Lady Heyes Caravan & Camp Site
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - http://www.ladyheyespark.com/
Charges per night (2014)
Camping - Adults £8.00, children £3.00 (under 3yrs free) Ehu - £3.00 Dogs £1.00 each
Caravan/motorhome charges - contact site for details
After hearing other people sing the praises of this camping and caravan site I was recently looking forward to meeting up there with a group of camping friends - it was their choice of site and my first time there but to be honest it was also my last as I disliked the place intensely.
The camping field is sloping with a central gravel roadway, though the 'gravel' seems to be more like ground up hardcore and builder's rubble as there were stones and small bits of brick lying in the grass. The pitches, although long, aren't very wide, and many of them are very uneven; the hook-up posts are situated at the front of the pitches rather than at the back near the hedge, so cables snaking along the ground to various tents could provide a trip hazard.
All bar two of the pitches were occupied when I arrived and there wasn't much space in between each unit - no 6m rule here so I hope no-one ever has a tent catch fire. I couldn't get onto the pitch I'd originally booked as there was a large tent on the next pitch which encroached halfway onto mine, making putting up my own tent impossible so I had to change to another pitch. This was so uneven that the front of the tent wouldn't peg down properly, I had to put wood blocks under my kitchen stand and larder unit to level them up and my bed sloped sideways, giving me a very uncomfortable night's sleep and dreadful backache. Also, because the pitches are long and narrow, cars have to be parked at the end of each pitch, and a long line of cars at each side of the roadway makes the site look rather like a car park.
There are two fresh water taps on the camping field and these are located at the back of the pitches along the hedge separating the field from the caravan section, but with tents in front of them even using the site map provided by reception they aren't easy to find, also it means walking across other occupied pitches to get to them. The only dustbins are situated at the very top end of the field so quite a walk for anyone camping at the bottom. The facilities block is situated over on the caravan section and there's a children's play area close to it; there's also a large play barn and a soft play area in the on-site cafe/clubhouse but these are all more suited to younger kids, with nothing for older ones.
Unfortunately, what most people don't tell you is that the site is right under the flight path for Liverpool airport and from 6am for over three hours the planes were coming over more or less one after the other and quite low - under normal circumstances I don't mind a few planes but this was more than just a few and the constant drone so early in the morning was very annoying. I was also wakened by plane noise a couple of times during the night, which wasn't funny.
On the plus side the toilets and showers have underfloor heating and were spotlessly clean, also there was music playing quietly whenever I went in there; I didn't use the pot washing or laundry facilities so I can't comment on those. One big minus point though is the location of the cdp, which is right next to the children's play area - not very pleasant or hygienic. There's a dog walk between the camping field and the caravan section with a small enclosed field at the end where dogs can be let off the lead, and on the wall outside the laundry room is a bike/dog shower set at a comfortable 30 degrees. The tops of the hook-up posts are all lit up at night which helps to light the way on any night time trips to the loos, and when pitching the tent the pegs all went in the ground easily.
In the site grounds there are several single storey buildings separated into different units selling antiques, collectables and gifts, crafts and shabby chic furniture, there's also a book shop, sweet shop, micro brewery, bistro and a lovely Yankee Candle shop. These shops are a popular weekend attraction for many people, and though they are separated from the camping/caravan site itself by hedges and small trees there's nothing to stop any members of the public walking through and wandering round the caravans and tents; security-wise that could be a cause for concern for some campers, although I personally didn't notice anyone there who shouldn't be.
Unfortunately, apart from the on-site shops and eateries there's very little to see or do in the immediate area - Frodsham town centre and Morrisons are just a couple of miles away and Delamere Forest and Go Ape are only a ten minute drive down the road but anywhere else, like Chester and its zoo, is quite a distance away.
When I originally made my booking I really only wanted to stay for two nights, Saturday and Sunday, but the site 'rules' for the time of year meant I had to also book the Friday - that was no use to me as with working in the evening I couldn't get away until Saturday morning, so it meant I had to pay for a night I couldn't use, and at £13 per night it worked out expensive. On checking in at reception on arrival I was given a swipe card for access to the toilets and showers, I had to pay a £10 deposit for this which was refunded at the end of my stay. Unfortunately, for some reason I was only given £5 back which I didn't realise until I got home and by then it was too late to do anything about it. With hindsight I should have checked before I left reception but I just wanted to get away.
No doubt many people, especially those with young kids, will think this is a great site but unfortunately I don't. In sixteen years of camping this is the first site that I haven't liked - to be honest I hated every minute of my stay and if I hadn't already paid for the one night I couldn't use I would have left after the first night there. Looking round it seems that the place isn't very old and is either still being developed or is being extended - I think with a few tweaks here and there it could be a really nice site but unfortunately it's not for me. Would I go back? Definitely not!