Don’t be put off by the name of this site – Plas Farm Caravan Park – there is more than enough provision for those of us who choose to be under canvas rather than in tin.
Arriving at the site on a cloudy afternoon at half term we were greeted by the ever-smiling Kerry who quickly checked us in and explained we could choose where to pitch. She showed us the “top field” and said there was also a “bottom field” but we chose to pitch in the triangular-shaped field which faces the playground as this would allow The Tinies the freedom to play out but we could easily keep an eye on them.
As our friends, the Ws, arrived just 5 minutes after us we chose a sheltered corner and pitched our tents. These are fields you’re pitching in, so not bowling green-level, but there were plenty of level-ish spots.
If you follow me on Twitter (@lu_turner if you don’t already) you’ll know that the weather wasn’t kind to us – again. That first night we endured 12 hours of lashing rain and howling winds. There was even an earthquake nearby and, while we don’t remember feeling it, Buddy woke up at almost the exact moment so we wonder if that was what woke him.
The tents stood up pretty well and thankfully the few minor leaks were in the living area, not the bedrooms. The spot we’d chosen was on the top of a hill, so we perhaps suffered more with the winds than if we’d chosen the bottom field, but I wouldn’t have liked the water running off the steep Welsh hills, so in hindsight we made the right choice.
Anyway, back to the site. Getting up on Wednesday morning I expected to be greeted by big puddles on the site’s roads, but the drainage is so good there was no standing water to be seen.
There are two shower blocks both just a few minutes’ walk from wherever you are in the site. The larger of the two has a heated floor and a family shower cubicle which includes a toilet and baby change station. I think this is only in the ladies’ though, which is a bit of a disappointing assumption. Still, the single cubicles were big enough for a parent and one child to get showered, so dads/grandads could always use a normal one.
One thing to say about the toilet & shower facilities is that they were always spotless. I only ever saw them being cleaned once, but Plas Farm obviously has cleaning fairies as they were never anything other than sparkling.
But what really makes this site stand out is the thoughtful touches which you encounter all over. The cloths under the soap dispensers so there’s never a pool of soap on the side where it drips, the folding stools in every shower cubicle, the camper’s kitchen with a toaster, microwave, several full-size fridges and freezers, and the most comprehensive set of local information I’ve ever seen.
One damp evening we decided a trip to the pub was in order so we could eat inside and keep warm. A short conversation with Kerry got us not just a recommendation of the best family-friendly pub close by, but a copy of the menu and a map for how to get there. She even called the landlady on her mobile and checked what time they opened and whether or not a reservation was needed. That’s what I call service.
The leaflet of park information is the most comprehensive I’ve come across. It had all the usual info, plus local shop and Post Office locations and opening times, the number for an out-of-hours doctor and details of a caravan mechanic who would visit the site to do repairs. It was genuinely the most thoughtful set of information any of us (including the much more experienced campers, the Ws) had ever seen.
BBQs were welcomed as long as you raised them off the ground and blocks were provided in each field so you could do this. We burn logs in our small kettle BBQ as a kind of camp fire so did’t need the blocks, but it was good they were on offer.
You could also fill in a form to request some basics – bacon, milk, newspapers – and the team would pick these up for you and have them waiting at reception in the morning. Another amazing service.
There are a few walks around and from the site which Plas Farm have put together. Unfortunately we didn’t get chance to try these out, but a small circular walk from the site would have been just the job if the weather had been better.
We will definitely be returning to Plas Farm. That part of Wales is beautiful and there’s so much we didn’t get to see. There’s no need for us to look for another site as we’ll happily return there to take advantage of the great service once again.