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Visitor Reviews - Alston Farm

  Campsite and Caravan Park Search > UK > England > South West > Devon (South) > Site Reviews

Alston Farm
Kingsbridge
Salcombe
Devon (South)   (Browse area)
TQ7 3BJ   See Map                                 Share Google Plus  Tweet This!  Share on Facebook
Tel: 01548 561260  or  07808 030921

Facilities:  (Key)
     

Nearby: (within x miles)
1m  1m  5m  5m  5m   5m 

Pitches:
Open: March To End October

Rating: Average Review Score: 7/10 from 24 Reviews
              7/10 from 24 Reviews


Units accepted:    Tents  Caravans  Motorhomes  Statics for Hire 

Reviews:  24 in total, now showing 1 to 6                 Previous 6          Next 6
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Date of Visit: August 2017 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Bytebandit73 1 review from this member

This is our 2nd visit to Alston this year in a large family tent with electric hook up. We've been to campsites with more modern facilities, but they were also more expensive, and they didn't have anything this one doesn't, just newer. The location is nice but from the electric hook up pitch you can't see much as it's at the bottom of the valley next to the popular playground and the 'stream' (its tiny with steep sides and often smells, bridge over it to playground).

The facilities by the tents appears to be a basic brick/concrete building with 4 communal showers, large separate toilet facilities with many basins and 3/4 large communal sinks with drainers. In the same area is a dryer, washing machine, hair dryer and there might be an iron/board, don't recall. Outside on the front there are some smaller sinks. Ample hot water for washing up dishes and hands/face yet they charge 20p for what seems like 2 minutes for a wee electric shower. The cubicles are spacious for most people but I did encounter an elderly couple who struggled owing to the lack of handrails and no clear instructions on how the shower works (coin fed meter box on wall, fun with soapy hands/face as there is no warning it's about to stop). There is a drinking water tap near by and I presume all the water in the toilet/shower block is drinkable but there are no signs either way. If you like to be clean bring plenty of 20p coins and optimise your shower ritual before you come. The block was never cold despite no obvious source of heating (or I just didn't see it). Washing machine and dryer take 50p coins and the one time we used them seemed to offer good value.

The on site shop seems to cover all the basics but is only open in the morning and evening. There is a Co-op very near by (exit the campsite and turn left to West Alvington, Co-op on the bend, can be VERY busy with a small car park to rear and at the wrong times looks like it's been raided). Tesco and Morrisons in Kingsbridge but to be honest, eye watering markups notwithstanding, the Co-op pretty much kept us supplied.

Rarely spoke to any staff, but seemed pleasant enough.

The site is central to numerous beaches but nothing is less than a 10-15 minute drive given the wiggly and narrow nature of the local roads. By and large driving around was mildly exhilarating and occasionally white knuckle. Certainly not for the feint hearted but there are some stunning views to be had of sweeping bays. There are many other campsites in the area, but this is one of the more central ones and certainly seems well priced (just don't shower daily).

The electric hook up pitch is largely flat with a few minor bumps, the other pitch in this field is on a varying slope. We did also see another tent field that appeared to be gently sloped. We did have some heavy rain but the ground seems to be well drained, what it would be like in a wetter part of the year I don't know.

No issues with the electric hook up. No idea how much current you can draw but I strongly suspect one tent was running a fan heater 24x7 and we had numerous phones/tablets on charge in the evenings.

We're all on EE and there is generally constant, if rather slow, coverage on the electric hook up pitch but none in the toilet/shower block. Coverage is patchy at best around the whole area though and non-existent on every beach we went to (Bantham, South Milton, Outer Hope Cove, Bigbury (coverage on Burgh island though!)).

Dogs are allowed, but should be confined to another field as at least one camper was unable to keep theirs on a lead in the small hours of the morning necessitating them running around the tents calling for it.

Now for the not so good part.

There is site wide wifi but it's rubbish. Getting devices to reach the signin page was a nightmare on several of our devices (all Samsung Android devices too). Once signed in we often got no or very little data. When it does work it's fine, even Netflix works, but it's not as stable or as fast as you'd expect in this day and age. The 5-device weekly rate is pretty good value considering, but it does make the daily rate look rather high.

And the really bad part.

Noise. Tents are flimsy things these days and everybody can hear everybody else across the entire field. Although there is a 'keep the noise down between 10pm and 8am' sign on the toilet block, there is no enforcement and of the 8 nights we were there only 2 were not wrecked by inconsiderate campers. For a family friendly site I also feel that 10pm is too late to be allowed to make as much noise as you like.

Would we go again? Probably. The playground is popular with primary age children and pretty safe though supervision from the tent is difficult due to a line of vegetation and zero lighting other than round the toilet block. The facilities are functional and at the end of the day you're camping, not in a hotel. A bit of sand never killed anybody anyway. The lack of a clear (as in sign this contract when you arrive) and enforced noise policy is a significant concern, though is likely to be primarily a problem during peak times only.

Scores

Location - 10 - central to a lot of beaches and places, even in a week we couldn't cover it all

Facilities - 6 - functional but needs updating, communal showers seems a bit weird these days though useful for parents with younger children. Wifi needs sorting out, desperately

Value - 7 - the camping itself seems good value, but coin fed showers have no place in the 21st century and they felt expensive given the unlimited hot water in the taps

Customer service - 10 - what little we required was fine

Child friendliness - 5 - the lack of effective noise control, lack of even the most basic lighting in the playground and the inability to supervise your child from a few 10s of feet away from your tent

Overall - 8 - it does what it says on the tin, at a good price and a good location. It could be a lot worse, but it could also be improved whilst still maintaining that more and possibly desirable rustic edge

Date of Visit: May 2016 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Trevor + Jo 72 reviews from this member

This was our 2nd visit to Alston Farm. We pitched in the top field, opposite the main site. There were no more than half a dozen others in this field all weekend so loads of space. The field slopes gently although there are flatter areas at the top and bottom of the hill. The entrance is untidy, next to the bins and tired looking outbuildings, one of which is a toilet/shower block! This runs on 20 pence pieces. We did have issues with the water being shut off one night, although the meters still took our money. The shower blocks on the main site worked fine. The whole place is looking run down and the facilities are in need of an update.

It is an hour's walk along narrow, high banked country lanes into Salcombe. There is much fauna and flora in the hedgerows, just watch out for the locals/yachties in their 4x4's. There isn't much room to pass, even when walking!

The location is amazing, with numerous beauty spots all within a short drive. The campsite is adequate, but nothing to get excited about. The personal touches noted at our previous visit were missing. Improvements to the facilities are overdue.

Date of Visit: August 2015 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: The Morts 7 reviews from this member

We have just arrived back from a very wet bank holiday weekend at Alston Farm. The facilities are basic but adequate and clean. The showers use 20p, I used two for a quick shower and hair wash. The hairdryer also uses 20p but dried my long hair with one 20p.

We had a flat pitch in the overflow field with electric. Our pitch was flat and the ground was very amenable to our pegs.

The staff were very helpful and friendly. The small but well stocked shop was open in the mornings and afternoons. On the saturday evening there was a visit from the fish and chip van. The chips were lovely and came in huge portions too.

The surrounding area is beautiful, some amazing coastline and lots of wildlife. Our kids loved mackerel fishing in the sea.

We didn't get chance to use the dog walk or play park due to the weather but the park looked well equipped and the dog walk appeared more than adequate.

In short this site is great if you are satisfied with standard facilities rather than ones which have been heavily invested in.

We would go back but hopefully in better weather!

Date of Visit: June 2015 Unit:  Touring Caravan Rating:
Reviewer: Nix12 1 review from this member

Have visited Alston Farm a few times now and keep meaning to write a review so hear it is. Alston Farm is situated at the base of a valley on the side of the Salcombe Estuary. The caravan park paddocks are amongst rolling hills and offer you a wide choice of pitches, elevated positions, sheltered corners, secluded nooks and crannies.

At this time of year nature is abundant, hedgerows full of wildlife and wild flowers, even foxgloves. This morning I woke to complete silence other than happy bird song. On my walk to the toilet block there were rabbits pottering and strutting pheasants.

To me this a world away from my manic work life and I now feel completely relaxed ready for the next working week.

The facilities are more than sufficient. Yes, basic but ample toilets blocks and showers where ever you decide to pitch. Though dated all are clean and tidy. The pitch price reflects the basic facilities but these are more than compensated by the parks natural beauty. It is a rural campsite. There is plenty of space, a great children's play area and a well thought out dog walk through a wooded valley. There is also a small shop on site open first thing and early evening selling your basics as well as laundry facilities and loads of washing up areas. A fish and chip van visits Friday evenings and is very reasonably priced.

All in all if you want a site for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle, this is for you.

I will be returning again this season.

Date of Visit: July 2014 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Vaughnsins 4 reviews from this member

A very beautiful campsite in a very beautiful part of the world. We stayed in the overflow tent field and had the most peaceful break there. The facilities were suitable for the job and we were able to freeze our ice blocks with ease. A great location for all the best beaches, and a wonderful view of Salcombe estuary from our field. A fantastic camping experience. We shall definitely visit again

Date of Visit: August 2013 Unit:  Tent Rating:
Reviewer: Jarmie40 2 reviews from this member

Camped here over the bank holiday weekend for 3 days. It is relatively close to home and we know the area well. The site is in a truly beautiful location and we were given a pitch up on the upper terrace, The pitch was generously sized, had electric hook up and was level. The campsite supervisor was helpful and flexible and allowed our friends to pitch next to us even though they had been allocated to a pitch further down. Salcombe is a short drive away as are the beautiful beaches of Hope Cove, Thurlestone and the surfing haven of Bantham.

Pitch fees are very reasonable but it is only on seeing the facilities that you realise why! There are a number of toilet and shower blocks across the site, but it is clearly geared up for the numerous static caravans on site. Showers and toilet blocks are separate. Each are bare concrete and the stencilled information on the walls gives it almost a concentration camp feel. Showers are basic and need a supply of 20 pences to work. There is plenty of hot water - but there appears to be no limiters on the temperature and the water was scaldingly, dangerously hot. The showers were also not always clean - the bin in the ladies shower block was not emptied at all over the 3 days we were there and the contents were less than sanitary! The laundry room on site was a real education in how washing facilities have moved on - an actual mangle and an iron that a 1950's housewife would've been proud of - all required further 20p coins to be used and no sign of a pat test anywhere! And although several sinks were provided, there was no hot water supply. Dishwashing facilities are also basic, with none of the sink areas having lights and the sink block near to our tent was cold water only with an unlabelled hot tap attached to the shower block a short distance away - we only discovered this by accident on the second day and this was after finding a couple washing their clothes in the dishwashing sinks - which sort of put us off!

It's such a shame, it's clearly a well used and well located site but is in desperate need of some investment to bring the facilities up to date. There is a small, well stocked and very reasonably priced shop on site and you can order newspapers. There is also a shed with a freezer for ice blocks and this is offered free of charge. Would I stay again - because of the location, yes, but definitely not for more than a night or two!

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