I was surprised by some negative reviews the site received since my first visit, and wondered if things had changed since we stayed in 2012. I'm happy to say, they haven't.
Things started well when booking a pitch. I paid by card online, and phoned to confirm the registration. Staff were able to tell me which pitch we'd stayed on two years ago, and when it transpired it was already booked, while chatting on the phone, I was able to look at the site map to choose another (close to loos and a path to the beach). Note I'd phoned as their lines should have been closing, but the receptionist stayed on the line for 15 minutes when she should have been finished for the night.
This is a wonderful site, surrounded by farm land and slap bang on the coast. Huge (I believe some 1200 acres) but not crowded. Plenty of facilities, and mature planting and spacious pitches mean you have privacy. You're not hemmed in as you are on some sites. Set in breath-taking countryside, and only a short walk from the pitch through woodland to the sea (5 minutes. No more). They have their own boat launch, and a child friendly, sandy beach. I say child friendly because the Solway can be a death trap with fast tides and plenty of mud, but at Brighouse Bay, the tide comes in slowly, the beach is firm sand, and the water is shallow. Swimming (or paddling) from the beach, I simply can't see how you could get into trouble. The water was warm enough to swim in. There are rock pools a plenty, rocks for the kids to clamber over, sand perfect for castle building, and an ankle deep stream which allows you to paddle from the top of the beach all the way to the surf. This beach turns the place from a great site into a piece of heaven. The beach also has toilet facilities. Again, bizarrely, the beach is never crowded. In months when there isn't an 'R', you can stuff yourself on mussels picked from the rocks (we've driven there just for this purpose!).
Back to the site. It has BIG pitches. Ours wasn't a large tent, but the site can accommodate the monster pod ones which seem so fashionable these days. I might add that despite heavy rainfall the week before we arrived (and a couple of rainy days while we were there), the pitches are level and well drained. No mud in the tent, and precious little on the bottom when we packed up today.
We chose an electric hook-up and you're never more than a very short walk from waste bins, showers and toilets (handy with my bladder when it's raining at 4am).
The shower blocks are cleaned regularly. Indeed, I got to know the cleaning lady quite well (her with the golf cart, smile, and penchant for Patsy Cline). The showers are piping hot, powerful, with plenty of hooks, room to change, and a stool for convenience. It's those little extras (e. G. Not having to fumble about for coins for metres) which make me love this site. Despite being a ten minute drive from the nearest town (you're a captive audience) they don't rip you off. I'll give some examples:
The launderette: only £3. 00 for a large load. Huge driers and £1. 50 was ample to dry a week's worth of clothing. My local launderette costs more, and it probably costs more in electricity to wash your clothes at home.
The café: you can't complain at £3. 50 for macaroni cheese. £2. 20 for a large bacon roll (easy breakfast). If you want something more hearty, I'd recommend their mixed grill. Yes it's £12. 50, but you get a lamb chop, a pork chop, a steak, a huge length of quality sausage, onion rings, tomatoes, mushrooms and fries. You won't get better at a decent hotel or steak house. When I asked if they had mustard, I was offered French, English or Wholegrain. The service is fast and friendly, and yes, they take cards (no needing to have a wallet full of cash in your tent).
If you want takeaway pizza or fish and chips, they have it on site, and it's no more expensive than from my local chippie. The café overlooks the pool, and my daughter was quite happy watching MTV style music videos while we ate. The staff in the café were Spanish, and were welcoming, helpful, and patient (thank you Alejandro!). The manager of the leisure club couldn't have been more helpful.
Compare this to the experience in Castle Douglas when we went to have an Indian meal, and after 45 minutes were told that they didn't have our starter and we'd have to choose something else. We left (not all my reviews are positive!). At the café, we would have been sat and served in 5.
The shop is similarly fairly priced, and well stocked.
The café also has WIFI. I believe it's normally free at the café, however only the pay service was working while we were there (albeit the first hour was free, meaning we could upload photos onto Facebook to make the family jealous). Don't expect a mobile signal (not on the EE network, albeit I could receive texts on my Blackberry, and occasionally send one from the tent).
I never queued once for showers, a washing machine, tumble drier or the loo!
If you're into golf, pony trekking or coarse fishing (we're not), they have it. An indoor pool which was never crowded meant we were happy on those drizzly days. If you need entertaining in the evening, there are discos at the leisure club, and other entertainments laid on of a night time. The children's play park has plenty. The leisure club has a couple of coin operated bowling lanes, amusement arcade type machines, but again, with a beach like theirs on hand, I think you'd be mad to be indoors.
Wardens are unobtrusive, but there if required. I note one other review on another website noted that people were asked to leave due to being rowdy and abusive late at night. After 10. 30pm, the site is pretty quiet (you may hear the odd voice as people walk back to their tent. And I apologise now for my snoring). I might also add that all the kids we saw on site were pretty good.
If you want a site which is well maintained, with staff who care, where the site has been well designed to not feel like a faceless holiday camp but something rather special, you won't get better.
What would improve Brighouse Bay? Perhaps disabled access to the beach and site wide WIFI included in the price.
The old Mr Gillespie may have retired, but the younger one and his team haven't let the park down in any way.
First impressions were good. Shops to the left and nice pitch and put to the right. Near a nice pond. Straight in front was a old war plane. Great site for golfers.
We paid etc for a full service pitch. But
A little disappointed with the pitch. The wall round our tap had semi collapsed. The distance from tap to our pump on side of caravan was over 6 meters. So we ended up buying etc hose pipe. No drainage holes for dirty water outlet on our unit. Like on most full service pitches.
The site had nice clean toilet blocks and children area was good. Walks around site could do with better signage.
Swimming pool was great and bar area good. Meal we had was good but a little over priced.
Staff very friendly especially the bar staff.
This is a lovely area to explore, we liked cream of Galloway, cocoa bean factory and all the forest areas (7 stanes)
Overall happy with the site.
But could do with a little up grading in places and tidying up. Signage up grading and paths more clear. A lot of unsightly water pipes lying around on some of the walks. No attempt to hide them. The riding school was similar to a scrap yard. The fishing pond could do with more stock information. Sounds bad but simply fixes needed.
Just spent 3 nights here. Overall we had a superb time and will be going back next year.
We pitched fairly close to the toilet block on the way in. We had EHU, the pitch was flat and we had plenty of room for our tent and tarp. We were pitched alongside both tents and caravans. Plenty of space between the pitches did not feel crowded at all.
Toilet block. Was clean and tidy during our stay. With youngish kids the en-suite section was ideal for us. Plenty of hot water in the showers morning and night. Covered area for pot washing etc. Quiet time after midnight, being honest we didn't hear any noise after 11pm and what little there was before that was not excessive.
Shop was well stocked. Golf on site, pony trekking, duck ponds and best of all you are less than 600 yards away from the beach, they also have a launch area for boats/jet skis. There is a large play area for the kids.
The local area is well worth a visit, Kirkudbright and Loch Ken within easy reach.
Can't say enough really, the weather helped, and although it was windy there is plenty of shelter on the site.
We chose this site because of its proximity to the beach of Brighouse Bay and we wanted to explore on cycles the country lanes around Borgue etc.
The touring site is good with plenty of space but not much screening between pitches.
Washrooms etc are very good and very well maintained. There is a good shop on site where you can get most supplies.
They advertise a swimming pool which turns out to be a public swimming pool in a clubhouse which serves the golf course. All a bit commercial and busy. The games room was not what we expected as it is more of an amusement arcade.
They also have a slipway for boat launching which is a great facility.
WOW ! what a site. We have just got back after a very nice winters break, stayed on pitch G28 with our caravan and full awning, for there mini winter season, November 1st to March 26th 5 MONTHS and only £425. Best value ever. What a beautiful site with outstanding views of the area and the isle of man.
Now to the site facilities. Well over the winter months we have watched it being maintained and a complete overhaul by the staff and contractors. The ponds dredged, the trees and hedges pruned, the swimming pool emptied grouted & painted. Games room painted and all new machines. The shop was being restocked as we left. The shower/washing block has always been clean.
All in all we have a very good time and would like to thank the owners and workers for making our winter go too quickly. 100% happy. We will return
Just returned from a night's stay over the Easter break. On the whole the site is large and the grounds are kept very clean, the golf facilities are excellent. The site is let down, by having dirty facilities, especially the toilet block nearest the reception, they were very dirty, and for the amount of caravans / tents / motorhomes using these facilities they should be cleaned more then once a day.
The site also has some issues with its seasonal caravans, and it is very off putting driving onto your pitch and to drive past a broken down awning on a seasonal pitch, and then almost immediately come across another seasonal caravan with a badly fitted awning, whose roof is almost as green as the grass. Not really a good first impression on driving to your pitch.
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