IDYLLIC RETIREMENT

IDYLLIC RETIREMENT

Priory Court is a private and separate gated park home village…

 

THE GROUNDS of Priory Park are beautifully landscaped and include a lake.

It’s hard to imagine a more idyllic location in which to relax into retirement than Priory Park - a mixed residential and holiday park - in coastal Suffolk.
Visitors and residents enter the park through automated security gates before venturing into 115 acres of private, south facing parkland, surrounded by rolling pastures and ancient woodland that flows gently down to the water’s edge.
The beautifully landscaped grounds feature immaculate lawns, lily ponds, wildflower meadow, woodland walks and panoramic river views across the River Orwell, a tidal estuary that leads out to the charming seaside town of Felixstowe. The Priory Park estate has been owned and run by the Little family for over 40 years.
“My Father, Peter, purchased Priory Park from Ada Buckingham in June 1981,” explains Priory Park Owner James Little. “Known as Alnesbourne Priory at that time, it enjoyed a mixed reputation and after years of neglect was a far shadow of what you can see today.
Over the past forty years, our family has poured three generations’ efforts into transforming potential into reality and creating the fabulous haven Priory Park is today.”
James and his wife, Lisa, have lived at Priory Park since 1986, first in a Pinelog Virginia and for the past 20 years in the house they built in the grounds. Priory Park has also been home to their two children, Jake and Sophie, who have both worked at the Priory during school holidays in their younger lives.
With Sophie now of to university and Jake continuing to take on more responsibility in the family business that he has worked in for the past five years, the future of Priory Park looks secure for future generations of the Little family.

TIP-TOP STYLE
Ensuring Priory Park is kept in tip-top condition is very much a team effort. James explains that the family is assisted by a team of 15-20 staff depending on the time of year:
“As you can imagine, keeping a 115-acre estate - the buildings, roads, infrastructure, flora and fauna - looking at their best involves a lot of effort from our teams. Thankfully we have great staff, most of whom have been with us for many years, who are all proud to be part of Priory Park.”
Within Priory Park, Priory Court is a private and separate gated park home village for residential use. Catering for the fifty plus age group, with no resident children, Priory Court comprises 100 bespoke bungalow-style homes. South facing and terraced with attractive brick walling, each home has its own private drive and generous landscaped plot.
Priory Court offers the best of both worlds for residents. They enjoy the security of their own private community whilst being part of a larger whole and benefiting from the grounds and facilities of the rest of Priory Park.
Within the grounds of the Park there are tennis courts, a heated outdoor pool, a nine-hole par 31 golf course, a popular Clubhouse bar and restaurant in a building dating back almost 1000 years, numerous woodland trails, and direct access to the shore of the River Orwell.
The homes within Priory Court are complemented by wide drives, grass verges and Victorian style streetlamps. With a wide range of homes, each is positioned at different heights and aspects to create an attractive, unregimented environment.
The variety of homes and the individualised nature of each was a conscious decision as James explains:
“Priory Court has been completely redeveloped over the years and we have sold homes from all of the main park home manufacturers. The redevelopment was all about customer choice which we felt would also make for a more interesting development. On the holiday home side of things, we have tended to work in the same way and have examples of most of the mainstream caravan and lodge manufacturers represented.”

HOLIDAY HOMES
The Little family were pioneers in the UK lodge market in the mid-80s and the holiday home side of the business caters for privately owned caravans and lodges where use is strictly limited to owners and their families. James says that “this enables us to maintain high standards and ensure the Park runs in a particular way.”
He continues: “There are several different holiday home planning consents within the 115 acres. At the moment we have 170 holiday homes in situ including our flagship Friars and original Abbots developments but do have planning for a gradual increase which over time will provide space for a further 125. As we have always tended to see development more as gradual evolution, this should keep Jake busy for the next twenty years!”
Four years ago, the Little family purchased a neighbouring small caravan park business to secure Priory’s boundaries. For now, and notwithstanding the rigours of running a business during Covid times, the focus is on maintenance and upkeep of the existing buildings to ensure all is in good order before starting the gradual redevelopment of Orwell Meadows. In time this will provide 40 new caravan holiday home plots which may well become a further lodge development, subject to planning in the future.
According to James, the Little family run Priory Park “in a low-key fashion without much fanfare.” It’s a very customer-centric business.
“Our aim is to be the best we can, providing a secure and exclusive environment for our customers to enjoy. We try to make the most of what nature has given us with the beautiful setting and treat our customers how we would like to be treated ourselves. Ultimately it is all about the people; without our customers or staff there is no business!”

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

Holiday Park Operator Focus featuring Haulfryn Group

The 20-strong Haulfryn Group is celebrating its 85th birthday…

THE WARREN’S PRIVATE BEACH LOCATION boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia

The origins of the Haulfryn Group date back to the early 20th century when Frank Minoprio, the son of an Italian immigrant entrepreneur, invested in the beauty of the North Wales coastline. Having spent holidays enjoying the outstanding scenery of the region, Frank invested in his very own piece of land on which he built a fine granite house. He called it Haulfryn, meaning ‘sunny hill’. Over the years, Frank continued to invest and build up his estate in North Wales. He believed strongly in giving back to the community and with this in mind he built the primary school in Abersoch alongside many other philanthropic activities. In 1935, The Haulfryn Estate Company was officially founded with the aim of developing the land at TheWarren, just down the road from the family holiday home at Abersoch.

By the start of the 1960s, TheWarren had become a popular destination, setting the standards for holiday parks across the country. Replicating the success of The Warren elsewhere, The Haulfryn Group continued to invest in holiday parks in outstanding locations. The 1970s and 80s were years of further expansion with Gimblet Rock and Crugan added to the portfolio, among others and further investment at The Haulfryn Group’s flagship park, TheWarren. Expansion beyondWales followed, including strategic moves into the South West of England. Today, the Haulfryn Group’s estate includes 20 holiday parks throughout England andWales. The Haulfryn Group’s CEO since February 2020 is Echo Lu.With an impressive CV spanning over 20 years and senior experience within national and global brands including Tesco, Homebase and Holland & Barrett, Echo oversees the Group’s 500 team members. David John, Group Operations Director joined The Haulfryn group back in 2013, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Leisure and Hospitality, most notably Nutfield Heath, De Vere Hotels and Leisure, as well as early years spent in Local Authority.

caption: David john, Group Operations Director

The Group continues to invest in its portfolio to ensure Haulfryn resorts continue to meet the high expectations of its growing and loyal customer base. The Group’s leisure and entertainment venues, facilities and services are widely renowned as among the best in the business. David John comments: “The 85th birthday of the founding of the company is a fantastic milestone to achieve and testament to the company ethos and the hard work of every member of our team at every level. “As a company we’re extremely proud of everything we have achieved so far and look forward to welcoming holidaymakers new and old to our parks to create more special memories to last a lifetime,” he adds. “When you strip everything back to basics, the core of what we do today is the same as it was 85 years ago. The family values on which Haulfryn was established are as relevant today as ever, and these coupled with our outstanding locations is what brings holidaymakers and buyers back to us time and time again,” he emphasises. “Our main driver is to bring joy to every moment of a customer’s stay with us and we’re proud to have been doing that since 1936!” The Haulfryn Group offers a wide choice of accommodation for all tastes and for all ages. Popular holiday lodges provide home-from-home comfort, many with added luxuries such as wine coolers and hot tubs.

caption: Haulfryn Group Locations

For those seeking a modern twist, a selection of glamping pods provide quirky, comfortable accommodation bringing you closer to the outdoors. Some of Haulfryn’s long-standing suppliers include Lissett, Prestige and Omar whilst more recently they have partnered with Aspire and Armadilla Pods. The Group’s original site, TheWarren, is often thought of as Haulfryn’s flagship park but David insists: “We firmly believe each and every one of our parks are flagships. “Whether it’s ancient woodland, lakeside living, beautiful beaches as well as charming scenic settings - we always provide the accommodation and facilities to complement the surroundings environments.” TheWarren’s private beach location boasts golden sands and soul-reviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia. A boat launch ramp accesses internationally recognised sailing waters alongside first class leisure, sports and spa facilities. Haulfryn’s Delamere Lake offers a beautiful oasis in the midst of the Cheshire plains. Situated in Cheshire’s largest area of woodland, with incredible views over the sparkling lake, Delamere is located within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool. Finlake Holiday Resort is set within 130-acres of Devon woodland, Finlake is an exclusive Devon holiday home destination for all the family. On-site facilities include a gym, spa, sauna, swimming pools, including flumes, slides and fountains, a restaurant and bar, tennis courts and more. Praa Sands is situated on the edge of turquoise waters and golden sands on the furthermost tip of west Cornwall. The resort is ideally located to make the most of the spectacular local area including beautiful beaches, walks, and cycle tracks. On-site facilities include a gym and heated indoor swimming pool. Before 2020, the Haulfryn Group’s biggest challenge would have been continuing to exceed customers’ expectations. Since the pandemic hit, Haulfryn’s overriding objective has been the safety of local communities, their teams and owners.

 

caption: contact the Haulfrun Group today