“ Address: Pleasant Valley, Stepaside, Narberth, Pembrokeshire, SA67 8LR „
Starre Gorse Holiday Park, Pleasant Valley, South Wales
Since I was just 9 months old I have been going on family holidays to Pleasant Valley in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. While I was young we had a caravan on one of the many caravan sites there, however when I was 15 my grandparents decided to sell the caravan as it was no longer getting enough use to make it worth paying the site fees. This left me with the option of not visiting my favourite place, use B&B's or take up camping. I chose the camping and over the years I have discovered many great campsites in Pleasant Valley and the surrounding areas. The one I will be reviewing today is Starre Gorse Holiday Park.
*** Location ***
Starre Gorse is located in the heart of Pleasant Valley and is approximately a mile from the nearest beach and local pub at Wiseman's Bridge which over looks the beach. Also within a reasonable distance and easily accessible by both car and public transport are the neighbouring towns of Tenby, Saundersfoot and Amroth. There is a bus stop very near the entrance of the site where a regular service is available for getting to these areas.
*** Arrival at Starre Gorse ***
From Birmingham it is around 200 miles and takes approximately 4 hours to reach Pleasant Valley. If you come onto the country roads from the direction of the dual carriage way then the site is quite easy to miss the entrance and drive past as it is located next to a church and just after a slight bed in the road meaning the church blocks the view of the entrance slightly. Coming from the other direction you would have to be blind to miss the entrance though as there is a big sign with the name of the site and also contact details for the site owners.
As I drive through the entrance to the site I notice there is a 5mph speed limit enforced along with many speed bumps to make sure that you really cant do more than 5mph. Following the small road up a hill and over the many speed bumps we came to a car parking area on the right. I usually find a space with ease, however during busier times in the summer months I have had to squeeze in small gaps or wait for people to move.
*** On Site Shop ***
On the car park there is a small shop selling many essential items at the average price of the local shops in town. They also have a small toys section in the shop as well as the usual buckets, spades, children's fishing nets and crabbing lines. The shop is also where you book onto the campsite and pay your fees. I first discovered this site way back in 2001 when the site fees were a mere £5 per tent per night, however as with all things this price has risen and as of summer 2010 was £12 per tent per night. Once you have paid you are given a receipt for the duration of your stay, you will need to keep this just in case of any discrepancies but there is no need to attach it to your tent.
*** The Camping Field ***
The campsite field is located at the top of a very steep hill opposite the car park. You can drive up the hill but it is so steep that it is 1st gear all the way up it so we usually drive up to set up and then leave the car on the car park for the rest of the trip. The field is quite like the road in the sense that it is a big hill, but there are flat areas at both the top and bottom of the hill. I've camped at both ends but I prefer the bottom these days as I'm getting older and lazier! Also the top is a bit of a mission without the car!
The views from the site in one direction are just more fields and nothing special, but in the other direction there is a beautiful view looking out over the valley with all its greenery and in the distance you can see the sea, which on a sunny day looks particularly nice as it sparkles in the sunshine.
*** Toilets and Showers ***
At the bottom of the field there is a small toilet block with just two toilets, I think they are basically for middle of the night emergencies as they aren't separated into male and female and apart from being regularly topped up with toilet roll they're not exactly the most well looked after toilets in the world! They are known for the spiders and daddy long legs that seem to be permanent residents and send small children screaming back to their tents, much to my amusement!
The main toilet blocks are located all the way down the steep hill and behind the shop. As you look at the shop the Gents is to the right and the Ladies to the left. I have never been in the Gents but I have been camping with groups of friends and the males among the group seem to describe their toilet block as pretty much like our girls one. There is a wooden door to enter the block, to the left there are about 10 toilet cubicles, to the right are 5 sinks each with both hot and cold taps and in the corner there are two shower cubicles. The showers are free to use and actually pretty nice and warm, however Wales being Wales its a bit nippy getting out of the nice warm shower into the chilly Welsh air, especially as the building itself is made of the stone blocks that make everything seem colder. Also the floor in the showers is simply concrete and very cold on the feet! This toilet block is better maintained than the one up by the field, it is clear that the shower heads are cleaned and the floor is washed regular, however Boris the spider along with his whole family and many daddy long legs are also residents in this toilet block too so you may have a friend or two sharing your shower with you.
*** Other Facilities ***
There is a laundry area located next to the shop, this has a couple of washer/dryer machines which you can use. There is also an ironing board and iron and an airer for hanging your clothes on.
There is a large heated pool on the site, I have attempted to use this once, however I am a chicken and no matter how heated an outdoor pool is it still felt freezing to me! There are a few sun loungers around the edge of the pool and often random inflatable's for kids to play with that have been left by previous guests.
There is a children's play area on site with the usual swings, small climbing frame and a sand pit... just in case the kids didn't get enough of the sand on the beach!
*** Rent a Caravan ***
Although I have reviewed the camping part of the site it is notable to say that Starre Gorse is not only camping, they also have many caravans on site, some privately owned and others available for rent.
I have never rented a caravan on this site but they do look very nice, I've checked the prices on them (just in case I fancied a treat!) and they range from £230 - £500 a week for a 4 berth caravan and £230 - £520 for a 6 berth also for a week.
*** Opening Times ***
The site is open from the Easter holiday through until the end of October, however the campsite part is only open during the main holiday periods, bank holiday weekends and the main 6 week school summer holiday.
*** Overall ***
I have stayed on this site many times and apart from the toilet blocks I have no issues with this site to complain about. The shop is well stocked and reasonably priced. I would recommend a stay on this site, but if you don't like spiders and cold shower blocks then maybe renting a caravan on the site might be a better idea!
Thanks for reading :)
Campsite and caravan park located in South Wales.