Friday 3rd August 2018
Rosebud Camping, St. Teath Cornwall
We have found the Fawlty Towers of the camping world!!! We didn’t set out to find it, we just stumbled upon it really, we were looking for a quiet adults only site for a long weekend as we had been invited to Newquay for a family christening (more of which in the next blog!). We enquired about having 2 more guests to stay for the Saturday night but the owners mentioned (when we booked) that it was couples only, so we only planned to stay the one night before we moved on. Just as well we did. Upon arrival at the site, each couple is offered a cup of tea or coffee, which we thought was a nice idea (we later realised this was to see if we were suitable campers!) We were told of the camp rules, one of which was no talking or socialising with the other campers! Can you imagine what it was like for me not to be able talk to the other guests?
The owners were friendly enough to us, and Jane fell in love with Terri’s new puppy straight away, so everything started well.
But I suppose Jon looked at me and thought I was trouble from the start as he gave us the pitch right next to his “command post”. I did get slightly stressed when a Hungarian couple asked us about our caravan and without thinking I invited them in for a look around………….this was greeted with looks of incredulity from other campers who had stayed there a few nights, but as we had only been there an hour or so we were still relatively carefree and we got away with it!
We did find some of the signs very helpful, as neither of us had flushed a toilet before, choosing always to use a bucket then throw it on the roses!
The view in the morning was not quite as good as the day before! We were due to leave just before midday so I set about the daily caravanning duties, one of which was to empty the loo. The chemical toilet disposal was at the other end of the site and as I walked along the track other people were walking towards me and as we passed we both whispered “good morning” and under our breath said “look straight ahead no eye contact” with smiles on our faces! As I approached the far end of the field there was a group of 4 people gathered together and I said “what the hell do you think you are doing? you know you shouldn’t be talking!” to which they laughed and said “I know it’s ridiculous, my wife saw Jon coming and she went and hid in the caravan!” They told me that the campers on the pitch next to them were posted a letter under their awning the previous evening, warning them about their bad conduct by having a chat with their neighbours and a reminder that they were being watched!
We had only planned to stay the one night and that was just as well. I actually found the stay very surreal and amusing. I got on well with Terri and Jon and they have got a lovely campsite. The only thing that is needed here is a degree of flexibility.
I recommend that if you have time, stay here and experience a real life Fawlty Towers camping style!
If you don’t believe me I have added a selection of reviews taken from Trip Advisor, there are a fair few good reviews as well, but they are just not funny!
I am in absolute shock, my husband and I have been thrown off a campsite for getting up too early, we were leaving to spend the day at the Royal Cornwall Show, at 7am, to avoid the traffic congestion. It seems the “rules” are that you cannot leave the site until 9am.
The gates were locked. We asked them to let us out.
We were shouted at by the wife: “HOW DARE YOU, HOW DARE YOU, HOW DARE YOU BREAK THE RULES, with a stern wag of the finger!!!
We were invited (or ordered) to switch off the car engine and told to go to the summer house where a cup of tea was on offer. John went off telling us he would come back to show us around and left us with Terri, who made our tea whilst chatting to us. All quite relaxed and friendly. We’d noticed on the way in the sign on the entrance gate that said that it would be locked between 11pm and 9am. My friend asked if it would be possible to leave before as we needed to make an early start. Terri replied that the gate would not be opened until 9am and this now looked non-negotiable. My friend then asked if we could park the car outside the site for the night at which point Terri (whose manner had become chillier by the minute) said that she would go and speak to John. John came back (having been spoken to) and told us that we were unable to stay. We thought he was joking as he had a smile on his face as he said it. He then got out his list of rules and we realised that he was smiling because he was enjoying the feeling of power! I found the whole encounter quite sinister as he really seemed to enjoy telling two ladies (I’m 64 and she’s 71) to leave in what was pretty bad weather. I asked if there were any other camp sites nearby and he replied, ‘None whatsoever’. My friend and I were made to feel like naughty children by this arrogant, controlling person but with hindsight, after reading some of the other reviews on here about other people’s experiences at the hands of these two individuals – cctv surveillance, not permitted to speak to other campers, locked gates etcetera – we’re glad we were thrown out
Please avoid this campsite! It will ruin your holiday without a doubt.
The owner is an awful person.
We booked to stay at this campsite for 2 nights. The road to the campsite was closed (due to a lovely local village carnival taking place).
The campsite didn’t inform us of the road closure (despite them attending the local village carnival themselves that day), and so were arrived approx 1 hour late for check-in at the campsite.
As a result, the owner cancelled our entire booking with them, leaving us with nowhere else to stay for our holiday.
The owner was unnecessarily horrid and rude.
Don’t just take our word for it….We spoke with several of the local villagers in St.Teath (in the White Lion pub) and all of them advised “he isn’t a very nice man” and “not many people like him round here, he has a bad reputation”.
Says it all!
We arrived at Rosebud Farm after a gruelling 12 hour journey due to a burst caravan tyre on M5 – no friendly greeting for us ! I had inadvertently booked for a caravan and a pup tent for our adult daughter. Bearing in mind we are pensioners of 78 and 74 respectively and my husband is not very mobile. We were told in no uncertain terms that we could not stay because we were a group !! Our daughter offered to pitch her tent on the other side of the site away from us but, and this is the unbelievable bit, we were told NO because we would talk to each other ! So after a traumatic journey – 2 pensioners 2 dogs and daughter had nowhere to stay and it now almost 6.00 clock, he would not even consider a 1 night stay just kept waving a list of rules at us.
We were in this location because my sister who is 57 years old, was pet and house sitting in the area and was raving about the location. We had decided to spend a few days nearby to offer some company and to see the sites. I mention this because shortly after arriving and starting to put up the caravan awning, my sister arrived to welcome us and give us a hand. Oh dear!!!!!!! John was onto us like a angry bear. “What’s going on?” he asked. I explained. “She has 5 minutes to get off the site. We don’t allow visitors or groups!
On arrival at 10am having left Wales at 6am they were told quite abruptly no you can’t book in till 12, go away, we have chores to do. My friends were a little shocked as they could see people leaving and the site virtually empty, but being amenable agreed to go and visit Tintagel. I met them there and were back on our way back at just before noon when friends who we had arranged to meet elsewhere in their camper an on the weekend text us to say.We just tried to book in but they are nutters, we can’t stay there. Shocked our normally v quiet friends were having a reaction like this we called them and met up.
Apparently they had been v nicely greeted with a cup of tea shown round the park and everything was fine until they said have our other friends booked in? A dark mist seemed to descend over the hosts. Your friends , you have friends booked on site. I’m sorry we don’t allow groups. My friends replied but we didn’t book with them but heard they will be here. Sorry you can’t park your van by them and if we do let you stay you won’t be able to talk to them.
On arrival we were offered a cup of tea which sounds very nice however it felt more like an interrogation. We were given a page of rules that we had to abide by, only once we had spoken to the owners and read these rules did we ‘deserve’ to stay on the site.
After traveling 6hrs through the night to avoid traffic,we arrive at 8.30am(booking in time 12noon)we parked in front of some chained gates walked down a track signed campsite,entered through a closed gate,closing behind us,and was greeted by the rudest person I’ve met.He asked us what we were doing,I explained we were booked in that day.his response was unbelievable he said not at this time your not,I said we just wanted to park the car and walk to the village he refused,and told us we were trespassing and should never go through a closed gate and were likely to be shot around these parts.so we drove into the village and used are time sensibly and found a more friendly site avoid at all costs
However we soon discovered that you are not allowed to speak to your neighbours as no socialising whether in the day or of an evening was allowed. It was very regimented and it felt like being locked into a prison camp. The gates are locked at a specific time and you are not allowed to leave until they are opened at 9.00am.
We were visiting Cornwall for a family wedding but decided to stay longer for a holiday. After reading the reviews for Rosebud Farm we were looking forward to our first visit to Cornwall. We knew the journey would take a long time from North Norfolk and pulling a trailer would take longer still, especially as we were travelling on a Saturday. We left home at 7am which allowed 11 hours with two half an hour stops to arrive by 6pm.
Our journey to the M25 was as we expected. However, from the South Mimms services it became an extremely slow journey due to the volume of traffic. We were constantly nose to tail on the M25, M4 and M5.
By 4pm we had reached Portishead services and knew we would not reach Rosebud Farm by 6pm. We rang to let them know and apologise for our delay. We were told that the first people to arrive had not been until 2pm which was unusual so they knew something was wrong, don’t worry if you’re not here by a minute to 6 and drive safely.
By 5pm we had only reached Tiverton and we had been travelling for 10hours! It had become the journey from hell made worse by our anxiety of being unable to reach the site by 6pm.
At 6pm we had a call from Rosebud Farm; where were we? were we travelling in the right direction as it only takes 1 hour from Exeter? I explained we were on the A30 near Okehampton, the traffic had been slow. At 6.45pm they rang again asking where we were and sounding angry that we still had not arrived, repeating it only takes an hour from Exeter. I explained about the time we left home, the volume of traffic, I apologised but that we could only go as fast as the traffic would allow. They hung up!
At 7.10pm we arrived at the site. There was not a friendly helpful face or a cup of tea to greet us. Instead we were told everyone else had arrived by 6pm, others had not experienced traffic problems, it only takes an hour from Exeter, they did not believe we had been travelling since 7am and to leave the site.
It was at this point, as we pulled away, that I began to cry and decided Cornwall was not a place I would visit again. It was pouring with rain, we were extremely tired after our 12hr journey, we had no idea of any other camp sites in the area, we had a trailer tent, a car full of belongings and a puppy. The owners of Rosebud Farm could not have cared less about what had happened that day or what we would do next. They were only concerned and angry that we had not arrived by 6pm. Considering the traffic we had done well to only be an hour late.
Luckily, due to our family wedding, relatives had rented a cottage at Pendoggett so we slept on their floor that night.
The next day we realised that every cloud does have a silver lining. we found a lovely camp site in Port Gaverne run by a genuine, kind and lovely lady. Its a small site with clean toilets and showers, is practically on the beach, has a local pub with great food and costs £5 per person per night with no extra cost for dogs or awnings.
On Thursday the journey home took 10 hours with two half an hour stops. It took 1.30 hours to get to Exeter.
Our holiday turned out to be fantastic and we will definitely return to Cornwall. However, I am disgusted by the behaviour of the owners of Rosebud Farm and will recommend that people do not stay at their camp site.
Rosebud farm has somehow single handedly ripped out and destroyed the most important quality of camping, and that is enjoyment.