There are times when you just need a short break. This Easter we packed our bags and went to Parkdean for a dog friendly holiday in Scotland. We enjoy staying in caravan parks as they have facilities for all the family and there is usually a lot to do on site. The advantage is we can bring our dog, Eddie, with us to enjoy a dog friendly break. We quite often go to Scotland as it is not far to travel from Newcastle. Parkdean have six pet friendly caravan parks in Scotland. We chose to visit Parkdean Wemyss Bay on the west coast of Scotland. We chose this site as we visited Glasgow last year and knew the area surrounding Glasgow was very scenic. Wemyss Bay is really handy for a number of the Scottish Islands, Bute, Arran and Dunoon to name a few. We fancied popping over and exploring at least one of these. Before we left we ensured we had everything ready to make travelling with a dog as easy as possible. We knew the trip would be around three hours and wanted to make it easy for Eddie. I also made sure I had packed everything we would need for the trip, including food and some preprepared meals so I would not have much to do when we got there. Fortunately the trip went well and Eddie did not seem unduly stressed by the longish trip in the car.
Checking In at Parkdean Wemyss Bay
The park was relatively easy to find. We took the M8 from Glasgow to Greenock then followed the A78 to Wemyss Bay. The park was opposite the railway station and the ferry terminal where you can get a ferry to Bute. It is easily spotted from the road as there is a large sign on the left. Parkdean Wemyss Bay is accessed by going up a very steep hill. You could walk up but it would probably take around ten minutes to reach reception. Reception is easy to find at the top of the hill. You can check in from 4.00pm onwards. I went to check in leaving my husband, son and his friend to look after Eddie. There were plenty of people to help check us in and the queue went down quickly. I was soon given the caravan key, information about the facilities and a map to show us where to go. As we had a dog with us we were also given some poo bags and dog treats which was a nice touch. We had lots off poo bags with us but I imagine this is something that it is easy to forget to pack. I picked up some tourist information before I left, including the ferry timetables. We then set off to find the caravan.
The park is quite big but our caravan was in Heather Court which was round the corner from reception. We somehow managed to drive past it but the park staff were helpful and soon showed us where it was. There was an area to park right next to the caravan so we pulled in and went inside.
Inside the caravan
We were staying in a MacDonald caravan which sleeps 6-8 people. It is a pet friendly caravan which means it is not the most up to date. I prefer this as it means you can relax and not worry about your pet leaving fur around. Ours was one of the green caravans. There is a small flight of stairs to go up and you can enter by one of two doors at the front or back of the caravan.
Lounge and kitchen area
Inside the caravan is a good sized lounge area with a small dining area at the far side of it. The seats in the lounge can also be converted to make an extra bed if needed. In the lounge is a TV with freeview, a DVD player and a radio and CD player to provide entertainment.
The caravan was fully central heated and the living room also had a gas fire for those chilly April evenings. Just off the lounge was a small and compact kitchen. As well as a gas cooker, with oven and grill there is a fridge freezer and microwave. All the crockery, cutlery and pans are provided but you do need to bring your own tea towels, washing up liquid and food. I would also recommend bringing bin bags for your rubbish. A nice surprise was some goodies waiting for us in the kitchen so we could enjoy a nice cup of tea when we got there. There were also some dried sausages as a treat for Eddie much to his excitement. These are his favourite treat. He would exist on these if we let him.
Bedrooms and Bathroom
Going though a door from the kitchen leads you to a corridor where you find three bedrooms. There are two bedrooms with twin beds and one double room. Whilst they are not large in size they are cleverly designed to maximise storage so there is plenty of space for your bags and clothes. A nice touch is that a hair dryer is supplied so you can quickly dry your hair after swimming or a shower.
The bed was incredibly comfortable, perfect for sinking into after a long day travelling. Bedlinen was provided. The bathroom was compact with a shower, toilet and wash basin. The shower worked really well and was lovely and relaxing. The bathroom also contained a heated towel rail which was really useful for drying towels and swimming things quickly. If it is a nice day there are also clothes rails provided which you can hang out the window to dry towels on.
The accommodation was ideal for a short break and Eddie soon made himself at home. He soon found he was able to look out the windows to see what was going on. When that all got too exciting for him he was able to relax.
The caravan was cosy and perfect for a dog friendly holiday in Scotland. The park itself was a lovely wooded area with stunning views across the bay. You could watch the ferry going across to Bute from the top of the hill.
Facilities on Site
One of the advantages of a caravan holiday is that there are always plenty of facilities so you have the freedom to enjoy yourself on site. You can also explore the surrounding area, it is entirely up to you. My son and his friend took the opportunity to wander off by themselves and enjoy the facilities making new friends. Entertainment is laid on for kids during the day with clubs for tots, primary age children and teens. You can leave your kids to enjoy themselves and get adult time if you wish. There are also various activity sessions on the sports field and in the pool which you can book in for. There is a small shop next to reception where you can get essentials. It is also an off license. There are supermarkets in Greenock and Largs if you need anything else. We planned well and brought enough food for the weekend with us.
The Venue is the entertainment area and this is found near reception.Inside the venue is an amusements arcade with an area for playing games of pool. This area is popular with the teens. You will also find Clyde Entertainment Lounge & Bar here which provides evening entertainment. If you are hungry Livingstone’s Bar & Grill provides meals. For a coffee or snack you can got to the [email protected] This has an outdoor patio where you can sit and watch the sun go down in the evening. There is a climbing wall in this area for children as well as an adventure playground. You can also take a drink outside and enjoy it. I imagine this area is a bit of a sun trap in the Summer.
Also in the venue is a heated swimming pool and sauna. The pool is open between 10am and 6pm. There are plenty of open sessions but it is closed at certain times due to fun activities. A timetable is provided that shows when you can go swimming. The locker costs £1 which you get back when you leave. The pool is not large so it is a good idea to go early. We had an enjoyable swim and enjoyed the sauna.
While we were there we enjoyed an evenings entertainment. There is bingo in the early evening, there were four games with prizes of £60 for a line and £220 for a full house which was pretty good. The early entertainment is for the kids, with the park mascots Sid the Seagull and Lizzie the Lizard making an appearance. It is still enjoyable to watch and the kids got really exited. Adult entertainment starts after 9pm and goes on till late on Friday and Saturday. My only complaint was that when I visited the ladies the toilets were in a bit of state with loo roll all over the floor. This may have been a one off and it may have been cleaned up later. Free Wi-fi is available in the bar area but you do need a password.
If you enjoy walking you can pick up information on a number of different length walks at reception and there is also a nature trail that you can do though the park. This tells you about the nature you are likely to see in the area. I spotted some of the local wildlife.
As well as plenty to do in the park there is lots to see in the local area. Why not have a look at my list of dog friendly places to visit around Wemyss Bay. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday at Parkdean Wemyss Bay and Eddie enjoyed his stay as well. It is so nice to be able to bring your dog with you on a dog friendly holiday. We love holidays in Scotland, one of our most memorable must be when we stayed in a castle.
Have you been to a caravan park? Did you enjoy it?
Our stay with Parkdean was complementary but I have shared my honest, unbiased opinion of our stay.