BARKING BRITAIN

BARKING BRITAIN

A ruff guide to welcoming those furry friends...

COFTON WAS SHORTLISTED in the iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21 for Dog- friendly Accommodation of the year.

 

This autumn, Lola, my much-loved three-year-old spaniel, and I, will be undertaking an extended East then West coast tour of England and Scotland, plotting a map of dog- friendly stays to break the journey there and back. We will have plenty of canine company. Thousands of holiday makers will enjoy UK holidays with their furry friends this year. If we have booked carefully, we know we can expect a warm welcome of a comfy bed, fresh towels, and delicious homemade biscuits – and that is just for the dog!

Mapping out our journey, preparation has included basic checks such as rules and regulations per stop, access to dog-friendly areas including restaurants as well as a quick survey of outstanding nearby walks including beaches and coastal walks. Our on-line research offers up plenty of choice. There were more than 3,000 locations willing to accommodate one or two dogs with their human guests. Perhaps not surprisingly, only 172 would take a booking for three dogs and a mere eight locations willing to welcome four of more dogs.

 

WHY NOT ESTABLISH a link with your local vets to provide guests with holiday advice and information.

 

BIG BUSINESS
A nation of dog lovers, dog accommodation is big business not overlooked by the industry’s biggest players. For instance, Haven offers mile upon mile of countryside and coastline for visitors to explore just a stone’s throw from their 33 dog-friendly parks. They can offer a list of dog-friendly beaches that will welcome dogs all year round while making its Saver, Bronze and Silver caravans are all accessible for humans and their four-legged friends. When it comes to the best locations for a dog-friendly caravan holiday, the Haven park that stands out is Lincolnshire’s Golden Sands. At Golden Sands, the pooch facilities are second to none.

Equipped with a Bark Yard obstacle course, your Fido doesn’t even need to leave the park to be entertained. Golden Sands is also surrounded by pooch-perfect places to visit, from the Lincolnshire Wolds with its Rolling hills, hidden valleys and gentle streams to Mablethorpe Beach, a nearby paradise with a Blue Flag Award to its name. Multi award-winning holiday park Cofton Holidays has invested £300,000 in four new dog-friendly lodges to cope with record demand for staycations from dog owners. Shortlisted in the iTravel Staycation Awards 2020/21 for Dog-friendly Accommodation of the year, the family-run holiday park, situated close to Dawlish Warren’s Blue Flag Beach, has added to its existing luxury hot-tub lodge collection with four dog-friendly Kingfisher lodges close to the coarse fishing lakes.

 

COFTON HOLIDAYS has invested £300,000 in four new dog-friendly lodges.

 

ONLINE SEARCHES
The launch follows research conducted by Cofton which showed that online searches for UK dog-friendly holiday destinations increased by 665% year on year between May 2020 compared with May 2021. Helen Scott, Director of Cofton Holidays, is looking forward to welcoming owners and their dogs to the new lodges, Cofton’s latest investment: “Lockdown has seen a huge rise in dog ownership, and that’s driving unprecedented demand for dog- friendly holidays. “As dog owners ourselves, we know just how important it is to be able to take your dog on holiday with you. That’s why we have gone the extra mile to ensure that Cofton is leading the way in dog-friendly breaks.

The introduction of our new lodges is our latest response and builds on our collection of pet- friendly cottages and holiday homes.” Offering all the creature comforts, the Kingfisher dog-friendly hot tub lodge collection offers two-bedroom lodges from £428 for a four-night mid-week break, £474 for a three-night weekend break, and £651 for a week break. The decking areas are safely enclosed with one gate at the entrance to the lodge and another separating the hot tub area from the outdoor al fresco dining area.

 

DOG-FRIENDLY VACATIONS are big business and not overlooked by the industry’s biggest players. Pic.Whitehill

 

Dogs are welcomed with a pet mat, blanket, stainless steel water bowl and food bowl, whilst their owners can look forward to the complimentary hamper filled with local handmade treats. Guests also have access to a dedicated dog exercise field, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take you through woodland to Dawlish Warren’s dog-friendly beach. Cofton benefits from the added advantage of the Dawlish Countryside Park right on its doorstep where dogs can run free around its circular walks.

With a minimum of research, you can reassure human guests of a warm welcome for them and their pets, by supplying some pre-arrival tips on making their stay as smooth as possible. Don’t bog visitors down with red tape rules but keep essential messages positive. Offer a check list of essentials such as basic equipment and why not establish a link with your local vets to provide guests with emergency contact advice Encourage guests to walk dogs on a lead, on site, and if walking in dim light, to wear an LED collar. Remind them to pick up poo with bags and use the special bins provided. Perhaps you have provided a few in their welcome packs to help out?

 

DOGS AND THEIR OWNERS are big business which is why thousands of holiday destinations are offering pooch-friendly stays.

 

POOCH PATROLS
The UK is home to plenty of tail- wagging destinations. So you need to make sure you stand out from the crowd. A pre-season safety check can ensure you are confident of a safe visit and plenty of return visits. Hidden hazards could include certain mushrooms, compost and over- zealous use of weed killers and other environmental control such as rat poison. Pet owners love spending on their pampered pooches. So, don’t forget to add a few dog toys, including balls, to the site shop.

Add a couple of lines of dog food and treats, even a few collars and leads -- not to mention poo bags. For many, having a holiday with their dog is non-negotiable. Not only is Tewkesbury Park a beautiful family owned resort, boasting an exquisite 28 hole golf course and destination spa, offering stylish, comfortable luxury in the rolling hills of the Cotswolds, it’s also a pet-friendly retreat offering the paw-fect place for a summer staycation for you and your canine companion to enjoy.

 

HUMANS AND THEIR CANINE companions can be sure of a warm welcome on Tewkesbury Park’s Bow Wow Breakaway package.

 

And on top of its already very popular ‘Scrumbles Dog Retreat’ package, Tewkesbury Park is launching a ‘Bow Wow Breakaway’ package, which is suitable for all guests and their pooches. All of Tewkesbury Park’s dog-friendly rooms come complete with a private patio. Double doors open directly onto a grassy patch, which is self-contained so they can snuffle around. Dogs are also welcome in the piano lounge, which means they are able to accompany you while you enjoy a drink or bite to eat.

One small matter of paperwork though; dogs are asked to remain on leads when outside of bedrooms, if only to avoid them chasing after those pesky rogue golf balls. With the Bow Wow Breakaway package, guests can enjoy a luxuriating two-night stay with dinner and a bottle of wine on one night, along with a Cotswolds dog walking booklet from £339 per night, based on two sharing. The tour begins…woof!

 

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

Fun For The Family

Fun For The Family

Fun For The FamilyWhen Bert House, a Somerset dairy farmer, opened his farm to a group of scouts in the summer of 1948, it started a trend which continues to grow to this day. From its humble beginnings, the family-led team of Holiday Resort Unity have been aiming to get people smiling for over 65 years.

Grandson, Alan House, says: “Guests still enjoy many of the same things which that troop of scouts loved about their pioneering visit here fresh air, fantastic views and the sandy beach of Brean”. Today the four-star resort incorporates Brean Leisure Park and Golden Sands Holiday Park under the name of Holiday Resort Unity. “We have continued to develop the facilities of the resort with Brean Play Indoor Softplay centre, Brean Splash Waterpark and Brean Golf Club; and did we mention that we’re just 200m from the beach,” adds Alan.

 

CATERING QUALITY

As well as scooping numerous awards, including five in 2016 alone, Holiday Resort Unity boasts a vast array of on-site facilities and catering options which includes ten restaurants and a supermarket for guests. With such a large footprint on the Somerset countryside Holiday Resort Unity spreads its 76 static caravans and 445 touring pitches across three sites. The original Holiday Resort Unity is perfect for families with easy access to entertainment and facilities; Brean Leisure Park is closer to the action and onsite fun; and Golden Sands, the quietest site, with five miles of golden beaches. “As one of Somerset’s top camping and caravan parks, we have a great choice of accommodation to suit your needs and budget. Whether you’re a seasoned camper, wannabe glamper or looking for high-end luxury,” comments Alan.

HUGE ATTRACTIONS

Fun For The Family 2With on-site facilities such as the state-of-the-art gym and indoor and outdoor splash zones with views overlooking the Mendips, there is plenty for the whole family. The indoor and outdoor splash zones feature slides, interactive water features, tipping buckets, mini-slides, and a 25m six-lane swimming pool with male and female gym exclusive changing and sauna and steam room. Kids are also encouraged to enjoy the soft play centre, and big kids have the options of Brean’s Golf Course – open to beginners and pros – or Brean Theme Park with over 40 rides and attractions including rollercoasters and dodgems.

Brean Golf Club’s 18-hole course is set in 120 acres of lush green meadowland, the course is interspersed by several water ways and ponds that make formidable hazards around the flat landscape. “With the course being so close to the sea, you’ll find the fresh winds and breezes can change a hole dramatically from one day to the next. We also offer a range of services including coaching, club repairs and a selection of golf equipment to buy and rent,” adds Alan.

“If great fishing and beautiful surroundings are what you’re looking for, Holiday Resort Unity is the place for you. On the edge of yellow field nestled beneath the willow trees you will find our fishing lake.” Adding to the extensive list of attractions in 2017 was Sunshine Farm, a delightful experience for kids to meet and learn about some of the resident farmyard favourites with lots of animals to hold and pet.

Holiday Resort Unity
Tel. 01278 751235
www.hru.co.uk