Review Date: May 2008 Update: August 2009
Introduction Cranfield lies at the most southerly point of County Down at the mouth of Carlingford Lough. Cranfield Caravan Park, a five-star park in west Cranfield with distant views of the Mourne Mountains overlooks (and has direct access to) a blue-flag beach.
My wife and I decided to visit the park in May 2008. The weather was good and I attempted to book a week before we intended to arrive. When I rang the contact number on the caravan park site I was impressed by the friendly and helpful telephone manner of the person I spoke with.
I was told that a touring site could not be reserved in advance. When I asked what would happen if we arrived and there was no site available, I was told that there SHOULD be a site available. Naturally, I was still a little bit apprehensive that caravans would flood in from all over Northern Ireland, as the weather was very pleasant for May.
We wanted to check in for the weekend (in on the Friday and out on the Sunday). A minimum number of nights stay was not mentioned.
As it was not possible to reserve a site, a deposit was not required at booking time. This had the distinct advantage that should it be lashing from the heavens or something important come up at home, one could simply cancel the caravan plans without being out of pocket.
The owner Jim was very friendly and welcoming and luckily quite a few touring sites where still available. For a touring caravan and two adults we paid £16 per night, plus a £20 refundable deposit for a key, which allowed access to the toilet/shower block and other facilities. We bought some shower tokens at £0.50 each.
The toilet block was small yet clean and modern. The provided key allowed access to both the male and female side. Inside the male side of the toilet block there were 2 toilets, 2 urinals and 2 wash basins which didn’t seem a lot however I did not see another person inside the block on the Saturday. The male side also contained a family shower room and a disabled room. Each of these spacious rooms had a toilet, hand basin, shower and seat. When I visited the shower room on the morning at approximately 8:30 it had just been cleaned. The female side was exactly the same layout as the male side without the urinals.
The showers did not have a temperature control but pumped out a good temperature of hot water. One token provided approx. 4 minutes showering. One of my wife’s tokens failed to start the shower. Luckily she had a spare with her and the girl on reception refunded her token afterwards without question. The second morning I showered, the shower lasted for 8 minutes. I can only presume that inserting my token dislodged another token stuck in the box.
The toilet block was closed at night however a night toilet with washbasin and hand dryer could be accessed using the key provided. My wife used this toilet at 9:30pm however there no toilet roll and the hand dryer did not work.
There wasn’t a dedicated children’s play area in the park, however there was one nearby.
There were no shops in the caravan park, however there were two within 5 minutes walking distance. One was very close to the touring area and was accessed by walking back down the approach road. After a few minutes walk, the shop could be seen on the right hand side inside Chestnutt Holiday Park.