Has the world gone mad?

Stayed at a good site? Or a really poor one? And what about wild camping? Put your comments here.

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bongowight
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Has the world gone mad?

Post by bongowight » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:11 pm

Booked a weeks camping in August with sites in Dorset, Dartmoor and exmoor all paid up, wanted an overnight stay on the first night near to the new forest as we will be catching a late ferry from the Isle of Wight and won't get to any of our chosen sites in time that evening, we saw set thorns on the Internet a camping in the forest site so booked one night there where we will literally be pulling up going to sleep and on our way in the morning, £20 for a night but we have now discovered the site has no showers or even a toilet! You have to show them you have a chemical loo or they refuse entry! Surely Parking in a lay-by would offer the same facilities! ( plus an early morning wake up from the local constabulary). Been a few years out of the camping scene but cannot believe how bonkers things have got!
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by Bob » Sun Aug 02, 2015 9:15 pm

You'd be really unfortunate to be bothered by the Law just overnighting in a layby.

I'm sure someone could find a bylaw, but frankly they've got better things to be doing.

Never had a problem myself, pitch up late and have the kettle on by 08.00, no probs.
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by g8dhe » Mon Aug 03, 2015 9:45 am

Try down at Calshot Spit, we stay there several times a year as do several others ;-) There is a car park just before you enter the Spit area itself which is gated off after 11:00 at night. The carpark and also the grassed area on the inland side area all covered by the parking about a £5 but there is a loo open all night as well. There will be a bit of noise from the ships coming in at night in the form of low frequency throbbing, but SWMBO (Evil Edna) survives this sleeping in the AFT ;-)
https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Cal ... !1e1?hl=en
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by New Forest Terrier » Mon Aug 03, 2015 12:11 pm

Setthorns is a very pretentious site. Used it once and never again. It has strange ecological ideas, like no signs and no loos, but is full of caravans and has electric hook ups at most pitches.

The own loo rule is enforced by vehicle searches, but a loaded bongo could get through as there is not time to search every vehicle. I used it once in February and I found it unwelcoming and the lack of lights and signs scary. The group in front of me were held up at reception on an afternoon where it was rapidly getting dark. Their crime, they came in two cars, the earlier arrivals had the tent to put up before dark. No lights on site. The rest of the party was following with the loo. So no admittance. If they have such a problem of campers weeing behind trees and more than bears shitting in the woods, install a toilet block. They have drains and water, or use a composting one.

Never tried to overnight at Calshot but it is a much more pleasant place, with a loo block and a great cafe for breakfast. The shingle beach is dog friendly. Use the first car park you come to, not the one right on the spit. There is also on road parking if you loop round past the Bluebird cafe, instead of going out to the spit. As there are beach huts the facilities are kept open.
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by bongowight » Mon Aug 03, 2015 6:29 pm

Thanks for the tip I'll give calshot a go and cancel set thorns I think, surely a campsite without toilets or showers is in fact a car park or maybe a field!
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by New Forest Terrier » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:59 pm

Setthorns reminded me of a an off road 4x4 course without the amenities and the burger van. None of the cheerful loons driving Land Rovers into lakes. Its rough tracks with bays for vans and tents. A lot of caravans are parked there permanently. All hooked up to power of course.

Nowhere is at its best in February, but this was grim. Went to visit a friend camping there. No phone reception, no way of finding out where the site she was on was, so decided to drive round to spot it. Pitch black, no information. Finally found what looked like a road, only to realise it was a disused railway track. No fence, no warning. This ended in a bog, the way out to the main road was barriered off. Thanks to the Limited Slip and 4x4 driving experience finally got the Bongo out of the bog and turned. Thought I was going to be stuck there all night. Still no phone reception. Could not even phone a friend with a Land Rover and a tow chain. Considered walking to the main road and hitching a lift to some phone reception, but a New Forest bog in the pitch black is not user friendly. Gave up on the visit and found my way to the gate and escaped. Next followed by the police as a suspected trespasser.

Went back the next day to stay the night. Not much better. Loo inspection. Warden not pleased to see me as he had obviously spotted me the night before and contacted the police. He graciously said I did not have to unpack the Bongo as it was a camper. Lasted one cold night and went home. Booked for two, but had enough. Its right next to Sway anyway, although it likes to think its in the wild wood.

Probably fine this time of year and great fun expensively roughing it. Just look where you tread.

Calshot has the Bluebird Cafe which does a great breakfast. No competition.
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by bongowight » Tue Aug 04, 2015 10:48 pm

Phoned them up day and asked for a refund to be told they do not offer refunds, ok switch me to another site ? Sorry all our other sites have a minimum stay of 2 nights! Told them as far as I'm concerned a campsite without a toilet is just a field ! They didn't agree ! Have put in a complaint to their customer service department so have got to wait for a call back, won't be booking any of their sites again in the future
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Re: Has the world gone mad?

Post by New Forest Terrier » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:27 am

Wish you luck with the refund. Stayed at Holmsley site with one of the local Bongo groups. Camping in the Forest messed up the booking, putting two other vans in the field, leaving us short on two hook ups. Autumn and cold nights so needed. Not much help in sorting it out.

You could try to blag it with loo supposedly packed under everything in a Bongo full of camping gear. Or buy the smallest loo you can find. Its a long way to find another site if you get chucked out.

Never can understand this approach to camping. Proper wild camping, fine. Just a field and leave the site untouched at the end of the season, no problem. But Setthorns is a big site, open all the year round. It has roads, electric hook ups, water taps and chemical waste disposal. How does not building a loo, make it any more ecological, apart from more chemical nasties?

Only theory I have heard is that if you do not have a loo you do not have to pay VAT on site fees. Sounds very dubious specially applied to such a big organisation.
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