We stayed at Ulwell Cottage in the last week of July.
We rented a caravan and booked early in the latter part of 2012. We were a party of two adults and two children aged 13 and 10.This was our first visit to Swanage and Dorset.
We were able to access our caravan early which was a huge relief. Our initial impression of the caravan was pleasing. It was spotlessly clean, we had ample parking and the caravans were not too close to each other. The caravan site is pleasantly landscaped with all you need at hand. We were asked twice if the caravan was clean enough. With the exception of the bar man at the Village Pub the site staff were very helpful attentive and chatty.
A week in the caravan was a little bit of a struggle for us. It was a 4 berth and although the main bedroom was adequate, our two boys struggled with the size of the beds and their bedroom. After two nights and our (tall) 13 year old banging into the 'wall' every time he turned over, we moved his mattress into the living area. If we hired a caravan again we would definitely book a larger berth caravan.
I would advise that you take your own hangers if you have older children as the hangers in the cupboard are for toddlers. Luckily there is ample storage in the double room. There are no irons or ironing boards for you to freshen up your clothes if needed. There is an ironing board and iron in the amenities block however I had no intention of trudging there and bought an iron at Asda.
The bathroom was also vey cramped although the shower cubicle is huge. We had plenty of hot water and did not change the settings for the hot water or heating.
The main living area was adequate as was the kitchen area. There is everything you need.
We would have liked a proper seating area outside the caravan. We asked for a caravan with a veranda, however it was more of a walkway. We could not of sat and eaten outside as a family. There were two outside chairs, you would need to take a picnic table or take the dining area one if you want to eat or spend more time outside.
Our boys loved the pool and also the recreational area (weather permitting). The shop is well stocked for essentials. Some reviews have criticised the prices, they are no more or less than you would expect for an onsite holiday park, obviously you would not do a weekly shop here! Fresh bread, rolls etc, beautiful. Also try the ice cream, it is delightful. The staff in the shop are lovely, helpful and very chatty.
On a few occasions when our boys went swimming we thought we would go for a quiet drink. The Village pub opened at 6pm. This is pricey! We did not have meal in the Village Pub for a number of reasons.
Firstly despite the prices we found it to be very unwelcoming. The bar man was quite sullen and even though he was not busy he would not engage in any conversation or niceties.
Secondly, they ask that children under 12 do not go into the bar area. I totally appreciate this as the meals are very expensive and the last thing people want especially if they are child free is for children to disturb their meal. Families are encouraged to stay in the conservatory where there are board games etc to play. This does not have much of an atmosphere and feels like a café. I would not want to pay to eat here as when you eat out on holiday you want it to feel like a treat. Another important point is the toilets in this area are terrible. We decided to eat in our caravan or go out.
We were lucky enough to stay here during Swanage Carnival week. From our caravan we were able to see the Red Arrows Aerobatic Team and the fireworks. Fantastic.
This was our first time to the area, it is beautiful and there is lots to do. We loved and preferred the area of Poole but the almost daily ferry crossing (£3.50) and the queues do take their toll, no pun intended!
Overall, this is a lovely caravan site which is quiet. If you enjoy a more social site with all singing and dancing entertainment this would not be for you.
- Also Known As:
- Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park Hotel Swanage
- Ulwell Cottage Caravan Park Swanage, Isle Of Purbeck