I last visited this site in the mid 80's on a motorbike, when the pitch area was next to the road, and only a small wire fence separated the two! Road noise was not a problem (after 7 pints & 5 Banana rums ala Crown & Anchor)
I have a connection with the area having served at RAF Kinloss for 5 years. We decided to visit on the spur of the moment, and having loaded up the trailer headed to this site. On arrival I went in to the office and was informed to pick a pitch I licked and to return after 2pm when the office would be open to take payment. The pitching area was flooded slightly on the tarmac road directly in front of the tent area (it had been raining heavily), so it was a case of dodge the puddles! We noticed a few tents already up, but we had a good distance between us and the other campers.
Once the tent was up, we took the dogs for a walk around the exterior of the site and came back in to the site at the side gate next to the perimeter fence of Kinloss. The ablutions were clean and warm (entry is by a keypad system, and I am now at that special age where a fumbled code could result in a warm feeling in the nether regions!) Memo to self: In future pack more under crackers.
The showers are biggish, but the usual lack of pressure means you have to hug the wall like Spiderman to get a wash. Plenty of hot water at all times and lights work on a IR system after 10pm, so when your reading Dear Deirdre, they cut out. Fade to Gray.
They were running a NATO multi aircraft exercise, but due to the reduction of MoD budgets there were no flights after 7pm 'ish! Though I must say my 2 young children (girls 6 & 4) just about jumped out of their skins when 2 Eurofighter Typhoons took off from the (very) nearby runway! Whoosh Bang! Ah the smell of Avtur in the mid afternoon breeze! Sorry back to the site. We intended to stay 1 night to see what it was like, and as the afternoon progressed more tenter's started to appear (along with motor-homes, which set up opposite).
By late Friday evening the tent area was more like T in the park. I do not know if there is a legal limit to the licence of the park, but it was getting to the stage where guide ropes were almost next to each anotherís tents!
Now you can guess by late evening one could hear snoring / talking / parping emanating from the other canvas shelters. Not to bad when it is coming from one's self or immediate close family members. Not so nice when it is coming from individuals to whom one has not been properly introduced to!
The following day the rain let up and by mid morning the sun was out and the temp was mid 20's
(The Moray Firth is a sun trap!)
We booked another night's stay as I now considered my fellow campers in a 20 mt radius to be as good as relations after all we had shared the previous evening!
We dragged the kids to Culloden Moor to tell them of the disaster that befell their ancestors (mine Stewarts of Appin and the wife who is descended from Rob Roy) all because some French / Italian / Polish Prince fancied winning his Grandfather's crowns back! It was a good day out (in a sad sort of melancholy way) and our oldest loves tales of Rob Roy and the Redcoats. Well the chap at the visitor centre dresses as one of 4th of Foot (Barrels) Regiment. She was scared! We went to Brodie Castle and stopped off at Tesco in Forres etc. The sun was out and we went for a walk to Findhorn beach and it was spectacular! Kids & dogs ran themselves ragged! Back at the site and there was even more tents I jest you not! Then after tea the heavens opened and it rained like someone had a hose! Kids did not care they had made some new friends and were over in the play park (very basic). We even lit our disposable bbq in the designated area (how I laughed like a drain when we toasted our marshmallows, then again it was perhaps the 1/2 bottle of LBV Port I had just consumed). Sunday dawned glorious and by 11 am was reading 29 degrees! Scorcher! Packed up and took the car past Kinloss to see the Nimrod MR2's all lined up waiting to be scrapped, and I knew them all, like dear pals, having been on everyone of the XV's at one time or another.
Would I go back? Yes! What improvements? Less tents, on the pitch. If I want the feeling of attending an outdoor festival guess where I would go? Correct, a festival, not a camp site!
It was very quiet when we arrived and there were a few caravans parked which looked like they had been there a while. However, despite the site looking a little basic and deserted it exceeded all expectations. Staff were friendly and helpful, toilet block wasn't state of the art but had everything you needed, as well as sockets for hairdryers and straighteners - a luxury!
Good dish washing facilities and a little play park too for the kids. Site gets a little waterlogged with rain and the RAF base right next door is wee bit noisy in the day with jets taking off, but this wasn't a downside as my young boys thought it was magic!
Forres and Kinghorn are lovely and the Crown and Anchor in Findhorn is a must for a meal - reasonable and delicious.
Lovely site in a beautiful setting. Spent 6 great days here for a Highland wedding in Forres a few miles inland. The beach is perhaps the best I have seen in the UK and I can't wait to go back. Facilities were fine, but a little stretched, although I didn't have to queue for anything.
The Bakehouse in the village, 5 minutes away, an organic bakery that seems to have connections with the Findhorn Community just round the corner, does great coffee, warm wild mushroom pasties etc etc - very lovely.
Only downside was the Nimrod jets taking off from Lossiemouth, but quite interesting at the same time, only very occasional, and stopped / started at a reasonable hour. Don't be put off by the static caravans either - they are separate from the touring site, and barely visible until you leave or arrive.
All in all, a real surprise, and in a very good way.
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