Raising The Bar

Raising The BarRaising the bar

More than 20,000 people have stayed at Shropshire’s new £6 million caravanning and glamping resort since it opened last year and advance bookings continue to pour in. Although managers of the Love2Stay at Emstrey, Shrewsbury were expecting an initial surge of interest, they have been overwhelmed by the positive public response to the new resort, particularly to the range of activities on offer. The resort, which aims to raise the bar for quality UK holidays, has 124 touring caravan pitches and a village of 11 luxury glamping lodges opened last month. Each safari lodge has its own private hot tub and fire pit. Developed by Salop Leisure, one of the UK’s premier caravan and leisure companies, the resort offers visitors a luxurious natural retreat within easy reach of the pretty market town of Shrewsbury. “The response has been absolutely phenomenal,” said Laura Plumridge, who manages the resort with her husband, Geoff “We opened the weekend before Whitsun and the resort has been full every weekend since,” adds Laura, praising the teamwork of the resort’s 14 full and part-time staff and activity suppliers who all live locally. “Forward bookings were full for half term in October and filled up fast for Bonfire Night, New Year’s Eve, as well as Easter and August this year. In fact 65 per cent are rebooking before they leave,” Laura continues. “One of the things that has surprised us most is the demand for activities. We had no idea just how popular they would be – our record to date is 220 children in one day and we had 60. “We arrange up to 12 activities a day and have families staying with us just to participate. Our guests have really embraced the ‘back to nature’ ethos and there is a hunger for parents to be able to facilitate that for their children. “Children are on the go all the time they are here and we’ve had some that don’t want to go home after their holiday. Parents also find time for themselves to relax and enjoy the facilities. “We are privileged to be chosen for people’s holiday, especially when they have young children. They look forward to spending two weeks of quality time together, so we have an obligation to make their stay the best it can be.”

Love2Stay aims to create an environment which is in harmony with nature.

Love2Stay aims to create an environment which is in harmony with nature.

CORPORATE HOSPITALITY

Guests have predominantly been young families or active grandparents with grandchildren this summer. The resort is also hoping to provide twoday packages for the corporate hospitality market. As daily lives become dominated by technology and children are easily glued to i-pads and the Internet, Love2stay aims to create an environment which is in harmony with nature and where guests can experience the grass between their toes. The stunning centre piece is a natural swimming pool which is flanked on three sides by spacious teak decking and thermal hot tubs, sunbeds and seating, where guests can enjoy light refreshments from the in-house coffee shop. This pool was designed and supplied by Poolscape Ltd in collaboration with multiple RHS Gold Medal winning landscape design practice, MOSAIC. The team used the latest technology from Austrian natural pool specialists BIOTOP to offer swimmers crystal clear, chemical free water, which is naturally filtered. During the evening, the indoor and outdoor area turns into a trendy Italian eatery, with most dishes being cooked in the huge woodfired pizza oven. There’s also a cinedrome where guests can relax and watch films. For more energetic guests, complementary access to the on-site fitness suite is available and a marine style assault course is a must for adrenaline seekers. Regular yoga, pilates and meditation classes are available together with a menu of spa treatments for a more holistic experience. Upon placing a booking, guests receive an activity diary offering the opportunity to pre-book activities such as paddle-boarding, kayaking, raft building and a range of sports. They can learn a wide range of bush-craft skills with an in-house forest ranger, including foraging, survival skills and there’s even a teddy bears picnic. A recreational fishing lake, an adventure playground for children, craft activities, animated storytelling, super hero yoga, a barefoot sensory walk, den building and a woodland hideout are also on the list of things to try.

Advance bookings continue to pour in for Shropshire's new £6 million caravanning and glamping resort.

Advance bookings continue to pour in for Shropshire's new £6 million caravanning and glamping resort.

HOTEL CALIBRE

Love2Stay aims to provide holidays with facilities and levels of customer service akin to a luxury boutique hotel. There is a separate reception and concierge service desk, food delivery service and even the opportunity to book private dining with a personal chef at one of the pre-bookable outdoor kitchens and barbeques The resort is set in 22 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds with panoramic views across to Wales from one side and over to the Shropshire Hills from the other. Salop Leisure’s managing director Mark Bebb, explained the thinking behind the resort. “We know that we need to put effort into the re-generation of our industry and it’s our vision that Love2stay will accomplish this,” he said. “We have been mindful when developing the park that we needed to create an offering which appeals to a younger, fresher audience, in order to ensure the success and longevity of the business. “The location of the park, adjacent to one of the premier dealerships in the UK, works well too – there’s a huge accessory shop and access to the aftersales and service team for any advice customers may need,” Laura continues. “We want to breathe fresh air into the industry and this is the next step in staycations. “We know it’s cliché to say we want to put the quality back into family time, but it really is the vision we’re working towards and we hope that others will follow suit and help us regenerate the industry for everyone’s future.”

The Love2Stay Tel: 01743 583124

Under New Management

Under New Management

Gary and Tania Smith have been promoted to managers of Stanmore Hall Touring Park in Shropshire.

Stanmore Hall Touring Park in Shropshire has appointed a new management team for the new season. Gary and Tania Smith have been promoted to managers of the Bridgnorth park and will be supported by new assistant managers Nick and Sandra Bellinger.

The Smiths have worked for park owner, Morris Leisure, for five years, having previously served at Oxon Hall Touring and Holiday Home Park, Riverside Touring and Holiday Home Park and Ludlow Touring Park. Before becoming caravan park managers, Tania worked as a chef for 32 years and Gary worked as a landscape gardener for 27 years for Birmingham Council. “We were at that time of life when we both wanted a change of lifestyle,” explains Tania, who has two children and five grandchildren.

“Gary was working nine to five while I was working evenings and weekends and we hardly saw each other” “We now see each other 24-7 and absolutely love being park managers.” Assistant Manager Sandra Bellinger added: “Morris Leisure is a great company to work for and our only regret is that we had not stayed at one of their parks before we started to work for them. It’s definitely something everyone should try.”

Site Takes Shape

Site Takes Shape

Site Takes Shape

Work has begun on a new caravan holiday home park on the edge of the historic market town of Ludlow in Shropshire.

Morris Leisure is investing £200,000 in developing the new park for 36 caravan holiday home alongside its successful Ludlow Touring Park.

First phase work is expected to be completed in the spring and will see 20 pitches created. “It’s great to be able to develop a caravan holiday home park alongside the touring park and we now feel the time is right to press ahead with the work to bring even more sustainable tourism to Ludlow, which is a very popular destination,” said Edward Goddard, Morris Leisure’s Managing Director.

“We believe the new park is going to further enhance the local tourism offer and generate extra income for Ludlow and the surrounding area, which has got to be good news for the local economy.”

Wish You Were Here

Quick snaps that capture the daily life at holiday parks across the country...

Picture postcards from Seven Oaks Holiday Park in Shropshire…

post1One of the most picturesque caravan holiday home and luxury lodge parks in the Welsh Marches can be found on the border with Shropshire. Overlooking the River Severn, Seven Oaks Holiday Park at Crew Green, between Shrewsbury and Welshpool, has been awarded the VisitWales five star rating. Most caravan holiday homes and lodges on the 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 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. The park’s facilities include a dedicated reception, laundry, a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a bowling green complete with pavilion and pitch and putt golf.

Recent investment has included 20 new riverside pitches on an elevated terrace, taking the total to 120. 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
Tel. 01743 617871
www.sevenoakscaravanpark.co.uk