AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

AT YOUR CONVENIENCE

Jane Herbert on well-spent investment in washroom facilities…

THE CUBICLE CENTRE’S Cairngorm range is the perfect solution for high traffic areas such as Pillaton Hall Farm.

As the UK staycation boom continues, the focus has never been so intense on the need for holiday park and campsite operators to provide top quality facilities. Footfalls are higher but the customers also ever more discerning, as the industry attracts a new level of clientele. Lee Robinson of Yorkshire based Cubicle Centre who have manufactured, supplied and installed many thousands of bespoke washroom cubicles all over the UK.

Lee advises: “Robustness and longevity of product is key to ensuring your washroom stays in tip-top condition throughout the season. “The smallest rooms in the building really can lead to the biggest frustrations,” Lee explains. “The main pitfall we see in washroom design is when someone has chosen an unsuitable material for cubicles and they end up being completely unfit for purpose.” The Cubicle Centre’s Cairngorm range is the perfect solution for high traffic areas and the ideal choice for many busy campsites, such as Pillaton Hall Farm in Staffordshire.

The Cubicle Centre designed the waterproof, hardwearing and easy to clean cubicles and matching vanity units, made from CGL (Compact Grade Laminate). The facilities at Pillaton were also made to be child-friendly, with low profile wash basins and urinals. “We were pleased with the completed washrooms in our new facilities block. Our customer feedback since the opening has been amazing,” says Pillaton Hall Farm owner, Dave Pearce.

FAMILY FRIENDLY

Appealing to everyone in the family, as well as the needs of less able visitors, is an increasingly important design consideration. According to Lee, washrooms are now much more likely to include family facilities, as well as privacy screens. Having a specific dry area within shower cubicles is also a necessity. “Our washroom panels at a recent caravan park installation in Snowdonia are a good example of dry area provision within a shower cubicle,” says Lee. “The design includes custom bench seating within the units for both practicality and cleanliness.” Dorset-based Commercial Washrooms offer a full turn-key washroom refurbishment and cubicle installation service.

Managing Director, Andy Seddon, highlights their refurbishment of the washrooms at Oakdene Holiday Park in Dorset as an example of how design excellence means combining key functionality with aesthetics. “The main entertainment building at Oakdene is a busy environment with a high footfall,” explains Andy. “The owners were conscious that the new washrooms must be durable, hard wearing and easy to clean, but also knew how important it was to make these washrooms a warm and inviting space.” “Products must be robust and long lasting, whilst at the same time offering a top end look and feel. With large volumes of users in a short amount of time, cleaning, maintenance and replenishment of consumables are all key factors in washroom planning and design.”

HYGIENE ALERT

A consequence of the Covid pandemic has been the huge increase in awareness and standards of hygiene in all public (and private) spaces. “The biggest uplift we have seen is the use of sensor taps and flush controls in order to make washrooms “touch free” and thus more hygienic,” says Andy. “Sensor taps are becoming more prevalent, and with the majority of these now being available as battery powered, they can easily be retrofitted into existing washrooms as an upgrade, without the need for electrical feeds to be installed.”

Commercial Washrooms were also responsible for a recent refurbishment project at Cofton Holiday Park in Devon. A dedicated shower and changing area was needed for non-resident guests using the outdoor swimming pool. New easily-maintained shower enclosures were installed with hygiene and waterproof performance taking prime consideration. The design features sensor flush controls on the toilets and urinals, sensor taps, and a sensor operated hand dryer.

A new PIR lighting system with low energy LED lighting was also installed. Removing touchpoints helps improve hygiene but as Andy explains, the use of sensor operated equipment also delivers other benefits too. “Sensors only let the water or electricity flow for a set period of time; this eliminates the risk of taps being left on, preventing flooding and accidental water wastage, and therefore generating huge water savings.”

ENERGY EFFICIENT

As energy bills increase and we look for ways to save both money and the environment, eco-efficient and energy saving products are becoming more prevalent. Small changes can reap big dividends in washrooms, without the need for a complete refurbishment. Smarti Environmental, the UK’s leading waterless urinal provider, is urging holiday parks to play their part in the battle against water wastage.

The company is offering large organisations with 100 or more urinals, a free washroom trial for 3-months, including free installation of its retro-fit waterless valves. Smarti Environmental’s research shows that there are currently around 3.5 million water-supplied urinals in the UK, which collectively waste 217 billion litres of water each year, equivalent to 87,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools. To put this into an individual perspective, Smarti Environmental says its waterless urinal valve cuts the annual cost of running a water flush urinal by more than 50%, even before plumbing costs associated with blocked pipes and floods caused by calcium build-up are taken into account.

Made from fully recyclable materials, the valves fit 98% of standard urinals with no need to change urinal bowls, and reduce the annual running cost of a typical three bay urinal by between £630 and £1,230 a year. Kimberley Hill, Sales Manager at Smarti Environmental, comments: “Businesses have a key part to play in reducing needless water waste, and one of the simplest and most cost effective steps is to switch to waterless urinals. This not only saves 100,000 litres of water per urinal, per year, but it also cuts related costs by more than half, and CO2 by 105kg per urinal. If all urinals in the UK went waterless, that would be the equivalent of removing 100,000 diesel cars from the road.”

ECO-CREDENTIALS

Eco-credentials are becoming an increasingly important differentiator for modern holiday makers, as well as for those organisations who assign quality ratings and awards. Managing Director of The Loo of the Year Awards, Becky Wall, says that she has noticed a trend for both eco facilities and an increased level of hygiene provision in award entrants. Encouraging the highest possible standards across all ‘away from home’ washrooms throughout the UK and Ireland has been the objective of the annual Loo of the Year Awards since they began in 1987.

A Loo of the Year Award is an established benchmark of washroom provision and compliance to national standards. The Loo of the Year Awards has 61 different categories and the Holiday Parks division is always well-supported with many entrants taking part year after year. Many of the parks have been receivers of the higher grades within the Awards, and according Becky, as new grades have been introduced, the parks have replied by providing even better standards.

THE TEAM FROM PENCELLI CASTLE Caravan and Camping Park with their certificate at the Loo of the Year Awards.

TOILET TWINNING

“In the 2021 Awards, 5.5% of the entrants were from holiday parks and they all received the higher grades - 79% Platinum and 21% Diamond grade,” says Becky. “The 2021 National Category Award Winners for Holiday Parks was won by Broadhembury Caravan and Camping Park for England, Llanberis Touring Park for Wales and Ord House Country Park for Scotland. The National Awards for Baby Changing Facilities in England and Wales were also won by Holiday Parks - Ludlow Touring Park and Pencelli Castle Caravan and Camping Park respectively.

Pencelli went onto win the overall UK trophy too.” Entrants for the 2022 Awards have until 31st July to throw their hat in the ring. Park or site owners wishing to further distinguish themselves, could follow in the footsteps of parks such as Broadhembury and consider Toilet Twinning. This charitable venture raises funds to provide clean water, safe toilets and hygiene training in some of the poorest communities in the world. In return for a £60 donation, toilets can be twinned with a family’s household loo in a vulnerable community overseas. Twinners receive a certificate to display, and the satisfaction of helping transform the lives of those in need.

Cubicle Centre
01924 930854
www.washroomcubicles.co.uk

Commercial Washrooms
01202 650 900
www.commercialwashroomsltd.co.uk

Loo of the Year Awards
01531 640715
www.loo.co.uk

SMARTi Environmental
01392 311 202
www.smartilimited.com

Toilet Twinning
0300 321 3217
www.toilettwinning.org

LUXURY PODS ON LAKE WATER’S EDGE

LUXURY PODS ON LAKE WATER'S EDGE

 

WATERSIDE LAKE PODS are a top attraction at the luxurious Clawford Lake Resort.

 

Stunning 80-acre holiday destination, Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa, has released details about its luxury ‘lake pods’ which are available to book from April 2022.
The brand-new lake pods are perched right on the water’s edge, with a glass wall flooding the cabin with natural light and private balcony offering incredible views out onto the sparkling lake. Perfect as a romantic cosy hideaway, they offer all the authenticity of a traditional ‘camping-style’ trip but with home comforts such as a compact but practical kitchen, open plan living, kitchen and dining area and bathroom with walk-in shower, a perfect blend of modern living and close-to-nature tranquillity.
The exclusive Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa is 22 miles north of Dartmoor National Park, and just a 30-minute drive from Cornwall’s north coast, making it a perfect base for visitors who want to spend time in Devon as well as exploring Bude, Padstow and St. Ives.
The site is also situated within the North Devon Biosphere, one of six reserves in the UK created by UNESCO that finds creative ways for people and nature to thrive side-by-side.
Lakeshore Leisure Group is a UK leisure brand offering high quality holiday accommodation including self-catering rental cottages and lodges, hotel accommodation and privately owned lodges across three Devon locations; Otter Falls, Lakeview Manor and Clawford Lakes.

CARBON BUSTERS

CARBON BUSTERS

Leading holiday parks share their green credentials…

 

THE QUIET SITE is located near the shores of Ullswater in picture-perfect Lake District countryside

 

When it comes to combating climate change, the holiday park industry stands loud and proud above most other sectors when it comes to carbon neutral investment.
Before you undertake your carbon footprint assessment, there are some outstanding examples from our peers who are putting their green credentials into action.
You will be well advised to follow their example and add your eco-friendly performance to this year’s marketing themes as customers love nothing more than investing in a planted-friendly holiday.
For instance, The Quiet Site, a family’s holiday park on Ullswater, in the Lake District, has been celebrated at the recent COP26 climate change conference for its fight against global warming.
The park, in Pooley Bridge, was highly commended for its carbon neutral initiatives, and hailed as a Hero of Net Zero at the UN conference’s awards ceremony. The award is part of the Together For Our Planet campaign which recognises original and creative actions taken by small businesses to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.
Park owner Daniel Holder and his family travelled to the COP26 awards ceremony to receive the judges’ commendation from Andrew Griffith MP.

 

 

CLIMATE HUB
More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Government’s own climate commitment.
The Quiet Site was highly commended in the small business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero. These included prioritising nature by planting wildflower meadows and native trees, building accommodation that generates more energy than it uses, and opening a zero-waste shop.
“All businesses need to become Heroes of Net Zero if the world is going to have an impact on climate change,” said Daniel.
“Our journey has been fascinating, bringing technologies and techniques together in a unique energy mix to enable us to be carbon neutral.
“We started introducing sustainable practices twenty years ago, not because we wanted to save the world but because the initiatives we introduced were based on elegant engineering and made good business sense.
“Our focus is now to enable our customers to visit us without using private cars. Great holidays don’t have to cost the earth,” added Daniel.
The Quiet Site won over the competition judges by not only reducing its own energy consumption and environmental impact, but also encouraging customers to be more environmentally friendly.

 

DEVON-BASED COFTON HOLIDAYS has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

QUEEN’S AWARD
The business provides quality holidays in the heart of the Lake District, offering pitches for tents, camping, motorhomes and a variety of glamping options. Earlier this year, the park became Britain’s first holiday park to win a Queen’s Award for sustainability which was presented by Her Majesty’s Lord- Lieutenant of Cumbria, Claire Hensmen.
Not to be outshone, multi award- winning South West holiday park Cofton Holidays has scooped the Environment and Sustainability award at the Western Morning News Business Awards 2021, recognising its sustained conservation efforts during the pandemic.
Set within 80 acres of glorious Devon countryside, Cofton Holidays has been a family-run holiday park for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation types for all the family.
Visitors to Cofton can choose from a range of holiday homes, cottages and lodges in the heart of the main park, or cottages and apartments on the estuary-view Eastdon Estate. Cofton also offers a choice of pitches for touring caravan holidays including hard- standing and RV pitches.
Cofton Holidays offers a variety of accommodation to suit all guests including luxury lodges, dog-friendly cottages, Georgian-style apartments, modern holiday homes and camping and caravanning pitches. Facilities include an indoor pool heated by a biomass hub 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.
Sustainability and green initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays, but its rewilding project really took of during the pandemic. With 20 years’ worth of David Bellamy Conservation Awards under their belts, the team saw lockdown as the perfect opportunity to give the park back to Mother Nature.

 

WINNING THE ENVIRONMENT and Sustainability Business Award has been a fabulous achievement for the Cofton team.

 

REWILDING PROJECT
Enhancing the park’s carefully considered planting, extensive woodland, wildlife-friendly hedges, wildflower zones and on-site bug and bee hotel, Cofton has planted additional hedges, shrubs and trees to strengthen wildlife corridors across the site, bringing nature to the doorstep of its visitors. Wild deer, buzzards, butterflies, hedgehogs and a range of fascinating migrating birds can all be spotted thanks to the biodiversity on site. As well as planting perennial flora to attract more insects and pollinators, new hedges provide enhanced nesting environments and food for a variety of birds and bats.
A further scheme that gave Cofton the edge over its competitors is its £60,000 investment in 16 electric car charging points. No other business in the South West has more electric vehicle charging points in one location.
Added to that, Cofton has invested in 144kw of solar power units for the park’s 12 luxury lodges, an electric vehicle for housekeeping, an outdoor lighting review, and the planting of 36 mature trees, making it one of the region’s leading sustainable holiday parks.
Helen Scott, Director at Cofton Holidays, is thrilled with Cofton’s success: “Winning the Environment and Sustainability Award at this year’s Western Morning News Business Awards is a fabulous achievement for us.
“It’s testament to the hard work the team have put into our sustainable initiatives this year, and strengthens our reputation as a holiday park that puts the environment at the forefront of all that we do.”

 

DEVON-BASED Cofton Holidays has been recognised for its rewilding efforts.

 

MOTHER NATURE
Helen continued: “Throughout lockdown, we concentrated all our efforts on making improvements to the park. It was the perfect opportunity to enhance the natural landscape whilst our guests were away, ready for them to marvel at Mother Nature’s handy work once they returned.
“Our sustainability efforts have been recognised by a number of award bodies now including iTravel, VisitEngland and VisitDevon, but this is by no means the end to our investment in green initiatives.
“We will continue to nurture our local environment, fulfilling our sustainability commitment with plans to review our outdoor lighting to reduce light pollution overspill, investing in more charging units for guests staying at the cottages and participating in the tree planting scheme which will celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.
“As the recent climate change summit, COP26, has highlighted, it’s more important now than ever before that businesses take responsibility for operating in a sustainable way that will protect the environment for future generations. We take this seriously at Cofton and will continue to do all that we can to protect our beautiful corner of South Devon.”

 

 

CARBON BUSTING
Skelwith Fold, an Ambleside holiday park, has cut the green ribbon on a new office complex which can generate all of its own energy – and still have some to spare.
The 3,000 square foot building adjoins the park’s existing offices and has been designed for total self- sufficiency, powering everything from air-conditioning to espresso machines.
Its secret is a bank of high-efficiency solar panels on the roof which will deliver up to 14 kWh per day, even under the gloomiest winter skies.
Skelwith Fold’s Henry Wild says the two-storey complex has taken the park a huge step closer to its goal of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2024:”We wanted to see if we could make the building entirely carbon neutral, and found this was possible by using the latest solar technology to generate electricity.

 

SUSTAINABILITY AND GREEN initiatives have always been at the top of the agenda for Cofton Holidays.

 

“Even in use seven days a week, the building will still produce surplus power to harness elsewhere on the park and further reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. With the help of other solar panels elsewhere on the park, we are nearing our goal of all our buildings being self-sufficient in energy.
“I also hope that within two years we will create a state of carbon neutrality, and guests will be able to enjoy totally green holidays, even after their journey by car to the park is taken into account.”
The new building’s sustainable credentials are further enhanced by the use in its construction of recycled timber from larch trees grown in the park’s 130-acre grounds.
Skelwith Fold was forced to fell more than 200 larches last year after the Forestry Commission found them to be suffering from a fungal plant disease called Phytophthoras. Many of the areas left by the trees are now subject to an ambitious rewilding scheme.

COMPANY CONTACTS

Cofton Holidays
www.coftonholidays.co.uk

Skelwith Fold
www.skelwith.com

The Quiet Site
www.thequietsite.co.uk

TRIPLE TRIUMPH FOR BEST OF BRITISH

TRIPLE TRIUMPH FOR BEST OF BRITISH

SOUTH LYTCHETT MANOR won the overall gold title in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year

The family owners of three Best of British holiday parks are celebrating after winning top honours in the year’s South West Tourism Excellence awards. The awards drew hundreds of contenders from across Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and the Isles of Scilly.
South Lytchett Manor in Poole, Dorset, won the overall gold title in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year category.
In the same hotly-contested category, Polmanter Touring Park in St Ives, Cornwall, took the silver trophy for the standard of excellence it provides to holiday guests. Owned for over 50 years by the same family and run today by husband-and-wife team Phil and Becki Osborne, the seaside park provides spectacular views along the Cornish coast.
In the Holiday Park of the Year category of the awards, Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Budleigh Salterton, Devon, came away with one of the main awards. The Carter family has owned the park for over 60 years and, like the two other BoB winners, has received many regional and national awards for its high standards and welcoming atmosphere.

SAT NAVS SET FOR NORTHWALES

SAT NAVS SET FOR NORTHWALES

THE RWST holiday lodge park in North Wales opened to guests this summer.

The picturesque North Wales market town of Llanrwst is welcoming the launch of ‘Rwst’, a luxurious new holiday lodge park. The £1.8m development opened its doors to its first guests in July, just as North Wales topped the charts as the UK’s most popular staycation destination, overtaking the coastal and rural charms of Devon and Cornwall for the first time, according to a survey by Sykes Holiday Cottages. Rwst occupies a prime location on the edge of the historic town, with scenic views across the River Conwy to the Gwydir Forest and Snowdonia mountains beyond. The park, which is a high-end redevelopment of the much-loved Trem Gwydir holiday village, includes 22, five-star holiday lodges, with one, two, and three-bedroom single-storey lodges available for holiday rentals

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

Fowler Group Swoops For Welsh Acquisition

Fowler Group Swoops For Welsh Acquisition

John Fowler Holidays has announced its acquisition of Llanrhidian Holiday Park, one of Wales’ largest parks. The move will make the North Devon based holiday park group one of the principal privately-owned holiday park groups in the country. A family business, started in 1953, John Fowler Holidays has expanded to operate 12 holiday parks throughout Devon, Cornwall, Somerset and Wales. It employs almost 1000 people across the region. Every year more than 300,000 visitors stay at their parks.

Llanrhidian Holiday Park, on the Gower Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty, was previously owned by the Richards family for more than 27 years. John Fowler Holidays managing director Martyn Fowler said: “We are delighted to have been able to add Llanrhidian to our business, it forms an important part of our planned expansion. It has been a pleasure to work with a family with a similar ethos to ours during this process and we are looking forward to continuing their excellent work as we take the park forward.” Ollie Fowler head of development for the group, added: “We intend to add further parks in exceptional locations in the future but it will be hard to beat the beauty of the Gower Peninsular.”

Holiday Snaps – Helen Scott of Cofton Holidays

Holiday Snaps

Holiday Snaps - Helen Scott of Cofton Holidays

Helen Scott is a Director of multi award winning holiday park, Cofton Holidays. Having grown up at Cofton Holidays, Helen has a passion for tourism and sits on the Area Tourism Partnership and Visit South Devon boards and chairs the local Dawlish Warren Tourism Group...

What was your career path into the industry?
I grew up on the Park so have worked and helped my parents from a very young age, learning the basics, and have always been taught to have a good work ethic. I studied for my NVQ 4 Business and Finance Diploma in the evenings at Exeter College whilst working full time for BT. I found working for another corporate company gave me a big insight into working for a different industry and it gave me a good grounding for one day helping run a busy holiday park.

How has the market changed during your time in the industry?
When I was a teenager, we were a seasonal business open from Easter through to the end of October. We loved the down time with nobody staying in the winter months and only a few sheep for company. Now, the popularity of staycations has grown massively and to meet this demand, we are open 365 days of the year. Many holiday makers do not limit themselves any more to just one holiday a year.

How do you predict things will change in the next five to ten years?
I feel that the ‘staycation’ is here to stay; it’s all about demand and supply. Customers will continue to stay in the UK and travel around to see more of the country they live in. I think we will see a bigger boom in motor home sales, particularly amongst retired couples that enjoy touring to different areas.

What are the biggest challenges you face in your working life?
The biggest challenge for me is juggling work with home life. I often feel pulled in both directions and very rarely switch off when I am at home. Sometimes, you need some time away from work to be able to think clearly and come up with creative solutions to challenges at work.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom?
Derek Blackburn of Sidona Group gave me some excellent advice during some in-house management training. The advice was to have faith in your staff and give them the tools and training they need so you can delegate responsibility to them.

If you could invite any three guests, who would you most like to sit down to dinner with and why?
Ben Fogle as he is a dog lover and we welcome dogs big and small here at Cofton! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as he lives in Devon and can relate well to the local area. Dawn French as I find her funny and feel I have a similar sense of humour.

Where do you prefer to take your holidays?
I can only take a holiday in the depths of winter so have found going abroad to Tenerife is a nice way to get some sun. I also try and take a few days here and there and go away in our touring caravan. It is good to visit other holiday parks and enjoy being a customer and relaxing.

 

 

Tranquil Escape – Cofton Holidays

Tranquil Escape

tranquil escape mainCofton Holidays has been welcoming holiday-makers for over 40 years..

Nestled in its very own glorious corner of Devon, surrounded by 80 acres of Devon countryside and close to the pretty coastline of Dawlish Warren, Cofton Holidays has been welcoming holidaymakers from far and wide for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation to suit the needs of all visitors. Purchased by the late George Jeffery in 1975, Cofton Holidays was transformed from what was a basic operation into the stunning landscaped grounds that it is today. The beautiful gardens and established plants that you can see around the multi award-winning holiday park were created by George. Now, Cofton Holidays continues to run under the Jeffery name, with George’s children Roger, Helen, Mellony and Christopher firmly at the rei ns. Cofton Holidays, Holiday Park of the Year at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018, offers a range of accommodation, entertainment and facilities for the whole family to enjoy. When guests drive through the gates of Cofton, they can immediately escape to a tranquil world, leaving the mundane routine of everyday life behind. Guests are greeted by the newly refurbished reception area with the friendly team on standby, ready to check-in visitors to their home away from home. From stylish holiday homes to indulgent hot tub cottages and luxury Georgian apartments, Cofton Holidays offer a wide range of accommodation for guests to choose from. Cofton’s selection of holiday homes is like no other. With two or three bedroom holiday homes available which can sleep up to six guests, there’s plenty of space for the whole family. The dog friendly Dart holiday home is a great example of the high-quality accommodation available at the South Devon holiday park. The Dart features one double bedroom and one twin and also has an additional sleeping space in the lounge with a fold-out bed. Furry, four-legged guests will feel right at home with the addition of a pet mat, small pet blanket and stainless-steel water and food bowls. Suitable for all seasons, the Dart has full central heating and double glazing, ensuring that the family is kept warm and cosy throughout the winter months.

HOT TUB COTTAGES
Embracing the popularity of hot tub holidays, Cofton launched its range of hot tub cottages in 2016. The three exquisite homes can be found on the Eastdon Estate, set away from the main park yet close enough to enjoy its facilities and entertainment. Each cottage has breath-taking views including classic Devon farmland and beautiful views of the Exe Estuary. Newly refurbished for 2018, Cofton’s five holiday apartments are located within the Georgian Eastdon House on the Eastdon Estate. Interior designer Julie Jeffery transformed the apartments into highend, luxury accommodation complete with elegant furnishings, 55” TVs and high-specification kitchen areas. For those who prefer traditional camping holidays complete with roasted marshmallows and their own home comforts, Cofton Holidays offers a range of camping and touring pitches to suit guests needs. Rated number one for Dawlish campsites on Trip Advisor and holding the coveted AA 5 Pennant Gold Award for its caravan and camping facilities, Cofton Holidays offers grass, hard standing and fully serviced pitches perfect for tents, caravans or motorhomes. The fantastic range of facilities on offer at the family-run holiday park is just one of the reasons why guests return year after year. With two pools, one outside and one indoors, guests can enjoy splashing around whatever the weather.

INDOOR POOLtranquil escape pic 2
The heated indoor pool includes a fun splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, perfect for parents to relax on whilst the kids play. Other on-site facilities include 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. Cofton Holidays has recently invested £20,000 in its indoor cycling studio in addition to adding brand-new classes to the gym’s timetable, located within Ashburn Springs Spa and Leisure. Widening its kid-friendly activity offering, Cofton Holidays has also invested £50,000 in a new Woodland Adventure Area which features a 25m zip line, a climbing cage, rope ladders, balance beam, balance lines and scramble nets. Free kids’ club take place each day throughout the school holidays, from Easter through to the October half term.

PICTURE-PERFECT
South Devon is home to an abundance of picture-perfect landscapes and attractions. Famous for its beaches, Devon is THE place to go for sand, sun and fun. Cofton Holidays is only a short walk away from the golden sands of the Blue Flag beach at Dawlish Warren and its fascinating Nature Reserve. Also close by is Teignmouth, the location for the 2017 film The Mercy, starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. Cross the bay and you will end up in the picturesque village of Shaldon where the ‘Smugglers Tunnel’ is located. Walk through the tunnel and discover the secluded Ness Cove beach, perfect for a relaxing picnic by the water’s edge. Speaking on behalf of the family, Director Helen Scott is incredibly proud of how Cofton Holidays has developed over the years: “As a family business that’s been running for over 40 years, we know how imt98009portant it is to create a customer experience that guests want to share. We invest in our facilities so that our customers can have an even richer experience, encouraging them to return year after year, generation after generation. Throughout 2019, we will continue to add to our offering which includes expanding our dog friendly accommodation offering.” With so much to see and do in this glorious corner of Devon, it’s no wonder that Cofton Holidays has such a loyal customer base. The Warren family said of their recent visit: “We have had a wonderful experience. The site is very clean, all the staff were friendly and helpful, especially the bar supervisor and the entertainment was second to none. We’ll 100% return.” Peter from London said: “The best holiday park we’ve been to in our motorhome. Our children aged two and four love it. Great facilities, entertainment and activities in one of the best parts of Devon.” Cofton Holidays has secured a number of accolades in the last 12 months including Gold Holiday Park of the Year and Silver Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism awards at the Visit Devon Awards 2018, as well as the Hoseasons Diamond Award for Family Run Lodges and Parks. In February 2019, Cofton Holidays will attend the South West Tourism Excellence Awards as a finalist. It looks like 2019 will be another memorable year for the family-run, South Devon holiday park.

Cofton Holidays
Tel. 01626 890111
www.coftonholidays.co.uk

 

 

Serving Up Lobster Dressing

Serving Up Lobster Dressing

Serving Up Lobster DressingShell clothing has taken on a whole new meaning at Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Devon, which has just launched its own exclusive range of casual wear. Lobster Blue is the brand name of the park’s first-ever collection of t-shirts and hoodies. Made from top-quality pure cotton and designed for easy care, the garments have a relaxed style and comfortable feel with a very distinctive look. The clothing’s striking logo isn’t just the creative inspiration of Ladram Bay’s graphics designer, for it recalls an eye-opening incident at the park a few years ago. It occurred when one of the directors of the family owned business, Robin Carter, landed an actual blue lobster from one of the pots he had tended in the bay for over 60 years, sparking a media frenzy.