Salop leisure have recently opened a brand new camping park next to their caravan dealership. The site is split over two levels but remarkably you can’t see it from the road, this means it feels quite secluded once you are on site, however there is a little bit of road noise from the nearby A5.
Salop leisure have spent many millions of pounds so far on what is arguably the best camp site in Shropshire. As I write this though they haven’t quite finished yet, there are still the glamping tents to install and some of the facilities are yet to be finished. But the site is landscaped, the pitches are level, gravelled and hedged. The toilet block is huge and is state of the art, there are ‘no-touch’ taps that tell you how long the water is going to flow for and at what temperature, it’s more 5star hotel than camp site.
They are well resourced too, there is an onsite cafe and pizzeria, there is a fitness suite, changing rooms and they are building a program of events and activities. The activities range from kayaking, paddle boarding, yoga and Pilates to name but a few and there is a large instructor lead assault course and a huge play ground for the kids. Potentially there is plenty to do and lots to attract you to stay and why wouldn’t you because the place is stunning, there is however one or two little things that aren’t quite right, but before we get into that here is a very quick video featuring some of the highlights.
Plenty of facilities
Check out this panorama photo of the kids play area it’s huge and challenging enough to keep them interested for long enough for you to have a coffee and watch them.
First of all let me say that, this is going to be my new favourite camp site, I live about 20 minutes away and so I will watch the weather and if it’s going to be a nice weekend I will probably spend it here. So anything I say that might spoil this rave review is said because I really want this place to succeed and perhaps the points I make might get straightened out in the future.
Natural swimming pool
They have installed a stunning outside pool, there is a cedar deck around it and to one end are three hot tubs. On the cedar deck are luxurious day beds and there are curious L shaped bean bags to sit one which are surprisingly comfortable. The problem is, the pool is unheated and when I went in I was only able to remain in the water for a few minutes before the pain of the chilly water drove me out. The pool is a natural pool which means it isn’t dosed with chlorine and filtration is being dealt with by the plants around the one edge. This is a superb idea and it should be a delight to swim in, but why isn’t it heated? It must have cost a fortune to install and my argument is if you are going to that kind of expense why wasn’t a geothermal system or a solar heating system installed? I’ve been in, but I won’t do it again unless the temperature is significantly changed. It was a novelty to go in the first time, but once is enough at that temperature and that’s a real shame, I can bet a lot of other people will think the same.
Dogs are allowed on-site
One other thing that I noticed while I was ‘chilling’ around the pool was there were a lot of visitors who seem to think it’s OK to have there dogs with them in the outside area of the cafe. Now I have nothing against dogs, but it does concern me when owners purposely walk them around eating areas. I saw one owner let their dog urinate on the delicate lavender plants around the pool, its not the dogs fault but it highlights the fact that really there should be tighter controls on where the owners can take there dogs on the site.
Shower blocks and things to do on-site
I mentioned that the shower block was state of the art, you have a key card that you waft in front of a sensor by the door and it opens to let you in. This is great, except when you check in you are only given one card, this means that you can’t visit the shower block if one of your party has already gone. For example, my son texted me from the shower to tell me he had forgotten his towel but I couldn’t get in to take it to him as he had the card. What would be better perhaps is a keypad system so you simply type a number to get it. The key card also gets you through the entrance barrier, but I read somewhere that there is also a number plate recognition system, so maybe the card isn’t really needed? It feels like a an over complication.
Program of events
The site is just finding its feet I know but now is make or break for a lot of people, first impressions last. So it was frustrating to see that the events program wasn’t really sticking to any schedule. For example the kayaking, which I had phoned and pre-booked, had moved from 1pm to 12.30pm. We couldn’t book in till 12 so by the time we had waited behind others who were checking in it was already 12.20pm which meant we had to dump the van on the pitch and race down to the lake to take part. All the boats were out so the instructor had to call for volunteers to get out so my two kids could have a go. Paddle boarding wasn’t on either because the instructor was only standing in for the actual instructor who was away on holiday. Why would you let any member of staff go on holiday when the site has only just opened?
These gripes are only small and all the issues resolved themselves, I just feel really frustrated for them because they shouldn’t be happening. The staff on the desk were brilliant, the grounds are immaculate and when the planting establishes itself it will truly be a stunning camp site. Each pitch is fully serviced and if you are using the right chemicals in your loo, you can even discharge your black water into the drain on your pitch. If you aren’t using green chemicals then there is a sluice in the dog washing room, or you can use the new Thetford cassette washing machine.
As I said before they are still building and I hope that the facilities get better and better, they really need a grocery shop because there isn’t one local. My and my family will definitely return, probably many times, there is a lot that they have got right I really want Love2Stay to do well, it deserves it.