INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK!

INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK!

Sue Hollingshead investigates the glamping journey…

When it first sprouted shoots, we could expect a glamping holiday to be in a pod of some description, or a glammed-up tent. Today, we can expect glamping accommodation to be almost anything that has a touch of luxury and quirkiness about it. “Over the years, glamping has gone from an empty shell to offering everything from heating, bathrooms, kitchens, one or two bedrooms, a lounge and dining area and now top of the range glamping pods are fitted out like a hotel suite with everything including the kitchen sink!” The structure of glamping pods has developed to the point that Lesko Modular now offer a 10 year warranty with their range of pods which is a clear indicator how the market has grown. Glamping pods are just the tip of the iceberg of course, also available are: shepherd huts, safari tents, tipis, Bell tents, yurts, domes, wigwams, airstream, vintage caravan, train carriages, tree houses, not to mention quirky options such as tree tents, plane carriages and fuselages. The imagination can be endless to create something different, something inspirational.

INDIVIDUALITY MATTERS

Jason Thawley, Innovation and Design Director, Tree Tents, explains: “The key tenet here is individuality, no matter what the structure may be, guests are looking for an experience. “A unique structure in a nice location is always a winner, though it is all in the detail and creating a space where guests feel they have arrived in a niche little world of their own. “Even simple things such as a hammock in a shady spot under a tree, a fire pit with comfortable seating to sit back and enjoy the stars in the evening and well-placed lighting to make things feel cosy.” Tree Tents, offer buildings such as Fuselages, set up high, or in built up areas amongst trees, with various bespoke designs set within trees. Treehouses, not to be confused with Tree Tents, are becoming one of the most sort after types of accommodation at Cooling Camping as James Warner Smith explains: “Part of the desire is the uniqueness, however it is partly also due to the sparsity of supply – treehouses are expensive to build, a practical challenge and present many planning difficulties. “If the obstacles can be overcome, a luxury treehouse is a very safe bet for year-round bookings and constant demand.” Clearly glamping is about the experience as endorsed by key players in the industry. It is also important to remember that although there is an aim to provide luxury, glamping is still ultimately about connecting with the outdoors and all that it entails, so hot tubs, especially the wood-fired version which are growing in popularity, saunas, outside spas and showers, pizza huts, private space are all aspects that should be considered in your strategy when developing either a new site, or refreshing existing. As Britain gradually returns to normal, albeit with the ‘new normal’ to consider, the whole concept of holiday accommodation that puts guests in touch with the outdoors, and provides them with space to be themselves, whether this is family time, or romantic breaks, will tick boxes.

NEW NORMAL

Outstanding UK, providers of safari tents, have seen a surge of business as lockdown has slowly been released both from trade and consumer and are adapting to the new challenges. James King, UK Account Manager says: “Realising that individual pitch options are key in re-opening sites across Europe, Outstanding Tents have launched their sanitary tent. It is a take on the XS model in their extensive range, and is a higher version featuring shower, WC and basin to be placed onsite to offer en-suite facilities to any existing pitch, camping or glamping.” They are not the only company planning for the new challenges, Alan Hetherington, Customer Relationship Manager at Blackdown Shepherd Huts has some sound advice: “We feel that the most important thing new glamping owners should remember, is to know what their customers want from a self-contained unit following lockdown. “Ensure you can offer it to them, with quality, flexibility, and their experience at the forefront of your mind. Focus on offering a unique and bespoke experience that your customers’ want but cannot get elsewhere.
“This is exactly why we offer bespoke shepherd huts and after months of being cooped up at home guests will feel safe, relaxed, and excited to tell their friends and family.” Return on investment on many glamping units are achievable within 12-24 month period, which you would need to set aside other expenditure. From a marketing point of view, getting ahead with social media is considered to be one of the key areas to focus on moving forward.

FUTURE SCAPES

The Staycation has been actively growing for many years, however we have seen many indicators following recent months that this is set to boom in the short term at the very least. James at Cool Glamping has a clear vision for future predictions: “This year we are seeing more first-time campers and glampers taking holidays in the UK as a result of travel restrictions and coronavirus, so the audience has grown dramatically. “Our hope is that this will convert into a longer time audience, giving our whole industry a larger market in the years to come. “I expect growth to continue in the higher end of the market, particularly for more inventive accommodation. I also expect more hoteliers and boutique accommodation providers to move into the market.” Ian at Lesko Modular adds: “The future for Glamping looks very bright with many large holiday providers that I am aware of planning new glamping developments for 2021. Apart from mainstream we also work closely with major children’s theme parks and are providing themed pods for the 2021 season.” Ian continues: “The benchmark has already been set quite high with regards to quirky accommodation and I feel that we can continue to see increased innovation in all types of accommodation with the emphasis developing on the overall experience itself. “Back to nature experiences, including cooking, creative, learning, developing skills, knowledge, enjoying the great outdoors, with a learning element to the holiday break. “We have already experienced elements of this during lockdown, back to old fashioned values almost, all of which backs nicely into the outdoor holiday experience for the future.”

 

COMPANY CONTACTS

Blackdown Shepherd Huts
www.blackdownshipherdhuts.co.uk

Cool Camping
www.coolcamping.com

Lesko Modular
www.leskomodular.co.uk

Outstanding UK
www.outstandingtent.co.uk

Tree Tents
www.treetents.co.uk

 

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SURGE IN CARAVAN PURCHASE DEMAND

SURGE IN CARAVAN PURCHASE DEMAND

The UK’s largest digital marketplace for new and used cars, Auto Trader, has reported that views of caravan adverts increased 18% last week and views of motorhomes adverts increased 17%, compared to the previous year. A survey of 2,000 UK adults which the brand carried out to examine this trend further reveals almost half of the population (40%) is planning a 2020 staycation (provided Government guidelines allow), and that caravan holidays are set to almost match stays in hotels this year. Only 40% of those planning a staycation this summer said they would consider staying in a hotel, while 33% say they would consider staying in a caravan - making caravans second only to hotels in popularity amongst those planning breaks.

Caravans are also set to overtake the popularity of rented holiday apartments and houses, which have enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity over the past few years thanks to a new wave of disruptive rental websites and B&Bs. Demand for rented apartments and houses this summer is set to trail behind that for caravans and hotels, with just 27% of those planning staycations saying they’d consider them. The trend for caravans seems to be being driven by a need to feel safer. 37% said staying in a caravan would mean they could sanitise the environment properly themselves, to limit the spread of germs from those outside their family.

Auto Trader’s Rory Reid comments: “Coronavirus has changed the way we live our lives in so many ways, and there’s no doubt this will extend to our holidays. “Many are unlikely to want (or be able) to quarantine themselves for 14 days after a holiday abroad, so we’ll be seeing UK beaches and other hotspots a buzz with British holidaymakers this summer. He continues: “Caravan holidays in particular will shoot through the roof. The idea of holidaying in a space that you yourself own, which you can clean yourself and which won’t have been used by others recently, is definitely reassuring.”

Family’s Holiday Park Is A Natural Winner

ABOVE: Moss Wood Park’s winning team members are (from left) marketing co-ordinator Neil Darby; seasonal warden Dave Dean; seasonal warden Sue Partington; groundskeeper Chris Peacock, and wardens Sandra and Ian Stokes

Family’s Holiday Park Is A Natural Winner

Moss Wood has been heralded as Lancashire’s torch-bearer for businesses with a conscience. Judges in the Lancashire Tourism Awards named the family-run park as first place in the ‘ethical, responsible and sustainable’ category of the awards, beating a strong line-up of contenders from across the North West. It means that Moss Wood will now be fast-tracked through to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence later this year in the same category. An awards ceremony, held at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach Arena, was attended by tourism and business chiefs from across Lancashire.

Henry Wild accepted the award on behalf of his father Syd who first started the park over 40 years ago, and who still plays an active part in its running. Moss Wood, judges said, puts sustainability and care for the countryside at the heart of its business culture, bringing great benefits to the natural environment. The park was also praised for the way it encourages holiday guests and members of the local community, especially children, to engage with nature and to help protect its wildlife.

Henry Wild said that everyone was absolutely delighted to have taken the top sustainability prize: “We are very fortunate to be able to attract staff who share our enthusiasm for the natural world, and for doing everything possible to protect our flora and fauna. “Their knowledge and skills mean we are never short of new ideas for safeguarding wildlife, and for helping youngsters to enjoy making new outdoor discoveries,” Henry continue. “Our family feels very privileged to live and work in this beautiful part of rural Lancashire, and I hope this award will help raise awareness of its very special qualities,” he added.

Moss Wood provides holiday homes to buy as well as pitches for touring caravans and motorhomes. The park has been presented with the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level for more than 20 consecutive years, recognising its raft of conservation initiatives. These include a recently created 1.5km nature discovery trail, and a 3000 square-foot wild flower wilderness providing vital foraging for honey bees and butterflies.

There is also a spring-fed lake at Moss Wood which acts as a magnet for birdlife, dragonflies, water fowl and a host of other different aquatic species. In addition, the park plays host to thousands of bees in hives on its grounds, and supports bee-keeping charities with the sale of its own artisan beer produced by a local micro-brewery.

Wish You Were Here? Beachcombers Idyll With Winter Walking Breaks

Wish You Were Here? Beachcombers Idyll With Winter Walking Breaks

Visitors to Cornwall this winter will be enjoying stunning views, watching the sunset over Holywell Bay and cosying up by the fire while enjoying winter breaks at Trevornick Holiday Park near Newquay. Crisp sea air, deserted beaches and quiet coastal paths make for an invigorating walking holiday at the locals’ favourite time of year and one that remains relatively unexplored by holiday makers.

Trevornick Holiday Park is situated just a short walk thor ugh the sand dunes to Holywell Bay beach. The iconic setting has frequently been used as a filming location, most recently becoming BBC Poldark’s favourite beach. Offering statics, glamping, camping and touring, Trevornick has a choice of three cosy cottages to make guests feel at home home in for the duration of their Cornish getaway.

Trevornick is situated within a beautiful area on a section of the South West Coast Path, a 630-mile-long route, originally carved out by the coastguard to keep a watch over the shoreline, which now provides walkers with endless opportunities to explore the best Cornwall has to offer. Brand new for 2019, the Gull Rocks Beach lodges make living the beachcomber’s lifestyle a breeze. Choose from the Harlyn or Sennen lodges; both finished to a very high standard, designed entirely with the guests’ comfort in mind.

After a day of walking the coast paths and enjoying cosy pub lunches head back to the decking and jump in the hot tub on a crisp winter evening. There is a host of things to do in the UK’s most southerly county during the colder months. From hopping between art galleries, sampling the region’s finest seafood or heading to the clifftops for a brisk hike.

Trevornick Holiday Park and Cornwall are also extremely dog friendly, so there is no need to leave the four-legged family member at home. With the ‘bark and bath’ wash stations located on-site and many local pubs welcoming pooches, they’ll love Holywell Bay too. On site amenities at Trevornick Holiday Park include a shop stocking local produce, places to entertain the youngsters and the Farm Club Bar which is open daily throughout the winter season.

Trevornick Holiday Park
Tel. 01637 830531
www.trevornick.co.uk

Top Of The Camping Pods Award winners in the annual camping and glamping awards….

Top Of The Camping Pods Award winners in the annual camping and glamping awards….

A selection of popular camping and glamping sites across the UK have picked up gongs in the latest Campsites.co.uk camping and glamping awards. Yorkshire came top with more awards than any other county, followed closely by Cumbria.

The Best Holiday Park national award went to stunning Cofton Holidays in Devon, closely followed by commendations for Wooda Farm Holiday Park in Cornwall and Highlands End Holiday Park in Dorset.

Cofton’s extensive camping facilities include grass, hard standing and fully serviced pitches with newly-refurbished toilet and shower blocks. Nearby, the camp shop stocks everything campers need from freshly baked croissants to tent pegs.

Facilities include a heated indoor pool with a splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve.

 

ABOVE: Attractions at Cofton include both an indoor and outdoor
swimming pool.

TIRELESS WORK

Helen Scott, Director at Cofton Holidays, is thrilled with Cofton’s success, saying: “Starting 2020 off with this prestigious accolade is a very positive sign for things to come, building further on the success of last year.” Helen added: “The Cofton team work tirelessly throughout the year to deliver an unforgettable experience to all of our guests, and being recognised independently for that is testament to our fantastic staff.” Cornish site Hendra Holiday Park has received the Popular Choice national award for 2019.

CORNISH DELIGHTS

Located in glorious countryside just outside Newquay in Cornwall, with 80-acres of landscaped parkland, Hendra welcomes from approximately 1,000 to over 3,500 people a night during the peak season, in a range of accommodation options, including camping, touring, glamping, holiday homes and lodges.

The super deluxe Shepherds Hut Retreat was the winner of the national award for Best Glamping Site 2019. Its lakeside hot tub and sauna are the perfect finishing touch to its high end glamping. Grooby's Pit took home the Best Caravan Park award 2019 at national level (winner) and is in the Skegness area. Its 5 star pitches are adult only, hard standing, serviced and set beside a stunning lake. With excellent facilities and great fishing, it’s an ideal touring base for the sights of the coastline.

Family friendly Umberslade Adventure near Hockley Heath was awarded Best Family Campsite national winner 2019. Most Unique Site 2019 went to The Private Hill, a stunning set of boutique geodomes tucked into the Yorkshire Wolds, with an experience that’s far from the norm.

ABOVE: Hendra welcomes between 1,000 and 3,500 people a night during the peak season

BOOKABILITY

Launched in 2015, Campsites.co.uk makes it easy to find and book great camping and glamping sites. The platform allows users to filter their search depending on their requirements, as well as search for the best camping holiday deals. The Sussex-based company currently lists more than 2,500 camping, glamping and touring sites across the UK and its Campmate iPhone app is one of the most popular camping apps on the App store. Martin Smith, founder of Campsites.co.uk said: "Every one of our winners has brought their best to the table this year and they deserve every success that comes their way."

ABOVE: Hendra welcomes between 1,000 and 3,500 people a night during the peak season

POPULAR CHOICE AWARD

NATIONAL WINNER: Hendra Holiday Park, Cornwall Found in tempting countryside just a short distance from Newquay's buzz, beaches and surfing, this family-owned 5-star park makes a cracking base for your next break. With award winning facilities, landscaped parkland and indoor and outdoor pools (complete with water flumes!), a holiday here is sure to make a splash.

ABOVE: Hendra's Oasis indoor fun pool boasts three flumes, a rapid ride, water cannon, waterfall and toddlers’ pool and an outdoor heated pool.

BEST GLAMPING SITES

NATIONAL WINNER: Shepherds Hut Retreat, Somerset These shepherd's huts are a whole new level of decadence. With stunning nature to enjoy alongside the plush accommodation, the lakeside hot tub and sauna is the icing on the cake. Each of the huts has had an interior designer work their magic on its vintage decor – and it shows - and guests rave about the luxurious details. An ideal base for couples to explore the Jurassic Coast.

ABOVE: Best Glamping Site went to the Shepherds Hut Retreat.

BEST CARAVAN PARK

NATIONAL WINNER: Grooby's Pit, Lincolnshire It's five star all the way with a waterside pitch at Grooby's Pit, perfect for a spot of fishing. Enjoy the peace of the adult only park, rod in hand, or use the site as a well maintained base for trips along the Lincolnshire Coast. The amenities are immaculate and there's plenty of space. From seaside Skegness to the seals at Mablethorpe, it's a caravanner's dream

ABOVE: The deluxe camping pode at Grooby’s Pit helped earn them the Best Caravan Park award

BEST FAMILY PARKS

Take the kids camping and make some memories that'll last your family a lifetime. Whether it's the fun of playing in the fresh air, building a den with new friends or toasting a treat in the glow of the campfire, these sites have mastered the art of family friendly breaks.

NATIONAL WINNER: Umberslade Adventure, Warwickshire 50 acres of glorious space should be enough for even the most active little ones, and this site adds its own adventure park with 140 foot zip wire, commando course and 4x4 off roading experience. Talk about a cure for the school holiday doldrums! You and your little 'uns can camp out under the stars or try a spacious bell tent, then enjoy getting some sausages a-sizzling on the BBQ.

ABOVE: Top family-friendly accolades for Umberslade Adventure.

BEST COUPLES’ CAMPSITES

You'll soon forget traffic and city streets in favour of endless sunsets, pretty countryside and some quality time together.

NATIONAL WINNER: Greendale Farm Caravan and Camping, Rutland It's an adult only zone at this peaceful site, so pick a spot and soak up the relaxing vibes. Start with a dip in the pool, or wander to the local village pub and cosy up with that special someone. Nearby Rutland Water is truly romantic at sunset and any good cheese lover will find a few nibbles in Melton Mowbray hard to resist.

MOST UNIQUE LOCATION

Fancy something quirky, out of the box and unique? These sites are anything but run of the mill - and we bet your friends and family won't have seen anything like it!

WINNER: The Private Hill, North Yorkshire Commended: Myrtle at Larchfield Estate, County Down

Commended: Windmill Campersite, Isle of Wight

ABOVE: The most Unique Site award went to The Private Hill and its boutique geodromes.

BEST HOLIDAY PARK

From unbeatable locations to high end facilities and activities that'll keep the whole family buzzing, these holiday parks are the cream of the crop. Whether it's making a splash in the pool, boogieing to top entertainment at night, or being just moments from a popular beach, they've got you covered.

WINNER: Cofton Holidays, Devon Commended: Wooda Farm Holiday Park, Cornwall

Commended: Highlands End Holiday Park, Dorset

TOP DOG AWARD

We're a nation of dog lovers and there's no way we're leaving Fido behind to chase his tail! Fortunately these pet friendly havens will put a smile on your face and a wag in your pooch's tail.

WINNER: Polmanter Touring Park, Cornwall Commended: Meadow Falls, North Yorkshire

Commended: Welltrough Hall Farm, Cheshire

BEST NEWCOMER

Brand new in 2019, these sites have got off to an excellent start with plenty of happy campers. They've started as they mean to go on and the future's looking bright!

WINNER: Hobby Farm, Dorset Commended: Shillingridge Glamping, Buckinghamshire

Commended: Kingley Vale Campsite, West Sussex

GREENER SITE AWARD

These eco-friendly sites can't be beaten when it comes to caring for the incredible British countryside, and all without compromising on the fun of camping.

WINNER: Wild Boar Wood Campsite, West Sussex

Commended: Alderfen Marshes, Norfolk

Hoburne Awarded Trusted Service Status

Hoburne Awarded Trusted Service Status

ABOVE: Top marks for Hoburne Holidays.

Hoburne Holidays has been awarded the Feefo Trusted Service Award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, as rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, the Trusted Service Award is only given to those businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. Those that meet the high standard are based on the number of reviews collected and their average rating.

As all reviews are verified as genuine, the accreditation is a true reflection of a business’ commitment to outstanding service. Rosie Kennar, chairman of the Hoburne Group, said: “It’s a real honour to receive the Feefo Trusted Service Award for the second year in a row. “To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our customers is a great achievement.,” Rosie continues. “We’ve been working hard to ensure our customers receive the best service possible, going that extra mile to provide truly memorable experiences for our holidaymakers across our parks.”

Hoburne Group was established in 1912 in Dorset and is a family business now in its fifth generation of the Burry family, creating one of the south’s largest and most successful family-owned tourism companies, offering high quality holiday experiences and holiday home ownership.

Hoburne owns eight holiday parks across the south and south west of England, plus three golf clubs under the Hoburne Golf brand and a residential and commercial development operation under Hoburne Development.

All-In-One Booking Management System

All-In-One Booking Management System

ABOVE: Camp Manager 2.0 offers the complete end-to-end process for bookings management

One of the most significant changes to Camp Manager since its creation 14 years ago, market leading Camp Manager has launched Camp Manager 2.0 as a cloud-based booking and park management system.

The all-singing and all-dancing CampManager 2.0 offers the complete end-to-end process for managing your caravan park or campsite. Camp Manager 2.0 provides a perfect roadmap for the hundreds of new features and enhancements with feedback from their customers. These include:

• An all-new dashboard
• Multiple bookings in one simple transaction
• Increase direct bookings and compete with online travel agents
• Responsive Interactive site map from any device
• Camp Manager automated communications

“With over eighteen months in development, hundreds of new and enhanced features, we are extremely proud to have released Camp Manager 2.0,” says Andrew Norris, Technical Director for Camp Manager.

“We are now introducing it to, more than 450 clients, and so far, the feedback has been extremely positive,” Andrew continues. “Camp Manager is dedicated to understanding the needs of each customer, we pride ourselves on delivering a tailored system that works for every business.”

With outstanding customer service, the host of new features and functionality, sites are challenged to put Camp Manager 2.0 to test by logging on in the first instance to www.campmanager.com

Haulfryn Group Appoints New CEO

Haulfryn Group Appoints New CEO

ABOVE: Newly appointed Haulfyn Group CEO Echo Lun boasts an impressive CV.

Haulfryn Group which owns and manages a range of luxury holiday parks throughout the UK, has appointed its new CEO, Echo Lu, who took the reins of the company, from February.

Haulfryn, which employs nearly 500, prides itself on delivering a five-star experience for holidaymakers and holiday home owners, with state-of-the-art food and beverage outlets, activities, spas, fitness centres and waterparks on selected parks.

Born and raised in China, Echo completed her military service and attained her first degree there, before moving to the USA to complete her Masters degree.

With an impressive CV spanning over 20 years, her general management experiences include COO for Tesco China, Property Director for Tesco UK/ Ireland and later on Managing Director for Homebase and Holland & Barrett International. Echo is currently a serving Non-Exec Director of Coats Group plc and a Be Inspired Ambassador for Retail Week.

Extra Support For First Time Buyers

Extra Support For First Time Buyers

ABOVE: Customers are introduced to caravan ownership by Salop
Leisure sales executive Tanya Bebb.

Shrewsbury-based caravan and motorhome dealership Salop Leisure held a first time buyers’ event for caravan holiday homes and luxury lodges recently.

A whopping 75 holiday homes and lodges, priced from £34,995, were on display and Salop Leisure supported with full details of more than 250 parks across Mid Wales and the Heart of England best-suited to the requirements of buyers.

Holiday homes and lodges purchased will be ready on site for the new season. “Within nine weeks of the new year beginning, holiday home parks will be opening for the new season,” said Tony Bywater, Salop Leisure’s chairman. “We have some fantastic deals on holiday homes and luxury lodges for first time buyers.

“The general uncertainty surrounding Brexit in 2019 has been very destabilising for everybody in the UK. However, following the December General Election result, it’s great that a decision has now been made that we are going to leave Europe in 2020. “I think it’s going to be a great boost to our business and to people from all walks of life.

I predict that 2020 is going to be a tremendous year for this country as demand for holiday homes and staycationing in the UK increases.”

Platinum Plaudit For Park Holidays

Platinum Plaudit For Park Holidays

ABOVE: Only genuine guests are allowed to offer opinions – and their glowing reviews won platinum for the group

Verdicts from customers staying with Park Holidays UK have resulted in the group receiving the highest possible rating from a leading independent reviews website.

The company is now the proud bearer of the 2020 Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award, based on the number of glowing reviews posted by park guests. The honour comes after three successive years of Park Holidays UK gaining gold status from Feefo as a result of attracting consistently favourable verdicts from families.

The top-level platinum award is held by only a small elite of holiday firms which allow customers to post unedited reviews via Feefo, and receive an exceptionally high scoring.

In 2019, said Feefo, almost all of the guests summing up their satisfaction with Park Holidays UK gave it a rating of 4.5 or 5 – the maximum score – based on their experiences. Tony Clish, director of the group which now has 31 coastal parks in Southern England, said that all members of the staff team should take a bow: “It’s always our aim to provide guests with the best possible holiday memories, and we are delighted to be exceeding their expectations in so many different ways.”

Bookings for 2020 have got off to an extremely strong start, he reports, and sales of holiday caravans and lodges look likely to set a new record high this year.