Durdle Door Holiday Park
Last year the high school that our children attend decided that they would try and help parents out by having a couple of teachers training days after the six weeks’ holidays so that parent could maybe save some money by going on holiday out of season, they didn’t have to return to school until the 7th September. We decided to go to Dorset, the weather is usually better down south and we had spoken to a couple that were camping in the Lake District that lived in Dorset and they had said how pleasant it was. I looked online and decided on Durdle Door purely because it looked so very beautiful and I would be able to get some great shots on my camera. The out of season prices were very reasonable this made us decide to stay for 5 nights. 6 of us camped 2 adults and 4 children (people under 18 are charged child rates, so it’s good if you have older children, some sites charge adult prices from 15+). We booked a pitch T12 in Abbeyfield, online it stated it was a pitch for a tourer as we wanted a pitch with an electric hook up. The pitch was very large and we were surrounded by bushes that marked our pitch. This gave it a private feel and helped with the dog, I imagine that if you have small children it would offer some peace of mind knowing that they can only escape from one side.
Other pitches are available, Seaview on the cliff top overlooking Durdle Door Beach, they have a slight gentle slope to steep slope with access to electric hook-ups. The Woodland Camping is a lovely shaded camping area for smaller tents that can nestle amongst the trees, Eypeside are open field pitches with beautiful views overlooking farmland and countryside. If you don’t fancy having to pitch a tent there are Pods (Wooden) available in the Abbeyfied and Woodland camping area they sleep up to four people. The site also as Holiday homes/static caravans that are available to hire that sleep 4-6 people some even allow our four legged friends, along with some very beautiful Holiday Cottages set in a breathtakingly beautiful location, high on the hill above the iconic rock arch of Durdle Door, these ecologically built cottages occupy what was once a group of working period farm buildings. Sleeping 2 - 6, all six cottages share exclusive use of the fitness and recreation barn and in the summer months, the heated outdoor swimming pool. Accommodation wise there is something for everyone.
On the site are children’s play areas, a shower block (free hot water), dishwashing area, laundry, Blue Crab Cafe Bar (open daily), On-site shop (open daily) and Wi-Fi the toilets and dishwashing areas are clean however I did have one gripe the toilets and shower block shut for an hour everyday at 11, which meant you had to walk to another smaller block of toilets and showers further away. Both blocks had a disabled toilet the main block as a disabled toilet combined with shower room. Another gripe I have with campsites (and this is one of them), is charging expensive rates for extra cars, we’re a family of 5 sometimes 6 plus a dog, with all the people and kit we can’t fit in a standard estate car and we wouldn’t fit in a 7 seater van so we have to travel in 2 cars a large estate and a small hatchback, on this site you have to pay £15 for 3 days or £25 for 7 days there is no daily rate so if you’re staying for only 4 or 5 nights you end up having to £25, I understand that with this site they charge parking for people visiting Durdle Door Beach and this is where you have to park your second vehicle, however you’re staying on the site it’s not like we have the option of using only one car, had we have taken a trailer we wouldn’t have been charged, it would have occupied the same space and we would have been able to park it on the pitch. We didn't eat at the Blue Crab but we did sit outside and enjoy a Guinness, the shop holds a lot of stock, like with all onsite shops they tend to be a little expensive but they’re always useful for fresh milk and bread and whatever else you have run out of or forgotten.
The site is in an extremely beautiful location it's also very peaceful and pleasant even in the mist and drizzle, we found the location great and it was easy to access other locations we had days out at Poole and Studland, visiting Old Harry Rocks and the beautiful sandy beaches with their lovely dunes. We walked from the site along the coast to Lulworth cove down the many steps and then back to Man O War beach and Durdle Door. The pictures really don’t do the place justice, seeing is believing it's so impressive and breathtakingly beautiful.
We did experience some noise on the site, however the site wardens were soon onto it and they kept driving past to make sure that it was stopped and that it didn’t start up again. The staff are very friendly and the customer service is brilliant, in fact there are places we didn't get to visit further along the coast and also Lulworth Castle & Park (which looks beautiful, come back in August 2017 for the pictures) so we're returning in August 2017.
Something to be mindful of Lulworth is party owned by the MOD (Ministry of Defence) if you wish to walk the coastal path it is only accessible when the Range allows it, which is when on live shootings are taking place. Lulworth Range is a live military firing range it is part of the AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicles) Gunnery School, an important training establishment of the British Army. You can call 01929 404819 for a recorded message about live firing times, there is also information available online. The Range is open during all of August.