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“So nice been twice”

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Auchenlarie Holiday Park
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“So nice been twice”
Reviewed 9 October 2011

We have stayed here twice.

The fist time in 2009 in a gold caravan & the second in 2010 in a bronze (so a pet could be taken)

The gold caravan was to the front of the park near the sea. Clean and spacious and everything we needed.

The bronze caravan was at the rear of the park. The only niggle was that you can hear the traffic of lorries through the night so i would opt for a gold caravan in a better position.


The facilities on site are good.

Mattresses a little uncomfortable.

Swimming pool and sauna lovely. Was tempted by the beauty treatments in the spa but didnt not have enough time to squeeze in. In summer season you are restricted to the amount of time you can have in the pool. Think it's about an our however when we stayed in the October they advised we could stay in as long as we wanted!

On site restaurant reasonable for the price.

The 'club' was nice if you want to go out for a few drinks

Crazy golf not really worth a look though!

Supermarket basic but if you need a few last minute Items then would manage.Large Tesco's located up the road in castle douglas!

The reception staff were very friendly and were happy to help recommend places to visit

The views over the coastline are superb. We visited the animal park in Kirkudbright and amazing. The masonic arms in gatehouse of fleet is superb! Threave castle and gardens well worth a visit!

fantastic family feel, and would be happy to go back there! Prices so reasonable beats the big chain companies with their parks dotted allover the uk!

Room Tip: GOLD caravans a must!
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  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Jen789_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Southend-on-Sea, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 September 2011

Just before our visit here (09/0911-23/09/11) I had read the two really awful reviews on the park so it was with much trepidation that we set out for our holiday. Well the only conclusion I can make is that these people must have visited a different park than we did. Auchenlarie is a little gem hidden in Dumfries & Galloway. The park is incredibly clean,well maintained and lovely to walk through to buy your daily paper. The views are stunning. Our caravan was immaculate. The lawns are kept mown,the facilities are great although we had no need for them and the staff friendly. We were so impressed we are considering purchasing our own caravan here at the park. There is so much to do and see in this outstanding part of the country that we will without a doubt be back. So please, ignore the bad reviews, just visit here and make up your own mind. Like me, I'm sure you will soon decide its a little piece of heaven on earth.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank Lesley E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
West Lothian
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2011

We make it a point of going to Auchenlarie at least twice a year, usually July and September. It is simply a stunning location and never had a bad view from any of the accommodation we have stayed in.
Always a great welcome when you arrive and the nice touch of the wine hand delivered is something that they don't have to provide, but always do. I thinks it puts a great start on your holiday. Never been anywhere else that does this !! Another couple who holiday at the same time as us had a daughter's birthday at the same time and the park had put shaped balloons and things in for the wee girl arriving at no cost to the parents. Again going that extra bit for the customer !!
Any accommodation we have stayed in was always immaculate and can't say that about other parks we have stayed in over the years.
The restaurant provides meals that are fine and also cater for children. If your looking for gourmet food it may not suit you however if your looking for something to fill you after a good day out and about or after exploring the rocks and lovely beaches, then there's something for everyone. If the sun shines then the sitting area outside is as good a place as I have sat and watched the sun drop whilst relaxing with a beer !! The sunsets here can be spectacular.
Can't say much about the entertainment as we never ever seem to get there and prefer to sit out on the decking of the caravans sunset watching !!
Noticed some reports about the steep path to one of the beaches........granted it is..... but its natural. Its a shell/gravel beach within a rocky cove, and if you can't manage it down, a short walk to the other end of the park will give you as gentle an entrance to the beach as you will get. There are 3 kids in our party and never had a problem getting up or down.
So there you have it..........great views..............nice clean accommodation and service.............food if you want it at a reasonable cost.....................and finally there is a car boot sale on a Sunday and make it your life's work to get there and buy rock buns from the wee old lady who sells them there. Yummy is simply an understatement.

Keep up the great work Auchenlarie and can't wait to get there again a week on Friday

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank WestLothianRich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
mccamon84, Manager at Auchenlarie Holiday Park, responded to this review, 13 September 2011
What a lovely review! Thank you very much .... I make a point of responding to your review as the last one or two (thankfully only of a minority) upset us all slightly as it paints a false picture & portrays lack of dedication to customers. I cannot respond to every negative comment & everyone has their opinion. I would just like to say that Auchenlarie would not exist without it's customers and your happiness is each member of staff's main priority. And i'm pleased you appreciate all our hard work. Thank you again for your kind words and we look forward to welcoming you again next week!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
lancaster
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2011

We had a great time here. The caravan was clean, spacious- it even had a conservatory area, en-suite toilet and central heating which we were not expecting. The DVD player was not working and the friendly staff replaced it within the day. The pool is a bit small but it was quiet when we were there so it didnt matter. The childrens entertainment was a bit ropey but typically what you get in these caravn parks! Plenty to do in the area. Little traffic which was great.

  • Stayed September 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank helenreynolds5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glasgow, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2011

Arrived at park, had to check in at a busy shop, process was slow!
We were camping and found the toilet and shower facilities very disappointing, were not cleaned properly, waster was so hot you could not turn down to have a shower, Place needs some money spent on it to upgrade. When to the Club house did not have much for my son who is 3 years old, soft play was £1.50 per half hour, pool was small, every time we were going to go in it was really full! Used the restaurant and take away both were very disappointing. Would never go back!

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank JenniferRich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St Helens, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2011

We stayed for a week in Courtyard 1.
You arrive at recption and then if you're staying in the Courtyard accomodation you have to go down to the bottom of the park to check in at the complex that houses the pool, bar restaurant, leisure club, etc. You then go back up the park and cross the A75 to your accomodation. So you're ok if you just want to put your bin bag out or chat to your neighbours, but everything else (shop/play area/pool, so called beach etc) you'll need to go over the A75 for. Note the bin area didn't get emptied til the day we left. Quite rightly there are signs warning about the A75, but do take care as although it is not the busiest road, the traffic does go very fast. You're also on a slight bend, so you may want to consider driving elderly or infirm people across.

Courtyard 1 is no more than 50 yards from the A75. A number of times at night i got up as i thought i'd left the window open. I hadn't - the traffic (lots of lorries) is just so close and so loud. The matress was also so soft that when I sat on it I went stright through to the base so that wasn't exactly conducive to sleeping either. I'm 13 stone by the way - I'd expect a matress that could cope with that! I've attached some photos that show you the views from Courtyard 1 and the proximity to the A75.

When we first walked into our accomodation, first impressions were good and it was very clean. We then noticed lots of little things that then just dragged the whole experience down. I'd emailed in advance to check on the provision of towels & tea towels as I didn't think the website was very clear. I got a prompt reply to say that everything would be provided so no need to bring any. The reality was that each person received one bath towel on their bed - no hand towels for the kitchen or bathrooms, and no tea towels. I raised this with the meet and greet lady who came to see us within half an hour or so of us arriving. She came with a warm bottle of fizzy plonk (Auchenlarie's own label) to welcome us, and ended up I'm afraid on the receiving end of a number of issues we'd found:
1) The lack of towels.
2) A poorly equipped kitchen (no seive, a baking tray the size of an A5 sheet of paper, a tiny fridge which was about the same size as the cool box we'd brought, etc)
I asked if we'd turned up too early (at 4pm) or if the place was ready, as it did appear that things were missing. The lady said not, and to be fair said she'd go away and she what she could do. She came back with 2 hand towels, 1 tea towel, and 1 bath mat and said that she'd got these out of the shop and that what we had been provided with is what should have been there. Odd considering the day we checked out, we saw staff going into another accomodation with a couple of large towel bundles. She also came back with a standard sized baking tray, so at least we could cook dinner that night.

The following morning we asked about oven gloves (they don't provide those either apparently). Housekeeping came back to see us and said "Sorry, but I have brought you a couple of tea towels out of the shop as a peace offering". Not good enough I'm afraid! By this time, I'd burnt one finger, and cut another on the veg peeler that fell apart in my hands (I ended up peeling veg with a small knife the rest of the week).

There's no inventory either, and seeing as we had some crockery for 3, some for 4, some for 5, some for 6, and some for 8, there's no telling what should've been there. I did wonder if the poorly equipped kitchen was a ploy to get you to go down to the restaurant or purchase from the takeaway. Well when we went down to 'the complex' there was an occasional smell of sewerage. That put us off anyway, but we still checked the takeaway menu. That consists of x plus chips, and maybe a couple of dishes without chips (i think they were macaroni cheese and lasagne). We didn't bother ordering anything.

When we did get a takeaway on two occasions during the week we ordered from the Marrbury Smokehouse just a couple of miles west down the A75. Bear in mind they close about 18:30 and like last orders by about 17:30. We tried the smoke salmon, smoked brie (with plum sauce), smoked haggis (comes with a gorgeous dip), and the smoked sausage - all were excellent, especially the salmon & the brie; highly recommended.

We didn't take advantage of the facilities (pool, evening entertainment etc) but we did have back neck and shoulder massages in the leisure club. Ashley gave a better than
average massage - if you want sublime then go to the Vila Galé PRAIA in the Algarve.

I had a look at the beach briefly to see what it was like. Take a look at my photos to get a better idea - a thin steep path to get down to it (you won't get a pushchair down there), and then it is a cross between crushed shells and large boulders. Disappointing, and then you've got to climb back up! If you want a better beach, then I understand Mossyard (1 mile away) is better but we didn't visit it. We actually went much further west one day and incorporated the beach into that day - we went to Sandhead (~45 minutes drive). Go into Sandhead, and turn left at the park & corner shop - here you'll find miles and miles and miles of perfect beach.

Back at the accomodation you may want to use the hot tub. You'll have to sign a disclaimer first to say that you'll abide by the HSE regulations and even then you can't use it first thing each day - you've got to wait til the attendent has been round to treat it. I work in health and safety and I've never heard of hot tub regulations! The view in the evening from the hot tub is nice. Once it is dark enough you can see the milky way, and I also saw a dozen shooting stars. The view is not much better if you go to Clatteringshaws visitor centre in the Dark Sky Park so you may as well stay at the accomodation (or at least that was the case on the only clear night we got - the moon was out though that night which didn't help). When you get out of the tub you can rinse through you swimmers and tie them to the line thats been provided - notice I didn't say peg - there aren't any - maybe thats because it can get very windy. Also, watch out if you're walking bare foot as the nettles poke through the decking!

So many little things to moan about and such a shame - this place has such potential.

A beautiful area of Scotland (walkers and twitchers especially will love it; we did) which we will definately return to, but we won't be staying here.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mark H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wigan, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2011

We stayed at Auchenlaire 8th-12th Aug as a family group of four with a dog,and as it was our first time here we didn't know what to expect but we were very pleased with our caravan which was spottless and had great see views.
The staff who we met were very helpful and dealt with all our needs quickly,and once we were settled in we had a free bottle of wine delivered to us as a welcome gift.
As we had the dog with us we didn't use the entertainment facilities much but my husband did go to the gym a couple of times and said it was very good.
There is a beautiful shell beach at the bottom of the camp which we were at most days. it can be a little steep to get down to but well worth it once your there as it is a cove surrounded by rocks which this kids loved exploring.
The road at the back of the camp is a main ferry route so you will have trucks passing by at night but it didn't really bother us.
Overall a great place to have a few days away and we will come back again.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank andrea m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Auchenlarie Holiday Park

Property: Auchenlarie Holiday Park
Address: Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas DG7 2EX, Scotland
Region: United Kingdom > Scotland > Dumfries and Galloway > Castle Douglas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Speciality Lodging in Castle Douglas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned and family themed holiday park. Activities for young and not so young. Children's entertainment daily throughout the high season, family entertainment each evening in the Starlight Suite - with live acts. Coastal views with beach access. Beautiful surrounding countryside, ideal for walkers, cyclists and everyone who loves the great outdoors. Many tourist destinations on our doorstep too. Surfside Bistro Restaurant and Surfside Bistro Takeway serving delicious home prepared meals. Sports Bar showing all the live sports action. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Auchenlarie Holiday Park Hotel Castle Douglas
Auchenlarie Holiday Park Castle Douglas, Scotland

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