site review for Five Acres, Chard

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site review for Five Acres, Chard

Post by chrisstock40 on Sun Jun 10, 2012 10:51 am

Always happy to enter a competition - so here goes!

Just returned from 3 nights at Five Acres, Chard, after an impressively windy weekend in Somerset.
(Thank goodness for the Merc-based Autosleeper 'Berkshire' that parked alongside us and acted as a huge windbreak).

This is a Caravan club site, but it is open to non-members as well. It is quite a small site compared to those we have stayed at before, and is basically one large oval with 22 hard-standings adjacent to the road, and a further 47 grass standings towards the outer parts of the site. It is beautifully manicured, and surrounded by trees on all sides other than the entrance (which of course during our stay, was where the prevailing wind came from!). Despite all the rain, the grass didn't cut up when driven on, so I guess it is a pretty free-draining site, it also must help that it is towards the top of the hill.

The reception area/ shop is not open all the time, but has a good range of necessary produce to buy - (eggs, bacon, milk, butter, newspapers, etc) which is very handy when you discover you've run out of stuff for breakfast, as the nearest supermarket is in Chard, which is about 5 miles away. I found all the staff on site to be really helpful.

The site also has a coin-operated laundry room with one washer and one dryer, and the washing up area is of the covered outdoors variety. Thankfully this is protected from the prevailing wind.

So what are the downsides? Well its not that great if you have taken children with you, as there is no play area at all, though the local pub does have a good one. Also being a compact site leaves little area for ball games, without you worrying about a heart-attack coming on as you watch your kids boot the ball even closer to that brand new motorhome parked nearby! Even cycling around soon becomes exhausted due to lack of routes. My girls resorted to a skipping extravaganza, to lower my stress levels.
The other slightly weird thing is that though the toilet amenities are all pretty much central, the showers are not in with the toilets and sinks, but in a separate little building. Not so great is its raining, but there again, you are going in there to get wet. Water temperature was great, but I imagine for taller people the shower heads have been set to low on the wall. I am 5'6", and just fitted comfortably under the head. I couldn't see any reason for them not being higher, they must have been put up by someone my height...Anyway apart from this, I thought the general standard of the facilities was good, and they were always clean and WARM (one of the best things to my mind about caravan club sites).

It was our first trip to the area so we expected to be out and about doing things, Chard itself was a little jaded we found, not quite the market town we had been led to believe it was. A bit further afield we explored Ilminster, Axminster and Honiton we were more interesting and on the horrendously rainy day headed to the Fleet Air Arm museum, which was really enjoyable, even for girls! It had the added bonus of being all under cover, apart form the sprint to the restaurant - which was quite expensive for what you got. One thing to note, is that you can take no food or drink into the museum itself, so be prepared if you don't want to eat in the restaurant! Also make sure you have some sneaky sweets in your pocket if you have kids with you, or you have whinging all the way round about needing a drink/snack/etc
A bit further south brings you to the fab Dorset coast and fossil hunting, great fun for all ages.
Finally we found a really good swimming pool in Axminster due to the Chard one looking small and closed for too much of the day.

Oh yes, one other thing - The wildlife park at Cricket St Thomas closed down a couple of years ago, despite still turning up on various websites of things to do locally!

So, would we return to the site again? Well I think for our mix of one adult and two girls, it wasn't the most stimulating site, beautiful though it was, and we would probably try an alternative that had more to offer for children, but if I was visiting as an adult couple, I would certainly recommend it as a good base to explore the locality, being a stones-throw from the A303, which gives good access everywhere locally. The site itself has limited views being tree lined, but is also well-placed for glorious surrounding countryside to explore.

Hope this is of help to anyone thinking of visiting.




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