Access Statement

INTRODUCTION

Stowford Country Holidays is a large holiday facility in rural North Devon comprising:

A large touring caravan and camping park, together with ancillary leisure facilities such as shops, bars, catering establishments, swimming pool, horse riding and animal attractions.

A caravan centre comprising of a caravan retail outlet, a leisure shop and workshop department.

A development of high quality country lodges which are sold as luxury second homes for all year holiday use.

Wherever possible, these facilities are provided with access for all – including disabled guests.

PRE-ARRIVAL

All general documentation is provided in a standard size font. However, should any correspondence be required in large print, then this can be supplied, upon request. Alternatively, documentation or confirmations could be provided by e-mail as an alternative to hard copy, enabling enlargement of font size.

Part of the appeal of Stowford Country Holidays is it’s rural, isolated location. As a result, however, the site does not have convenient links to either the rail or bus public transport network. The nearest bus route connection point is 1½ miles west of the site entrance at Lynton Cross. The nearest railway connection point is at Barnstaple (8 miles).

The nearest village is Combe Martin (4 miles) and the nearest town is Ilfracombe (5 miles). However, the nearest major town is Barnstaple, which is approximately 8 miles away.

The Park benefits from having both a leisure and holiday shop on site. Most daily provisions are well catered for and trips off-site for supplies are not normally necessary. However, there is a large Tesco’s store at Ilfracombe.

For those with mobility problems, the site does have a wheelchair, which can be made available for guests to use.

Barnstaple town centre has a Shopmobility scheme which offers loans of scooters, manual and powered wheelchairs. There is a small membership fee to pay, plus a £3 refundable deposit for the loan of the equipment. The equipment is booked via the coordinator on telephone no. 01271 328866.

ARRIVAL & CAR PARKING

The Caravan Site & Caravan Centre both benefit from good parking provision near the main facility area. In addition, there is a separate overnight parking area near the entrance, where cars may be left for a few hours if this is necessary.

Each touring caravan pitch is large enough to accommodate at least one car adjacent to the caravan, whilst the lodges all have ample parking provision for a minimum of two cars on each drive.

The vast majority of the site now benefits from excellent road surfaces, with tarmac being the norm around the entire park.  Tarmac pavements are also extensively provided for pedestrian access.  The main site roads do utilise speed bumps in certain key locations, for traffic calming purposes.

Most of the key facilities have provision for dogs to be tied up outside, although guide dogs are also allowed into most areas.

MAIN RECEPTION

The main site reception area is a large and welcoming area with ramped access routes from all three directions, and a second door which will open to provide double width access for large wheelchairs etc. There is also plenty of public seating available for general use.

For guests newly arriving at the site, there is a full colour welcome pack supplied with personal verbal instructions of the site, it’s layout and directions to a particular pitch.

The opening hours of the Reception office vary from 9am –5pm in the low season, to 8am – 8pm in the peak season.

Adjacent to the main reception there is a dedicated large tourist information area.

PUBLIC AREAS

In general, the site occupies gently undulating land in rural North Devon and so there are gentle slopes to be managed. However alongside steps (white edged for the visually impaired) ramped accesses are numerous.  As a general rule, all public facilities consist of just one level and there are few stairs to be accommodated – even then, ramps are normally provided as an alternative. Where there are stairs handrails are provided for extra assistance.

Whilst some facilities (eg both shops, restaurant, games room and main reception) are carpeted, many of the other facilities have hardened floors consisting of ceramic tiles, concrete or wooden floors. These hardened floors in particular should always be negotiated with care.

There are a number of telephone kiosks on site. These have been installed by BT and are of the standard BT design and provision.

Baby changing facilities are provided at a number of locations around the site including the swimming pool and the washroom area immediately adjacent to the main site reception.

Outside both shops there are dog tie-up points, although assistance dogs are welcome within most areas.  Dog exercise areas are plentiful and extensive, including a 3 ½ mile woodland walk area which follows a waymarked route.

PUBLIC AREAS – WC

Each of the 5 main touring fields have their own fully equipped toilet, shower and laundry facility in the centre of the field. In addition, adjacent to the main reception there are more private facilities. The swimming pool, bars and catering areas also provide toilet facilities and so the site is extremely well provided for in this respect.

Access to each of these facilities is via tarmac, concrete or paved paths and though there are occasional sets of steps, ramped accesses are always provided as alternatives. The flooring in each of these areas is anti-slip, ceramic floor tiles, but guests should always exercise care in these areas, especially when surfaces are wet.

Disabled washroom facilities are mainly provided in two areas:

The washroom area immediately adjacent to the main site reception area provides a number of private washing and toilet rooms, and two private bathrooms. In addition there is a fully specified disabled washroom accessed by a radar key.

The toilet block in Field 5 also contains a fully specified disabled washroom.

TAKE-AWAY AND RESTAURANT

There are steps leading directly down to the front door of both facilities, though an alternative ramp access is also provided.  Once inside, the restaurant area is carpeted, with movable tables and chairs set out throughout the room. The restaurant also provides toilet facilities.

The Take-Away area has a painted floor surface which is simply a standing only service area, where orders are taken and customers wait to be served. Outside of this facility there are a number of chairs and tables provided for customers of the establishment. On hot days, these will also have umbrella covering. Once again, access around this tarmaced area is via both steps and ramps.

TOURING FACILITIES

As previously described, the main touring site consists of 5 main fields, each with it’s own toilet, shower and laundry facility. Attached to each facility is a chemical toilet disposal area. This is accessed by a concrete path around the block itself. Additionally, each block also has a waste disposal trailer at the rear. Rubbish should be bagged and put into the trailer. Each trailer has a set of large wooden steps alongside (equipped with hand rail and guard rail) for anyone needing elevation in order to put rubbish into the trailer.

The lighting around the site is largely by high level street lighting. However, there are numerous bulkhead lights on the buildings and fire box locations as well as low level lighting in other areas. Access around the site is largely via excellent tarmac roads, often with a raised pavement alongside. Car parking is provided for next to every caravan, with large pitches being the norm.

There is extensive signage around the site and the corporate colours are cream letters on a dark green background.  However, certain road signs are provided in statutory colours and pictorial signs are also provided where this is a legal requirement (eg green and white running man signs at the fire exits).

THE SWIMMING POOL AND GAMES ROOM

The swimming pool and games room share a complex in the central part of the site. Both are accessed via large double glazed doors and are on the level without steps. The games room is a single room with carpet underfoot. There are a variety of games and amusement machines provided, together with pool tables and air hockey.

The swimming pool area benefits from an insulated roof and heat exchanger system which is able to keep the pool water temperature, the air temperature and the air humidity level at comfortable and optimum levels. The pool surround is a tiled surface, which extends throughout the changing areas and communal showers.

Access into the pool itself is via stainless steel ladders down into the water. There are no hoists or means of assisted access into or out of the water.

The changing areas are accessed via 2 internal doors and the pool area is accessed from the changing rooms by another door, all of which are wide. There are 2 separate changing areas – one for males and one for females. Similarly, there are separate male and female toilets and a unisex disabled toilet area.

Spectators have a separate seating/watching area within the pool complex and wheelchairs can normally be accommodated there.

Whenever the swimming pool is open it is staffed and supervised, so help and advice is readily available.

There is a spacious car parking area on tarmac, approximately 30 metres from the pool entrance.

HOLIDAY SHOP

The holiday shop is located in an old stone built farm building and carries a huge range of stock and provisions.  Because of the original nature of this building it is slightly irregular shaped and has narrow aisles in places. It would be suitable for some wheelchairs, but not large ones. Access to this shop is via steps, or an alternative ramp route, but there is a raised threshold at the entrance. Once inside, the shop is on a very gradual incline; but internal lighting is excellent. The shop is also air- conditioned for comfort and carpeted internally. Most of the pricing is done via shelf edge labels, which are larger and easier to read than price labels.

CARAVAN ACCESSORY SHOP

The caravan accessory shop is a newer facility featuring a whole range of caravan related items and general leisure goods and leisure furniture. It is a more modern development with a long ramp access, a spacious foyer area sitting between an external and internal door. Once again, it is carpeted and air-conditioned for comfort. This shop is on a single level internally and is set out in a uniform manner with wide aisles for access. Internal lighting is excellent and there are large overhead signs to assist in locating the desired products. The serving area for the shop also doubles as an administration area for the caravan workshop, which is adjacent, but has no public access.

LAUNDRY

The site has a total of 5 laundry rooms, each forming part of the toilet and shower facilities, described elsewhere in this statement. 4 of the 5 laundry rooms have their own separate door entrance over a threshold or step. In block 5 the laundry shares access with other facilities and is at the same level. All the rooms have washing machines, tumble dryers, spin dryers, irons and sinks for clothes and for dishwashing. In general, the laundry machines are top loading. They operate on tokens, which are available from the main site reception. The floors in these areas are either ceramic tiled or painted concrete. Lighting in each laundry room is very good. Service washes are not available at these facilities although staff are generally available to offer assistance when required.

BARS

There are a total of 3 bars provided on site, within 2 separate buildings. As these buildings have been converted from agricultural use in order to maintain a certain character and authenticity; they do operate on differing levels with steps providing access between the various levels and buildings.

The Lounge Bar has a traditional stained wooden floor with two large alcoves off a main bar area. The alcoves have fixed seating, whilst the main area has both fixed and moveable seating and tables. There is a small stage area and room for dancing in the central area.

The Old Stable Bar is at a higher level than the lounge bar and is accessed internally by steps, although these can be avoided if entering from the outside. All of the seating in this area is fixed and is arranged into separate seating areas. This area is carpeted, although there are 2 other lounge areas (again accessed by steps) which have traditional stained wooden floors.

The Barn Bar is in a separate building and has both stepped and ramped access. This large bar area has a carpeted area around the bar, a large wooden dance floor and also painted floor areas. Internally, this building is largely on one level with just one small raised seating area.

All of the bar areas have toilet facilities within.