Twitchen House Holiday Park,
Mortehoe Station Road,
Twitchen House is one of the four sites that make up Woolacombe Bay Holiday Parks. Marketing brochures and website describes Twitchen House as a woodland park that is wonderfully intimate with more space to get away from it all, a lovely laid back feel, boasting charm due to it’s manor house setting.
We arrived at the site on easter Sunday afternoon at around 3:30 we had already been told by someone who wasn't camping with us what our pitch number was, the receptionist had given them our details, I wasn't impressed by this and so I decided to mention it whist we were checking in, the reception staff were adamant that they hadn't and would never do this right up until we showed her the text that we had received and told her the pitch number, which when she checked us in was correct. The receptionist said to find out who had given the information out and they would look into it.
We finally found our all weather super pitch, after driving around the pitch number was missing and with the numbers of the other pitches being covered it took a while to confirm our pitch. Now the wording Super Pitch might give the impression that the pitch is large, it is not, our tent isn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination and we had to park one of the cars in such a way that it could not be moved again until the tent was taken down. It was a fully serviced pitch on a solid hardcore base covered with pea gravel, we had book the all weather pitch because of the time of year, but the ground was rock solid and we had loads of trouble trying to get the hard ground pegs into the ground they were bending, we eventually had to find a local camping shop Mullacott Caravan & Motorhome Centre (very helpful and pleasant staff) and purchased a lump hammer and some pile driver pegs. The electric grass pitches are the best size wise and a plus for this site is that they don't charge for extra cars.
The site was very busy on our arrival but that was expected due to it being Easter Bank Holiday and many left the next day, the bins were overflowing on Sunday when we arrived as were the toilets, the bins were emptied on Monday afternoon but the site resembled a rubbish dumped by then with beer cans and large boxes piled up around he bins. The toilets were another matter, they got so bad that we had to use other toilets off site. I posted pictures on the sites Twitter page and they still didn’t get them fixed until Wednesday they were all overflowing and the smell was something else. They eventually got the toilets working properly on Wednesday, this i something that I had never experienced before. There are no plugs for any of the sinks not even in the dishwashing room, so unless you take your own bowl your scuppered, the soap dispensers in the toilet were empty and the roll was missing in many of the toilets because the staff had not put the large rolls into the holders they had placed them on top, so people had removed them. Our daughter found that she had to move to three different showers during her shower because the shower would go cold and then wouldn't go warm again, however the showers are included in the price of the pitch.
All the information that the holiday park provides is available on the parks mobile app, which we couldn’t download because they were having problems with there wifi and the sight as no mobile internet signal so it couldn't be downloaded that way either, the staff were not very helpful no matter what you asked them, they always seemed to tell you to ask someone else. We paid for some streaming internet access at the cost of £24 for 3 days for one device which I think is expensive considering that it was extremely slow and the signal kept dropping out.
We did go swimming at the site, the lockers are small and they take a £1 coin apparently both old and new but the new one we put in got jammed and on speaking to a maintenance guy he told us to go to reception (we wasn't surprised at the response and we didn't bother going), the pool was quiet and we enjoyed our swim, that was until we came to have a shower. The pool only has some cold showers where you exit the pool, so we had to walk across the campsite with a towel wrapped around us in ordered to wash the chlorine from our hair and it wasn't a warm day. Perhaps I was being a bit presumptuous but I’ve never been to an enclosed pool that doesn't provide showers for washing yourself.
The early hours of Tuesday morning (4:30am) I was awoken by some loud music that I discovered was coming from the toilet block, I called reception in the morning and I spoke to someone called Peter who was completely unaware of the music and he assured me that the music would be dealt with, so exactly the same thing happened that night, I called the main booking line they said that because I was on the holiday park I had to try and locate someone from the management team, I called reception again and guess what they had no idea about the music, the assistant manger Rory was sitting in reception at the time of the call, I was assured that it would be dealt with. I did tell them if it woke me again I would cut the wires myself. I’ve never known music to be played in a toilet block before but I don't wish to empty my bladder or bowels (not that you could for days) to BBC Radio 2, nor do I wish to shower to it.
We spoke to the reception several times about the toilets, the noise, the wifi not working and also to try and find information about the site, the customer service was terrible, no one did what they said they would and it was always someone else's fault or someone else needed to deal with it.
To be fair to the site had we have known that it was a little like an Haven type site we wouldn't have booked there as I’ve already mentioned the park described itself rather differently, I don’t particularly want to see a paralytic man that is unable to stand nearly get run over because he’s chasing a can of beer that he’s dropped, I also just want some peace and not to hear dogs constantly barking. I appreciate that everyone is different and others may like the site, it just wasn't for us and when you add in all the other issues it made for an unpleasant experience.
We did receive a letter of apology today for the camping and touring facilities not being up to their usual high standards, they have offered up to two nights free camping out of season, which is of no use to us or anyone else with children of school age, so a rather backhanded apology, which I think highlights their lack of customer appreciation, when all is said and done we are not hard to please and the staff were given ample opportunity in a variety of communications to address issues and they were not interested.
All that said Woolacombe and the surrounding area is beautiful and peaceful we visited a site just across the street from Twitchen House called Damage Barton (which is allows both members and non embers of the Camping and Caravan Club) and that site was very reasonably priced with very clean facilities including plugs, it was peaceful and quiet with beautiful panoramic sea views along with a cafe onsite and the lady at reception was very welcoming and helpful. Fully serviced to grass only pitches and very secure and the wifi available is well priced. I will be doing a review with photographs shortly.