The UK’s Finest Holiday Park Pools

The UK's Finest Holiday Park Pools

UK Awards

Entries are now open for the hotly-contested Holiday Park Pool of the Year Award, part of the 2017 UK Pool & Spa Awards.

The Holiday Park Pool of the Year category is open to all parks in the UK and Eire with water leisure facilities, regardless of trade affiliation or association. Past winners of the award have said how much they value the competition as an opportunity to raise the profile of their park, both within the industry and most importantly to their target customers.

Returning for the ninth consecutive competition, the UK Pool & Spa Awards showcase the very best of the companies involved in the provision of water leisure in Great Britain. Parks wishing to take part can now enter via the UK Pool & Spa Awards website All entries must be submitted online by Monday September 4th, and an entry fee of £30 plus VAT (£36 total) for each entry is payable via PayPal at time of entry submission.

All entries need to be accompanied by at least one, but ideally three, digital images at 300 dpi or more. This year’s awards presentation evening will once again return to The Vox Conference Centre within Resorts World on the Birmingham NEC site.

The networking event will take place on Monday December 4th, and will begin with a business networking style drinks reception, followed by dinner and the presentation of the awards. Tickets for the business networking style prize-giving event are now available to book online.

Tickets are priced at £50 +VAT, which includes drinks on arrival, dinner and entertainment. With limited seats available, early booking is advised. An informal event and opportunity to celebrate its many successes; the dress code for the evening is smart casual

Young Entrepreneur Acquires Second Site

GraysYoung Entrepreneur Acquires Second Site

Best Park Homes has expanded its property portfolio with the acquisition of a mobile caravan park in Dunstable, following a funding package from HSBC. The site, which currently has around 40 residential units, joins Best Park Homes’ already well-established flagship park in Crays Hill, Essex.

The deal will fund improvements to the park, including approximately ten new homes and a renovation of the site’s grounds and communal spaces. Best Park Homes, based in Grays in Essex, is run by 20-year-old Alfie Best Junior, who has ambitious plans for the new park and for the business.

“The residential park homes sector is on the up and it’s an exciting time to be involved in the industry,” says Alfie. He adds: “This latest acquisition is the next step on the ladder for Best Park Homes and I’m looking forward to developing the park further over the coming year.”

Alfie established Best Park Homes in 2014, when he purchased his first residential park in Crays Hill at the age of 17. “The primary goal is to deliver high quality residential parks to the communities that we currently serve,” comments Alfie. “The long term plan is to continue to grow the business further with the addition of more parks to the portfolio in the future.”

TV Drama Draws A Crowd

BroadchurchTV Drama Draws A Crowd

Fans of TV drama series Broadchurch have helped set a record year for visitors to West Dorset, according to a major holiday parks group in the region.

West Dorset Leisure Holidays says bookings are currently up 25 per cent on last year’s figures as families go in search of the picturesque vistas and seascapes seen on screen.

The final series of the award-winning drama finished in April, and the parks’ General Manager, James Cox, said that enquiries began to swell from the first episode: “We experienced similar uplifts during the first two series of Broadchurch, and many of those guests became repeat visitors – so obviously the county lives up to expectations!

“Now with this latest wave of demand, we are expecting to see the busiest year yet for our business, and will be helping to point families to some of the locations seen on television.

“So overall, Broadchurch has proved a massive boom for Dorset’s visitor economy,” added James.

Family-owned West Dorset Leisure Holidays owns five holiday parks in the region, including its flagship Highlands End Holiday Park in Bridport. All parts of the business have seen booking figures rise, says James, and there has also been an uplift in sales of new and pre-owned caravan holiday homes.

Centre Parcs Ireland’s First Employee

Centre Parcs Ireland's First Employee


Center Parcs has appointed Daragh Feighery as the first General Manager of Center Parcs Longford Forest, near Ballymahon in County Longford.

Daragh becomes the company’s first employee in Ireland and will be the most senior role at the new site. As General Manager, Daragh’s main responsibility will be to oversee the safe and successful operation of Center Parcs Longford Forest, which includes the 1,000 employees and approximately 2,500 guests per break.

Daragh will also work closely with the local community once operational to ensure that Center Parcs remains a long term, sustainable partner within County Longford and the wider Midlands region. Daragh commented: “I am extremely excited to join the Center Parcs team and look forward to what will be a fantastic opportunity for families like my own to enjoy a unique family break in Ireland. I believe my experience, skills and beliefs will be a great match in the role of General Manager in Center Parcs Longford Forest.”

Martin Dalby, CEO of Center Parcs, added: “Daragh brings with him a wealth of industry experience in Ireland as well as the drive and personality that are crucial to the role of General Manager at Center Parcs. This appointment represents another key milestone in our journey to bring Center Parcs to Ireland.”

Devon MP Recieves A Warm Welcome

Devon MP Recieves A Warm Welcome Neil Parish

Staff and the family owners of a popular Devon holiday park recently marked the opening of a new reception building with the help of their local Member of Parliament.

Neil Parish MP was the VIP guest at Oakdown Holiday Park near Sidmouth where the £140,000 project was completed in time for the summer season. The five-month project involved 20 local tradespeople and the use of many traditional craft skills and natural materials during the construction.

One of the features of the eco-friendly project is a large oak desk area made from timber which was reclaimed from an ancient fallen tree on the park’s farmland. Stone tiles and natural floor-coverings are incorporated, together with low energy lighting and high levels of thermal insulation to further reduce the park’s carbon footprint.

The building also includes a meeting room, seating areas, and washroom and toilet facilities for people with limited mobility. Alastair Franks, who runs the park with his wife Andrianna and parents Doreen and Roger, said they were thrilled with the new reception building: “It is always important to us that new developments on the park are a match to the quality of the natural surroundings of Oakdown,” he said.

“We were also pleased to be able to find local builders and craftspeople to carry out the work, and their skills have achieved just the high standards we were seeking”.

Happy Hounds

Happy HoundsDog glassses

Some 72 per cent of dog owners consider their dogs to be family member when it comes to booking a holiday. With eight and a half million dogs kept as pets in the UK; that is a customer focus group not to be barked at!

So no wonder that many UK holiday parks now offer options to bring along Rover and Patch with a dog-friendly levy attached. Manager of the North Devon safari tent glamping site, Daisy Meadows; Tina Walters, knows how difficult it can be for dog owners and since taking over the North Devon site in 2013, has aimed to make the park more enjoyable for dogs and owners alike.

The strategy is paying off. In 2016, 80 per cent of Daisy Meadows guests were accompanied on their summer break by their pooch. Visitors can enjoy a spectacular glamping experience as well as including the dog as a special guest, with its Happy Hounds Doggy Day Crèche.

“We created Daisy Meadows as just the right mix for guests, particularly those who have dogs,” says Tina. “We can provide a doggy day crèche so that you can still bring your dog on holiday. We realise that sometimes you might want to spend the day shopping or go to a show and still come back at the end of the day to your happy hound.”

Tina adds: “They are always cared for as if they are our own. On site, dogs are free to roam in the meadow, but we always ask guests to check with their neighbours, and pick up their dog’s poo and pop it in the bins provided, of course!”

Happy HoundThe family-run business is situated in two-and-a-half acres of land in the Blackdown Hills area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - also known as the ‘Gateway to Devon’ - and offers a back to nature safari tent experience. The site is set in a secluded corner of the county, but within easy access of the M5, linking it to Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks.


“This is a great base to explore areas of outstanding natural beauty,” says Tina, “And it’s a doggy-walking paradise. Guests can set off in a different direction every day and be at a beach or place of interest within minutes.” Not only do their owners enjoy the amenities laid on for pampered pooches, but it is also cost-effective. The average cost of a kennel is around £140 per week, whilst many holiday parks allow pets for free – or a nominal fee, often to cover cleaning costs and supplies – although one in four are happy to pay the same amount to take their dog on holiday, as it would cost to take another adult.

Dennis O’Connor, Tourism Liaison Manager of Pembrokeshire Tourism says: “Increasingly, visitors are looking for dog-friendly destinations to avoid the distress of leaving their pets in kennels. “The wonderful coast and countryside is a very special place for visitors, and we are delighted to have been able to recognise the work of dog friendly businesses throughout the county as well as our fantastic towns and beaches.”

Coastal Wood Camping was crowned ‘Best Dog Friendly Campsite’ in May. The Pembrokeshire site is rapidly becoming a first-choice holiday destination for dog owners – not only for its beautiful coastline but for the many facilities that now welcome holiday makers with their dogs. Dog Shower

This status was celebrated at the inaugural Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards ceremony to recognise businesses, villages and locations going the extra mile, and awarded by Pembrokeshire Tourism and Burns Pet Nutrition. The judges assessed a wide range of criteria to decide the winner, but most specifically; an area dogs can enjoy safely with exceptional dog litter facilities, facilities to wash dogs if they got muddy and excellent dog friendly facilities and supplies.

Although the majority of campsites, holiday parks and beaches allow dogs, vacations in caravans and motorhomes are usually accessible for pet owners, perfectly tailored for their animal’s needs. With some of the most beautiful national parks, forests and beaches in the world, the UK is perfect for a caravanning dog-friendly holiday. Woodhill Park in East Runton, Norfolk has been dog-friendly since its owners took over the site in 1988, but the park has noticed a steady increase in the number of guests bringing their pets with them in the last 18 months. “

To read more about Dog Friendly Holiday Parks subscribe to Holiday Park Scene

Company Contacts

Daisy Meadows  Tel. 07852 544219

Coastal Wood Camping  Tel. 01994 453214

Thornley Leisure Centres  Tel. 01606 861043

Whitehill Country Park  Tel. 01803 782338

Woodhill Park  Tel. 01263 588181


Thrills And Spills

Thrills SPillsThrills And Spills

Water play is sure to keep guests returning year after year…

There’s no better time for enjoying the thrills and spills of water play than on a family holiday.

A holiday park that can offer a unique and exhilarating swimming experience is sure to score over it’s nearest rivals. Through smart design and a clever selection of features, any holiday park can transform their swimming pool into an exciting aquatic play space that guests will enjoy and want to return to on repeat visits. “Water play installations offer a range of benefits when compared to standard swimming or paddling pools,” explains Ernie Hemming of Ustigate Waterplay.

“Firstly, a water play installation uses water on demand, which is a more economical and cheaper solution as water will be consumed only when someone touches one of our activation bollards using considerably less water. Moreover, a water play installation provides countless hours of fun for all the family.”

Ustigate installed a bespoke splash zone at Dinosaur Adventure Park in Norfolk last year.

The allocated splash area had previously been home to long-standing old wooden outdoor play equipment which had become outdated so the park owners took the decision to reinvest in the area and give it a new lease of life. The new splash zone takes inspiration from the famous Dippy the Dinosaur, the mascot and one of the Dinosaur Adventure Park’s most popular attractions in order to attract and retain more customers on site.

HippoThe splash zone was divided into three bays which have range of play items designed for each age group - toddler, teen and family. The focal point is the huge ‘supersplash’ elevation consisting of a bucket that tilts over crashing onto a platform creating a mini-tidal wave soaking everyone in its spray zone. The fully PWTAG compliant filtration and recirculated water system ensures highest quality of water for children to play in.


Ustigate’s Vortex sourced products offer the latest designs and features which are premium quality and competitively priced. The price of a typical splash pad depends mainly on three factors; size of the scheme, the type of water system that will be used - one use or re-circulating - and finally the selected water features. According to Ustigate, a typical once use system would usually cost between £50,000- £100,000 and a recirculating system costing £300,000- £500,000.

“Ensure you have explored all possible options as water installations can be expensive and time consuming,” comments Ernie. “Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the right decision in the long term as a significant drop in quality may lead to additional repair or alteration costs in the future or even worse closing of the water play installation. “Even though initial setup costs for a high quality and robust water system may be excessive this will be cost effective in the long run as the water system will be able to stand the test of time and demands of excited children.”

Leyland-based World Leisure recently completed a £1.5m overhaul of the swimming pool facilities at Ribby Hall Village Holiday Park in Lancashire, in just 12 weeks.


The holiday park’s pool is well-known for its water slides and is used by members and visitors alike. It was given a refurbishment eight years ago but bosses at the attraction decided the time was right for a complete revamp, with added facilities to maintain interest for visitors.  The new pool features new slides including a 48m interactive play slide.  Members and guests are able to climb a tower to the top of the slide, which then takes them out of the building and back inside again.  As they come down the slide, they can play an interactive touchpad game on the inside of the slide, with scores recorded once the ride is complete.

To find out more about water play facilities please subscribe at Holiday Park Scene

Company Contacts

Certikin  Tel. 01993 778855

Hippo Leisure  Tel. 01752 771740

Ustigate Waterplay  Tel. 01322 424445

World Leisure UK  Tel. 01777 284883




Into The Woods

Into The Woods

Wood Leisure

For over 35 years Blairgowrie Holiday Park was the Wood family’s flagship site, but after the expansion of the company – extending to a further four parks – the 2008 purchase of Deeside has since changed the landscape.

The Deeside site boasts exquisite hot tub lodges, contemporary holiday homes and en-suite glamping pods. The Woods’ also welcome campers with large areas of hardstanding and fully serviced pitches available. Says Park Manager Shona Stewart: “The park provides a peaceful and tranquil environment for its guests to have a relaxing stay while enjoying picturesque countryside views with nature on your doorstep. The area is popular among visitors from Scotland and further afield who come to explore Royal Deeside.”

As the parks have spread across the country, so too has the family’s involvement in running the company. Colin and Margaret, who started the business three decades ago have since been joined on the team by their daughters, Rachel, Kirsty and Sarah.

The eldest, Rachel, is in charge of the administrative and financial side of the business. Middle daughter, Kirsty, manages the HR and Health & Safety sectors, and the youngest, Sarah, is the head of the Marketing and Sales department.

The girls are also joined by their husbands, who oversee the parks operations, and most recently Shona Stewart who — two years ago — was promoted to Park Manager after six-years as the Administrator for Deeside Holiday Park.

Wood Leisure
Tel. 01250 878123

To read more about Wood Leisure and Deeside Holiday Park subscribe to Holiday Park Scene