03 September, 2006

Hedley Wood - campsite review

Right, let's start playing catch-up (again!), this time set your wayback machine for the 24th August, destination "Hedley Wood Caravan and Camping Site, Bridgerule" (put on Trip-a-Tron proof shades before clicking that link btw ;)...

Now, Bridgerule is a funny old place, postcode-wise it's in Devon, but you don't get the "Welcome to Devon" sign until after it, and you don't get the "Welcome to Cornwall" sign until you leave it going the other way, so officially, I guess, it's in a kind of "no-mans-land" lurking on the front line between the two counties...it's a nice location too, very quiet, great views down to the awesome surfing beach at Widemouth, and a short drive to Bude, (the beautiful) Boscastle and (the historic) Launceston...there is also a fairly well appointed farm shop, stocking local produce only a short drive down the A39...so all very good, we have spent many, many peaceful and happy holidays on this site (and as such probably (and I must warn you) qualify as "old lags" rather than proper customers, I guess)...
Cornwall 2006 #47
We set off just before 5am, zoomed down the A303/A30 and then cut North through Launceston arriving on site in record time (about 3.5 hours), Flyingpops' folks were playing scout and had already set up base-camp on site, so we radioed ahead and supplies were waiting for us in the form of tea/coffee and bacon sarnies/toast when we arrived, a request was sent to the site authorities to bring up our mobile quarters ASAP and then we settled down to try and get into the holiday spirit...

EIGHT HOURS (and *three* phone calls) later the caravan finally appears on the horizon...now, I'm perfectly well aware that "life moves at a different pace in the South West", and from thence comes *much* of the area's attraction, however, to spend nearly the whole first day of your holiday sat around with a ludicrously overloaded car was frankly, well, a little bit annoying for us, so, the nice (but stressed) looking guy props it all up and drives away thinking "job done"...Flyingpops and Dad enter the caravan and -
  • It's not exactly clean (so, no moans, as we are unofficially renting it, the cleaning products come out, and the dead insects and grime are rapidly removed)
  • The bed is broken (so another phone call, several visits with tape measures and various bits of wood, and *finally* we have somewhere to sleep!)
  • Hurrah(!)

Cornwall 2006 #1
...anyway, moan-stick down for a minute...we put the gazebo up, unpacked all our stuff into the caravan, turned the car back *into* a car and were good to go...phew...so we nipped to the local Morrisons to grab some supplies, got the fridge up and running and finally settled down to some decent relaxation...
Cornwall 2006 #2
...Since my last visit (as I said, we've been there a number of times before) the dreadful, spider filled toilet/shower block has been totally revamped (although not quite finished at time of writing) -
Cornwall 2006 #27
- with at least a 50% functioning rate on the washing up facilities(!) -
Cornwall 2006 #28
- for supper, being a bit on the sleepy side after our early start we headed down to the club house...
Cornwall 2006 #43
- I went for the Cottage pie which was 15% cheese, 45% mashed potato and 40% mince, so, alright, but not up to the standards I had come to expect having eaten here before and be aware you can't count on the steaks not to be rather overdone (even "rare", in my experience, seemed to come to table verging on the "well done", tut...) (chips are flawless though) -
Cornwall 2006 #3
- there are also signs, as the site begins it's "Lebensraum"-style expansion over local farmland, that bigger isn't necessarily better, one immediately obvious incident of vandalism, what is wrong with some of these new people? -
Cornwall 2006 #45
- and we heard tell of one (totally out of character) robbery on site via camp grapevine, but again, this is unpreciedented in any previous experience -
Cornwall 2006 #46
- back to the positive side, the new fields are lush and huge, circled by a wonderful "dog walk", which doubles as an awesome mountain bike off-road course, the headgerows were full of lushous blackberry, ripe for the picking, the lower bar area sports probably the largest sea-water fish-tank I have ever seen outside a proper aquarium(!) full of waving polyps -
Cornwall 2006 #53
- and exotic fish -
Cornwall 2006 #54
- the charm *definitely* hasn't left the place, but it's starting to look like a bit more harsh management might be required (as the place grows) to keep it as perfect as it has been all these years... ;)

It's a dog friendly site (as long as owners are prepared to clear up after their little darlings), and kids are free to run riot, it's probably the most family friendly site I have ever stayed on, and also one of the most relaxed *and* relaxing places to spend your time in the South West...the staff are largely genuinely caring, laid back (for good *and* for bad!) and the surf is just minutes away...

You could do a whole *lot* worse...definitely check it out... ;)


Mr X said...

We were just down the road from you in sunny Redruth - staying at my ma's place who is living down there now in a state of semi-permanent retirement. Sounds like our setting off time of 7:30am made for a better journey home though - don't think J could have stomached an 8 hour journey home!

¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ said...

Heh! That's funny, Flyingpops spent a day in Redruth visiting an old friend of hers, damn, we could have met up but for a bit of planning! Doh!

Journey home was absolute hell, seriously the worse I have even known it...and this was supposed to be out of season!