excited to get back to
blogging after what seems like a lifetime away. However, I’ve come back totally refreshed and with
soooo much to share. Here’s the first
instalment in my holiday round up posts – a bit of a write up about what we thought of the caravan site we stayed at in the first week of our hols.
Back in 2014 I won a competition for a seven night stay in a brand new Bailey Unicorn Cartagena at the Hillhead Caravan Club site in Devon.
The site is just down the road from one of our favourite places – Dartmouth – so we were very excited. It was going to be a bit strange turning up without our trusty Tin Box but we were interested to find out what the Cartagena was like. I’ll be reviewing that separately.
So, with our car rammed full of all the things we’d usually be towing behind us, we set off for Devon.
A bit about the site
Hillhead is a former commercial site that has been given new life by the Caravan Club. It has 256 pitches, toilet blocks and an entertainment complex with outdoor heated swimming pool. Add to that a wonderful location on the English Riviera and it has everything a holidaying family could possibly need – a part from guaranteed good weather, as we found out.
The site is open to members and non-members, and allows tents as well as caravans.
We had a friendly welcome from the site wardens and were given a quick tour of the caravan, which was already sited for us (oh, the luxury) not far from the pool and entertainment complex.
Throughout the site there are a variety of different sized and shaped, grass and gravel pitches. Some would only be suitable for a smaller caravan or motorhome because of the position of the hedges and access from the roadway. However, there were some large outfits on site.
Our pitch was on a cul-de-sac so there were very few cars driving by and it felt safe to let Tin Box Tot step outside the van on her own.
We had hoped for a sea view but very few of the pitches were elevated enough to be able to see the coast and ours was sheltered by hedges.
The site’s toilet blocks had plenty of loos and showers. There was also a laundry with washing machines, sinks and tumble dryers, family shower rooms and a dish washing area. We didn’t visit these a lot as we used the facilities in the caravan but it was clear that they were well used by other campers and did look a bit messy by the end of the day.
The social media addict in me was delighted to find out that onsite Wifi was just £10 for the week. However, coverage was limited. It worked fine at the complex but dropped out back at the caravan. Even when connected I wasn’t able to upload pictures to Instagram and Facebook.
Fun stuff for kids
Hillhead is certainly the most family-orientated Club site we have been to with nightly kids entertainment and dedicated inflatable times at the pool.
The arcade, with 2p machines, game machines and a pool table, was packed out on rainy days. When the weather picked up Tin Box Tot loved splashing about in the kids’ and main pool.
She also enjoyed the playground which had equipment suitable for toddlers right through to teens.
With two under three-year-olds whose bedtime is usually 7pm we only made it to children’s hour one evening. Tin Box Tot enjoyed watching the older children playing the party games and eventually joined in herself. After children’s hour there’s bingo or a quiz and then a different variety act each night.
Tin Box Dog had lots of sniffs around the site’s dedicated dog walk which overlooks the coastline towards Brixham. A lot of people were commenting on how picturesque it was.
The onsite shop has groceries, caravan accessories, newspapers and magazines, as well as beach and pool toys. The prices are reasonable as well. We picked up some ham for sandwiches, a cherry pie, custard, magazine for me (forgot my Kindle) and a large bottle of cola for under £10.
The bar and restaurant
The bar and restaurant were also reasonably priced. We usually barbecue when we are away in the caravan but as a treat we ate out at the restaurant one night. The menu has everything you would expect in a pub. Mr TB had a chicken tikka masala with all the trimmings, I had a huge prawn salad and TBT had a child’s spaghetti bolognese that I could have happily eaten.
Things to do in the area
Luckily the weather did pick up towards the end of our week and so we were able to make the most of being on the South Devon coast. We reached Man Sands – the closest beach – in a five minute car journey and 15 minute walk downhill from the car park.
There are more accessible beaches on the other side of Dartmouth in the south and to the north at Torquay.
Hillhead is a great Club site for families with plenty to do in the local area and onsite. Have you ever visited there?
Disclosure: while we stayed at Hillhead for free after winning a competition I was not asked to write a review and all views are my own.