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“Grumpy wardens, bad access road, little park equipment for kids”

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West Runton Camping and Caravanning Site
Essex
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Grumpy wardens, bad access road, little park equipment for kids”
Reviewed 26 August 2014

We stayed here during August 2014. We are seasoned CCC members and have actively camped using our trailer tent over the last four years. Our baseline for CCC excellence is comparing all campsites to Thetford.

Upon finding the club, we were quite surprised at the makeshift road through the forest track. We had a large van with a trailer, I would of hated to think about towing a caravan down here. The track is some 900m long! (estimate). You will be going up and down this forest road every day if going out, so something to think about.

When arriving, we were ushered through the gate, to then turn right into a road triangle. This pointed us in the wrong direction for the one way traffic flow and needed for us to perform many 3 point turns to get back in the right direction (who designed this!!!!!!!).

During check in, we were greeted by a rather grumpy reception process (Im guessing that customer service is top for this campsite given other reviews and our experiences). We were shown to our pitch, told about the 6m rule, and left to get on with it.

The rules of the CCC clearly state, that there should be 6m between pitches, no ball games around the tent area. Shame that this was not observed by the staff during our stay. In fact, even the 11pm rule about being quite was not observed or enforced. Much to the dismay of our young children trying to sleep with loud conversation coming from other pitches.

During our reception process, we were told that the drains in the East Toilet block (near play area) were blocked and were being seen too. All good I thought. That was until we were into our second week of camping and the toilet block still wasn't addressed, and I didn't see a Drain company onsite every day trying to fix it :-(

To note, the campsite prices for sausages and bacon seemed very high. You are much better off scambling up that forest road back to the village to go and buy a load of meat from the local butchers.

In our second week, with the east toilet block being blocked,the other toilet block just got too busy. I've never queued for mens before and was in a line of 6!

I saw that someone had pointed out in some reviews before this that the shower blocks were pristine here. Please ignore that, they are tired, have many broken drainage grills in the showers, the wash areas are dark and dingy (note that 50%+ of the light bulbs didn't even work). There are even cobwebs everywhere indicating a lack of cleaning know how.

Do note that you do not want to be positioned anywhere near the shower blocks as are surrounded by gravel, meaning that everyone crunches their way into and out of the toilets, sure to upset any beauty sleep!

To also highlight, the park has one slide and two swings. Yep, that's it. The kids were bored stupid. To note, the play area was right next to plots, so I hope you aren't put anywhere near there!

Was there a contained dog walking area, nope :-( (Go to Thetford!)

Oh, came back a couple of times, and the grumpies on the reception had left people standing in the entrance holding up everyone getting into the camps!!!! This happened a number of times.

The area
The area is very beautiful with some really nice walks, although too long for our young children to walk into West Runton or East Runton. Consider this if you have under 8's.
Yes this site is steep and you will require chocs, I saw lots of caravans with one end touching the dirt, and the other on bricks to make it level!


Would I come back again?
Area is great, campsite never.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank essexman2008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Bedford
Level Contributor
33 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 August 2014 via mobile

We have just returned from 5 days here with our 2 children in a tent with no hook up. There is supposed to be 2 shower/toilet blocks but from our arrival, one of these blocks (our nearest one and the only one with laundry & disabled facility's) was out if action for most of our stay. My youngest son has a very sore inner thighs because we couldn't make it to the far block in time. We could only wash our cups etc in cold water and the staff were more interested in the guests turning up for the bank holiday. They were being called and informed of the closed facilities and given the option to cancel. We were not given this option despite other guests telling us this had been going on long before we arrived. There was also an issue with not putting us next to our party and putting up a gazebo. Other guests clearing flout the policies and had open fires, wind breakers stretching from one pitch to join the next. There was no consistency and very unfair. I have complained direct to the camping and caravanning club and will be expecting a considerable refund. It is a shame because the park itself is very pleasant and great for our young boys

  • Stayed August 2014
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
Helpful?
2 Thank kathleencanale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Returning two years later, after what had been such a positive experience, we were appalled by the aggressive nature of the wardens this time. Despite booking two caravans together, and being told exactly where to set up, with no choice of pitch whatsoever, we were told that the other site could be kept for our family arriving the following day. There were plenty of other pitches where two caravans could pitch up next to each other but we were not shown these. With the second caravan arriving and no-one in the vacant pitch next door, one of the wardens directed another trailer tent to squeeze in to pitch up there. We commented on the fact that the other family caravan had arrived and was waiting as requested, before coming to the pitch, the warden very aggressively told us that it was first come, first serve. As it happened the ladies didn't like the spot and moved on to another pitch elsewhere, and our family were then very reluctantly told they could pitch up there. However from that point onwards they were picked upon on every possible occasion. It was outright bullying and totally unnecessary.

Our holiday together felt marred by this dreadful experience. Yes the loos and shower blocks are clean and the location is wonderful, with excellent dog walks, but we saw many awnings, windbreaks and BBQs breaking the so called rules, and they were left in peace. It would have been much more suitable if we could have all been out over the other side, near to the play area where our grandchildren could have relaxed and played with the other children there. They it seemed were not told they couldn't play ball games, as ours had been. It was a poor experience overall and one that will make us consider whether to continue with our Camping and Caravanning membership in the future. There is absolutely no excuse for the rudeness that we witnessed, and what a poor advert for visitors to our beautiful county of Norfolk.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
Helpful?
5 Thank J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mansfield, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 August 2014

I picked this site from previous good reviews negating a review a week prior to my visit stating victimisation by the wardens, I did this at my error!

The 1st night I took my elderly dog for a short walk, it was dark and behind me I heard "EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME! You know what your dog is doing, exercise it off the camp please! I turned around to find the senior site warden(female) talking to me, my dog is a female so crouches to have a wee, the warden probably incorrectly assumed my dog was having a number 2, I felt like a child being told off and was too flabbergasted to argue. I was only walking my dog along the road side, the next morning when I took my dog for a walk(off the site) I noticed the bountiful rabbits and fresh rabbit droppings around all the pitches and the warden has the gall to complain about dog pee, if they are going to be so awkward about it then do not allow dogs on the site at all, the area just off the site where you are to take your dogs is also not lit very well and muddy with deep trenches so not ideal especially late at night.


A few days later we had torrential rain only for a couple of hours and it was enough to form a substantial torrent of water that ran off the higher field to a caravan and awning on a hard standing, when that one was flooded, it went to the next one and flooded that one, my tent was a while behind and we were not to bad. The gentleman went to the wardens for help and found them to be very unsympathetic , we understand that the weather is not their fault but all the warden did was to argue and contradict himself. At one point he said he had not seen rain like that, and he had been there many years and in another sentence said he had not been there long and anyway I'm off duty!, well the proof is in the toilets where there is a photo of him in the shower block for winning best toilets in 2007 so he had definitely been there years!

There is a steep treacherous slope down to the site so beware of that, on a plus side the rest of the site is clean and tidy and the shower blocks are immaculate, however I feel that the staff need lessons in customer care and service as I am not the only family with cause to complain at there attitude!

Room Tip: Keep away from the hard standings opposite the 1st shower block, and avoid the tyrannical wardens.
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank nigeljennings
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Guildford, England, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
26 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014

After being turned away from other campsites we came across this.
Set back from the coast in a lovely clearing, with plenty of space. Told that company policy meant we couldn't be turned away even if they were full (as we were backpackers) was a relief.
Staff were very friendly and helpful, toilets and showers are among some of the best I have come across, although possibly not quite enough of them for busy times.
Not many local facilities, but direct access onto the Norfolk Coast path and a nice walk into Cromer.

Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank Alastair T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Stevenage, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 August 2014

Good points - Lovely setting, lots of pleasant walks direct from the site. Lots to do in this area of Norfolk. Would recommend the Golf Club and Village Inn at West Runton for good food and service, both are dog friendly.
Bad points - The access to this site is down a long, steep, unmade road with lots of bumps and pot holes. Not good when towing a caravan!
The ladies showers need some attention as the flooring is damaged and water does not drain away from showers properly. There is no temperature controls on the showers(too hot!)
Wardens were very unsympathetic when our awning flooded after a heavy rain downpour. Poor attitude at a time of need! Worth noting - the hardstand pitches on the opposite side of the road to the West toilet block (first 3 pitches from the corner going down towards the reception) flood when there is heavy rain!
We would not return to this site, mainly due to the poor, unfriendly attitude of the Wardens.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
7 Thank PGMardlin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We recently spent 11nights in our caravan with two other groups of friends. The site is a great location within walking distance to east and west Runton and Cromer. We enjoyed lovely walks and views of the coast with our three Labradors and the weather was lovely. The site was quiet and toilet blocks were clean. Good food could be eaten at the village inn and also the nearby golf club restaurant.
Now for the bad bits. The road down to the site was very steep with lots of pot holes and very worrying in case you met another caravan or car coming the other way. On our last evening it rained heavy for about 10 minutes. We were on hard standing opposite the west block toilet block with our friends on either side of us. Within minutes of it raining all three awnings were flooded with three inches of water where the water ran down the hill and had no where for it to go and because the perimeter of the hard standing was higher than the ground the water stayed for a couple of hours. We went to inform the site manager who was not interested at all telling us that he never built the site and he couldn't predict the weather and that he wasn't even on duty. Not one of the wardens asked or showed any interest or concern to the fact that all our belongings were wet and soggy. There is obviously a problem with the hard standing pitches as I'm sure this wouldn't have been the first time this could have happened and as for the wardens a little common courtesy would not go amiss. We will not be returning to this site.

Stayed July 2014, travelled with friends
Helpful?
4 Thank 507Landrover10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about West Runton Camping and Caravanning Site

Property: West Runton Camping and Caravanning Site
Address: Holgate Lane | West Runton, Cromer NR27 9NW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > East Anglia > Norfolk > Cromer
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Cromer
Number of rooms: 200
Also Known As:
West Runton Camping And Caravanning Site Cromer, Norfolk

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