THE DIVERSIFICATION JOURNEY

THE DIVERSIFICATION JOURNEY

 

FOLLY FARM’S new lodge offering blends seamlessly with the attraction side of the business.

 

Families who holiday in South Wales will typically include a trip to Pembrokeshire’s fabulous Folly Farm Adventure Park. Located just 15 minutes from the popular seaside resort of Tenby, this fun-filled destination, complete with vintage fairground and world-class zoo, is now the largest privately-run, paid for visitor attraction in Wales.

A working dairy farm until the late 1980s, Folly Farm has expanded so much over the last 30 years that it’s now a shining example of what can be achieved with a clear commercial vision and a diversification strategy to match.

 

 

TAKE THE PLUNGE
And it was this never-stand-still spirit that led Managing Director, Chris Ebsworth, to take the plunge and open a holiday park next to the visitor attraction just after the first lockdown. This 43-pitch five-star touring park and campsite - complete with four cool and quirky Showman’s Wagons - has been so popular over the last two years that Chris has now decided to diversify further into the holiday let market with the addition of six fairground-themed luxury lodges with hot tubs.

Chris knew introducing lodge accommodation was something he wanted to do to capitalise on continuing strong demand for UK breaks, but he also knew it would be prudent to call on the advice, guidance and support of a trusted expert partner to help bring his vision to life, his product to market and crucially to ensure the best possible return on his investment.

That’s when he turned to Luke Hansford, Vice President Business Development at Awaze – the parent company of staycation specialist Hoseasons – a decision Chris says has ensured the location’s new lodge offering blends seamlessly with the attraction side of the business as part of an all-round ‘stay and play’ package perfect for families looking for experiential breaks.

 

FOLLY FARM is a shining example of what can be achieved with a clear diversification strategy.

 

“We’ve always been farmers, it’s in our blood, but diversification is what keeps us thriving as a privately owned, family run business,” says Chris, adding: “We could see the lodges were a good idea, but it quickly became apparent as a relatively new accommodation business, that we would need to draw on the expertise, knowledge and professionalism of a brand like Hoseasons that has successfully been delivering family holidays for years.”

“We had many meetings with Luke to run through the options, weighing up the pros and cons of different types of accommodation before making our decision. He also supported us to perfect the presentation of our new lodges – from reflecting the Folly Farm brand in the interiors to making sure the landscaping and planting were right.

“Luke was also instrumental in bringing to our attention the importance of an arrival experience for our guests – something which has resulted in a brand new customer reception, along with plans for an onsite shop selling local produce, which we are hoping to open next year.”

 

FOLLY FARM opened a holiday park next to the visitor attraction just after the first lockdown.

 

PAYING DIVIDENDS
Luke believes the care and attention Folly Farm have put into their new development will pay dividends over the next few years as families see the value of staying somewhere aspirational with fantastic facilities, activities and entertainment on their doorstep.

He says: “It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Chris to bring his vision to market. He really understands the importance of continuing to evolve the offer so that they stay relevant in an ever-changing market. “Pressures on family budgets mean people will be looking to get the most out of their UK breaks over the next few years – something that bodes well for locations like Folly Farm Adventure Park who know they need to invest and innovate to keep pace with guest expectations.

 

CHRIS EBSWORTH worked with Hoseasons to fill his lodges and showman’s wagons.

 

“You only have to look at their high occupancy rates and average 9.6 out of 10 rating on our independent review system Revoo to see their approach is working.” Working with Hoseasons to fill his lodges and showman’s wagons has given Chris the confidence to push on with the next phase of development, including rhino-themed lodges overlooking the black rhino enclosure, lion-themed lodges and giraffe-themed safari tents – all of which are expected to be up and running by Spring next year. All the new lodges and showman’s wagons at Folly Farm Adventure Park are exclusively available to book via Hoseasons.

www.hoseasons.co.uk

HOLIDAY SNAPS – PAUL EVANS

HOLIDAY SNAPS - PAUL EVANS

Paul Evans is the Vice President of Awaze UK, the UK’s leading managed vacation rentals business. Paul brings 24 years of travel industry experience to his role, which sees him take responsibility for the company’s entire property portfolio across its Hoseasons, cottages.com and regional brands.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
Having worked in and around holiday parks all my working life, I love having the chance to visit parks and meet owners and operators on an almost daily basis. I see innovation, quality and a genuine desire to provide the best possible experience for our guests, and that’s an incredibly rewarding element of the role.

WHAT’S BEEN THE LANDMARK MOMENT OF YOUR CAREER?
Taking over as a GM on a park that was struggling and turning it into the highest performing location in the group’s portfolio within 12 months without any extra resource was a real watershed moment for me. It not only gave me the confidence to trust my own instincts, it also showed what great results you get by trusting your team and giving them the freedom to get on and do their job to the best of their ability.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE HOLIDAY PARK INDUSTRY AT THE MOMENT?
I think it’s an exciting time. We’re continuing to see significant investment and innovation in accommodation and facilities across the sector and that’s starting to attract an audience who wouldn’t necessarily have considered holiday parks before. Those who deliver an excellent first-time experience are not only helping their own chances of repeat business, they’re also helping to promote staycations more widely. It’s up to all of us to do our bit to keep the sector strong.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FACING THE SECTOR?
The challenges faced by the sector are the same as those affecting the country as a whole – rising costs for operators and customers alike and an uncertain economic outlook. However, the past few years have shown us just how much people value a break and time away with those who matter most, so as long as operators continue to offer a fantastic guest experience aligned with pricing that reflects the market I have no reason to doubt that we can have a successful year ahead.

WHAT’S NEW FOR HOSEASONS HOLIDAY PARKS OVER THE COMING MONTHS?
Our specialist collections have really helped to drive both occupancy and the Average Weekly Rate over the last 12 months and our newly-launched Magnificent collection is going from strength to strength. Home to a range of different property styles, all put customer experience at the heart of their offer and are proving incredibly popular with guests looking for a wow-factor getaway.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE THAT YOU HAVE BEEN GIVEN? AND BYWHOM?
My first boss once said to me: “The harder you work the luckier you seem to get” – It’s something I’ve always remembered and it certainly seems to work for me!

WHERE DO YOU GO ON HOLIDAY?
Well, obviously I love a staycation! My next break is a family lodge holiday in Dorset – something we’re all very much looking forward to.

UNMISSABLE OPPORTUNITIES

UNMISSABLE OPPORTUNITIES

Four shows in one at Birmingham's NEC...

 

FOUR SHOWS IN on, promises to be a crowd pleaser at Birmingham’s NEC.

Combining industry-leading exhibitors with the latest products and services for the holiday park sector, with a healthy splash of networking and discussion opportunities from its inspiring speaker programme, Holiday Park & Resort Innovation returns to Birmingham’s NEC this November 2nd and 3rd Together with Farm Business Innovation, Leisure Food & Beverage and the Family Attraction Expo, Holiday Park & Resort Innovation creates an unmissable opportunity to be inspired and equipped to develop your business in 2022 and beyond.

More than 500 exhibitors will showcase their offerings across the two days of the event. Amongst them is Greenspan Projects, whose team is excited to be back at the event. “This is a show that pushes the boundaries of holiday park and resort innovation,” said Greenspan’s Michaela Rowland. “There are always fascinating exhibitors and special guest speakers which leave us feeling inspired and excited to see what we can deliver next for similar clients.

THE SHOW PRESENTS an unmissable opportunity to be inspired and equipped to develop your business.

EXCITING PROJECTS
“This year, we will be talking about our most exciting projects involving zip coasters and high ropes currently underway in the USA, Canada and the Mediterranean, as well as a world first – adventure golf in an underground cavern, recently launched in partnership with ZipWorld.”

CampManager will also be returning to the event to showcase its cloud-based management and booking system. “We recognise the value and quality of Holiday Park Innovation and have made a dedicated effort across several years to attend the show,” said Thomas Drake. “We are itching to get out of the office and in front of potential and existing customers for a good chat.

With over 16 years’ experience in the industry, we are excited to share our top tips with the UK’s growing community of holiday park and campsite owners.” The keynote theatre programme – sponsored by Maxxton and CampManager – includes Luke Hansford from Hoseasons who will discuss the importance of consumer insights in creating valuable holiday experiences for guests and in helping operators maximise revenue.

 

MORE THAN 500 EXHIBITORS will showcase their offerings across the two days of the event.

 

Sustainability will be the main theme for Michael Holding of Visit Inverness Loch Ness as he explains how the area became the first carbon neutral business improvement district (BID) in the UK. Other confirmed speakers include Jonny Baird of Bluefield Houseboats and Richard Carroll of Landal Green Parks. Andrew Jones, winner of Diversification of the Year in the British Farming Awards, will be talking about his journey from farmer to glampsite owner and what he has learnt along the way.

David and Felicity Brown of Hoe Grange Holidays will discuss how winning awards helped raise their business’s profile. Sheena Corry of The Forge will explore the business opportunities of wild swimming and retreats. Look for full details of the speaker programme are available on the show website Holiday Park & Resort Innovation returns to the NEC Birmingham this November 2nd and 3rd. Tickets are free and available now at www.holidayparkshow.co.uk

HOLIDAY PARK & RESORT Innovation promises an inspiring speaker programme.

YOUR A-Z OF MUST-SEE EXHIBITORS

 

MAKING IT MAGNIFICENT!

MAKING IT MAGNIFICENT!

Windmill Retreat and Spa offer's the 'wow' factor to woo guests...

WINDMILL RETREAT & SPA’S new luxury lodge development

 

Outdoor baths, balconies and fire pits are just some of the features designed to attract luxury-loving guests to Glastonbury lodge resort Windmill Retreat and Spa this summer. All are included in four new state-of- the-art lodges owner Nick Ridgment is adding at his rural Somerset escape and selling exclusively through staycation specialist Hoseasons.

“We’ve always tried to push the boundaries when it comes to what we offer our guests,” Nick says, adding: “There are lodge parks everywhere these days, so it’s vitally important to stay one step ahead and give customers everything they need for an unforgettable holiday experience when they weigh up their options for a UK break.” Panoramic views of the Somerset Levels, roomy open-plan living, and hot tubs also come as standard with these large three-bedroom properties – the addition of which brings to nine the number of beautifully-designed bespoke lodges to choose from at the park, which Nick opened as a newcomer to the industry in 2015 and chose to partner with Hoseasons to bring to market.

 

CONTEMPORARY LIVING styles are offered in both apartment and cottage accommodation.

 

Since then, the park’s high-end reputation has been cemented with the addition of its state-of-the-art Elements Boutique Spa, as well as an accompanying product range available in Holland and Barrett. The on-site Levels Country Kitchen also adds to the cool vibe with delicious breakfast and lunch options made with fresh ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Nick credits his long-established partnership with Hoseasons as being crucial to the success of the site over the last six years. “It’s one thing attracting customers and another staying ahead of the competition to keep them coming back for more,” says Nick.

“We always had the vision to develop our offering but working with the team at Hoseasons has really helped us realise the potential of the business. “They gave us the confidence to believe in our product in the early days and have offered invaluable insight and guidance over the last few years to ensure we get the best return on our investment in this new development.” Much of that guidance has come from Luke Hansford, Vice President Business Development, at Hoseasons who says Windmill Retreat and Spa is the perfect example of a location that knows it has to develop its offer to stay relevant in the modern UK holiday market.

THE ELEMENTS BOUTIQUE SPA is a huge draw for the Windmill Retreat & Spa

 

ASPIRATIONAL QUALITY
“The innovation and diversification we’ve seen in our industry over the last 18 months has been remarkable, with those used to holidaying abroad pre-pandemic now looking for the same level of aspirational quality in their UK staycation. “The data clearly shows people want more from their UK break and that’s exactly what we’re able to give them through Windmill Retreat and Spa and other high-end locations in our portfolio.”

The exceptional standard of lodge and cottage-style accommodation and facilities at Windmill Retreat and Spa recently led to it being one of only five wow-factor locations included in Hoseasons’ new Magnificent Collection - something the staycation specialist has launched to recognise new standards of quality and innovation across the self-catering holiday industry. Inclusion in the new collection means Windmill Retreat is being marketed to millions of Hoseasons customers looking for top quality accommodation design, premium on-park facilities, exceptional customer service and a genuine commitment to sustainability – something Nick hopes will help to mark it out as one of the country’s premier locations for an aspirational getaway.

NICK RIDGMENT AND ILZE PARANUKA are the owners of Windmill Retreat & Spa.

 

“We’re delighted to have been recognised as magnificent enough for Hoseasons’ new collection and are really looking forward to sharing our fantastic location with even more guests over the weeks, months and years to come.” Magnificent has been launched at a time when demand for luxury UK getaways is at an all-time high, and the number of high-end accommodations joining the Hoseasons portfolio continues to grow. Bookings for luxury properties this year are up 27% compared to the same point in 2019, while the size and scale of parent group Awaze’s luxury portfolio through brands including Hoseasons and sister company cottages.com has grown 45% over the last three years.

For more information about Hoseasons’ Magnificent Collection go to www.hoseasons.co.uk/magnificent

 

PEAKS OF PAMPERING

PEAKS OF PAMPERING

New and returning customers will be welcomed to Celtic Holiday Parks…

A HYDRO POOL COMPLEX provides guests with therapies and relaxation.

Wellbeing, beauty and fitness facilities are among the new features waiting to welcome this year’s visitors to a multi award-winning Wales holiday park group.
Celtic Holiday Parks, based in Pembrokeshire, says it has responded to customer feedback at its three parks by investing in new ways to improve the guest experience.
Business owners Huw Pendleton and his parents Vic and Ann say that the changes will ensure the family-owned group will continue on its course of attracting a new generation of visitors.
“Parks are no longer a one-size-fits-all proposition, and we intend to deliver the type of experience which people have been telling us they want from a holiday,” said Huw.

 

“They still expect fun, but many would rather visit a cocktail bar than a clubhouse, enjoy gastro-pub style meals, and enjoy treatment rooms with first-class facilities and ethical, organic products.
“Beautiful and well cared-for natural surroundings are also often preferred over artificial attractions, and accommodation needs to be exciting, glamorous and perhaps just a bit magical,” Huw continues.
“Many of our guests are repeat visitors, and relatively new to the concept of a park holiday, so we are constantly challenging ourselves to ensure they have something fresh to look forward to.”
Open from March 1st, both new and returning customers in 2022 will be welcomed to surroundings which are a far cry from what met the often more modest expectations of two or three decades ago.

 

NEW DEVELOPMENT WORK is also taking place at Meadow House Park in response to customer demand.

 

FIVE STAR
Five-star accommodation with private hot tubs, safari tents, cosy log cabins, and to-die-for interiors with four-poster beds and designer décor are all part of the pampering process.
“We are privileged to be located in one of the most exquisitely lovely corners of Britain, home to the country’s only coastal national park, so tend to attract people who readily appreciate quality surroundings,” said Huw.
“But although we are continually investing in our parks, our family’s twenty year experience tells us that happy memories are also fashioned by just how welcome people feel.
“That’s why we were delighted to have been given three major awards recently in which the parks’ friendly atmospheres and helpful, cheerful and caring staff all played a big part.”

BLUEBELL PODS AT NOBLE COURT provide guests with a private spa pool and a chance for al-fresco dining.

 

 

BOOKINGS BOOM
The accolades came from bookings giant Hoseasons, Welsh Enterprise, and LUX life magazine – and sit alongside the parks’ Best Caravan and Glamping in Wales distinction from Visit Wales.
Celtic Parks’ picture-perfect Pembrokeshire locations are near the market town of Narberth (Noble Court and Croft Country Park) and overlooking Amroth Bay (Meadow House Park).
Each, said Huw, has its own distinct character with which couples and families often fall in love, leading to their decision to buy a holiday home for four-season use.
“The popularity of UK holidays in recent year has not been for reasons anyone would have chosen, but it has certainly opened many people’s eyes to what a fantastic experience it can be.
“Our record bookings for next year suggest this is no flash in the pan, and I’ve every confidence that we will be investing and raising the bar even higher over the next twelve months,” said Huw.

Celtic Holiday Parks
Tel. 0800 1777 411
www.celticholidayparks.com

BELLS AND WHISTLES

BELLS AND WHISTLES

 

CLEAR SKY SAFARI TENTS sit majestically along a waterside location

 

Sue Hollingshead digs deep into the latest glamping trends…

As we come towards the end of the glamping summer season there can’t be any doubt that it has been a manic year for the sector.
We have seen new product introductions, new campsites, and a generally flurry of activity trying to keep up with the huge demand.
According to the GVR* market analysis report, the global glamping market is expected to grow at a rate of 14.1% (annually) from 2021 to 2028 with a net worth in the region of 3.92billion (GBP) by 2028.

 

THE AWARD-WINNING Melody Farm shepherd’s hut

 

Already valued at 1.7 billion (GBP) by the end of 2021, Europe’s share of the spoils was put at around a third -- 34.8% in 2019.
Sacha Macey, Owner of Yurts For Life, was very clear about the trend: “Glamping has exploded this year! “Gone are the days of the ‘bubble will burst, this is a fad…’ which was the mantra within the industry a few years ago,” Sacha believes.
“External factors, way beyond industry control, such as Brexit and the COVID pandemic have certainly had a positive impact on the industry as holidays abroad have been very diffcult to plan and deal with over the last 18 months. The demand for holidaying ‘outside’ in the UK is unprecedented.”

 

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

The boom has generated the opportunity, and inspiration, for landowners and farmers to enter the market. With existing campsites, holiday parks, and glamping sites looking at ways of embellishing their developments to ensure they stay ahead. Simply adding one more glamping unit to an existing campsite has proved valuable and positive ROI.
There has been a surge of new pop-up campsites, which have been seen as both good and bad for the industry. As we know, the key aspect about glamping is that it focuses on ‘the experience’, something about the holiday must inspire the customer, either with a ‘WOW’ when they arrive and see their accommodation, or with the associated service, or to be fair a mix of both. A new quick pop-up campsite in many cases hasn’t had time to develop the full experience.
Mark Scott, CEO, Clear Sky Safari Tents, shared his thoughts: “I think the number of pop-up sites did rather detract from the quality of the glamping experience as people were advertising, say bell tents, with no services as a glamping experience.”

 

OUTSTANDING SAFARI Tents design and manufacture their own range of premium safari tents.

 

Mark continued: “It is expected that many of these will not ‘pop’ up again next season as bookings, reviews, and repeat rates will discourage the poor-quality sites and encourage the high-quality sites.”
Sacha also felt there was good and bad in the new pop-up sites and commented: “Some sites have managed to get it right straight away by keeping holidaymakers happy in the UK when they would have gone abroad.
We can’t do much about the weather, but if the details of the glamper’s experience are thought through and the appropriate facilities are available, then these pop-up sites have probably saved a lot of families after a tough time with the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, some sites have tarnished the industry as their main intention has been to make a fast buck.”

 

DESIGN INNOVATION

With the experience being paramount, there is always scope for innovation, whether this is within the design of the glamping accommodation, or within the overall holiday experience.
Tom Burnell, Managing Director of Kata Tipis, saw an opportunity in the market, as a slight side-track from their standard offering of Wedding Tipis. Tom explained more: “The technology is moving on at a pace with new innovations and different structures being released into the UK Glamping Market to meet the ever- increasing demand for more exciting and interesting experiences for the increasing volume of guests,” said Tom.

 

DREAMY RELAXING interiors for the dream experience, by Yurts For Life

 

“At Kata Tipis we wanted to transfer the scale and awe of our events tents and designed a glamping tipi that took people’s breath away. We believe that glamping should be an experience, not just in the view, or where a structure is sited, but the structure itself!
“We launched our new glamping tipi, which is unlike any structure on the market and in our opinion takes the traditional tipi design to the next level.”
Clear Sky has also identifed an innovative design they are working on, Mark was willing to share his plans: “There are several new directions that the industry is taking, all based around the enhancing of the glamping experience.
“In particular, we are seeing some great structures based around Stargazing in the black sky areas. We are currently working on a ‘Star Gazer Safari Tent’ with our designers, hopefully, ready for launch next season.”

 

QUIRKY OPTIONS

The experience it offers is paramount, whether staying in one of the quirky options available, such as converted planes, or one of the popular tree houses, traditional pods, stunning safari tents, yurts, tipis, shepherd huts, the list of unit types is continuingly growing.
The Glamper is naturally akin to outdoor living, with a secluded location, hot tub, or outdoor cooking, still ticking boxes. The one key aspect that has changed following the pandemic is the washing facilities. Mark explained, “Accommodations that were able to provide separate washing facilities were at an advantage when the market reopened. Many smaller sites with shared washing facilities fell victim to the ‘one wash area per household bubble’.

 

EXCLUSIVE SETTINGS couldn’t get better than this, by Yurts For Life

 

Those with the separate facility were well placed. We have seen an increase in enquiries from customers about putting bathrooms in their existing safari tents.”
The Staycation is here to stay. Bookings have been high for 2021, with most places reported as fully booked, and into next season. Clear Sky mentioned a Tik Tok video shared by one of their client’s guests, and shortly afterwards their bookings filled through to the end of next season!
On the flip side, Tom did have a few words of caution: “The concern is that UK Glamping site operators may overcharge for their accommodation this year and be seen to be ‘profiteering’ from the demand in the market.
“This, in turn, may frighten guests of for future bookings in the following years – not offering good value for money,” he added.

 

INSPIRED BY THE AFRICAN EXPERIENCE, Safari Tents are fast becoming one of the most popular forms of glamping accommodation. Pic: Boldscan

 

NEWBIE ADVICE

The best tips from Tom, Mark, and Sacha are, firstly ensure that you have all the required planning, processes, and licenses as per your own Local Authority before you start, which may take longer than you expect. Plan, Plan, Plan, and never underestimate the time it takes to organise everything, down to the water, sewage, electric, etc etc.
Understand what you are going to offer, go through the customer experience in detail and make sure it works. Stick with both your budget and your niche market, don’t be tempted to be everything to all people.
Then get your marketing in place, know who you are targeting, and create the destinations and accommodation to suit their needs. Good use of social media alongside collaborations with relevant local businesses work well.

 

IMAGE RELAXING in this environment, a luxurious experience, by Kata Tipis

 

Mark commented: “The best sites are the ones who have committed to the overall experience by offering contactless check-in, high-quality bedding and partnering with the main sales channels such as Hoseasons, Canopy and Stars, or Unique Hideaway. All aspects from booking calendars to easy check-in are important.”
If the stats from GVR* come to fruition then we are in for some busy years ahead, and with that, we will continue to see innovation, including eco holidays, which are clearly on the cards. Young families and couples wishing to connect with the great outdoors, the natural side of our planet, is a great starting point.
In the beginning, glamping accommodation was simply a glamping pod, it can now be almost anything. Innovation such as Clear Sky’s Star Gazer Safari Tent for next season, Kata Tipis beautiful new Tipi and the superb Yurts by Yurts For Life, are great examples. It certainly makes you wonder what we can expect over the coming years.

GVR
Grand View Research
www.grandviewresearch.com

Kata Tipis
Tel: 01780 239 188
www.katatipis.co.uk

Yurts For Life
Tel: 01803 762 370
www.yurtsforlife.com

Clear Sky Safari Tents
Tel: 0333 241 2660
www.clearskytents.co.uk

BLANK CANVAS

BLANK CANVAS

York House Leisure expands into the residential park sector...

With a solid background in owning and operating award-winning holiday parks in picturesque North Yorkshire, it was just a matter of time before York House Leisure expanded into the residential park sector. Now, this family-run business is launching its most ambitious development so far –Gateforth Park -- a large, luxury park home community on a 45-acre site, just minutes from the popular market town of Selby in the Vale of York. “My family had been looking for the right ‘blank canvas’ for many years,” reveals York House Leisure Co-Director, Phil Brierley. “York House Leisure was established in 1965 as a holiday park business, but we’ve grown naturally over the years into the residential market. “We were keen to further expand and offer something different when, four years ago, a chance meeting led to our discovery of the site at Gateforth.”

VANDALISED SITE

Phil says that looking at Gateforth Park today, with Phase One of its luxury development well underway, it’s hard to believe that this former mushroom farm site had stood derelict for a decade and was a regular target for vandalism, arson and fly tipping. Fortunately, York House Leisure Directors Phil and his brother Tim had the industry experience to see past Gateforth’s appearance as a dilapidated brownfield site and recognise its potential. York House Leisure purchased the site in August 2018 and drew up plans for a three phase re-development that would completely transform the neglected 45-acre site into a spacious park home development of 168 well-appointed homes. “We felt that Gateforth Park could be transformed into something really special,” says Phil. “Our vision from the start was to develop the highest quality residential park that offered the very best in over 50s living. And with planning permission awarded unanimously by the local District Council in January 2019, the hard work really began!” The development at Gateforth is situated next door to Selby Golf Club and makes the most of its attractive countryside surroundings, as well as excellent road and rail links to some of the area’s top leisure destinations. When complete, the park will include a fishing lake, community centre, woodland and recreational areas. The lake will be surrounded by homes, giving relaxing views of the water and the wildlife. York House Leisure’s four holiday parks – York House, Old Hall, Swaleside and Abbot’s Green – already hold David Bellamy Gold Awards for conservation, and the plan is to develop a similar scheme at Gateforth Park.

CUTTING TEETH

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, in front of the new Majestic 42x20 at Gateforth Park - Phil Brierley of York House Leisure, Silvano Geranio & Andrew Westwood of Prestige Homeseeker, and Dawn Hughes of Gateforth Park.

The York House Leisure team cut their residential park teeth on Quarry Moor and New Park, a 92 plot, traditional style park that has been in the family since the early 1980s. The park is popular with over 50s wishing to downsize within a small, friendly community that offers easy access to the area’s considerable attractions. The two side-by-side developments are situated on the outskirts of the historic cathedral city of Ripon, home to the World Heritage Site of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Gardens, and a short drive from Harrogate and further afield, York. Quarry Moor and New Park is typical of the York House Leisure Park ethos. Phil says that they “aim to offer immaculately maintained parks, which offer quiet, private space with all the benefits of a real community.” “It might be traditional in style, but this park has been carefully developed over many years and is now filled with greenery and wildlife throughout the year,” explains Phil. “Each plot is set back from the main driveway, giving residents additional space and privacy that is a key selling point for re-sale of the homes there.” With a portfolio of successful parks, the York House Leisure team of 20 (35 in peak season) are happiest when looking after their customers, the majority of which are holiday home owners.

Flagship holiday park, York House, has won a raft of accolades including a Visit Britain 5 Star Award for Tourism, Hoseasons Diamond Finalist Award for Customer Service, and it was selected as a Finalist in the White Rose Awards 2019. With a bit of luck – and customary hard work – Gateforth Park will attract similar success. Fifty park home bases and eight show homes from Prestige Homeseeker Park and Leisure Homes are now in position at Gateforth as part of Phase One of the development. Already, the park has 10 reservations, which has exceeded expectations at this early stage, especially considering the challenges of operating over recent months. “What a difference a year makes!” says Phil, smiling. “We didn’t start redeveloping Gateforth until last August and we recycled many thousands of tonnes of concrete and demolished several huge industrial buildings on site. Not to mention the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! But, all credit to our team, we are well on track with Phase One of the park and we couldn’t be more excited to start welcoming our first residents to Gateforth later this year.”

 

 

Holiday Park Innovation PREVIEW

Holiday Park Innovation PREVIEW

ABOVE: More than 4,000 visitors are expected for this month’s Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show.

Underlining its reputation as one of the leading holiday park shows in Europe, this month’s Holiday Park Innovation aims to attract over 4,000 key decision makers in the industry to the NEC for its unmissable annual gathering. For added appeal, the event from November 6 to 7 inclusive, reinforces its recipe for success by running other rural shows alongside, including the Farm Business Innovation Show, Family Attraction Expo, and our launch show, the Leisure Food and Beverage Expo. The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show is dedicated to providing the country’s most ambitious holiday park and resort owners and managers with the best advice, services, and products to make their holiday business stand out from the rest. With 400 exhibitors and 170 seminars dedicated to the industry, it’s the perfect opportunity to create the idyllic getaway for your customers. Learn the latest industry knowledge and gain insight into the newest innovations and technology currently available. If the exhibitors themselves were not enough to pack your visit, over the two days, the organisers offer a tempting seminar programme backed by insightful speakers.

Take some time to visit the Keynote theatre from 11 am to 4 pm. On both days speakers will be covering topics as broad as Post-Brexit Tourism, Maximising the Natural Environment, and Busting Outdoor Accommodation Myths while Hoseasons’ Shelley D’Arcy discusses the benefits of using land for the holiday market. Three other theatres offer stand-out presentations from 11 am to 4 pm daily covering subjects as varied as holiday hot tubs, playground design, to water conservation. Look out for Vicky Parr, from Visit England, discussing ways of boosting your business for holiday makers in the UK while Dave Courteen of Mosaic Spa and Health Clubs will outline How to Create a Profitable On-Site Leisure. So what are you waiting for? Register for your free tickets via the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show website with your chance to see the show first hand.

As the main media partner to the event, Holiday Park Scene is a B2B print and on-line magazine for the holiday park sector, earning itself a reputation as an essential read for anyone involved in holiday park management. Packed with fresh ideas and essential reading for anyone who runs or works in a holiday park the magazine is available on-line at www.holidayparkscene.com Holiday Park Scene offers the inside track on the latest market news and reports covering all aspects of holiday park management. Most importantly, Holiday Park Scene provides you with a targeted platform to promote your products and services across all areas of the UK and Eire holiday park sector. If you would like to get involved with this exciting publication, please don`t hesitate to visit the team at the show or make direct contact now, to help us understand how to make you stand out from the crowd.

Exhibition Showcase

British Holiday & Home Parks Association
Tel. 01452 526911
Web. bhhpa.org.uk

BusinessesForSale.com
Web. businessesforsale.com/sell

Family Holiday Association
Tel: 0203 117 0650
Web: familyholidayassociation.org.uk


Fordingbridge
Tel. 01243 554455
Web. fordingbridge.co.uk

Gemapark
Tel. 01983 282420
Web. gemapark.co.uk

Light Sauce
Tel. 0845 470 6060
Web. light-sauce.co.uk

Marquis Spas
Tel. 07722 187272
Web. marquishottubs.co.uk/holidaypark

Suntrap Systems
Tel. 0121-428 1155
Web. suntrap-systems.co.uk

Wicksteed Playgrounds
Tel. 01536 517028
Web. wicksteed.co.uk

Wilby Park Protect Insurance
Tel. 01422 358 525
Web. parkprotect.co.uk

AstralPool
Tel. 01329 514000
Email. sales@astralpooluk.com

Magnificent Seven

Magnificent Seven

magnificent 7 main pic

Less than two miles away from seven of Newquay’s world famous beautiful golden sand beaches, Hendra Holiday Park aims to offer something for everybody. Located in glorious countryside, just outside Newquay in Cornwall, with 80-acres of landscaped parkland, Hendra welcomes 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. It may come as a surprise to many that for such a large park, Hendra has been owned and operated by the same two families for over 47 years. Hendra was started in 1972 with just camping and touring but grew and grew as time went on and now has over 300 luxury holiday homes of different types, sizes and styles and over 600 pitches ranging from standard grass ones to super ones with water, electricity and cable tv connections. Family holidays are Hendra’s passion. The second and third generations of the Hyatt and May families are both involved with the day-to-day running of the Park and the fourth generation are small children themselves. The families live nearby, and with everything, including administration, located on the Park this makes the day-to- day running of the business very efficient. Hendra’s guests span several generations too, many have been coming to Hendra since they were young children and now bring their children and grandchildren to the park – so they have grown with the business. Hendra is passionate about sustainable tourism and is committed to protecting the Cornish heritage and landscape by making sure providing family holidays has no impact on the environment!

SOLAR FARM
Hendra has its own solar farm, which provides over 70% of electricity to the Park, and two Biomass boilers which heat the Oasis Fun Pool using locally sourced wood chips. Hendra’s commitment to being a sustainable business has been recognised with the Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism at the 2016/17 Cornwall Tourism Awards, building on the ‘Winner of Winners’ award at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards in 2011. Hendramagnificent 7 pic 6 not only has great accommodation and a wonderful location, one of the things that keeps guests coming back are the facilities. The Oasis Fun Pools are one of the main attractions of staying on the park. The indoor pool has a river rapid ride to take your breath away, water cannon and geyser for a real soaking, then get drenched under the giant tap, fountains and waterfalls too.
There are three water flumes, the fast and furious high-speed aqua whiz flume, the exciting wet & wild 265ft super flume, and the fun for all gentle fun slide! There’s a brilliant toddlers’ pool for safe water splashy fun with a slide, squirty creatures, and lots of warm water to splash about in! In the summer months the outdoor pool is open, a perfect place for cooling off, with sun loungers around the pool for relaxing in the sun – bliss! There’s so much to do for kids, so t hey won’t be bored. The indoor play centre Henry’s Play Loft will keep little ones occupied for hours, a skate and scooter park for older kids to enjoy their skateboard or scooter in a safe environment, an outdoor gym, a play park and indoor amusements too. Families love the Hendra Safari Train, which goes around the park each morning. Hendra has a range of dining options, the terrace bar and restaurant is open early until late, and a coffee bar offering hot and cold drinks and snacks. There’s a fish and chip takeaway for a traditional seaside supper, or Mario’s Pizzeria for freshly baked pizzas served in its Italian themed restaurant or as takeaway. Both have outside seating, which overlooks the children’s play area. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Lots of evening entertainment make a night in our Venue cabaret club a must. The evening starts with mascots Henry and Henrietta Hippo entertaining the kids and then the holiday favourite bingo, followed by live acts on stage including comedians, theme nights, variety acts, game shows, bands, karaoke, talents shows, illusionists and more. Hendra has won many accolades, in 2018 alone it scooped AA Platinum Award ‘elite park’ 5 Pennant rating, Gold 5 Star Visit England ‘exceptional’ quality grading, two South West in Bloom Awards, a Gold award for Tourism and Leisure category, The Bruford Cup for Best Horticultural Display, Platinum Loo of the Year Award and the Hoseasons Diamond Award. The awards show the Park's commitment to excellence as a top destination for family holidays.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE
magnificent 7 pic 3Hendra chooses a charity each year to raise money for, and guests kindly donating an optional 50p on each booking. This is small change but makes such huge difference and last year, together with collecting tine on the park, raffles and other fund raising events Hendra raised a record-breaking £13,398 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year the chosen charity is the Alzheimer’s society, which is the UK's leading dementia support and research charity. Another way Hendra’s guests help to make their stay green and sustainable is by ‘freecycling’ a facility provided on the park so they can leave behind unwanted holiday items like beach toys, windbreaks and BBQs at the end of their break for other guests to enjoy. The park actively encourages guest feedback, via surveys, reviews and social media, which is always valued and responded to. It’s vital to continue to make Hendra the holiday destination for future generations too, so it’s important to keep improving, developing and maintaining the Park, whilst being sustainable. It is a challenge, but one that’s relished by owners and staff.

If you would like to be featured please get in touch.

 

 

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