I returned to Pondwell after a gap of 6 years and I was pleased to see it remained unchanged and as unspoilt as it was when I first discovered it.
I chose it some years ago because it was peaceful and offered nothing more than the essentials needed for camping.
I arrived this time just after 9 in the morning and was welcomed by the chap in reception who I found to be friendly and helpful. Even though it was peak season there was plenty of choice as to where I could pitch my tent and I found a spot easily.
After a long overnight journey, a shower was in order after my tent was pitched and I found everything in the toilet / shower block clean and working properly.
My stay this time was an all too short 3 days but in my time there I found no problems and thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet that this site offers.
The island has so much to offer, with Ryde being nearby I found plenty of good cafes and food outlets. From Pondwell there is a lovely walk to the beach, or by car all parts of the island can be reached in a very short time although I found the Newport area was a bit of a bottleneck and is best avoided if possible as far as traffic is concerned.
I definitely recommend Pondwell if you like the peaceful life. Looks good if you have kids as the play area is visible from most areas of the site.
This is the second year running my grandson and I have stayed for 7days at this camp site, which we both still enjoy. It's good to see the same staff running the site over the years. They have always been very friendly and helpful and go out they way to resolve any issues.
The site is clean and well maintained with an on site shop which sells the basic essentials and freezing block facilities. The shower block remains the same but the hot water system has been up graded and offers really hot showers which are all kept clean.
The wishing well public house on site serves good hot food at good prices. The site slopes down a little being flatter near the bottom of the slope where for those that require the hookups are situated.
The beach is close after a short walk down country lanes or through the camp site giving access to both Puckpool park or Seaview along the coast, offering sandy beaches.
If you require a site that offers open space and quietness this is it.
Stayed here for a week in July in a tent with electric hookup. Campsite is really nice and quiet with a great playground for the kids. We had great weather, which helps, but we were a bit exposed to the sun, as there's no real shade. There is direct access to Seaview the local village and its seafront. However, if we went to the isle of wight again we'd probably go further south to Shanklin, rather the stay dear Ryde which is bit of a dump.
The pub near the site is really good, and there's a basic shop, which is really only open in the morning. The staff were helpful, but you did have to search them out a bit. The toilet and shower blocks are basic. Not terrible but basic. There was always hot water though, and never a queue. We'll never camp near Ryde again, but if we did I'd probably use the same site. My only reservation being the showers etc.
We arrived fairly late and arrived at the wrong place. After ringing the late arrivals number, we were directed to the site.
Once there we were greeted and told that we could choose where we pitched our tents within a specific area.
The site was busy and we were still able to find a suitable and desirable place to pitch three tents. We were close to the shower and wash facilities. All was clean and even had flowers in the female toilets.
We visited the reception /shop in the morning and were able to buy bread, milk and a paper. Not much choice, but all essentials were there.
Facility is available for those whose mobiles need recharging, costing £1 per hour - chargers are available for some models too.
Overall a great site, close to a nice pub and within easy reach of Ryde. Close to beach and bus stop at top of site into Ryde on an houry basis.
On arrival at the campsite, at midday we found the site office all locked up and a sign to say someone would be around the site, after a 10 minute look around we could not find anyone so we rang the booking number and we were told to just find our pitches.
After setting up, we decided to go to the shower block, which we found to be very run down and there was not any hot water, we reposted this when the office was open but nothing happened all the time that we were there.
The other showers at the top of the field were hotter but no cleaner with really old fittings and fixtures the campsite felt well past its best and nothing like the pictures on the website.
I have tried contacting the site on our return but had no comeback.
After a 6 hour trip to get there we were most disappointed by this site.
First impressions of this campsite couldn't have been better, we were met by someone who knew our names, that we needed 2 adjacent pitches and showed us straight to them.
The pitches were electric hook up and on fairly flat ground at the bottom of the field, next to the hedge (the non-EHU area does seem to be a bit more sloped).
It was a large field, but even though we were there in summer half term week there were only about a dozen tents in total, leaving it very open and peaceful. For the first few days the toilet block was perfectly clean - even with flowers in a vase.
Between our 2 groups we had 7 children and the site was ideal, with plenty of space to play games, a lovely play area in it's own little wooded area, but still visible from the tents, a couple of swings further up the hill, and for a particularly wet afternoon a TV room.
The beach really is only about 5 mins walk away, and the walk is through an area of chalets, with only a small quiet road to cross at the end. The walk towards Ryde along the seafront is easy enough (even the 4 year olds managed it).
Part way along is Pondwell park with a fantastic play area, the other side of the park is a lovely seafront cafe, and a bit further along is Appley tower which you can pay a small fee to go up, but don't be caught out like us - you can't go up on wet days because of the slippery floor).
A couple of bad points now. After a couple of days a child (I would hope) had made a large mess in one of the toilets. The next day it was mostly cleared up, but there still some 'mess' on the walls of the cubicle for the rest of the week.
Similarly one cubicle was without loo roll for days on end. Maybe the cleaners just need to be a bit more vigilant. The showers weren't always as warm as you'd like, but were usable. Our week was very wet and then very windy and on site a few of tents got flooded or broken, but that was the fault of the unseasonal weather rather than the campsite.
Overall we were looking for a site near the sea, without the crowds and noise of the more commercial, bigger sites and this fitted the bill. Although there were a couple of niggles, if we visit the Isle of Wight again I will happily stay here.
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