and a railway line.
This was our first experience of a camping and caravan club site.
Would we come back - probably not.
We woke to the sound of thunder and made a hasty pack away.
We were very fortunate to have a sunny week here with only two short periods of rain.
On arrival, pitches with family members were reserved together for us, which was great. However, the IT systems demanding payment on entry were not up to much and if I had not had my original booking showing how much we owed, we would have been liable for extra costs. As a result the booking-in process was not too smooth.
Our pitch was level but I felt that the neighbouring car was far too close to our awning but we were fortunate to have very quiet and respectful neighbours at all points during our week-long stay. The site is very busy in August with constant comings and goings. I am not sure that the six-metre rule was always observed and the facilities are clearly over-used when the site is this busy, especially with the arrival of a bus-hotel from Germany with twenty-four hungry and shower-needy German tourists. The old block nearest to us was overwhelmed. After a quick clean in the morning the facilities start clean and I was once in in the evening when it was checked, but apart from that there is not a visible presence of comings and goings from site staff. Used toilet rolls are dumped and by the evening the water for mopping the showers is grubby, the mop hairy and in need of replenishment. This is in addition to the fact that this toilet block is in desperate need of an upgrade. This was our seventh visit and the money has been spent on new barriers and shop changes but we would all prefer less-mould ridden and cleaner facilities. This is something that the Club should be getting right.
As for it being the friendly club, I am not so sure any more. The staff were not always particularly friendly with my children being shouted at for playing badminton and told to read the handbook. A quiet word with their parents would have been good, while other families were playing with huge frisbees just a metre away from the front of my caravan.
We swam in the sea every day which was great, but please note that the 'underwater obstructions' referred to on a small notice by the beach are not very pleasant and are old wooden breakwaters that will tear your flesh if you hit them. Go as close to the main groyne on the right as you can. We have never had this problem before and the sinking sludge which you have to cross to get to the sea is horrible.
We will still return to Normans Bay but it has changed. It is much more business like and I do not think that the highest of club standards are being adhered to.
Just returned from a long weekend stay here. Staff very friendly and made us welcome. Small shop was well stocked with the essentials. Pitches seemed a bit crowded even with the legal gap between them. The old toilet block, although very clean could do with a upgrade as it is bit 'seedy'. And as others have pointed out the shower water goes everywhere. Fish and chip van Friday and Saturday evenings and the local Chinese will deliver to the camp. Will go back again
After reading a lot of reviews, I was really looking forward to this spotless, if a little dated, campsite. The washing up area had black mould on the white sealant with green mould growing on top of that. From the write-up I expected to see the sea from the campsite but that was a definite 'No'. The site was very crowded with no rhyme nor reason to how the units, be it tents, motorhomes or caravans, were sited. In the showers the water was able to get past the shower curtain on to clean clothes. The grass was a lot longer than many of the sites we've been to, which hid the trailing hook-up leads. In the main it reminded me of a caravan and motorhome dealers rather than a campsite. Sadly this did not meet my expectations of a Camping and Caravanning Club site.
We opted to stay at this campsite on the very wet bank holiday in May.
The staff are extremely welcoming and when we arrived on the Friday the fish and chip van (every Friday) was there which made the welcome even better. We were showed to our pitch by (happy) owner, who gave us a couple of options. We stayed in the main central area which, when fully booked, (which the site was) was a bit of a car park, with little room left for kids to have a good run around. The play area is very basic but well kept.
Out location was extremely windy, which kept us away each night, if you are in a tent opt for a location where you are given shelter by some hedges. I can't emphasis this enough.
Facilities are in very good condition, my only gripe is that he shower curtains do nothing to prevent the dry area flooding, meaning that you need to get changed in the main toilet area. Water and power facilities well positioned.
The adjacent beach is very good as it is shingle and the Star Inn is about a mile up the road. They serve food all day and have a great playground in the back.
Would go back again but only if the weather is very very good.
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