Wish You Were Here – Seven Oaks in Wales

Wish You Were Here - Seven Oaks in Wales

WishYouWereHere - 7OaksOne of the most picturesque caravan holiday home and luxury lodge parks in the UK can be found on the Welsh border with Shropshire. Overlooking the River Severn, Seven Oaks Holiday Park at Crew Green, between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, has been awarded the Visit Wales five star “exceptional” rating.

Most caravan holiday homes and lodges on the 40-acre park have river views and are bordered by mature trees, banks of planting and immaculately kept grass down to the riverside.

River fishing is available and there are two coarse fishing lakes for the exclusive use of owners. Non anglers are able to relax on one of the many benches dotted around the lake and enjoy watching the abundant wildlife.

WishYouWereHere - 7Oaks2The park’s facilities include a dedicated reception, laundry, a state-of-the-art fitness suite, crown green bowling green complete with pavilion and pitch and putt golf.

Twenty riverside pitches were added on an elevated terrace three years ago, taking the total to 119. Open from March to January every year, the park is especially popular with caravan owners from the Midlands and North West England.

“We are not just selling a caravan holiday home here, we are selling a new way of life,” says Margaret Brace, who manages the park with her husband, Ron.

Seven Oaks Holiday Park
www.sevenoakscaravanpark.co.uk

Holiday Snaps From Alison Watson

Holiday Snaps From Alison Watson

HolidaySnaps - Alison WatsonOperations Manager At Bridge Leisure Management - a company that provides professional management and consultancy for the caravan holiday park industry.

What was your career path into the industry?

In 1989 my friend and I decided that we would do a summer season as children’s entertainers for a bit of fun and I ended up never leaving. I have worked in every department from Entertainment to Retail but mainly in Caravan Sales and General Management

How has market changed during your time in the industry?

The biggest thing I have noticed is that holiday guests are looking for more breaks per year and the seven or 14 day holiday in the UK has pretty much disappeared, to be replaced by more, shorter breaks.

How do you predict things will change in the next five to ten years?

One of the things I love about this industry is its resilience in the face of economic adversity. Private letting is one to watch as there has been a bit of a shift to external booking agents such as Airbnb and Booking.com, which could become even more prominent moving forward.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given and by whom?

“Invest wisely now to save later.” I think of this anytime I am deciding on a major purchase.

What do you most like to spend your time out of working hours?

I love spending time with my family, eating out and keeping fit.

My favourite past time is cooking, whether it’s baking fresh bread to cooking for friends.

Who would like most like to sit down to dinner with and why?

I like variety so probably Tina Turner who would belt out a tune, Peter Kay as he is one of a few comedians who makes me laugh out loud and probably my Great Aunt Elizabeth, who was an inspiration to me from an early age.

Do you have any claims to fame?

I am a grade 8 musician and have played the trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn since I was around eight years old.

Where do you prefer to take your holidays?

Anywhere hot. I love the Canary Islands, a good beach holiday with a few day trips suits me down to the ground. I also love the US and would love to explore there - Route 66 is on my bucket list.

 

 

Calling Time On Single-Use Plastics

Calling Time On Single-Use Plastics

Park Cliffe's cafe has brought in paper straws and replaced sauce sachets while takeaway coffees and teas will now come in compostable cups.

Park Cliffe's cafe has brought in paper straws

A Windermere holiday park has become one of the first resorts in the industry to call time on plastic waste. Pre-empting even governmental moves, the forward-thinking Park Cliffe has announced a crackdown on plastic items which are designed for single use, including straws, bags, bottles, sauce sachets and coffee cups. From now on, holiday guests will be asked to join the park in helping to tackle the mountains of waste plastic accumulating in our oceans and rivers. Old fashioned paper drinking straws are being drafted in, and items once sold in plastic bags will be handed over in a biodegradable paper bags. Park Cliffe’s cafe has squeezed out sauce sachets in favour of condiments in glass bottles, and takeaway coffees and teas will now come in compostable cups. Or if customers bring their own reusable cups, a 25p discount will be offered.

BLUE PLANET

It is also pulling the plug on water sold in plastic bottles, and installing a filtered water dispenser so that guests can fill their own bottles free of charge. The park has taken delivery of a plastics recycling station so that the waste can be disposed of without causing pollution. Based on the shores of Windermere, Park Cliffe provides luxury holiday homes to rent and buy, glamping pod accommodation, and pitches for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents. “Thanks to programmes such as the BBC’s Blue Planet series, I think we’re all much more aware of the threats posed by plastic, and not least to wildlife,” said park co-owner Susan Dickson. “Footage of turtles and other marine animals trapped in plastic bags has made a big impact on many people, and we all know that a solution must be found. “Park Cliffe tends to attract those with a concern for the natural world, and they are very supportive of our steps to become more environmentally friendly,” added Susan. Waging war on plastics is not the park’s only move to protect the natural world, and Park Cliffe’s many awards include accolades for its care of the countryside. Earlier this year, the business also announced it was ditching diesel for many of the journeys made around the 25-acre park by parking up its Land Rover in favour of an electric vehicle.

Bunn Leisure Entertainment Investment

Bunn Leisure Entertainment Investment

Bunn LesiureAward-winning holiday park operator, Bunn Leisure, is continuing to invest heavily in a new state-of the-art entertainment complex and a purpose-built main reception and head office facility. The 300-acre holiday park on the stunning Selsey Peninsula is split into four villages and is mid-way through an ambitious £16m refurbishment programme replacing the 60-year-old White Horse entertainment complex.

“The White Horse was a much-loved feature at Bunn Leisure, but some parts date back to 1959 when the park was created,” Managing Director John Bunn said. “The new complex will be a very modern 21st century entertainment venue – much larger and with fantastic new facilities for our parks. With Bunn Leisure’s entertainment budget at around £2million each year, the new club will be able to welcome twice as many guests, and is expected to quadruple turnover.

“We continue to re-invest heavily in our facilities and Parks which clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment as an innovative leader in the UK family holiday sector,” adds John. “The money we are investing into these latest improvements takes the total reinvestment value in the parks over the last 20 years to £75m.” Bunn Leisure’s new head office and visitor reception is now complete, and staff are currently relocating in stages to their new offices. Bunn Leisure employs 350 full-time and a further 350 seasonal staff, and welcomes more than 100,000 holidaymakers every year. It generates more than £60m for the local economy and the new developments will create future employment opportunities for the region.

Would-Be Owners Can Try Before They Buy

Would-Be Owners Can Try Before They Buy

A Shropshire Holiday Park site has started its expansion project following increased demand from staycationers and is offering a new ‘try before you buy’ scheme for potential customers. The scheme allows customer who decide to buy a holiday home or luxury lodge on the park following a two-night stay, to have the cost deducted from the purchase price.

Try Before25 pitches are being created a Bow House Country Park, near Bishops Castle, which already has 62 caravans and 15 luxury lodges. 14 new pitches are being created in the first phase of the expansion with the picturesque caravan holiday home park in the South Shropshire Hills already popular with guests who live within two hours travelling distance of Bishops Castle.

Three of the new pitches have already been reserved and 15 holiday homes and lodges had been sold in the past 12 months. Many of the sales were secured from buyers who had been tempted to stop at the park whilst driving past. “Bow House Country Park is a wonderful place to get away from the stresses and strains of modern living, an idyllic, secluded location for a holiday retreat.

“We appreciate that buying a holiday home is a big deal and we want to ensure that customers make the right decision,” said Edward Goddard, managing director of Morris Leisure. “That’s why we offer them the opportunity to experience holiday home ownership at Bow House Country Park before they invest their hard-earned money.”

Sub-Let Owner Pay Outs

SubLetsSub-Let Owner Pay Outs

People who turn their holiday homes into cash generators during the school summer holidays are now scooping pay-outs of more than £5,500 each, according to research undertaken by Park Holidays UK.

The group says that many owners let go of just six weeks in July and August to maximise income, and then enjoy well over 40 weeks of their own exclusive use. But such people aren’t necessarily missing out on a summer break, says Park Holidays UK, because what they earn can more than cover the cost of a holiday abroad.

Others simply prefer to make use of their holiday homes outside the main summer season, and to leave the busier weeks to fun-loving families and children.

Training Park Leaders Of The Future

Training Park Leaders Of The Future

ShorefieldShorefield Holiday Park has launched an innovative academy training scheme aiming to recognise outstanding staff and develop the tourism and leisure ‘leaders of the future’. The academy, which celebrates the company’s 60th anniversary in 2018, will be known as the Dr Pollock Academy in honour of the company’s founder, and is leading the way in the tourism industry by providing training and recognition to nominated staff. HR manager Sue Lilley said the academy had been set up to recognise and nurture outstanding employees, and emphasise the company’s dedication to its staff. The inaugural members of the academy were nominated by their park managers and peers. “We wanted to set up this new initiative to reward our talented staff members with an ongoing training programme that will enable them to progress as far as they can within the business,” Sue said.

Wish You Were Here…

Wish You Were Here...

Picture postcards from Tretham Mill Touring Park in St Just-in-Roseland, Cornwall…

The award-winning Trethem Mill Touring Park is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the stunning Roseland Peninsula on the south coast of Cornwall.

wish you wereSet in 12 acres of landscaped grounds it provides 84 individually hedged pitches. The park caters for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents with a choice of fully serviced, all-weather and grass pitches. Trethem Mill is owned by Ian and Jane Akeroyd, their son Jake and Ian’s father Derek.

 

This year they are celebrating their 25th anniversary at Trethem Mill, having moved to the Park in 1992. The family are all involved in the running of the park along with Theo Forman who has joined the team full-time.

Over the years, the family have invested much time and money into transforming the park from an open field with basic facilities into a multi-award winning five-star park. “We are very proud of our park and what we have created as a family,” explains Jane.

 

“Providing a warm welcome and a friendly and relaxing atmosphere in which people can enjoy their stays has always been high on our list of priorities.” Amenities include a laundrette, licensed shop, WiFi, children’s playground, disabled facilities, individual shower rooms, dog walk and nature field, a pick your own herb garden and a games room with amusements.

 

Tretham Mill Touring Park
Tel. 01872 580504
www.trethem.com

Countrywide Park Homes Expansion

Countrywide Park Homes Expansion

Residential and luxury lodge park operator, Countrywide Park Homes has expanded its portfolio of successful parks across the UK with the addition of six new locations purchased from park operator Lifestyle Living UK.

Countrywide expansionThe company, which currently owns and operates 19 parks across the UK, purchased the new parks in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cumbria. The parks offer a selection of touring, camping, static caravans, individually designed luxury lodges and park homes. The deal comprises the business and assets of Lifestyle Living UK including the parks, lodges and future bookings.

Anthony Barney, Owner and Chairman at Countrywide Park Homes, said they saw a unique opportunity to expand the company’s portfolio through the acquisition, enabling them to purchase a group of popular parks based in desirable locations across the UK. “Norfolk, Suffolk and Cumbria are the perfect, picturesque destinations, offering sandy beaches to quaint villages, outstanding food and drink and enviable views. We remain committed to investing in locations which, like these, offer tranquillity for residents, yet are within easy access to towns or villages with essential amenities,” he said.

“We are very much looking forward to operating in these great locations, and contributing to the continued success of these sites, and providing the perfect escape for future and current residents.”

FRP Advisory, the business advisory firm, negotiated the sale following a competitive sales and marketing process. “The proposal from Countrywide Park Homes was chosen as it offered the best value and certainty in the interests of all of Lifestyle Living’s stakeholders. We wish Lifestyle Living the very best under new ownership,” explained Jason Baker, Joint Administrator and Partner of FRP Advisory.

Countrywide Park Homes

Tel. 0800 690 6060

www.countrywideparkhomes.co.uk

 

Post-Brexit Boom In Holiday Home Sales

Post-Brexit Boom In Holiday Home Sales

Brexit boomWith holiday caravans and lodges being more affordable than traditional houses, but certainly no less of a second-home in terms of space and style, sales at South West Holiday Parks’ two sites in Cornwall and their flagship park in Devon, have surged in the past 12 months.

The company has put the increase in sales partly down to more Brits opting to stay closer to home for their holidays, as the uncertainty of Brexit looms. “While Brexit has cast uncertainty over the economy, it is evident to us that people are still buying holiday homes, but here in the UK times have changed,” commented Josh Donald, Managing Director of South West Holiday Parks.

“Rather than watching their savings devalue month by month due to poor interest rates and rising inflation, our owners are buying a great holiday home, in a beautiful location and can sit back and relax knowing we take care of everything for them.”

He added: “Many people either have cash in the bank and are ready to buy a holiday lodge or caravan, or they use equity release so they can buy a holiday home without having to sell their main home and downsize. With a range of finance deals also on offer and more developments planned, we feel the holiday park is on the rise.”