Appuldurcombe Gardens Camping & Caravan Park
Appuldurcombe Road, Ventnor, United Kingdom
www.appuldurcombegardens.co.uk - 01983 852597
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Appuldurcombe Gardens Camping & Caravan Park Ventnor Reviews
Static caravans & campsite in idyllic surroundings May 01, 2013
My mum and I stayed in a static caravan at Appuldurcombe Gardens from 22-26 April 2013. We booked through a national newspaper deal, offering a 4-night stay for £9 a night - hence rating it as cheap and excellent value for money!
POSITIVES: Divided into separate areas for caravans and camping, the static caravans are located within the orchard of an old mansion. Both the caravans and their surroundings are immaculate; every day of our stay there was a member of staff washing the outside of the caravans, the litter bins were changed daily, the grassy areas were lush and well-kept, and the plants and trees were well-tended. We could hear peacocks, pigeons and woodpeckers nearby, which added to the sense of tranquillity. Cars aren't allowed near the caravans but there's a car park just outside the orchard wall, and barrows are provided to help make the luggage trek easier! There are separate designated areas for ball games, barbecues and washing lines, all away from the caravans and stopping it from looking like a stereotypical caravan site!
Our caravan was spotless throughout, with clean floors and surfaces, and was very nicely decorated/furnished. There was a gas fire and colour TV in the main living area, and the kitchen included a toaster, electric kettle, gas stove with oven and grill, a microwave and a full-sized fridge with a freezer compartment. All cooking utensils and crockery - from pots, pans, glass cooking dishes, potato peeler and grater to egg cups, glasses, plates, bowls and cutlery - are provided, and were clean and in excellent condition. The bathroom had a separate shower cubicle and a heated towel rail. You have to bring your own towels, tea towels and bed linen - although bed linen can be hired at £7 a set.
Our caravan had 2 bedrooms: one with twin beds and the other with a double bed. Each bedroom had wardrobe and cabinet space along with 2 drawers, and the double bedroom even had a small dressing table and bedside tables. Ingenious heaters had been cunningly built into the bottom of the wardrobes to throw heat out into each bedroom at the flick of a switch.
Appuldurcome Gardens is situated just a short drive away from various sights, including the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary, Appuldurcome House (the old mansion in whose grounds the park is, and which you can explore for £4) and the Isle of Wight Owl & Falconry Centre, which is great value for money and well worth a visit. The high surrounding wall and the enclosed nature of the orchard makes it perfect for children, as does the nearby play-area. Facilities also include an on-site shop, a launderette and a swimming pool.
NOT-SO-POSITIVES: The swimming pool was choked with weeds and occupied by a duck; even though we were staying out of season, we were surprised that the pool wasn't covered or kept in better condition. The shop was only open for about an hour in the morning, after which you had to go to Reception (at the other end of the site!) to ask them to open it up (at the opposite end) to get what you needed. The staff went through the motions of hospitality when we checked in and out but weren't very 'smiley' or particularly friendly otherwise. The bedrooms got cold very quickly as the evening set in, but that's probably not surprising bearing in mind we were in a caravan!
Overall, Appuldurcombe Gardens is a great place to stay (especially out of season!). The caravans are clean and comfortable, the area itself is peaceful and lovely-looking, and it's perfect for a quiet getaway for couples and families. I don't know what it's like at the height of the season, but the management rules regarding barbecues, ball games and hanging washing certainly go some way to implying that it's a nice environment for everybody. Definitely worth a look, and perfect to get away from the more touristy areas of the island!
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