Pontins Camber Sands: Filth and fun holidays as classic video is uncovered

Watch: ITV News reported on complaints from guests about Pontins in Camber Sands in 2020

Some people are extremely disappointed while others say it should have happened years ago, Pontins at Camber Sands has divided holidaymakers over the years.

The self-catering chalets with indoor pool and promise of bounds of entertainment for children has provided an attractive option for families to have a break on the East Sussex coast.

It was built in the 1960s with space for 800 campers...some leaving happy while others have often described it as a holiday hell.

ITV News highlighted filthy conditions at the park in 2020 when families shared 'traumatising' experiences of rooms full of muck, mess and grime.

ITV Meridian's predecessor TVS reported on how Pontins was preparing for Christimas in 1989

Many of the people who contacted us shared their horror of believing somebody was already staying in the accommodation they'd booked, only to discover the rooms were simply left unclean.

At the time one guest who stayed with her family at Camber said, "We thought it was a budget holiday and I know people say you get what you pay for but you couldn't pay me to stay there again."

While one parent told us that her son remarked, "why does everybody look happy in the pictures when actually everybody is crying, it's a lie".

And another said, "I'm disgusted. I feel like the whole week, apart from going to the beach with children, was an absolute write-off."

ITV News highlighted concerns raised about the East Sussex holiday park Credit:

Pontins, which is owned by Britannia Hotels, has never responded to the allegations that we presented to them or released any public comment acknowledging similar complaints.

In many ways the park hasn't changed since its opened offering parents a nostalgic charm of their childhood, which can probably be attributed to why the park continued to operate for so long.

The entertainment team is often praised for their enthusiasm and there is genuine sadness from families that the site is being closed down.

On the 'We Love Pontins Camber Sands' Facebook group people have been sharing their treasured memories.

One poster wrote, "People slag off Pontins but we are so heartbroken. Don't matter what the place was like because these beautiful people helped us make so many memories and made our holidays amazing."

Another added, "Thank you for all of our amazing holidays over the years! We've made some fantastic memories together!"

While those responsible for the social media page issued a statement which said, "Pontins has been a happy place for so many of us and throughout those years we've made a lot of memories too.

"We just want to thank every member of Pontins staff from over the years for all of their hard work and dedication put into giving us the chance to enjoy these holidays. We're not only sad that Pontins has closed down, but we're sad for the reason we'll miss you all too."

In May 2023 the holiday park, which Pontins described as a "hidden oasis", was in the news after a fire broke out on the roof of a building.

There weren't any injuries from the incident.

Pontins has found itself as the marmite of the UK holiday camp industry, despite complaints.

Never short of guests, the site in Camber will continue to polarise opinions even through the sudden decision to close.

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