We've stayed at Tarland on a number of occasions as it's close enough to home for a quick, easy weekend break. It's always seemed a very quiet site when we've been there, but probably because we tend to visit out of the main summer season.
The site is well maintained with a selection of grass or hard standing pitches. We've always been on the grass as it's easier to put up the awning and it's never been too soggy even when it's been raining. The toilet block is quite dated but is always spotless. The additional small toilets near the tent field are useful if you're on that end of the site. There's not a lot of other facilities but there is a short dog walk and some play equipment for kids.
The village of Tarland is quiet but has a shop & pub. The main advantage of the site is it's proximity to Deeside and the surrounding towns and countryside. Banchory, Aboyne, Ballater & Braemar are all within easy reach, as is of course the castle at Balmoral.
If you've never visited the area it's well worth the effort, and the site at Tarland is as good a place to stay as any.
Lovely site with friendly managers and assistants. Good walking for short to long walks straight from site. Village 10 minutes walk with 2 hotels, Spar, craft, toy and hairdressing shop. There is also a kilt maker and tailor. There is a folk night at one hotel and theatre at the Mcroberts Hall. The people who live in Tarland and the area are very friendly and used to visitors.
The site itself is nicely laid out with hardstanding and grass pitches. There appears to be plenty hook ups and areas for fresh and grey water. The tent area looks really nice and had been looked after well considering the recent heavy rain.
The toilet and washing block is old but clean and the washer and dryer on par with other sites. Actually the dryer is better and cheaper than most places visited. There is also a dog walk on site.
There are also static caravans both white and green and some nice wooden lodges. These are all in little cul de sacs which is very unusual. There are about five or six to a cul de sac with lots of room in between.
We have been here before and will return again. Oh yes there is also a very nice children's playing area. This is a quiet site where birds can be heard easily ie woodpeckers, pheasant, various garden birds and there are many squirrels and rabbits. Roe deer can be seen on some of the walks.
Stayed at Tarland for 11 nights. Our welcome was warm and friendly by the Site Assistants who, ironically, were also from West Yorkshire as we are. Our pitch with electric was on the field to the right of the hardstandings and, usefully, close to the separate small two toilet / dishwashing area above the 'tent field'.
The 'tent field', appeared to be out of use as they have drainage problems. It had standing water all the way down on the right hand side.
The main toilet / shower / laundry / dishwashing block is next to the hardstanding area. Never understand why the main facilities of a CCC site are always in closest proximity of those who probably don't need them the most.
Whilst all of the facilities were very clean they were without heating. Also, as with many CCC Club Sites, the showers are of the push-button variety. They are irritating to say the least. You have to adopt a position of pressing your back against the button to receive a constant flow of water. If not, you need to press every 15 seconds or so.
We found the site itself an attractive place to stay. Not in the least claustrophobic. Whilst it's true that the CCC has constructed wood chalets which dominate the higher ground, we didn't feel they were intrusive. Nor did we feel they blocked a view. They look out on to rough gorse, which you can only see if you walk up past their position.
We did have two niggles. One, we didn't understand why the Site Manager told us on our first day that we couldn't dry towels from a plastic clothes hanger from a tree. He said 'Next, we'll have ropes between trees. ' Secondly, why the site insisted on having the entry barrier gate closed at all times of the day. Usually, on CCC sites they are closed between 11pm-7am. Granted it wasn't locked but it meant having to get out and open and close before and after travelling out.
Staying in June 2012, we didn't exactly have the best of the weather. Indeed, it rained every night and I don't mean light showers. As our pitch was at the top right of the field, with the benefit of a slight incline, we didn't suffer. However, lower down it was evident the field is not good at draining. One couple in their tent relocated as a consequence. In addition, the gravel track which borders the 'tent field' to the left of our pitch and beneath the two-toilet block was a pool of water where it levelled. One motor home had the water up to its wheel rims.
One night during our stay we endured a thunder storm and the electric went off. No staff came to advise. It was only when the weather abated was I able to walk down to the site office to find a note in the window which said the electric was off. No other information and no site staff on hand. In the morning we learnt that lightning had struck an electric transformer in the village. I do think that site staff should have come round to all units to check everyone was ok and not left it to us to check on each other.
Niggles aside and notwithstanding the weather, I would stay at this site again.
This was a surprisingly small site, as the grass area EHUs were not in use for motorhomes (ok for car parking). We got the last hardstand pitch, midweek. It was a double pitch, it was in heavy shade under conifers, and had a fence at the back: it really didn't suit our way of camping, as we (husband, dog and I) prefer to sit outside on sunny grass. So, despite the friendly welcome, we moved on next day with no regrets.
The laundry was relatively expensive - £3. 50 a load, up to £1. 50 more expensive than other sites this week; the laundry closes at 9pm. Toilets and showers of the usual CCC standard.
The on-site dog walk is small, but you can easily get over the fence up onto the adjacent moors for a better runabout - judging by the height of the heather, and the young trees, it wasn't grazed by deer or livestock and we were well outside bird nesting season. We wouldn't have gone over otherwise.
New timber chalets now occupy the higher ground overlooking the site and they benefit from the sun and the open views out. Most of these were not occupied while the campsite was full, and it seems a pity that campers have lost the distant views that made the site so attractive in the past. CCC is increasingly going over to the holiday park side of business, we've noticed.
Plenty of local walks, and lots of pretty back lanes for cycling up into the surrounding hills. However, it's unlikely we'll be back except as a stopover, as the site felt dark, hemmed in and quite claustrophobic.
This is a lovely site with very very well cared for facilities. We noticed that the facilities have won awards for how they are kept, and I'm not surprised. The wardens put a huge amount of work into it.
It is a beautiful site - my children loved the fact that they could go and watch the rabbits and the animals playing happily around the site itself. This made up for the lack of a decent play area for them.
Its a very safe feeling site, and considering the weekend we were there was a weekend of torrential rain, the site drained well and the rain actually caused little problem.
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