Sunday, August 12, 2012

Kneps Farm Holiday Park Review

A quacking good site
After a browse on Google searching out caravan sites around the Blackpool area I came across Kneps Farm Holiday Park. At £20.50 per night it seemed a little expensive, but after looking through their website, which I have to say is excellent and very informative, seemed to at least give good value for money. The fee of £20.50 was for a pitch inclusive of 16amp electric hook up and and awning in the middle of the school holidays in August. In comparison with other caravan sites at this time of year it was probably one of the cheaper ones so on consideration their prices are reasonable.

It was a last minute decision to go away as the weather forecast had not been a very good one, although the weekend had proved the forecasters wrong and we'd had quite nice weather. We decided to go on the Monday morning, unfortunately when we got up it was pouring with rain - brilliant.  After much indecision we packed the camper for a couple of days worth of camping and decided as Blackpool is only about 50 miles from home we wouldn't bother ringing to book but would just call on the off chance. Luckily they had plenty of room when we arrived and I made the booking for two nights. Make sure you have £10 in cash with you if you go there as you'll need it as a deposit for a key to the toilet facilities, otherwise you can pay your pitch fees by debit card.

Once we went to pitch our camper we were not disappointed. The site is exactly as it's shown on their website. A fully hardstanding pitch on nice clean, bright gravel and completely flat. Any grass on site is purely for show, to the extent you are asked NOT to drive on the grass or to put your caravan or motorhome on any grassed areas. This means the grass looks good and is free from any muddy patches as it is never churned up by wheels.

Loo of the Year Award Winner
Once we'd parked up, next step a trip to the toilets before we put up the awning. This was something that had really appealed to me on their website, the toilets and bathroom facilities sounded really good. Again, no disappointment, they were even better than described. 10 private bathrooms complete with a bath, shower, wash basin and toilet. Fully heated, clean and roomy, oh and the washbasin actually had a plug! (See my previous review on Marton Mere site). These bathrooms are a brilliant idea. They are located in the amenities block for which you need your key to gain access. There are chairs in the corridor where you can sit and wait if all the bathrooms are in use when you go, but I never had to wait. At either end of the corridor are ladies and gents toilets. Mop buckets are outside each bathroom for you to clean up when you've finished and a cloth is provided in each bathroom for you to wipe up splashes and give the sink a quick clean around. Everyone seems to make use of them too as I never came across soaking wet surfaces around the wash basin or a basin full of some one else's toothpaste. It just goes to show if you're provided with a bit of luxury people are willing to look after it and leave it in the same way as they would wish to find it. It's no surprise then that they have won a Loo of the Year award for 6 successive years.

Other facilities around the amenities block include a laundry room which I didn't use but I think has a washing machine and drier. A dish washing room, again well looked after by campers and always very clean and tidy - nice and warm too.

Room for glampers too
Camping Pods
Whilst there aren't any pitches for tents it doesn't mean you can't camp. Kneps Farm has camping pods in two sizes, 4 berth and 6 berth. They looked really cosy and the families that were using them were sat out with their barbecue's until dusk. They have a TV, DVD player, lighting and electric sockets, you bring everything else you would normally use for camping except the tent.

If you fancy even more luxury the site has static holiday homes for hire too. These are dotted around the edges of the site in pleasant surroundings.

Holiday homes for hire
Around and about
The site is just outside Cleveleys - 3 miles - we cycled there. There is plenty of parking available at Cleveleys along the sea front, it also has lots of local shops and small supermarkets in the town. It wasn't too bad cycling there, the roads are not that busy and it's fairly straight forward finding your way there and best of all it's flat!

Within walking distance just up the road from the site is the Wyre Estuary Country Park where you can find walks of varying distances along the river. There is also a Tourist Information and Countryside Ranger service located there. See website for more information.

Blackpool itself is about 7 to 8 miles away. If you have a bike and good weather it's a very pleasant ride into Blackpool. Ours was a 16 mile round trip, setting off from the site, riding into Cleveleys and then it's completely off road cycling next to the sea along the promenade where you can cycle to St Anne's and beyond if you're feeling really fit. We went as far as Blackpool Tower and had a browse around the shops. Fleetwood isn't far away where you can visit the Freeport shopping outlet. There's plenty going on there during the school holidays to keep the children entertained while you pick up a few bargains from famous store outlets. We didn't get chance to go because we were only there for two days which is a shame, haven't been there for years.

Weather on Best Behaviour
All in all we had a really nice two day break. It did rain all of Tuesday morning and the great thing about the good quality gravel pitch was there was no mud, no water running into the awning, no mess. The rest of the time we were there saw blue sky and sunshine, something we've been very short of this year. We had a nice leisurely morning of packing up on Wednesday as we didn't have to leave the pitch until mid-day, which is quite unusual these days. I can never understand why campsites don't let you take up your pitch until around 2.00pm but want you off by 10.00am, it's not like they have to clean the room or anything, so 10 out of 10 to Kneps Farm for cutting their visitors a little slack when it's time to go.

Would I recommend this site to a friend?  Definitely, they are very deserving of their AA 5 Pennants award, though to be honest I think I would rather keep this site a secret so there's always room for me.

Perfect Pitch

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