Review Date: August 2011
Carrick Dhu Caravan Park is located on the main Portrush to Portstewart Road (A2), approximately 1 mile from Portrush. It has 45 touring pitches (with electric hook-up) and 20 tent pitches.
Carrick Dhu is a large 4-star Caravan Park that is situated next to Juniper Hill Caravan Park. The park has 45 touring pitches with electric hook-up and 20 tent pitches. In 2011, Carrick Dhu opened from 1st April 2011 to 3rd October 2011.
The address for Carrick Dhu Caravan Park is:
Carrick Dhu Caravan Park
12 Ballyreagh Road
Telephone: 028 7082 3712
The interactive map below shows Carrick Dhu Caravan Park’s location. Zoom out on the map to see the caravan park’s location in proximity to nearby Portrush and Portstewart.
This was our third trip out in the 2011 season.
I booked a touring site in this caravan park well in advance (March). Similar to Juniper Hill, Carrick Dhu was a council run site and all touring caravan bookings were taken online. Payment in full was taken at time of booking.
One of the good things at booking was that you could look at a map of the touring pitches online, see what sites were available and select the particular site you wanted.
We paid £164 for 8 nights in a touring caravan with awning (£20.50 per night).
A confirmation email was sent out to the email address I supplied containing confirmation number, park name, pitch number, arrival and departure date and total amount paid.
We approached the park from Portrush direction along the A2 coast road. The entrance to the park was clearly marked with a large “Carrick Dhu Caravan Park” sign.
Accessibility to the caravan park was not a problem as the entrance road was a good quality tarmac road.
It was at this point my wife and I decided to look closely at the confirmation email. We pulled over into the large car park opposite the office, beside the shop and the chip shop. The email basically said we had arrived a day early! This was only half the bad news as it also said we were staying two days longer than we were intending to. It wasn’t my wife’s fault for updating the joint calendar with the wrong dates, honest!!
I went into the office feeling a little embarrassed as I knew I should have checked the confirmation before leaving home. There were two men in the reception area and although the main manager quickly indicated that it was my own fault, he did allow us to check in a day early and onto the same site we had booked for the remainder of our stay.
I asked if they would refund us the extra day at the end of the stay but the same manager said no and told me to check the terms and conditions. He did offer me a credit of a day that I could use later in the season but as this was useless to us we decided to change some of our plans around and stay an extra day on the site.
The manager gave us a pass that had to held up to a sensor to raise the barrier when entering the park with our car. To exit the park, there was no need to use the pass as the barriers opened automatically when approaching them.
Carrick Dhu Caravan Park was almost entirely flat. Although the Atlantic Ocean was just across the road it was not possible to catch a glimpse of the sea from any of the touring sites or from most of the static sites.
Carrick Dhu Caravan Park contained a number of different areas.
The tent area consisted of 20 pitches and was sheltered from the wind by the four high walls that completely enclosed it.
Tent pitches were clearly marked and were a generous size. Access to the pitches furthest from the road had the potential to prove problematic due to the layout of the sites. The pitches were overlooked by apartments but for some reason this didn’t seem too intrusive. The tent area had its own water taps and refuge collection point.
A side entrance out of the “walled garden” provided a convenient access to the toilet block.
The touring caravan area had 45 touring caravan pitches.
The sites were interconnected with tarmac roads. Each pitch has its own electric hookup but no water tap or waste water drainage. Some of the pitches were full hardstands, some were wheels only hardstands and some were entirely grass. Pitch size varied between sites. While some sites were small, others were a more generous size (see the site plan for details). Each touring caravan pitch was close a large area of communal grass.
Three shared water taps and waste water drainage provided for the touring area.
I asked at reception if WiFi was available and I was told it was and that it was free of charge. The manager said they had been having problems with it but it was now fixed. I was provided with a WiFi password so I went back to Bessie to experiment. A number of Carrick Dhu WiFi access points were available to connect to but none of them were locked down and therefore they did not require a password. I selected one with the strongest signal and connected to the access point without problem however for some reason I could not send or receive data. I tried a number of times on both my iPhone and MacBook and the result was the same… it didn’t work.
There were approximately 3 refuge areas in the caravan park. One was close to reception, while the other 2 were more in the middle of the park.
Each refuge area catered for recycling. There were black bins for household rubbish, green bins for glass (any colour) and recycling bins for aerosol cans, cardboard, clothes and shoes, drink cans, juice cartons, paper, plastic bottles, plastic food containers and small electrical appliances.
There were two amenities blocks. The first was close to the reception and contained a single male and female / disabled toilet and a large laundry room, which could only be accessed using the key-card provided on arrival. At the back of this building there was an outdoor wetsuit wash area.
In the middle of the caravan park, a centrally heated building housed toilets, showers, washing up and sluice. The block had been recently rebuilt and was both modern and clean. The male toilet / shower room was divided into 2 sections: toilets and showers (funnily enough!)
In the toilets section there were 6 toilets, two of which were Ambulant Disabled Toilets.
Opposite the toilets were 3 wash-hand basins. One of these was smaller so that kids could reach up and use it.
A further 3 wash-hand basins (again, one smaller that the others) were opposite the urinals.
In the shower area, there were 5 shower rooms with 8 wash-hand basins (2 smaller) opposite.
Shower rooms where quite a good size and well laid out as a wall partially separated the shower area and the dry area.
There were two hooks available to hang clothes on. The showers cost 50 pence for just over 6 minutes use.
Shower temperature could be incremented or decremented using digital buttons on the on the control panel. LEDs lit up to indicate the current temperature of the shower.
A generously sized disabled / parent and child shower room was also available. It contained a disabled toilet, a shower with fold-down seat, a wash-hand basin and a hand-dryer.
Just like the main showers, this shower ran on 50 pence pieces. On one occasion I inserted my 50 pence and the shower did not operate. I reported this to reception and they refunded my money without further question. I used the parent and child shower several other times and the shower worked every time without issue. The disabled shower had also the same modern digital control panel as the other showers. This did not seem to be working properly as sometimes during showering, for no reason at all, the temperature would drop slowly but surely until the shower was cold. It wasn’t bad enough to stop me using the shower but it was annoying.
Kitchen facilities were basic. There were 4 washing-up basins. Each basin had plenty of space around it to set dirty and clean dishes.
A Chemical Disposal Point was available at the back of the building to empty the caravan’s cassette toilet.
The size of the toilet / shower block was more than adequate for the number of park visitors
The laundry room contained 8 large industrial washing machines and 6 large tumble dryers. The laundry room was spacious and a central table allowed for the sorting, folding of clothes etc.
The washing machine took 2 x £1 coins, the tumble dryer £1 and a spin dry £0.50.
3 ironing tables were provided.
There was a children’s play area in the park. Our first impression of the play-park was that it was in need of some modernization. There were 2 areas in the play-park: an area for toddlers and younger children and an area for older kids.
Although each of the climbing frames and swings were surrounded by soft tarmac offering a good level of safety, the rest of the park was a little dangerous for small children due to the extremely stony surface. Some friends of ours told us that their daughter had fallen previously in the park and got several bad cuts as a result.
A convenience shop was located just inside the caravan entrance and it offered all the essential groceries at a reasonable price.
Fish and Chip Shop
We didn’t eat from the fish and chip so I can’t comment on the quality of the food. I did however call into the fish and chip shop one evening wondering if they sold milk as the shop next door had closed at 8pm. They didn’t sell milk however the very pleasant girl had approx half litre of fresh milk which she gave me and she wouldn’t take payment for it… we will have to get a fish supper there soon!
- Location (between Portrush and Portstewart) was excellent.
- The amenities building was clean and modern.
- A shop and a chip site were conveniently located within the caravan park.
- In the touring area, water and drainage was shared. Only electricity was available on each site.
- There wasn’t a stunning view from the touring caravan sites even though they were beside the Atlantic ocean. This was due to the caravan park being very flat.
- A lot of houses and flats overlooked the caravan park.
- The play-park needs to be updated with safety in mind.