"The view form our pitch at Church House campsite - Simply stunning"
site is basically a grass field behind the owner’s home, and whilst this is not usually the type of site we use I had no problems with the site at all. We usually use hard standing pitches, but since there aren’t any at this site we had to have a full grass pitch for the first time, which was a pleasant change. Had it been wet and soggy during our stay it may have been different, but since it was dry the grass pitch was ideal.
All of the pitches have electric hook up (if needed) and there are plenty of water taps around, so filling up the motorhome with our short 5m hose was pretty easy. I say pretty easy because the damn water filler cap is still playing up and has been since we took collection of the motor home – this has nothing to do with the campsite though. The tap I used was located right beside another pitch, which was free when we arrived. Had there been a unit staying on the pitch filling up would still have been straight forward as there is another tap further up the site near the barn, which is easily accessible.
There isn’t a designated motorhome service point, but since we could get close enough to fill up with water this wasn’t such an issue. Emptying the waste water obviously required a bucket, but given we used the site showers and didn’t have to wash up in the van the amount of waste water for the week was minimal and required a single trip.
"Immaculate toilet/shower block and a washing up room too!"
The toilet block comprises two toilet cubicles (completer with their own basin and mirrors) and a single shower. If all the caravans were occupied I would imagine the queue for the shower could be large, but given most of the caravans were empty for our entire stay we basically had the toilet/shower block to ourselves and could come and go as we pleased. The facilities are very clean (and remained that way all week), provided as much hot water as we wanted and were also included in the pitch fee. I had no problems with the facilities at all and they are better than some campsites I have stayed at where the showers were an additional charge to the pitch fee (I refer to Pier Cottage Campsite).
The One thing that made us really happy about this campsite was the fact it had washing up facilities. The saying “you only miss it when it’s gone” is totally true, and not having washing up facilities at Pier Cottage made us see this. Washing up in the van is a real faff and there isn’t enough room. The other problem washing up in the van is that we don’t have a washing up bowl (we can’t find one small enough to fit in the sink, despite trying loads of different online and physical stores) and the plug is a poor fit and the water escapes very quickly. Having to wash up in the van for an entire week became tiresome very quickly so a week with washing up facilities was great. The washing up facilities at this campsite comprise two large sinks (complete with bowls), two large draining boards (complete with rack) and sufficient hot water. I point out the hot water because I have been to many campsites where the washing up facilities had cold water only, which is never good. In the kitchen area there is a fridge freezer (which we could use if we needed it), a shelf with books and DVDs to borrow and the standard tourist leaflets. The washing up facilities, like everything else, were clean.
In the washing room there is a shelf full of books to borrow, and a handful of DVDs as well. There is also a small selection of magazines, typically Practical Caravan and whilst these aren’t really relevant for us in the motor home there were a few useful bits of information, even from the July 2014 issue – which was the most recent one.
This is a site where the owners are frequently milling around, looking after the site, and they are always friendly, approachable and up for a chat. The owners of Church House are the most friendly campsite owners I have come across and nothing is too much trouble. For example, on the day of arrival we had an online grocery delivery booked (we checked this was okay before we ordered – since many campsites don’t allow this) for a 6pm – 8pm time slot. We arrived at the campsite at 2.00 pm with few provisions and the owner offered to take us to the local shop to get something for lunch! When the delivery arrived the van couldn’t find its way round the back of the house to the site entrance, therefore we had to carry everything a few hundred yards to our van. The owner even carted some of our shopping bags – which is above and beyond the call of duty. During my time on the bank the owner also came over a couple of times to offer help, advice, tips and even found me some lobworms to try on the hook.
"A few shots taken from around the campsite - peace, tranquility.... what more do you want?"
At the bottom of the campsite runs the River Vrynwy, which is one of the main reasons we chose the campsite in the first instance. The river holds chub, trout, barbel and other species of fish and for a small fee you can fish the river. Included in the day ticket price of £5 there is a mile stretch of the river available, and whilst there are trees and foliage along most of the bank (it is a natural river after all) there are a few spots where you can get in with a rod and line.
On the first day we had a walk along the river to find some fishing spots and my first thought was getting down to the water’s edge was going to be a mission. The banks were steeply sloped, and since I am not that sure footed (I only fish lakes where the banks are nice and flat), I was concerned I was going to struggle. The other thing I noticed was the lack of spots for fishing, which disappointed me. I thought the owner could have made a few clearings to show parts of the bank that are ‘safer’ than others to set up, but after a couple of days I realised there was no need. The river dropped a couple of feet and there were plenty of ledges appeared (perfect for fishing) that were totally submerged when I looked at them on day 1. The fishing isn’t easy (it is a wild and natural river after all) but they are in there and when you hook them they go like a steam train. The fish are also pristine. During the week I spent many hours on the bank and I have to say it whetted my appetite for fishing rivers as opposed to the lakes and commercial fisheries I usually fish on holiday.
I am not a fan of driving down single track country lanes to get to campsites, and I never have been, so easy access is important to me. Getting to the site there is a single track road, but it is a road and not some dirt track and there are plenty of passing spaces along it so if you do meet something coming the other way it’s easy enough to get past. Access is not an issue with this site, which given the fun and games I had getting to Pier Cottage in the Lake District, I was happy about.
We paid £18 per night during the first week of October, which given it included awning, electric hook up and showers is very reasonable. Fishing is extra (like it is with all sites offering fishing) and at £5 per day isn’t over priced either.
Now it’s time for the 64 million dollar question of “Would I stay here again and would I recommend it?”
The answer to the above is an easy one and yes on both accounts. Whilst basic, the site has everything you need and everything is spotlessly clean as well. The owners are super friendly and can’t do enough for you, there are loads of walks and cycle rides about, there is a mile or so stretch of the river to fish, the scenery is stunning and it is very quiet. If you want peace and quiet, and want to take a few days out to chill out and do nothing Church House campsite is the place to do it.