Last month we packed up the van with all the camping gear and set off for a long weekend at Norman’s Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site at Pevensey on the East Sussex Coast. We chose the site for its’ location directly opposite a shingle and sand beach, close to the town of Eastbourne. We were due to be camping at The Star at Alton but sadly Simon’s cousin passed away and her funeral was to be held in Eastbourne. We decided to change our plans so that the children and I could be close to support him and spend time with the family.
Finding the site
I have a very old sat nav which I have had since I started driving many years ago, these days it does tend to take us on a bit of a magical mystery tour so actually, we didn’t find the site very easily. Coming away from it was much better as we travelled into Eastbourne and then joined the A22. The campsite is situated just off the A259 between Pevensey and Bexhill. I wouldn’t recommend you borrow my sat nav to get there!
We arrived around 7 pm and to be honest were not in the mood for pitching the tent after our long drive. We did, however, receive a warm welcome and were quickly shown to our pitch along the back of the site not too far from the play area where we could watch the children playing whilst we did all the groundwork. To be fair, thanks to our tent being super easy to put up we had it pitched in less than 20 minutes and with great confidence in our skills to finish off we decided to head into Eastbourne for tea with the children. This turned out to be a very silly idea as we were all too tired to be making beds when we returned to the tent a few hours later – lesson learnt!
There are two main amenities blocks on the site which are equipped with WCs, showers, laundry room, parent rooms and washing up facilities. One block is centrally positioned and the other is to the bottom end of the site but both are within easy walking distance.
Water Points, Refuse Disposal and Fire Points
The water points are regularly spaced throughout the site. Our nearest point was directly in front of our tent. The water points were all lit up at night for good visibility and fire point.
The play area was tucked into the corner on the left of the site behind the Ready Camp units. The play structure is a good size for multiple children to play on and is suitable for the young to the junior age levels.
We didn’t actually find this room until the day we were leaving but to the far end of the site from the Play area is a recreation room with a pool table and games which would be great for entertaining the kids on a wet day.
The main information area is in a small room to the left of the Reception area and is packed with really useful information leaflets and discount vouchers for local attractions, walking maps and magazines.
There are night lights on the top of all of the electric hook-up units and further lights centrally positioned along with the site but the ground had a few dips and holes so you definitely needed a torch to watch your footing when walking at night.
Dog Walking Area
There is a designated dog walking area but we didn’t actually look for it or see it as we didn’t take Bramble with us on this occasion. There is also the beach directly opposite which is great for wearing out your dog.
Disabled Facilities/Pot Washing/Chemical Toilet Disposal
Both amenities blocks had a large pot washing room, disabled facilities, laundry room and sluice room.
There were four Ready Camp units on-site, all to the left-hand side as you drive through the campsite. We did actually ask if we could upgrade our booking and stay in a Ready Camp when we arrived because we were too tired to put the tent up. We arrived on a Thursday and they said that Ready Camp bookings can only be taken Monday to Thursday and Friday to Sunday. They said that the Ready Camp was available from Friday to Sunday. When we entered the site we saw that one unit was empty. We found this ruling to be daft as it had obviously been vacant Monday to Thursday and they refused our booking for Friday to Sunday for the sake of one night?? Doesn’t make sense to us.
I had taken my portable modem with me but the signal to the site was very patchy and unreliable so I paid for the on-site Wifi which costs £3 per day or £10 for a week. It was quick and easy to set up with a strong, fast signal which offered exactly what I needed to be able to keep on top of emails whilst I was away from home.
Over the course of the weekend, the site became very busy so we ended up with campervans positioned between ourselves and the road. They were staggered but this did make it quite difficult to get the van in and out from the back row and we felt like we had been hemmed in, especially when one family with their campervan sat at the back of their van which meant we were nearly sitting on top of each other.
The location of the site was very good being so close to the beach. Whilst Simon and his family went off to the funeral on Friday, the partners came to me at the campsite so that we could all take the children to the beach for the day.
In general, the noise level was pretty good but it is worth noting that there is a rail track that runs immediately behind the site (approx 200 yards away) and trains pass approximately every 15-30 minutes throughout the day. Initially, we thought this could pose a problem as the trains started around 7 am and didn’t finish until around 11 pm but honestly, you quickly got used to them and in the end didn’t even notice them.
The staff on site were very friendly and helpful. The site was well maintained and the facilities were always very clean and fresh.
Within 10 minutes you can be in the seaside town of Eastbourne. We found the out of town retail area which had a large Asda, TK Maxx, Next, Boots, cinema and a Frankie & Benny’s.
Norman’s Bay Camping and Caravanning Club Site is perfectly placed for exploring the South Coast. As well as the seaside resorts of Pevensey, Eastbourne, Bexhill and Brighton there are a number of attractions too;
- Pevensey Castle
- Herstmonceux Castle
- Fort Fun Ltd
- Drusillas Zoo Park
- Eastbourne Miniature Railway
- South Downs National Park
- Blue Reef Aquarium, Hastings