Ren's Biking Blog
Rally With A Chalet Newbies Guide
The Rally With A Chalet is not quite like your ordinary rally. Here's a few tip-offs if you've never been before, handy things to know.
Booking the Rally With A Chalet is not quite the normal routine, and this bewildered me initially. It is in actual fact quite simple, I just wasn't ready for it. You'll find the contact details via the usual channels such as flyers, friends or facebook, and you call a very nice man. I was expecting to send him some money and he'd send me tickets, job done. That is what happens except you don't get tickets you get wristbands with numbers on them. So that's the rally booked...right? No, you've booked on the rally but you've not booked into Southport Pontins.
When you have your numbered wristbands you THEN call Pontins. They make the booking for the dates you wish to stay, ie the dates of the Rally. Be sure to confirm that you're booking for the Rally (AKA the Rock Night). They will take payment from you for the chalet and send you the appropriate paperwork. Costs for the 2013 rally were £15 each for the tickets and £48 for a twin and double chalet. You'll need to talk to Pontins about sharing, costs etc, I imagine it'll be cheaper if you don't mind sharing with your smelly, dirty, snoring mates.
When you arrive at Southport Pontins security gate you can ask the nice man where reception is. He'll ask to see your wristband so it's best to put this on before you arrive rather than digging it out of your baggage like I had to. If you're on a bike you can park fairly close to reception, if like most of the other rally goers you're in a car then parking is a nightmare. There are car parks hidden around the place but unless you're very early don't even attempt to park by reception.
When you've parked, walk to reception which is not far from the front gate. Here you will find out what number your chalet is and get the keys. Be sure to have your paperwork with you that Pontins sent through the post. With key in hand you will then need to spend an age finding your chalet, it was dark when I arrived and some of the number signs are hard to read. When you finally find your chalet and get in you'll see that although it's not luxurious it's clean and acceptable. Now's the time to go and get your car/motorcycle and try to park as close as possible.
Hopefully when you called Pontins you were told there's no bed linen. There is linen available BUT I think you have to pre-book it and there may be a cost. I took my own linen, a duvet cover and a bed sheet. What I did forget were pillow cases...you'll be needing them too if you are taking your own linen. In the chalet there are lightweight duvets for each bed and the fold down settee. I used all the thin duvets to make one thick one, I'd suggest you take extra bedding if you don't think there'll be enough.
The chalets have electricity with an electric cooker, water heater and and room heaters. This all has to be paid for via a card meter typically located in a cupboard in the kitchen area. You buy these cards at £5 per shot from reception. Over the course of the cold February weekend I used 2 cards, £10 worth of electric. If you leave the water heater on all the time, the heater on all the time and use the cooker a lot then you are going to need more! It's not cheap and it needs to be accounted for in your budgeting.
The room heaters work, and I imagine during a cool summer evening they're effective at warming the room. However during a cold February night I found the heater incapable of warming the room properly, at best it takes the edge off the chill. I've heard that some people take additional heaters but this will of course put up your overall electric bill. The heater in the small shower room along with the hot shower did provide a very comfortable cleaning experience.
Overall the chalets are not luxurious but they are clean, functional and many times better than a cold, wet tent in the middle of a dirty field. Having a small kitchen complete with basic crockery and pans means you can cook your own food to save pennies but the food on site is not ridiculously expensive, £3.95 for a cooked breakfast for example. Having your own toilet and shower makes the whole experience very civilised.
It's a great rally, it's a great idea to have an rally in the middle of winter complete with suitable accommodation and the organisation is excellent! Strongly recommended.
Sharon said :-
Do not forget to pick up your electric cards with your keys. Otherwise you will be left in the dark. No card ... no electric.
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27/10/2023 19:20:22 UTC
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