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‘I would rather eat my own eyes than stay at Camber Pontins’

A holiday park’s announcement it will close suddenly has been met with a strong reaction – with one reviewer saying they would rather “eat their own eyes” than return.

Pontins in Camber Sands near the Kent border in Rye, which sprawls 32 acres with 820 self-catering chalets, has divided guests’ opinions over the years.

Pontins in Camber
Pontins in Camber

Since news of the shock shutdown emerged some have spoken fondly of their time at the park however, recent reviews on TripAdvisor - where it enjoys just a two-star rating - are far from favourable.

“I would give five stars for the beach but parking toilets were just out of this planet,” a reviewer recently wrote.

“There was dirt everywhere – poo on the floors and the walls. To be honest, hygiene does not exist in this place.”

Meanwhile, anoher guest said they had “never been to a filth disgusting hell hole like Pontins Camber Sands”.

Handing the site a one-star review, they wrote: “The chalets filthy and the staff would not change out my chalets, probably because they didn't have anything cleaner.”

In a post titled ‘I would rather eat my own eyes’ one user wrote earlier this month she found rice in drawers, aggressive notes stuck on doors and “barbed wire surrounding.”

“Don't even get me started on the pool,” she continued.

“No staff, so could only open for 45 mins at a time and smelt like drains, changing rooms dirty, legitimately felt like we were in a dystopia prison.

Camber Sands
Camber Sands

“(I) Overheard staff members asking each other about the coffee, no one knew how to clean it so drinking a grey foul liquid left there for months could have killed someone – a story to tell your friends for sure!”

Another recent reviewer dubbed the Camber Sands site “disgraceful” and claimed it should be “condemned.”

“We used to come here years ago for music events and swore we would never come back,” they added.

“We were told the chalets had been refurbished and that they’d changed the cleaning contractor. What a load of rubbish; it is worse than ever.

“The oven was filthy as was the oven pan. The ceiling was coming down in the bathroom.

“There was a gaping hole around the door. Filth everywhere. White substances on the curtains and friends of ours had blood on their curtains.

“Rust all round the taps. Filth on the floors and hairs all over the bath and floor. It’s just revolting. Never again!”

In 2015, Dartford mum Tierney Hinde told KentOnline she was delighted to be spending her first trip away with her young autistic son.

Tierney Hinde with her son Presley
Tierney Hinde with her son Presley

But the excitement lasted just minutes when the 28-year-old discovered mould on the walls of the Pontins apartment and stained and dirty bed linen.

She was offered another room but it appeared to have blood splattered on the windows.

“It’s really upsetting for me to say, but it was our first trip away and it was disgusting,” she explained.

In March 2021 KentOnline revealed Irish surnames had been banned from making bookings.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission was told had a discriminatory booking policy that excluded Gypsies and Travellers.

The list of red-listed names included Boyle, Delaney, Gallagher, McGinley, McMahon and O’Donnell.

Explaining its Prestatyn site in Wales is also shutting, a spokesman said: “We regret to inform you that our parks in Prestatyn and Camber Sands will be closing with immediate effect.

“Customers whose bookings will be affected by these closures will be contacted by our team and refunded.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

Many previous customers told of the fondness for the site, highlighting its potential given the unique surroundings of the south coast.

“Many happy memories here as a kid,” Amie Hodgson explained.

“We used to go every Christmas and it was the best time. Sadly it did get really run down. If it could be brought up to its previous glory it would be an amazing place to go.”

Gill Divers added: “We used to come here in the 70s and it was a fantastic place to holiday. Many happy memories.”

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