HillHead in Devon Christmas and New Year
After our rather ghastly New Year at a well known commercial site last year we thought that lightening could not strike twice, and to play safe, we chose to try the always good Caravan Club Site at Hillhead in Devon for both Christmas and New Year.
This large all singing all dancing site was taken over by the Caravan Club in 2000 in a rather run down state, it was operated for two years and then shut down for one year for many improvements to be made with a fist full of money being spent.
In 2003 we were privileged to be invited to the official launch, there were not many hardstandings then so we were on grass right by the children’s playground, a little noisy. Since that time the club have spent a fortune on this site, it is virtual unrecognisable to us now, we had a very private hardstanding with high hedges all round, this kept the wind at bay.
When the site closes on 3rd Jan it is going to have many more improvements and will become a site that will compete on equal terms with any others anywhere.
When Hillhead opens its doors again in March there will be 27 fully serviced pitches, all in good locations, 111 hardstandings, 132 grass pitches, all these with electric hook ups, and a first we think, there will be 13 tent pitches with lights and electric hook ups. We suspect that 2013 will be a bumper year for Hillhead, and well deserved.
We booked for this holiday period at the end of the summer and after having received the programme we discovered that there was a five course meal on Christmas day and a buffet on New Year’s Day. The restaurant was open each evening plus most nights a good cabaret was on stage. We had our doubts about being able to reach the site due to all the floods in Devon, we travelled on 24th December and in the event had no problems at all, thank goodness. When we booked in the wardens, Chris and Tina, were extremely pleasant and helpful, this helped no end to reassure us with regard to our decision to try another caravanning Christmas. We chose a very secluded pitch with very high hedges, these helped to keep the rather high winds at bay.
Obviously the day we arrived, 24th, we took it easy and set the caravan up in a fairly leisurely manner as we had had a 170 mile journey down from our Herefordshire home. The evening entertainment started with a carol service by the Torbay Brass Band, during this we had a very good meal, big helpings, of Lasagne. The band played for about 75 minutes and sounded good. After this rather uplifting experience the cabaret starred Katie Mae, a very good vocalist who pretended to be somewhat “dippy” very funny and very good, a lovely evening altogether. Christmas Day, the weather was not too bad, but all around was sodden, never mind we had so much to look forward to. The day’s activities started at 12.30 with welcome drinks and “smooth saxophone” played by Katie Jay, a little too loudly we thought. Our “lunch” started at 1.15 and was a mammoth five courses. At three o’clock, after four courses including a huge helping of turkey, Father Christmas come to visit, there was a huge pile of presents under a large Christmas tree, two for each man and one each for the ladies it appeared. After this rather festive activity lunch carried on with the desserts and coffees, there had been about six bottles of wine between ten of us so we were all quite merry by now. We were then entertained by a Crooner, name MAC his songs were all from our era and excellent. Boxing day saw the restaurant open with another Cabaret, we did not attend that one.
Thursday we popped over to the restaurant and had another very good meal, the Chef certainly is good at Hillhead, no entertainment tonight. Friday evening there was a quiz and a cabaret act with a chap playing a very odd keyboard instrument in rather ragged clothes, this was a tribute to the eighties, a little too loud for our taste.
The extremely windy night saw us up in the middle of the night to put some more pegs in the ground for the awning, luckily it was still there in the morning but on the Devon news tales of more flooding, trees blown down and even a 40ft steel container being blown over a hedge into the road, some storm. The site shop certainly had a run on some very good, large rock pegs. Saturday was a foul weather day with highish winds and heavy rain, not really going out weather! In the evening we had another excellent meal in the Complex, we played bingo and was lucky enough to win two out of the three games. After the bingo the cabaret was a young girl singing, we think she was singing, the music was so loud and the bass turned up so much that the poor soul was drowned out. Sunday was a much better weather day, the sun even made an appearance now and again, the forecast for New Year’s Eve is not good but Tuesday should be better, we can always hope.
Monday, New Years Eve was a very wet day with the rain persisting throughout the entire day, no chance of taking the awning down. Tonight we were going to have a buffet plus entertainment and a cabaret, we went at just after the Complex opened and already the room was crowded, luckily friends that we had got to know saved us a table and we were ensconced. There was to be no mad dash for food as each table was called separately. The tables were groaning under the weight of the food, we have never seen such a large choice of items, even fussy people would have been catered for, not only was there a huge choice but the food was really excellent, the Hillhead Chef is wonderful. A male singer with a very good voice kept us entertained until about eleven o’clock and then we had a disco and dancing until the magic hour. Just after midnight we all went outside to see the firework display that had been prepared for us, this was of about five minutes duration and was excellent, after this super display most went back for a while to the club.
Tuesday was, as predicted, bright and clear, we had all day to get ourselves ready for the trek home to Herefordshire. We had our new found friends over in the afternoon and shock horror we had to cook our own dinner! All too soon our break was over and unlike last year it had been fantastic, we suppose that non caravanners would find it extremely difficult to believe that such a lovely time could be had in and around those “tin” boxes. For the trip we used the Caravan Club “Snooper” sat nav, we just put in Hillhead from the list and Hey Presto it took us right to the door, we still find this quite uncanny.
We would definitely say to any caravanner, go and try this very very good holiday, the site is excellent, all the staff are always smiling, and the wardens could not be more helpful. Even the weather did not dampen our enjoyment and enthusiasm.
Hillhead Caravan Club Site Brixham Hillhead, Brixham, TQ5 0HH.
Telephone: 01803 853204
The site reopens 22 March 2013