We spent 4 week nights at Dalraddy, and it's a bit of a mixed bag as a campsite, so it's difficult to write a review without rambling on. Apologies if I do.
We are regular visitors to Aviemore and surrounding area, but hadn't stayed at Dalraddy before.
The location and setting is lovely. You arrive into a shimmering, dappled birch wood, which gives the place a real other-wordly ambience for your holidaying pleasure.
Some reviewers have described the shop and static pitches as a bit tatty or run down, but I see it more as rustic appeal. If it's neat, sleek and shiny you want, then Glenmore campsite will be more to your liking. If it's aesthetics we're talking, I easily prefer Dalraddy.
The reception and shop is thoughtfully stocked, with local meat for your frying pan, and other camping food staples as well. They are licensed too, so you can pick up a reasonably priced bottle of wine, beer or cider to go with your venison sausage butty. Along with a few camping essentials and cigarettes and coffee, it proved a useful on site bonus while we were there.
A firm plus for Dalraddy is that the site was 'full' with apologies for no vacancies for tourers and tents on a blackboard at the entrance, yet it was not crowded in the camping area at all. Far too many sites pack them in, which is a real deal breaker for us.
The camping area is higher up out of the birch woods and into the young pine. Our allocated pitch was large, secluded and private, which was great. The only interlopers we had the entire stay were a pair of bold local robins who visited after every meal.
On the other hand, the ground was in a poor state when we pulled up. It was really black, scungy and slimy from overuse. None of the other pitches were like that, so we could only assume our pitch had hosted an extended stay from a large tent, previous to our arrival. We would have complained, but could see that this particular pitch was the only available singular one big enough to accommodate our tent and canopy (which is why we would have been allocated it in the first place), so we just bashed on, and pitched on top of it. Our groundsheet is over the washing line for a hosing down as I type.
It's also worth mentioning that some of the pitches, ours included, offer no views at all. While the privacy was great, we did miss a bit of sun and sky, and even a sliver of outlook would have been nice.
The facilities were really good. The site was full for tents and tourers, yet it was consistently clean and functional, and while there were queues at peak times, I always avoid those times anyway, and never had a problem with availability for washing up, doing laundry or taking a shower.
The down side of the facilities is that they are not sited by the camping area, but in amongst the statics, so the traipse down from our pitch to use them soon got old. We're family campers with young children and all the gubbins that they entail, so I felt the hassle was a big ask.
There are portaloos on the open camping field which were good, fresh and handy initially, but quickly became thoroughly ripe and had to be avoided. I can't imagine the campers on the open field were enjoying their proximity much. Composting toilets would be a far better compromise there, in my opinion. They're a lot less smelly.
In short, it's a nice place. Very pleasing to the eye and well run.
On reflection however, our pitch was a bit dark and manky, and the facilities were too far away for a family of five.
We love Aviemore and will always return, so we would go back to Dalraddy for another stay.
Next time though, I might just book early enough to get room at Rothiemurchus, which looks amazing.
We had a great 4 days at Dalraddy during the October Break. This is our second time here and won't be the last.
The site is well situated within easy driving distance of the folk museum, highland wildlife park and the Cairngorrm mountain railway. Not to mention Aviemore town centre and the Happy Haggis chip shop.
We pretty much use this site as a base so our 2 kids make do with the park on site for when we are setting up or packing up.
The trip to the grey waste disposal can be a bit of a walk.
The toilets are clean and the showers are hot. And free.
The site could do with a few more lights around the pitches and we have found a mover is required with our caravan, although a lighter van may be able to be manoeuvred as the pitches are reasonably level.
The approach to this site is very well signposted, nice wide entrance for towing caravans in and out. Second speed bump beside shop is very harsh. Toilets are in immaculate condition, clean fresh and modern with plenty of hot water. Good pitches although could do with being a little more open ie less tree cover. Shop adequately stocked staff helpful and friendly and open 7 days 9-5. Grey water disposal and fresh water taps would benefit from screw on pieces of hose to aid in filling up and washing out of containers. Small playground for children. If pitched nearer to shops some railway noise may be experienced although didn't bother us too much. Site very convenient for Aviemore with Tesco, various outdoor shops, good chines takeaway by the name of Snow Mountain and Hungry Haggis chip shop but never tried Indian restraint beside it as we considered it way over priced. All in all had a great holiday and would return to this site.
Excellent site, very welcoming, nice warm toilet block and great kids play park fenced in!
Didn't enjoy the smelly portaloo but at least you didn't have to go all the way to the toilet block every time you needed a pee!
Thank you also to the owners for dealing very decisively with the noisy campers from the night before and throwing them off site. We would not have stayed another night after the severe lack of sleep but to see such strong decisions being made and stuck to made us feel more secure.
Here two nights, on 2 different EHU pitches as the site was busy. Whilst camping in a Highland birch wood is atmospheric, we found it frustrating to sit in the cold shade whilst the Cairngorms glowed in the warm sun well into the evening. Motorhomes & caravans are all on hardstandings, dotted in with the private statics & seasonal caravans; there are a mix of fences around people's holiday homes, and TV dishes taped to trees with cables draped around, so it was a bit tatty. Pitch 404 beside the toilet block had two short cuts through it, and we would have asked to move if we hadn't had to anyway, because folk passed within touching distance. Free pulse-type showers, though the one I used was blocked with hair and almost overflowed. There's no on-site dog run: you can use a field if the farmer has no livestock in it. Convenient for the local attractions. But we'll try one of the other sites next time we're passing through.
Absolutely lovely site set within woodland, caravans grouped together down in the main park next to the shop/office and toilet block. Tents dotted around the rest of the site which gives the site character. Showers very clean and plentiful, slight walk to the shower/toilet block but I didn't find it a hindrance, may be more of a pain in bad weather. The only main down side - there's 6 serviced tent pitches, pitch 1 and 2 are directly opposite the portaloos and bin store, which also seems to act as a meeting point, this didn't bother us however the smell was off putting and our view was obscured with the portaloos and bin store. If booking a serviced pitch, I would ask specifically for pitch 3 or above.
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