18 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
Hadn't been cleaned at check-in
"We decided to stay in a Bronze caravan at Bideford holiday park for 3 nights. When we arrived, everything seemed all good - we couldn't check-in for another 4 hours, so went off to a village for a few hours. However, on coming back to check-in, when we got the keys and opened the door, there was mud everywhere. No exaggeration! All over the floor, sofa's, shower, and even on the bedding... The cleaners had forgotten to clean our caravan! What made matters worse was out little 8week old was hungry and needed feeding, but we couldn't go in the caravan because of the mess. The staff were helpful and said they'd get someone to clean it right away; and in the meantime gave us a Â£50 voucher for their restaurant, which is very nice of them! Although we were told we can use it over the course of our stay... However, we wee misinformed and had to use the full wack in 1 go; we couldn't use Â£25 one night, and Â£25 the other! The caravan itself was really good (once cleaned), but I've had to lower my review because of the issues we had with the caravan not being clean, and the misinformation regarding the voucher. Accommodation (once cleaned): 8/10 Location: 7/10 Amenities: 7/10"
- Travel date: 6th September 2016
Bronze chalets in terrible conditions
"We just came back from the Monday Bank holiday from North Devon staying at the bronze chalet at Bideford Bay. We aren't luxurious travelers but this time the place we found on arrival, the bronze chalet (Bucklands) was awful. It was old, stinky, with a terrible condition, smelly sofa. In fact, I was disgusted even sitting on it so no chance to relax in the evening. Moreover, the place was full of crawling ants in the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom near the bed where my three year old daughter was supposed to sleep. Sleeping was a problem too as I found lots of hair in the supposedly clean bedding. Wouldn't recommend especially if you travel with children."
- Travel date: 2nd May 2016
avoid parkland 45
"I booked through a private advertisement due to the site being fully booked. Paid in full and arrived on Monday 4th April 16. Caravan, parkland 45 was dirty, cobwebs, dirty dishes, and a VERY STRONG wet dog smell. Contacted owner at 4:00PM. No answer. Ended up leaving at 7:3PM on our first day with my 4 children (one disabled) and driving home. Messaged owner again at 9.30 - eventually replied saying she didn't get previous messages! Refused to rectify the accommodation or refund. Very disappointed with the accommodation and the service!!!! Avoid this van."
- Travel date: 5th April 2016
Lovely break, passes were pretty much a waste of money
"We rented a private caravan on the site for 5 days, really wish we had stayed longer! The entrance is not very well sign posted before your on top of it. We felt the passes were pointless, we were only asked to show them once (for swimming) and were not asked for them on Wednesday evening, or Friday when we had breakfast while the kids played. We were impressed with the standard the caravan is kept at, its just stunning! they had even put in extra blankets for us in case it turned cold. Next time, we won't be booking the passes as we felt that the "entertainment" wasn't worth it at all. The area is beautiful, and I strongly advise anyone visiting takes a 30 minute trip down the road to Bude. Lovely beach, always has sand, rock pooling, and one side is pebbly! A true mixture of everything. Loved it Only bad point was that I could not get the hobs on for the life of me, I called maintenance, got through to their answer phone but they didn't get back to me until the following day. They had entered the caravan without asking which I found quite concerning. Thankfully I had a very nice neighbor who pointed out it was all my mistake, opps! "
- Travel date: 9th August 2014
Fantastic holiday at a well-known newspapers 'budget' price!
"We had a wonderful visit - Mum, Dad, 2 daughters - aged 7 & 9. The check in staff were friendly and helpful, I'm not sure whether we were upgraded, but we were in a chalet and it was fabulous (well, it was compared to the tent we'd spent the last 3 nights in!). The extractor fan didn't work and the kitchen tap was a bit loose, but the staff came out very quickly to fix the tap, couldn't fix the extractor without a spare part, but left a note so we knew what they were doing. We managed to find parking just near our accommodation and the staff very kindly helped us find a spot for our trailer tent. The site looked very clean and well-maintained. The site is a little steep in areas - certainly for prams, wheelchairs, the very young or old, but unless they bring bulldozers in, this close to the sea - it is only what I would expect. The site was well spread out and there were beautiful Rhododendron everywhere and so much greenery that it felt really relaxed and laid back. The food was brilliant value and really tasty. The staff were fabulous - especially the entertainment staff. Although not as exciting as, say, Butlins it was great for my girls (7 & 9). We loved musical bingo, the paper plane competition (mainly because my 7 year old won!!!), jewellery making and wearing foam costumes to beat other children up - gladiator style! The play area is lovely, both the indoor and outdoor pools were nice. The changing facilities were a little old and needing tender loving care, but they did the job and if the weather is good, you can walk back to your accommodation in your cosiness. We didn't want to leave and are definitely re booking. I've done all sorts of cheap holidays....I love Butlins, but this really felt like a safe and relaxing break. If you want entertainment 24/7 you won't get it here, but if you want a change or to feel like you've had a rest I would recommend it! I feel sorry for the people who said they've had manky old caravans....I hope we don't get one of those next time!!! Park Resorts take note please! :) "
- Travel date: 12th June 2014
Won't be going back
"When we booked, I told the lady on the phone that my husband could not cope with loud noise as he has had a stroke and therefore we would not want entertainment passes. I asked if there was a restaurant and bar on site that we could use and she confirmed that there was. On arrival however we were told that we had to have entertainment passes to use any of the facilities. The bar, eating area and stage were all together, so we couldn't even get a cup of coffee without a pass. I had also told the late on booking that he had a pacemaker but she didn't think to mention that the site is built on a very steep hill and that all of the facilities are at the bottom. Guess where we were put..........right at the top. Luckily there was a village shop on the main road about 100 yards from the site entrance, the site shop was right at the bottom of the hill so was only accessible for him by using the car. If there had been a village pub nearby, our stay would not have been too bad but we were in the middle of nowhere, unable to use the facilities and pretty fed up to be honest. The nice relaxing break that I had been looking forward to ended up with me cooking every day as we couldn't eat on site, we ended up buying food at the Morrisons in Bideford along with a bottle of wine and staying in every night. We tried the first night to go for a walk round the site but my husband just couldn't cope with the hill so we were stuck up there with nowhere to go unless we used the car so a nice evening meal and a drink were not an option. "
- Travel date: 24th May 2014
Weekend with family
"Our first time at Bideford Bay, and we were all very impressed. Site a bit hilly, but everything else was better that we expected. The staff were extremely pleasant and helpful without exception and the facilities and entertainment were really good. My wife, daughter, and grandson all agree we need to go again sometime. Highly recommended..!!"
- Travel date: 4th April 2014
Lovely place great for all ages
"We have stayed at bide ford bay year after year for quite sometime now. We usually go in the Easter holidays and head away to Tenerife in the summer. When we first came we stayed in a silver caravan but for not too much more we now stay in gold plus and its worth every penny the caravans at this level are gorgeous and full heated( a bonus in the spring!) If you are after an all action holiday then no this probably isn't for you but if a quiet week is what your looking for its perfect. The entertainment is great the clubhouse is perfect for a family evening out. We have a 14 year old and an 11 year old and they are still looking forward to going back even though they have been so many times. This year we have opted to go here twice once at Easter and again in august in a platinum caravan so that should be brilliant . I would say if you want time to spend as a family without all the bells and whistles of other big name holiday company's then give bide ford bay a go.its great value for money and offers a little bit of nostalgia in a gorgeous setting!"
- Travel date: 20th February 2014
Bideford Bay, worst break ever!!!!!!
"Had sun holiday to Bideford Bay, we've had many and this is the worse one ever!!!! We got upgraded to a silver chalet which was more like a war shelter!!! It smelt of mould and ants crawling all over the work surface in the kitchen. You couldnt park your car outside and it was pouring with rain so we got drenched unpacking!!!! The club house, what a joke!! Terrible entertainment, very outdated, food was disgusting, the outdoor pool smelt like a toilet. The beach is a vary long walk along a mud path not suitable if you have young kids or disabled as its very dangerous. We got half way and could hear a droning noise only to come across a sewage works!!! at this point we decided just to turn back!!! Spoilt our break, it was a joke, beware!!!!!"
- Travel date: 10th July 2009
Cheap Trip to Bideford Bay
"Booked via National newspaper Â£9.50 offer - ended up costing over Â£100 for the 3 nights. Upgraded to a silver chalet which did come with a very good view as the site is about 150-200 foot above sea level but was very damp. The mouldy smell never did go away even after a few days of heating and airing. Unable to climb down to beach as path to wet and muddy. To be fair we did have very heavy rain while there. Nothing much near by to visit on foot. The big sheep is well worth a visit and the Asda and Atlantic Outlet shoping centre is just a few miles away, quite close to the big sheep. Best eatery was the Thatched Inn about 4-5 miles away as the site food was not very good. Indoor swimming pool was small but OK and well run and supervised."
- Travel date: 10th June 2009
"I've been going to Bideford Bay for a few years now and I have never got bored of the place! Fantastic atmosphere, good family resort. Plenty to do in and around the resort, you have the mix etc for the kids and plenty of night time entertaintment which, although sometimes a bit tacky, is always a good laugh. This year there was a particularly good electric guitar duo! The static homes are well equipped and quite clean, only problem is the bathroom with is slightly cramped and quite cold! But if you can deal with that then theres no worries. All in a all a brilliant holiday and will definitly be going back again!"
- Travel date: 3rd June 2009
Okay for a short stay.
"Another `cheapie` Â£9.50, (which actually ended up costing Â£84), booked through a tabloid newspaper. Our first experience of this type of break, but the credit crunch hits hard, and we though we`d just use it as a base. First impressions of the 4pm check in was, what a bun fight! A very out dated method of checking everyone in at the same time, not even computerised. Everybody waits in the clubhouse for that magical clock to tick over, they`ve got a captive audience then to force you to buy food and drink. Car parking for this `event` was totally random, as no one knew where they were staying, everyone parked at the clubhouse so no one could drive through. It all seemed very old fashioned, with a `DJ` trying to wind the crowd up about booking in. We finally got to the front of the queue, and were pleased to discover we`d been upgraded free of charge to a Silver chalet. Glad I hadn`t paid for an upgrade at the time of booking. The site seemed very attractive, but as it was pitch black by then, we couldn`t really tell. The chalet was okay, clean but smelled a bit musty, and some dubious stains on the mattress and sofa. As there was only two of us, it didn`t feel too cramped, but if we`d had children it would have been a tight squeeze. It was freezing cold while we were there, so we had the heating on the whole time. Beware, there is no heating in the bathroom, so it gets very cold. Not suitable if you have a baby as it`s too cold, and only a shower, no bath. Also, the bathroom floor is VERY slippery, and while they put signs up to warn you, why not supply it with a simple rubber mat or wooden duckboard to stand on? The shower screen was broken, so they`d replaced it with a tatty unhygienic curtain which came off the rings every time I pulled it. The site itself is very pretty, wooded and with lovely views across the bay. Not suitable if you have babies/toddlers as there is no path and is very steep. Couldn`t imagine pushing a buggy round. We didn`t use the facilities at all, except for once when we tried to get a coffee at 3.30pm. Only to find the diner/bar all locked up. Seemed as if they just couldn`t be bothered as it was end of season. The only time we went into reception to ask a question about local amenities, they were too busy on the phone trying to take bookings to be bothered with us. We had to wait 10 minutes before someone came to answer our question. This site is probably okay in Summer and for those with over 5s. No good for disabled people either. Not much to do in the locality, everywhere is a steep walk, but okay if you want a base for rambling."
- Travel date: 3rd November 2008
Top traveller tips for Bideford Bay Holiday Park
"Visit the local areas; Clovelly, woolacombe/ilfracombe, Padstow, Bostcastle, etc..."
"Do not stay in parkland 45"
"Don't bother with the passes, there is so much more to do anyway!"
"Join in with everything! Take a flask and snacks - cappucinos are expensive and not very good."
"Book silver or above it offers more comfort"