17/10/2013
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St Helens in the Park campsite review

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Alpacas, pigs, donkeys… and that’s before you even check in to this comfortable, six-acre campsite which is a Premier Park, meaning it has been indepedently inspected and graded. 

The route we took to get to the site would not suit everyone. From the A19, we took the A170 towards Scarborough, where we encountered a hill with a 1:4 gradient and hairpin bends which our fully loaded Rapido 891M motorhome gamely completed, despite the automatic transmission constantly trying to move up a gear. There is an alternative caravan route that is signposted earlier. 

Our destination, however, was worth the climb. St Helens sits on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, alongside the Vale of Pickering and close to the rolling Yorkshire wolds. Set on a huge family-owned estate, the pitches are split into terraced areas, most of which are flat. While there is plenty to attract families, including a play area with a field for ball games, there is also an adults-only section of 30 pitches including 12 super pitches. Although the site was almost full, there were sufficient shower and toilet blocks to never need to queue, and the site remained serene throughout our stay. 

It is an interesting site, steeped in history. As well as the animals, the three-acre dog run and the playing fields, there is an ice house, which dates back to the eighteenth century, next to Wykeham Church by the main road. There are numerous walks and cycle tracks in the area, and a bus service between picturesque inland Helmsley and the seaside town of Scarborough stops right outside the site. Thornton-le-Dale is a pretty place to visit, where you can catch a bus to Whitby. 

On site is a small shop which doubles as a café serving Yorkshire breakfast at a reasonable rate, as well as snacks during the day and a roast dinner on Sundays.

We took the double decker 128 bus to Scarborough, passing through some very pretty villages. Our plan was to explore the town and then stop for fish and chips. There was plenty of restaurant choice and we settled on the Harbour View Café on the quayside. The fish was wonderful with curly, bubbly batter reminiscent of my childhood days, complete with chips, mushy peas and bread and butter.

One evening we dined at the Downe Arms, which is just a short stroll from the site, and enjoyed a good meal with excellent service. They serve the usual pub food at lunchtime plus a la carte in the evening.

The wardens on site were helpful, especially when we needed to leave very early on our last day. The evening before, they arranged a ‘pitch’ outside the barrier for us, including electric, ensuring we were comfortable and facilitating a quick getaway.

Oh, and a few things you need to know about alpacas: they spit, but mostly at each other; they are native to South America; they can live for 25 years; and their exotic fleece comes in 22 natural colours!

Recommended by Sue Nicholson

St Helens in the Park


SITE INFORMATION
ADDRESS: Wykeham, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO13 9QDTEL: 01723-862771
WEB: www.sthelenscaravanpark.co.uk
OPEN: Mid February – mid January

Charges (2013): £16.50 - £27.00 (2 adults, pitch, electric). Free WiFi.
Nearest public transport: Bus stop right outside the site for journeys between Helmsley and Scarborough. 
Nearest pub/restaurant: On-site café or the Downe Arms is a few minutes’ stroll from the site.
Directions: Located on the A170, five miles west of Scarborough, and 12 miles east of Pickering. The entrance to the park is off the A170, 300 yards on the Scarborough side of the village of Wykeham.


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