River Dart Country Park
It's not often that Rob and I go off to see one of the local attractions and come home so full of praise.
Today we went along to The Dart River Country Park just to take a few shots simply to improve the look of the Park's voucher on my discount voucher page. We expected to find a fair sized campsite, in a country park with an adventure park to amuse the kids, BUT I came back so enthused, that I am doing the write up on the same day. (unheard of !)
When the photos were uploaded from the camera, I just wanted to sit down straight away to add them to my site.
What we found was THE most impressive caravan and campsite. Far bigger than I imagined, in a most beautiful parkland setting just out of Ashburton. Acres of most attractive fields and woodland, with lots of green space for everyone.
Whoever was responsible for the layout deserves a medal. In a setting alongside the glorious River Dart offering pretty pathways for bikers and walkers, that's perfect for young families to get out in the fresh air. I was especially pleased to see a sensibly low level of sympathetic signage by the river that thankfully doesn't spoil the beauty of the area.
Day visitors and camping guests are welcome to play on a multitude of well designed and sturdy outdoor play equipment. Zip wires, climbing nets, a wooden pirate ship anchored in an accessible lake where children of all ages most in wetsuits, are swimming, splashing, paddling inflatable boats, building sandcastles and having a whale of a time.
The park has plenty of well placed picnic tables, all is well tended with a low level of litter, despite there being hundreds of visitors all busily having a wonderful time, and everywhere you look there is something to be doing.
I questioned people all afternoon "Is this your first time here?". Many said no, that they come back year after year. I asked "What do you think of the park?" Everyone said 'Brilliant' "What do you make of the place?" and "Are you having fun?", "Is it good value?" and every single person raved about the place - and for good reason.
Once in, you can enjoy yourselves without spending any more money. A few of the day activities do cost a bit more; canoeing, rock climbing, bike hire and the more dare devil activites such as the high wire climbs, the water Zorbs and the mega Zip Wire. But these features have to be well supervised and good instructors have to be paid for. The free colour brochure explains the pricing.
I watched the staff closely and they were all smiling and obliging. There is masses for kids to be doing and an occasional battery operated service vehicle drives around collecting bins or changeover staff, but apart from that there's no traffic where children play, but there is the odd low key ice cream outlet at just the right spot.
The campsite offers just tent areas, just caravan areas, with electrical hook ups if required, plus a happy mix of caravans and tents with frequent open spaces throughout for families to play games, and one young Mum told methat the showers were the best that she had come across in any UK campsite.
Who wouldn't mind carrying out a spot of hand laundry with a view like this to scrub at ?
This family from the West Midlands with Aunty Lettie (far left) in charge; all think that the park is "absolutely brilliant"
There's so much more that I haven't mentioned, a display of birds of prey, a cafe, Zorbs on the river that we didn't get round to until too late in the day, rock climbing and the park's hydro dynamic screw helping to reduce the carbon footprint. And by the way dogs are welcome as long as they are on a lead.
Take a look at the River Dart Country Park website