North Wales weekend – Day 3

The morning of my third day arrived with beautiful blue sky and sunshine so after a leisurely breakfast I took my time have a good wander round the site. With the early closure of the site where I would normally have stayed down in Abergele I’d searched UK Campsite (the website for all things camping related) and found this one. It was a bit further away from where I really wanted to be but only an easy 6-mile drive away from my friend so the previous week I’d phoned up to book – and that’s when my brain started to get confused.
On the UK Campsite listing it was advertised as being a ‘club member only site’ (which usually means that a site is connected to either the Camping & Caravanning Club or the Caravan & Motorhome Club) but when I asked which club (I’m a member of the first but not the second) I was told it’s a private site but as it’s now out of season they are letting non-members stay. The lady I spoke to (Marjorie) sounded friendly enough but didn’t offer any explanation as to what sort of ‘club’ the listing referred to, however she quoted me a very reasonable pitch price which included electricity and the instructions were that on arrival I should park outside the barn and ring her, which I did when I got there.
Expecting to pay cash for my 2-night stay I was quite surprised when she said that her son would come and show me to my pitch (seems she was isolating prior to going into hospital for an operation) and once I got settled in I was to ring her again and she would take my payment over the phone. Her son arrived a couple of minutes later, showed me to my pitch on the camping field and very helpfully directed me as I reversed so the van would be level, then he explained where everything was and that was it – other than ringing Marjorie again to pay for my pitch I was very much on my own.
Apart from the camp site’s reasonable price and its convenient location for visiting my friend the one thing which first stood out was its name – Pet Rescue Fundraising Camp Site. Anything connected to animals, especially rescued ones, attracts my attention and a big banner on the entrance gate said this was the Pet Rescue Welfare Association, but if I’d been expecting to find an animal sanctuary where visitors could walk round and see various rescued pets waiting for adoption I was destined to be disappointed, and though I heard dogs barking on a couple of occasions during my stay there were none in evidence.
Across from the barn where I’d parked on arrival was a portacabin reception office which was closed and a large farm gate, also closed, with a ‘Private’ notice on it. A small ‘visitors parking area’ contained a couple of cars, neither of which had been there the previous day, so I was hoping I could see someone to ask what the ‘club membership’ thing was all about but there was no-one around at all. Outside reception was a small garden overflowing from an old bathtub and containing a couple of cute dog ornaments and on the farm gate was a different take on the usual ‘Beware of the dog’ notice. Hearing a noise from the nearby barn I went to see if there was someone I could speak to but only saw the faces of two curious cows.
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The camp site itself consisted of two large fields separated by a stream which originates from a waterfall less than a mile away; one field was a ‘pitch anywhere you like’ rally field while the main field had 20 electric pitches on one side and 20 non-electric on the other, all very generous sizes and separated by ropes and traffic cones, also there were four fully-equipped camping pods with decking and hot tubs. About halfway along the electric side was a small motorhome obviously used as a site office during the season and a catering trailer – closed now – with several picnic benches in a large enclosed gazebo, while in the middle of the field was a large open-sided gazebo.
The facilities, although spotlessly clean, were rather odd to say the least. At each end of the site were two portaloos and set back in a corner not far from the entrance a timber-framed open-sided gazebo housed a small washing up sink with hot water piped from somewhere via a length of green hose while drinking water came from a yellow hose with a tap. A much smaller sink, similar to those seen at the side of a dentist’s treatment chair, had its pedestal fixed into what appeared to be the waste tank of a caravan cassette toilet and was labelled ‘teeth cleaning only’ while next to it were two showers, one a portaloo-type and the other housed in what could only be described as an 8ft x 6ft plastic garden shed. It was all very basic yet there was everything a no-frills camper would need.
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Eventually it was time for me to leave the site and as living and sleeping in the van meant that things had been kept to a minimum it didn’t take long to pack up and get on the road, though before I actually headed home I was making a second visit to Eileen as she had asked me to take some photos of Tilly. It was another couple of hours spent in the company of some lovely friends but all too soon I had to leave as not only did I have to go home, I had to go to work when I got there.
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Heading down to the coast road I made a brief stop to snap a photo of the friendly neighbourhood giraffe looking over someone’s hedge and who is sometimes featured by Eileen on her blog. I think maybe he’s reluctant to admit that summer is over as he’s still wearing his sunglasses though it probably won’t be long before he has his Christmas hat on.
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When I walked round by the harbour the previous day the tide was on its way out, this time it was high so I made a brief stop just to take a few more photos. My final stop along the coast road was the one I didn’t have time to make two days before, a short walk from the main road to photograph the Duke of Lancaster, a ship taken out of service in 1979 and abandoned several years later. It’s an interesting story and one to be told another time.
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With no more stops it wasn’t too long before I was on the motorway and heading north though I got stuck in very slow moving traffic just after I got off the M56 onto the M61. It delayed me by a good half an hour which meant I would be a bit late for work but I got there in the end.
Since getting back home I’ve found out that the pet rescue side of the camp site offers several services to the community including doggy day care, a lifetime pet foster scheme, pet food bank, community vet clinic and lifetime pet care for animals whose owners are deceased. As for the camp site itself, it’s close to a busy main road so I wouldn’t take my tent and stay there for any length of time but in the van I hadn’t heard any noise at all. It may be a bit of an odd place with quirky facilities but it was reasonably priced and nice enough for a couple of days so I may very well be tempted to stay there again another time.

11 thoughts on “North Wales weekend – Day 3

  1. It was lovely to spend more time with you before you headed off for home and thank you so much for taking your lovely photos of Tilly. I’m glad you had a restful stay at the campsite even though it does sound rather a strange set-up. We’ve driven past this pet rescue many times before and called once thinking it was hosting a dog show but we had the wrong pet rescue! You gave me my first chuckle of the day with that beware of the dog poster, not subtle at all 🙂 Our friendly neighbourhood giraffe didn’t dress up for Halloween this year. Hubby asked me what he usually wears and I told him a witches hat and a bin-bag cape of course 🙂 It’s a shame you were late for work but you packed a lot into your two night stay and it was so nice to see you again.

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    1. It was lovely to spend some time with you too after all this time, and Tilly is just adorable 🙂 The poster on the farm gate made me laugh when I saw it, though there was no big dog in evidence. Maybe they just have a tiny little thing which would lick you to death and the poster is just there to discourage people but I wasn’t going to climb over the gate to find out 🙂 The camp site is certainly a bit odd but as an alternative to Manorafon it was okay and definitely much cheaper so I would stay there again.

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  2. The site looks lovely, even if it did feel a little bit odd 🙂 I remember one of the cleanest facilities I ever used while camping was a portacabin bathroom in a farmers field. It was spotless.
    Some wonderful photographs, Eunice. Especially Tilly, she looks such a sweetheart. Did you introduce your dogs? X

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  3. Tilly is just an adorable bundle of fur but still very young so with Snowy’s dislike of other dogs it wouldn’t have been a good idea to introduce them.

    Maybe the camp site felt odd as I’d never been there before and there was no-one else there – a few more campers around may have made all the difference but saying that I don’t mind being on a site on my own – I prefer it to having loads of screeching kids around! 🙂

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  4. You are right, a strange campsite but how lovely to have it to yourself – all that peace and quiet. Being only a few miles from Eileen, I will get the details off you next year – Bill and I want to “do” some of the North Wales coast.

    As always, your photos are brilliant and make me want to visit places I have never heard of. xx

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  5. There are some lovely places on the North Wales coast Jayne, most of which I’ve been to at some point over the last ten years but others I’ve yet to either discover or return to, though I tend to keep away from the more ‘touristy’ ones. I would have liked to revisit Greenfield Dock on my way home – a quirky little place, nothing much there but good for photos when the tide is in – but I didn’t have time. I’m sure Eileen and I can come up with some good suggestions for you when you decide to go down that way.

    I think the camp site probably felt odd because there was no-one else there, though it was nice to have it all to myself without having to worry about the possibility of other, maybe off-lead, dogs approaching Snowy.

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