out of 10
Conifer Lodges is a lovely quiet site situated in proximity to The Kirroughtree Hotel. There are 2 entrances to the site, one via housing estate that I have seen others complain about, and the second via a narrow lane/track that takes you passed the Hotel. Yes there is an entrance via a housing estate (and no I don't suppose the residents are that thrilled about tourists driving through their estate either) and this is the easier entrance if you have been into Newton Stewart itself for example. You do not have to use this approach but you will drive a little further to use the one directed by the instructions. Yes the approach passed the hotel is a little more scenic but the track is not so well maintained and is more rutted - not so good depending on your car.
Others have also complained about the lack of facilities on site. To me, this is a typical Scottish holiday site. Quiet and calm, if you want the site with shops, clubs, fish bars and childrens play centres etc etc then head elsewhere. Conifer Lodges has a laundrette on site (I believe, we never had to locate it as there was a washing machine in lodge) and there is a small childrens play area and tennis court. Now the tennis court is far from competition standard and the fencing falling slightly in places, but was more than adequate for our frisbee sessions! Whilst there isn't a shop on site, again this is a Scottish holiday site, there is a Sainsburys just a 10 minute drive away in Newton Stewart. It isn't a large supermarket with an enormous range of products but was more than sufficient for us to dash to after arriving late (6.30pm) on the Friday we were booked in from and stock up for a good few days of meals, drinks and snacks. Larger more extensive supermarkets can be found in Stranraer, Ayr and Dumfries.
We never had much interaction with the staff on site and whilst we had a couple of issues (one that was attended to fast, the other never got resolved, more on that later), the staff were pleasant enough. Again, others have complained that they never really saw the staff and taken issue with that. To be clear, they are there during the day if you need them and, again from our experience on Scottish holiday sites, they don't seek you out, instead affording you privacy whilst you are holiday and leaving you alone to do as you wish.
In terms of things to do by the park, like most places in Scotland, you have a drive to find or get to anywhere. If you are an active family that loves hiking and biking then between the nearby Forest of Galloway and the numerous activity centres, you will easily be occupied. We are, sadly, not that sort of family and found we struggled a little to find much to be motivated to be out early too. Some of that could have been that my husband and I were both shattered having been working very hard before coming away though. A visit after dark to the Dark Sky parts of the Forest is definitely worth the effort (we dragged our kids of 6 and 8 years out to at 11pm on the one clear night we had) if you get a clear night sky.
Confirmed guest, 2016-09-02