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In an age marked by constant connectivity and digital saturation, there’s a growing movement toward mindfulness and seeking solace in nature. Indeed, a number of studies have shown lower stress and anxiety levels in individuals who’ve spent time in forest and natural areas compared to those who’ve walked in urban neighbourhoods.

According to industry experts at Glamping Hideaways, there has been a significant rise over the past decade in rural revitalisation and the back-to- basics lifestyle of people looking to disconnect (some glamping sites don’t even get signal let alone have wi-fi) and re-energise.

“When we first started out in 2014 ‘Glamping’ was a very new concept,” June Brocklebank, camping site manager of 10 years explains. “No one we knew had actually been on a glamping holiday, it was a niche - you were either camping and roughing it or going on an all-inclusive break away,”

“Since then, however, we’ve seen the gap filled for people who desire nature-focused holidays without having to sacrifice everyday necessities!” Glamping Hideaways’ site in Rutland’s Exton Park offers the perfect balance between luxury and simplicity - something we’ve seen our guests increasingly yearning for.”

GLAMPING HIDEAWAYS has something for every person looking to disconnect.

Glamping Hideaways offers a range of accommodations, from safari tents to rustic cabins, catering to a variety of tastes and preferences. Whether guests are seeking a lavish retreat with king-sized beds and hot tubs or a more rustic experience with cosy campfires and starlit skies, Glamping Hideaways has something for every person looking to disconnect.

In addition to providing a sanctuary for relaxation and rejuvenation, Glamping Hideaways is also committed to supporting rural communities and sharing local life with tourists. By partnering with local artisans, farmers and businesses, Glamping Hideaways contributes to the growth, support and awareness of rural areas and their natural beauty.

“We run short courses for people on site that have become increasingly popular, from bird box making to nature meditation”, explains farm owner and camping site manager, Andrew Parsons-Mann. “We often see holidaymakers arrive after a stressful work week, looking like they’re carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders.

“After just a weekend at our site, Sweffling Hall Farm, with the help of mindful activities we host, they are visibly brighter, more energetic and importantly, recharged,” Andrew continues. “Glamping is very much about reconnecting with nature and prioritising health and wellbeing.

“Studies have shown that spending time in rural areas can have numerous benefits for mental and physical health, including reducing stress and improving mood.”

www.glampinghideaways.co.uk

Save some significant June dates in your diary as The World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, sponsored by Berkeleyparks, returns to the NAEC Stoneleigh, Stoneleigh Park, nr Coventry & Leamington Spa in Warwickshire this June. The Trade-only preview day will take place on Thursday June 27, followed by public open days from Friday to Sunday, June 28 to 30.

Open from 10am till 4pm – no ticket is required, simply turn up to gain admission. Bowing to demand, this year also sees an Extended ‘Trade Days Area’ for those companies only wishing to speak to trade and they will be exhibiting on both Thursday and Friday June 27 and 28. So don’t miss out on discovering this area.

IDEAL OPPORTUNITY
The Show provides a unique and exclusive opportunity for Park Owners and Operators along with Landowners and others in the Trade to spend quality time viewing a massive display of more than 50 Park and Leisure Homes. It offers the ideal opportunity to discuss specific requirements directly with leading manufacturers in the beautiful surroundings of Stoneleigh Park.

What better place to give landowners, park owners, park operators, and others, a unique opportunity to spend quality time with the manufacturers, whether discussing cutting-edge designs, revamps or traditional etc. It’s the perfect environment to do business and a great chance to simply catch up with friends and colleagues from across the Industry.

If you target the leisure and park home industry then this is the show for you to exhibit. If you are a Park Owner / Operator, the organisers have additional promotional opportunities just for you. For the tenth year running, Holiday Park Scene magazine will be supporting the show.

Now a special Supporting Partners – why not pick up the latest Issue when you visit on the ‘trade preview’ day? This is your ‘personal invitation’ to come along and enjoy a special Trade ‘preview’ Day at Stoneleigh on Thursday June 27th – bring your colleagues and/ or family too.

World Park & Leisure Homes Show
Tel 01789 491451
www.parkhomeandleisure.co.uk

KAASPEED electric, lightweight, self-balancing, wide-wheeled scooters join Reesink e-Vehicles’ existing range of STAR EV electric utility and passenger buggies to offer a new, innovative, eco-conscious answer to guests’ transportation and mobility needs.

Whether it’s for a leisurely cruise, off-road adventure, or smooth transportation on tarmac, the scooter’s modular design, range of features, and accessories enable venues to tailor their fleet to their customer’s exact needs. Versatility is at the core of KAASPEED’s design philosophy.

With the option to choose between two different types of 18 x 9.5-8 tyres, venues can confidently customise their scooters according to the park’s terrain. For flat surfaces there’s the standard multi-use turf/hard surface tyres available in both a standard radius and as flat self-balancing, and the Scorpion tyres provide superior traction for woodland and sandy surfaces.

USERS CAN ATTACH MULTIPLE configurations to the rear of each scooter, making it the ideal companion for any journey.

TAILOR-MADE
One of the standout features of KAASPEED scooters is their easy-to-use interchangeable system. With this system, users can attach multiple configurations such as a shopping basket, cargo rack, cool box or golf bag rack to the rear of each scooter, making it the ideal companion for any journey.

Embracing eco-consciousness without faltering in efficiency is a priority for Reesink e-Vehicles and something that features across its entire range of STAR EV electric passenger and utility vehicles. KAASPEED scooters continue that legacy with a car-grade LG cell lithium-ion battery.

In addition to a long-range capability of up to 38 miles and a top speed of 28 mph, customers can explore vast areas without worrying about running out of power. The smart battery management system ensures temperature resistance, increasing the longevity of the scooter. KAASPEED scooters join STAR EV’s range of award-winning lithium and sealed battery-powered utility vehicles and golf buggies under the Reesink e-Vehicles brand.

Reesink UK Ltd
Tel. 01480 226800
www.reesinkturfcare.co.uk

INVESTMENT IN WAREHOUSING and logistics has enabled LKQ Leisure and Marine to create a centre of excellence in the UK.

LKQ Leisure and Marine, has completed a £400,000 programme of investment in its Central UK distribution centre and HQ, to enhance its already market-leading availability and customer service. Key initiatives being driven through the Leisure and Marine business include live-stock updates and live order-tracking, direct delivery, click and collect, and a focus on hitting 100% availability on key lines – now extending to over 500 products.

Adam Ramsden, Managing Director of LKQ Leisure and Marine, said: “This programme of investment has helped us to create a national centre of excellence at Century Park, so that we can deliver an even better experience for our customers. “Today we carry more inventory across more product lines, and our availability and next day delivery performance is better than ever.

Our investment in digital systems and in our people has continued to build a customer-centric organisation at every level. “We are in a strong position to keep investing, growing, and improving, both as a supplier and an employer, as part of the LKQ UK and Ireland Group.”

LKQ UK and Ireland is comprised of LKQ Leisure and Marine, LKQ Euro Car Parts, LKQ Bodyshop and Digraph, and distributes parts and accessories for all makes of car, motorbike and light commercial vehicle, HGV, bus and coach, and static and touring caravan, motorhome, and marine vehicle.

The business, formerly known as Arleigh Group, encompasses LKQ Nova Leisure, LKQ Arleigh, LKQ Aquafax, and Midland Chandlers and acts as fulfilment support for ASAP Supplies. Each division boasts a comprehensive product range strategically centralised at Century Park, Nuneaton, with additional stock at five marine branches across the United Kingdom.

The ASAP Supplies site in Beccles, Suffolk, contributes to the overall distribution network supported by a local customer-facing team. Changes to the facility include the incorporation of a mezzanine level which has added an extra 8,500sq ft of warehouse space, taking the total to 87,000sq ft. The warehouse is now home to more than 24,000 product lines, with capacity for further expansion.

DISPLAYING RECENT AWARDS at the Wareham Park (from left) park managers Adam and Nicky Wake, plus family members Sarah Birch, Tony Birch, Chrissy Bracey and Ben Bracey.

The South West’s top destination for campers and the owners of motorhomes and touring caravans has been officially named as Wareham Forest Tourist Park near Poole. The family-owned business was awarded the top gold accolade against fierce competition in the Camping and Caravanning Park category of this year’s South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Judges announced their decision at the glittering awards ceremony at the Great Hall of the University of Exeter, attended by finalists and sponsors from the tourism and hospitality industry across SW England. Lynmouth Holiday Retreat near Exmoor beat hundreds of other parks to take the silver accolade in the Camping and Caravanning Park category of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

The family-owned business is one of four award-winning holiday parks in Devon, Somerset and Cornwall owned by the family’s 35-year-old business, Coast & Country Parks. The group’s parks provide not just pitches for tents, touring caravan and motorhomes but also luxury holiday homes to own and to rent.

Ian James said everyone was delighted that Lynmouth Holiday Retreat had been singled out by judges as one of the South West’s top destinations for people seeking a perfect rural escape: “What makes us especially proud is that the South West Tourism Award judges looked not just at the quality of our facilities, but also at the high standards of hospitality we provide.

“Delivering this is largely in the hands of our park team, and they deserve a big share of the credit for their crucial role in creating a warm, welcoming and friendly atmosphere,” said Ian.

The American Car, Bike & Hot Rod Show 2024, in association with Carrot Town Garage (CTG), will hold its ever-popular club’s and private owner’s showcase day on Sunday 21 July at Stonham Barns Park - one of Suffolk’s premier leisure, retail and holiday destinations.

The fourth show in the series is all about American cars, bikes and hot rods with muscle, power and fabulous paintwork. It will be an event strongly supported by the classic car community exhibiting a dazzling array of cars, bikes, trucks and hot rods.

Cars on show at the event will span the last six decades, and include Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Chryslers and Fords. Also attending will be Motion Pictures Motors – a movie car club - which will be bringing some famous movie cars to the event and there will be live music from The Sixteenth’s.

Each of the exhibits will arrive for a stunning static display before being expertly driven around the showground in the ‘Show and Shine’ parade. Among the many attractions on the day will be trade and club stands and autojumble as well as food and drink concessions.

Josh Forward from the Stonham Barns Park Events Team added, ‘This event draws huge numbers of enthusiasts from around the region. It’s a family day out not to be missed which is full of colour, fun and surprises. You can’t suppress the enthusiasm of the owners – they are devoted to restoring and showing their prized vehicles and getting these exhibits all together at one venue always makes for a stunning show.’

A COLLECTIVE TEAM effort has seen Pure Leisure Group clinch a coveted award.

Independent holiday park operator, Pure Leisure Group, has won the coveted Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Award at Lancashire’s prestigious Red Rose Awards 2024. The Group was recognised for its authentic and organic growth, unwavering commitment to community, charity and country and its contribution to the local economy, fighting off tough competition to be crowned winners of the sought-after accolade.

The awards, which are now in their 14th consecutive year, look to celebrate businesses and individuals across Lancashire, delivering outstanding service and performance, across 21 different categories. Winners were revealed at an exclusive ceremony hosted at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in front of a 1,000-strong audience.

Commenting on the win, John Morphet, Owner of Pure Leisure Group said: “We are absolutely delighted and incredibly proud to have won the Red Rose Award for Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality and want to thank each of our team members for the hard work that got us here. Pure Leisure Group was founded in 2004 by local entrepreneur John Morphet and has gone from strength to strength since.

Today, it boasts over 1000 acres of land, over 4000 caravan and lodge bases, 154 touring pitches, 25 pods + three Rustic Glamping Pods across its portfolio of 19 holiday parks across England and Scotland. John added: “It is this collective effort that has led to our continued growth and success in Lancashire and beyond and we have enjoyed sharing our success with important community groups and organisations, most recently providing a £50,000 donation to Stockport’s Beechwood Cancer Care Centre and St John’s Hospice in Lancaster as part of our charitable initiatives.”

Kubota is inviting holiday destinations to keep their grounds in top condition with Kubota’s Z2-481 zero-turn ride-on mower to achieve a professional-grade finish with its great-value, high-performance, versatile mower. When you need the ability to mow large grass areas, around trees, flower beds or residents’ holiday homes, Kubota’s Z2-481 zero-turn ride-on mower comes into its own.

Powered by an economical and efficient 24hp petrol engine, the Z2-481 features a 48” (122cm) twin-blade, side-discharge rotary deck with a simple dial for height adjustment and a foot-operated mechanical deck lift. An optional mulching kit is also available.

COMPACT DESIGN
Its compact design, combined with Kubota’s zero-turn system, offers an impressive 360-degree turning ability that’s easily operated with a pair of steering levers. This precise control of forward and reverse steering allows you to effortlessly mow around tricky obstacles and tight spaces.

The Z2-481 is not just about performance, it’s also about your comfort. It’s designed with plenty of legroom, a wide foot pan, and easy access. The K-ride comfort system includes a deluxe suspended high back seat with adjustable suspension, armrests, and lumbar support, making your mowing experience a breeze.

ACHIEVE A PROFESSIONAL- GRADE finish with Kubota's great-value, high-performance, versatile mower.

The ergonomically positioned controls ensure effortless operation, and there’s even a cup holder for those long mowing days! The mower’s large rear tyres, fuel tank position and low centre of gravity offer excellent stability and traction and include foldable ROPS (Roll Over Protection Structure) for safe and versatile operation.

In addition to Kubota’s standard 2-year warranty, the Z2-481 mower can be further protected with Kubota’s flexible extended warranty—Kubota Care. This warranty offers up to 5 years/1000 hours based on the hours used and is fully transferable when you come to sell. Full warranty support is provided by your local Kubota dealership, ensuring your Z2-481 is maintained to the highest standards serviced by Kubota-trained service engineers.

Kubota
www.kubota.co.uk

Longstanding Hoseasons partner Hemsby Beach Holiday Park has always been pet-friendly, but owners Richardsons Leisure Limited started to understand the real value of investing in the pet pound in 2018. It was at that point that Chief Executive, Greg Munford, took the conscious decision to increase the number of pet-friendly units at the park from 24 to 44.

Since then and boosted by significant increase in pet ownership during Covid, Hemsby Beach has steadily increased its pet-friendly offering, so that today a total of 116, or 31%, of the park’s 391 luxury holiday homes and lodges welcome guests’ four-legged friends. But it’s not just the number of pet-friendly units that have increased - the quality of those units has markedly improved too, so much so that they are now some of the best the park has to offer, with nearly half featuring a hot tub.

GIVING PEOPLE the chance to be with their pets on holiday obviously comes with a financial benefit.

BOOKINGS UPLIFT
It’s not a surprising strategy when you consider recent Hoseasons stats showing that owners who take a pet see an average 46% uplift in booking volume vs locations that don’t accept a pet. But Greg says gone are the days when pet-friendly meant sectioning off a few shabby chalets on one corner of the park and expecting people to embrace the experience.

“Our purpose is to create an environment where customers can holiday with family and friends and create memories that last a lifetime. For an increasing number of people that means having their pets with them, and that shouldn’t mean having to compromise on the quality of their holiday experience – quite the opposite in fact, which is why we’ve made the changes and investments we have and why we take our approach to looking after pets and their owners so seriously.”

One example of this is the £10k Richardsons Leisure recently spent on decking gates for its pet-friendly lodges and luxury holiday homes – something that was requested by pet owners keen to maximise security for their pets and in turn enhance their own holiday experience. The park also provides dog-friendly areas in its restaurant and entertainment venues and shares information with guests about the best dog walks in the area, as well as a list of useful contacts including local vets, pet shops and other services.

RICHARDSONS LEISURE recently spent £10k on decking gates for its pet-friendly lodges.

PAYING DIVIDENDS
It’s an approach that is clearly paying dividends in terms of bookings, with Hoseasons data showing that the park saw a 24% increase in pet bookings last year compared to the year before, and a massive 106% increase compared to 2 0 1 9. Greg says being pet-friendly also leads to wider benefits for the park beyond the bottom line.

“Giving people the chance to be with their pets on holiday obviously comes with a financial benefit, but it also really adds to the happy, relaxed atmosphere on park too.” Hemsby Beach Holiday Park is part of Hoseasons’ Go Active Breaks+ Collection and sits just 350 yards from the golden sands and rolling dunes of Hemsby Beach. Greg says the national market insight he gets from his long partnership with the brand has been invaluable in making investment choices.

“Obviously Hoseasons provide us a good number of bookings, but the true added value comes from their sector expertise and commercial acumen, both of which make all the difference when considering large-scale investment in specific accommodation types and the right accommodation mix,” says Greg. “The scale they operate at means their data is second to none when it comes to spotting trends and advising owners accordingly.”

GREG MUNFORD, TOOK the conscious decision to increase the number of pet-friendly units at the park from 24 to 44

One of the biggest bonus points from our recent family visit to Butlin’s at Skegness were the on-site amusements – both rides and machines. There is always the anxious measure on the height ruler to see which rides the youngsters qualify for since our last visit.

Then of course there is the inevitable mountain of prize tickets to redeem – a long wait in the queue, before we leave, to cash in for a water pistol or three… well the kids were impressed. The on-site amusements at Skegness are outstanding.

They have to be to keep holiday makers on site and fend off competition from rival off-site visitor attractions at the popular coastal resort Research has revealed the best-value amusement parks in the UK, with Adventure Island in Southend-on-Sea ranking first.

The study by saving experts BravoVoucher analysed the ticket price, star rating, review sentiment, and the number of rides and attractions of the UK’s top 60 amusement parks to determine which offers the best value.

MONEY STRETCHERS
Marco Farnararo, CEO and Co-Founder at Bravo Savings Network commented on the findings: “With cost-of-living pressures hitting UK households and families feeling the squeeze during school holidays and weekends when kids want to go out, our research aims to help families decide which days out will help their money stretch the furthest.

“By looking at multiple factors beyond the ticket price, we can better evaluate where guests of all ages are most likely to enjoy their time and feel the cost was worth it. “While it’s true some of the UK’s best-loved parks like Alton Towers and Chessington World of Adventures rank among the ten best value, residents living near the more local parks can still enjoy a great day out.

Some even have a much cheaper price per ride than some of the bigger parks”. Bravo Voucher sourced a list of the top 60 UK theme parks and their websites from TripAdvisor. Researchers recorded the average TripAdvisor and Google Review rating for each park. All factors were scaled from 0 to 10, where 0 and 10 represent the worst and best values in the data.

Adventure Island, Southend-on- Sea, Essex, is the UK’s best-value park. With 38 rides and attractions, the ninth most in the UK, and a £20 ticket price (bought online in advance), it has the fifth cheapest cost per ride in the country, working out at around 53p, over half the national average of £1.30.

Adventure Island ranks among the top ten parks with the most frequent positive mentions in TripAdvisor reviews. Over one in five guests praised its “value” (22%), and almost one in six mentioned the “free” admission (14%), the sixth and eighth-highest nationally, with an average rating of 4.5 stars.

IF YOU HAVE A HEAD for heights
you can take in views of the entire
Woodlands Theme Park.

GREAT VALUE
Woodlands Family Theme Park, Totnes, Devon, is the second best-value park. A ticket costs £13.95, and it has 46 rides and attractions, the sixth-cheapest and fourth-highest in the UK. That works out at just 30p per ride, the third-best value for a ticket overall. The park also ranks among the top 20 whose guests praise its great value. Over one in six (17%) reviewers use the word “value” when describing the park, and almost one in ten (9%) used “free” with an average star rating of 4.2.

Drayton Manor, Mile Oak, Tamworth, Staffordshire, comes third overall. Its 44 rides make it the sixth-best for variety. With a £29.50 ticket price, it costs around 67p to try each attraction once. Drayton Manor also has the sixth-highest percentage of reviews praising its customer “deals” (4%), with an average rating of four stars. Paultons Park, Romsey, Hampshire, takes fourth place.

While its tickets are one of the UK’s priciest at £43.50, its 39 rides and attractions ensure the admission price stretches, costing around £1.12 per ride, below the UK average. It ranks among the highest-rated parks online, with 4.7 stars on Google, the second-highest in the UK. One in ten reviews complimented the park using the words “free” (10%) and “value” (9%). Fantasy Island, Skegness, Lincolnshire, is fifth.

While admission sits slightly above the average at £29.50, it packs a whopping 34 rides and attractions, the 12th-most in the country. That means it would cost you around 87p to try everything once, well below the £1.30 national average. Fantasy Island has some of the most frequent mentions in reviews praising its value. It has the highest number of “bargain” mentions in the country, found in seven in 100 reviews (7%), and almost one in ten used the word “cheap” (9%), the third-highest nationally.

A SUCCESSFUL visit to the arcade at Butlin’s Skegness resort for these lucky winners.

COST-EFFECTIVE
Flambards Theme Park, Helston, Cornwall, takes sixth place. Guests enjoy a below-average cost per ride at around £1.09. Analysis of TripAdvisor reviews reveals park guests frequently compliment its cost-effectiveness, with over one in six mentioning the word “free” (17%), the fourth-highest nationally, followed by “value” (14%).

Positions seventh through tenth go to Alton Towers, Gulliver’s Kingdom, Chessington World of Adventures, and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The UK’s worst-value park is Clarence Pier in Southsea, Hampshire. Day rider wristbands cost £30, the same as an advance ticket for Alton Towers or Thorpe Park (from £29pp).

Clarence Pier has among the fewest rides in a UK park, resulting in the nation’s third-highest cost-per-ride at £2.50, almost double the national average of £1.30. Its average 3.85-star rating across Google and TripAdvisor is among the lowest third of parks studied. With amusements a long-term, substantial commitment for holiday park destinations, it is clear they will continue to reap on-going rewards for those who are prepared to sew the right seeds.

FLUSHED WITH SUCCESS

THE VECTA FROM CISTERMISER offers significant financial savings for customers.

Cistermiser is the UK’s leading provider of water and energy saving management solutions for commercial and public sector washrooms. The Vecta+ infrared tap and shower ranges, from Cistermiser, are modern and smart, designed to curb excess water flow and deliver significant financial savings for customers.

The taps combine infrared technology and practical design for a touchless, hygienic experience. They cleverly enhance hygiene, curb the spread of germs and embody efficiency and with an intelligent safety shutoff after 60 seconds of continuous use. Helping to prevent any water wastage or potential flooding, they’re the ideal choice for holiday park operators.

With the Vecta+ shower range, customers are investing in lightweight, surface mounted and pre-plumbed shower panels which are ready to be installed. A flow duration set for -30 seconds, means holiday park operators can help to reduce wasted water and save energy, while maintaining reliability and high performance.”

The range features the Vecta+ Sensor Tap, a deck mounted single supply basin tap and Vecta+ Sensor Spout, designed for wall or panel installation, both include an external solenoid for straightforward maintenance. The Vecta+ Sensor Mixer Tap, is equipped with a side-mounted control for temperature adjustment. Offering a choice for holiday park operators, the shower range includes the Vecta+ Mechanical Shower Panel and the Vecta+ Sensor Shower Panel. Both are lightweight, easy to install and maintain and come with patented shower head nozzles to reduce scale damage.

For more information visit www.cistermiser.co.uk

If you ever wonder why you spend so much time planning, designing and maintaining your on-site washroom facilities, well the facts speak for themselves. On average, people in the UK visit the bathroom between six and eight times every day. That adds up to a whopping 2,500 times in every year and accumulates to three years sitting on a toilet during their lifetime.

Family changing space cannot be over emphasised. Apparently, you will change a baby’s nappy up to 10,000 times before they can use the bathroom by themselves. For those who fancy flushing money straight down the toilet, this one’s for them. A toilet paper roll made from 22-carat gold went on sale in 2013.

Sold by the Australian company Toilet Paper Man, it was priced at a whopping US $1,376,900. If you are looking to bulk order your stock control, you might like to know we use an average of 57 sheets of toilet paper a day. Toilet paper was first invented by the Chinese in the 6th century.

Each sheet was two feet by three feet. Imagine trying to get an eight-pack of that stuff in the washroom store cupboard. According to the well-known Harpic brand, a public toilet can play host to over 40,000 germs at any given time so it pays not just to follow a diligent routine but to keep a very clear record of that routine.

TICKING BOXES
Organisations like Visit England and professional teams like the Cubicle Centre and Commercial Washrooms are always on hand to assist you from the start of your project through to completion. You have to make sure you tick the boxes laid out in the Caravan Sites & Control of Development Act 1960 - Touring Caravan and Campsite Site Conditions.

Although not necessarily legally binding, in general, the following apply for you to demonstrate duty of care:
• Separate ladies and men’s washrooms.
• Optional family facilities
• Working toilets
• Basins with hot and cold water
• Showers with TMV3 (Thermal Mixing Valve) temperature-controlled water
• Power and shaver points
• Disabled toilet and/or disabled shower rooms compliant with Doc M of the building regulations
• Level-entry shower suited for wheelchairs
• Baby-changing facilities, ideally within both male and female washrooms
• Chemical toilet disposal points
• Separate dishwashing facilities - usually external to the toilet blocks
• Drinking Water

Let’s get down to some basic maths. The numbers of facilities provided should be one toilet and urinal for men and two toilets for women for every 30 pitches. There should be a minimum of four water-flowing washbasins per 30 pitches; two each for men and women.

They shall be adjacent to the toilets – usually within the same room. Where a site provides 70 or more pitches, provision of showers shall be on the scale of one shower per 25 pitches.

ALTHOUGH MEN AND WOMEN prefer separate cubicle space family- friendly facilities are an added bonus.

PRO RATA
When considering the numbers of toilet cubicles to be included it is good practice to make allowance for 1 in 4 cubicles (in any same-sex washroom) to be classed as ambulant. This includes for grab rails and outward opening doors. Toilets may not be justified where sites have less than ten pitches.

Their site position should be agreed in discussed with the appropriate authorities. Because of the likelihood that children will use site facilities the basins/ showers’ hot water temperature should be controlled by the use of thermal mixing valves. Thermal Mixing Valves (whether integrated within the shower/ basin or as an addition to the supply pipe-work) will limit the hot water temperature to a comfortable level and offer a safeguard against scalding.

When planning a new build washroom block or refurbishing an existing facility there are many building-related health and safety issues to consider. The common sense advice is to appoint and work with a reputable building firm, ideally one who specialises in commercial washroom and toilet refurbishment projects and liaise with planning authorities from the earliest stage.

Unless the budget is particularly tight, the advice is to go for strong and robust materials fit for the high level of use modern holiday resort washrooms receive. For example the use of Solid Grade Laminate toilet/shower cubicles as opposed to a cheaper chipboard core laminate material. The payback over time is likely to be significantly better. Commercial Washrooms Ltd can, of course, offer advice on the different materials available within the commercial washrooms market.

Read our blogs on Washroom Design. Inclusion of baby changing facilities is essential in modern-day toilet and washroom facilities. Depending on the size of the washrooms this may be as simple as a fold-down baby changer or a dedicated family room containing shower, toilet and basin as well as a considerable worktop and vanity unit space for laying the child down.

PATTERSONS WORKED with Away Resorts to freshen up facilities at Tattershall Lakes.

OUT OF THE CLOSET
From desirable to dilapidated, modern to outmoded, holiday destinations boast a compendium of conveniences as you aim to create your wellness oasis. Focus on the senses, a bit of background music helps cover some embarrassment – or turn this into a marketing opportunity with a blast of promotional ads or podcasts. Aromatherapy can play a significant role. I mean the pleasant kind.

In fact, the very earliest air fresheners were made from pomegranates and cloves while the first modern air freshener was introduced in 1948. You could also take the opportunity to turn your smallest rooms into art galleries with large scale themed pictures of local scenes or even celebrated film stars. Plan the washroom project as early and as thoroughly as possible in all instances.

This should include detailed working drawings which are continually consulted as well as a robust schedule of the work. Barring any unforeseen issues arising the upgrade should then happen within time and budget. Don’t be tempted to go cheap. More expensive and durable materials will likely last longer and be a better fit for purpose with the rigours of a busy holiday site.

Design of a washroom should be carried out by professionals with appropriate experience of this type of installation as there are many common errors which can be avoided. They will usually offer a full design service with CAD drawings for either a new build or refurbishment. Well-designed and energy-efficient washroom facilities can significantly enhance the overall customer experience for holiday park visitors, while clean, comfortable and modern environments can lead to positive reviews and repeat business.

SOMETIMES WE CAN take providing pet-friendly facilities just a step too far.

ENERGY EFFICIENT
With a prominent focus on the importance of water conservation coupled with the need to offer high-quality and modern washroom facilities, Richard Braid, Managing Director at Cistermiser, explains how holiday park operators can maintain a strategic edge.

“Offering premium, comfortable and energy efficient washroom facilities sets a holiday park apart from competitors. With more customers becoming environmentally conscious when it comes to choosing holidays and parks needing to manage their impact on the environment, it becomes a key selling point to attract more visitors and increase occupancy rates,” explains Richard Braid, Managing Director at Cistermiser.

“Incorporating eco-friendly washrooms can help reduce the environmental footprint of the holiday park while minimising water and energy usage, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and responsible tourism practices. Energy-efficient washrooms can also lead to significant cost-savings over time.” Richard concludes: “Maximising washroom facilities’ design and energy efficiency is not only beneficial for the holiday park’s bottom line but also crucial for enhancing customer satisfaction, maintaining competitiveness and demonstrating environmental responsibility.”

We humans share five common activities every day: breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping and toileting… when you’re away from home, it’s often the latter which creates the biggest cause for concern. Despite this, washrooms are often overlooked, even in the hospitality and leisure sectors where guests of all ages will need to make sure of your facilities. Whether you have a positive or negative experience as a customer, chances are you’ll share it with family, friends and colleagues, or even make a few negative comments on sites like Trip Advisor and Facebook.

Maintaining high standards for your washroom provision can separate you from the competition in a crowded industry. After all, switched-on holiday destination operators know that it makes financial sense to keep visitors on-site as long as possible. The longer they stay, the more money they spend - and not just a spending a penny!

Do you think your water leisure offering is a stand-out facility? Well, the search is on to find the best holiday park swimming pools in the country. The UK Pool & Spa Awards, now in its 14th year, recognises holiday park pools and wet leisure facilities annually and entries are now open.

Names already in the UK Pool & Spa Awards frame read like a who’s who of holiday destinations including Butlin’s, Plas Coch Coastal & Country Retreat, Ribby Hall Village, and the comparatively new Yorkshire Spa Retreat. “We are not looking just for swimming pools,” explains Olivia Connor, from the competition organisers, Waterland Media.

The judges generally look for water-based attractions with extra activities for all ages from splash pads to daring flume rides.” “Many holiday destinations are investing in not just hot tubs but inclusive wellness attractions – they are all catered for within the competition.

“Year-on-year, we hear how a UK Pool & Spa Awards winning logo reaps huge marketing rewards for holiday destinations.” Arguably, the swimming pool is one of the main pulling factors for holiday locations; great for swimming and even better for guaranteed family fun. If you have ticked the swimming pool box with an unimaginative tank of water, you are missing some vital opportunities to stand out from the crowd.

SWIMMING POOLS are great for swimming and even better for guaranteed family fun. Pic. Ribby Hall

The pool should not feature as a stand-alone. For instance, add a few well-being features and you can be offering your guests a top-notch spa experience. A perfect example is the Plas Coch leisure complex, one of the stand-out attractions at the five-star holiday home park, holders of the Holiday Park Pool Of the Year title in the UK Pool & Spa Awards.

The swimming pool, super spa, treatment area and gymnasium are open all year round for customers to swim and relax. The leisure facility has recently undergone some aesthetic works to offer more privacy including a spectacular tint effect added to the glass building to give a beautiful mirror effect from the outside.

With top drawer aquatic access even more of a variety of water-based activities to the regular timetable such as snorkelling, pool kayaks, underwater explorers and private occasion pool parties. Guests can unwind by a tropical pool, take a soothing dip in a hydrotherapy bath, or indulge in a cleansing Dry Salt Chamber treatment, all specially created to provide pampering for mind and body.

THE SEASIDE THEMED aquatic centre is still wow-ing guests at Butlin’s Bognor Regis resort.

You don’t even always have to think big. Cornish holiday park Trevornick, unveiled a new £180,000 investment called The Splash Zone. It provides a new space within the existing swimming pool complex at Trevornick, where young (and the young at heart!) guests can run, jump, play and splash. The Splash Zone contains two tipping buckets, fountains, water jets, and a raised trickle stream, making it perfect for babies, toddlers, non-swimmers and those unable to access the pool itself.

If you are thinking swimming pools then think water play to give your guests the extra wow factor. A waterslide is great as either an open or closed flume, running inside, outside, or both. And now with modern technology, experiences are enhanced with high-definition multimedia technology; enabling an experience to be unique and different at the touch of a button.

There are also low-level products that add character and activities for young children such as frog, turtle and fish with their 360° rotation abilities, all suitable for installation in zero and shallow depth. There are taller features that are designed to arch and spray over pools and lazy rivers and products of varying heights that resemble leaves, trees and flowers that offer a variety of different water movements and effects.

Add to your wet leisure pulling appeal by entering this year’s UK Pool & Spa Awards which are now open at www.ukpoolandspaawards.co.uk

THE PLAS COCH leisure complex is open all year round for customers to swim and relax.

The best aquatic play spaces offer indoor and outdoor aquatic activities, incorporating swimming pools, splash pads and flumes. Ustigate Waterplay are partnered with Vortex Aquatic Structures International Inc and wiegand. waterrides, enabling designs and concepts of every variety and an aquatic play favourite for every age and ability.

A flume with a number of game options and special effects is a popular and exciting attraction but it does have to limit rider descents for safety reasons, so it is important to have other aquatic activities on offer too. In a one pool, one flume scenario, the flume would be in great demand and the queues would be long.

Adding a splash pad that provides a variety of water play activities will entertain a number of guests at every given time. Elevations™ are also a great option for a water park and a holiday park because they spontaneously entertain many friends and family in the same footprint and heighten and enhance the play experiences as a whole.

The Vortex Elevations™ available from Ustigate Waterplay, provide the ability to generate multi-level play and to add climbing and sliding to the activities involved. They are available in all shapes, sizes and themes with a multitude of play items on board. All designs and projects carried out by Ustigate Waterplay are led by inclusivity, accessibility and sustainability and are proven to last.

GUESTS CAN RACE against time and each other with attractions like the Speed Racer.

FLEXIBLE FRIENDS
An indoor and outdoor splash pad maximises the offering of water play facilities at a holiday park because no matter what the weather holds, a good time can be had by all. The benefit of a splash pad is that it uses a lot less water than a pool making it less costly to run in terms of water usage, water treatment and energy.

Also, as all aquatic activities are provided without any water depth on a splash pad, there is no need for a lifeguard and these water play facilities are 100% safe and accessible for all ages and abilities. Generally, where space allows it, Ustigate Waterplay will design and establish a splash pad with zones that cater for those that arrive with water confidence and those that prefer their water play served at a nice, gentle pace.

A splash pad is sustainable because of its inclusive appeal and its efficiency in terms of its design. The majority of Ustigate’s Vortex Splashpad® products are manufactured from recyclable stainless steel and provided with a proven 25- year warranty. Many of the products include Seeflow™, a translucent material made from pre-consumer recycled materials that casts colourful, sensory reflections around the environment when water and sunshine are present.

The Vortex Splashpad® collection invites all children to interact with each other and to interact with the products themselves. There are technologies that require children to work together to create a bigger splash and many products with 360° rotation ability that places both exercise and the water direction into the water player’s hands.

THE OPEN FLUME from Ustigate is a guaranteed water winner.

The Hoburne Group was established in 1912 in Dorset when ‘Hubborn Farm’ was acquired at auction by its tenant farmer John Burry. Embracing his new life as a landowner, Mr Burry soon added nearby Naish Farm to his budding property empire and, amidst the growing interest in caravanning, the seeds of the Hoburne Group were sown.

Today, the Hoburne Group is one of the south’s largest and most successful tourism companies and is still, crucially, family-owned and operated, now by the fifth generation of the Burry family. “Without question, what makes our business unique is our family values,” explains Jim Forward, Chief Executive of the Hoburne Group.

“Like most family businesses, these start with integrity, a factor which is of the utmost importance to the board of directors; it is vital that as a company, we behave in a way that is genuine and provides customers with genuine products, genuine services, professionalism, efficiency, and value for money.”

FAMILY ACTIVITIES ARE KEY within the family- run Hoburne Group. Pictured, Adventure Golf.

The Hoburne Group encompasses eight holiday parks in the south and southwest of England, offering modern holiday accommodation and holiday home ownership with accompanying leisure, entertainment, and dining facilities. These are Hoburne Park in Dorset; Hoburne Naish and Hoburne Bashley in Hampshire; Hoburne Devon Bay in South Devon; Hoburne Cotswolds in Gloucestershire; Hoburne Blue Anchor in Somerset; and Hoburne St Mabyn and Hoburne Doublebois in Cornwall.

Holiday home ownership accounts for 70% of Hoburne’s business and the company caters to 2,500 holiday home owners. The remaining 30% is hire fleet for holidays. Hoburne also owns and operates two residential parks: Hoburne Naish in Hampshire has a small residential offering, and there is one solely residential park located in Swanage, Dorset.

The group’s largest park, Hoburne Naish, has been attracting caravanners in their droves since John Burry purchased Naish Farm in 1920. Now, Hoburne Naish welcomes over 12,000 holidaymakers each year and has in excess of 1000 units. Covering 110 acres, the park is superbly positioned on the clifftop, with direct beach access and incredible panoramic sea views to the Isle of Wight, Christchurch Harbour and Mudeford Quay.

THE NEWLY OPENED INDOOR play zone is part of a significant investment in Hoburne Cotswold.

HEAVENLY SLICE
Two new developments offer the chance for holidaymakers to purchase their own slice of heaven in this iconic Great British holiday spot. Sunset Cliffs and Chewton Bunny feature a choice of the latest holiday homes from top manufacturers including the new Omar Seafronter Super Lodge, designed specifically with coastal settings in mind.

2024 is a busy year for the Hoburne Group, as they launch a new sister park, Hoburne Cotswold Reach situated next to established Hoburne Cotswold in the middle of the Cotswold Water Park. “Hoburne Cotswold Reach has been designed for those wanting a peaceful hideaway in which to relax and escape,” explains Jim Forward.

“This quiet, exclusive park still allows guests to enjoy the main park facilities at Hoburne Cotswold, giving them truly the best of both worlds.” £4.7m is being invested in the park facilities at Hoburne Cotswold to support the expansion which will bring an additional 84 holiday homes to the business.

Several major developments are underway to improve the overall functionality and appeal of the park’s leisure facilities. “Phase one of the substantial upgrade is already complete with the opening of our exciting brand-new indoor play zone just before Easter,” says Greg Nolan, General Manager for Hoburne Cotswold.

“This new area provides a dedicated play space for families with young children. Working with the industry’s leading play equipment suppliers, we have designed an inspiring forest-themed play area with incredible features for our younger guests.” The redesigned indoor pool area including changing rooms, sauna and steam room is scheduled to re-open in early Summer. The work on the main pool will see the addition of children’s water play equipment to suit a range of ages.

INDOOR POOL
With a mission statement that emphasises the importance of providing “an outstanding customer experience”, delivering “exacting standards” and “continual investment”, it’s not surprising that the Cotswolds development is just one of many being masterminded by the team at the Hoburne Group headquarters in Christchurch, Dorset.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to continually enhance the customer experience, we also have an exciting refurbishment taking place at Hoburne Devon Bay this year,” explains Jim Forward. “We’re upgrading key elements within the South Devon park’s main venue to ensure they meet the highest standards of comfort and functionality, whilst carrying out a comprehensive interior and exterior makeover, incorporating contemporary design elements that complement the park’s coastal surroundings.

Through this investment, we will undoubtedly enhance our operations, expand our capabilities, and overall improve our offering for our guests by creating an even more enjoyable and fulfilling experience.” The rise of low-cost package holidays abroad might have cast a temporary shadow over homegrown holidays, but more recent developments have led to the introduction of a whole new customer base.

“The pandemic enabled us to promote our beautiful locations, plus the ease of travelling to our sites versus the many issues and delays which can be experienced with airline travel,” says Jim. “We welcomed a new audience, many of whom had never been to a UK holiday park before. With our extensive and continual programme of investment in park accommodation and facilities, Hoburne’s holiday guests and owners enjoy the very best of what holiday caravan and lodge accommodation has to offer.”

LUXURY LODGE WITH HOT TUB at Cornwall’s Hoburne St Mabyn.

ECO INVESTMENT
As part of this continual investment, the Hoburne Group is at the forefront of embracing initiatives that save energy and improve sustainability. In 2022, they became members of the Green Tourism programme, which promotes greener ways for businesses and organisations to operate.

In the last two years, Hoburne has rolled out solar technology including the installation of 2,231 solar panels; replaced all street lighting with LED lightbulbs; replaced all petrol grounds tools with battery-powered equipment; installed 24 EV vehicle chargers; introduced new food waste bins and the use of 100% recycled paper for welcome packs; and joined the David Bellamy Blooming Marvellous Pledge For Nature, planting new trees and wildflower meadows, as well as building bug hotels and bird boxes to create new wildlife habitats across their parks.

Over the years, the Hoburne Group’s commitment to innovation and excellence in service and standards has resulted in many awards. Most recently, they have been awarded Feefo’s Gold Trusted Service Award in recognition of online reviews from holidaymakers recognising their commitment to providing exceptional customer service.

They have also achieved an industry first with a landmark accreditation for the holiday park sector after passing the stringent requirements of the new Safe to Trade® Hospitality and Retail Industry Food Safety and Hygiene Standard, to become ‘Approved’ on the Safe to Trade® Register.

“We are delighted to have become the first holiday park operator to be awarded the much-coveted approved status,” explains Jim. “Safe to Trade® is a clear, comprehensive, assured standard. It’s the first voluntary, third-party assurance programme for the hospitality sector, designed to protect and care for the public. Something that is at the very heart of everything that we, at Hoburne, strive to do.”

Hoburne Group
Tel. 01425 282358
www.hoburnegroup.com

Landal GreenParks offer an impressive 18 locations across the UK and Europe with new destinations being steadily added. I was immediately struck by the immaculate grounds and welcoming atmosphere as I arrived at Landal Gwel an Mor holiday resort at Portreath, near Redruth in Cornwall.

Set against the backdrop of rolling hills and overlooking the turquoise shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean, Landal Gwel an Mor presents a postcard-perfect scene that promises relaxation and adventure in equal measure. Boasting 140 lodges, accommodation options at the resort are varied and cater to every taste and preference.

From cozy Scandinavian lodges nestled in woodland settings to contemporary luxury eco-friendly lodges boasting panoramic sea views, there’s something to suit families, couples, and solo travellers alike. The Scandinavian-style lodges with stylish decor feature kitchens, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, as well as furnished sundecks.

THERE ARE 18 STYLES of accommodation offered with the 140 lodges on site.

Some have hot tubs and barbecue grills.There’s a Mediterranean restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Other amenities include an indoor pool and a spa, as well as a sauna, a steam room and a gym. Walking paths, tennis courts and rental bikes are also available.

During my stay, I opted for one of the eco-friendly lodges, which seamlessly blended modern amenities with sustainable design, providing a comfortable and guilt-free stay. One of the highlights of Landal Gwel an Mor is its commitment to wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship.

The on-site nature reserve, home to a diverse array of flora and fauna, offers guests the opportunity to reconnect with nature through guided walks and wildlife encounters. Whether observing the wide variety of birds between trees or spotting seals basking by nearby cliffs, the resort’s dedication to preserving Cornwall’s natural beauty is truly commendable.

LANDAL GWEL AN MOR presents a postcard-perfect setting including its fishing lake.

GREAT ESCAPE
For those seeking relaxation, the resort’s leisure facilities are second to none. The luxurious spa, with its range of indulgent treatments and serene ambiance, provided the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Meanwhile, the heated swimming pool and state-of-the-art fitness centre catered to guests looking to maintain their wellness routines while on vacation.

Adventure awaits around every corner at Landal Gwel an Mor, with a plethora of outdoor activities to suit all interests. From surfing and kayaking along the rugged coastline to exploring nearby hiking trails and picturesque fishing villages, there’s no shortage of ways to immerse oneself in Cornwall’s rich natural heritage.

The resort’s dedicated activity centre offers expert guidance and equipment rental, ensuring that guests can make the most of their time outdoors. No visit to Landal Gwel an Mor would be complete without sampling the culinary delights on offer. The on-site restaurant, The Terrace, serves up an array of locally sourced dishes, showcasing the best of Cornwall’s culinary heritage.

From freshly caught seafood to hearty traditional fare, each meal was a culinary journey that delighted the senses and left me eager for more. Landal Gwel an Mor holiday resort offers a truly unforgettable holiday experience in the heart of Cornwall. With its breathtaking surroundings, top-notch amenities, and commitment to sustainability, it’s a destination that caters to the discerning traveller seeking both relaxation and adventure.

ON SITE FACILITIES include an indoor soft play area.

LANDAL LABEL
Landal GreenParks is a market leader in the field of holiday resort management, operation, and rentals. Landal GreenParks has more than 100 resorts in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Great Britain, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, offering a total of almost 14.000 holiday accommodation units and campsite pitches.

Taking the portfolio to 18 destinations, Landal GreenParks UK announced the addition of two new resorts into its UK portfolio earlier this year. The new sites, which will benefit from a multimillion-pound investment, will showcase the Landal experience and build on the strong demand for UK holidays in 2024. Landal Whalesborough Resort & Spa in Bude, Cornwall and Landal Twin Lakes in The Lake District.

Each year, more than 3.2 million guests opt for Landal GreenParks, resulting in a total of 15.6 million overnight stays. The resorts and the company’s various offices employ a staff of 3.500 people. A proactive approach to sustainability has resulted in all Landal GreenParks’ resorts obtaining Green Key certification. Landal say they have witnessed a surge in last minute bookings that is driving an increase in summer holiday sales.

ATTENTION TO décor detail makes an immediate impact.

The self-catering holiday specialist has seen summer bookings up 20% YoY, with 30% of its breaks being taken within a month and 10% going within a week of being booked. The south-west continues to be the best-performing region for Landal GreenParks UK, with new and additional accommodation offering at its resorts, helping contribute to a 30% increase in summer bookings compared to last year.

There is also demand in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland due to pet friendly staycations – with bookings up 25% compared to 2022. The company has also noticed a trend for shorter summer breaks, with almost a third of all summer bookings being for four nights. Landal GreenParks UK launched their summer campaign with up to 40% off summer breaks starting from £479.

Landal Resorts
Landal Gwel an Mor
Tel. 01209 842354
www.landal.co.uk/gwel-an-mor

Winchester MP Steve Brine has marked this spring’s English Tourism Week with a visit to a family’s wildlife-friendly glamping park near the village of Bighton near Winchester in Hampshire. Mr Brine was the guest of Two Hoots Glamping Site where he was welcomed by Shaun Ascough and his wife Michele who say they put sustainability at the top of their business agenda.

The couple acquired the park three years ago as their “dream project” after spending a career in property development both in the UK and South Africa. Now, they told the MP, their ambition is to embark on a new holiday park development of super-luxury accommodation which will include eco-lodges with a minimal carbon footprint.

Mr Brine was shown around the five-acre grounds which, said Shaun Ascough, are a ‘wildlife wonderland’ for a host of different animal, bird and plant species. The hilltop site, where guests can enjoy panoramic views across the Hampshire countryside, includes hare, red squirrels, deer, pheasants, red kites and even glowworms among its residents.

The MP was also shown an oak-frame barn which the family is converting as their new home, and which will use solar power and an air source heat pump to generate much of its own energy.

EV charging points for guests with electric cars are hoped to be installed soon, and the couple – who have three grown-up children – will be creating extra wildlife habitats around the park. There is also a wildflower meadow with many different native blooms which, said Shaun, provide vital foraging for honey bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

Girls’ weekends away aren’t new, but more and more female groups are looking for a getaway where they can really get away from everything. A place where there are few people, no nightclubs and definitely no kiss me quick hats!!

Combining luxury, stunning scenery and a quiet bar and restaurant nearby, Loch Tay Highland Lodges, one of Largo Leisure Holidays stunning, Scottish parks in Perthshire, has two unique premium houses perfect for groups looking to relax, reconnect and recharge.

Not only is it the best way to spend time together, but also the best way to clear your own mind and keep your mental health on a high being away from home while still having home comforts. Loch Tay House sleeps up to 10 people, perfect for those big groups of friends to go away together without having to find separate accommodation, meaning you can enjoy each other’s company morning, noon, and night.

The house boasts five beautiful bedrooms, four of which are en-suite, a large upper living room, and its own secluded private garden. As you step outside, the 10-person hot tub and stunning garden views, give you a great place to all relax together for a chilled girl’s night in.

Mill House sleeps up to eight with 4 bedrooms, including similar facilities for your dream girls’ trip. Their downstairs snug TV room is just what you need to sit back with a glass of wine and watch your favourite chick-flick together after an evening in the hot-tub with views of waterfalls which run alongside the property.

Founded in 2003, then in March 2022, the group was acquired by Limerston Capital. Largo Leisure Parks offer award winning glamping and lodge holidays in six stunning areas of Scotland. Each park has its own unique characteristics and offers a varied choice of holiday accommodation to rent and own including self-catering glamping, wooden cabins, cottages, deluxe beach huts, premium lodges, and caravans.

New research has revealed that Cornwall’s Kynance Cove is the UK’s most Instagrammable beach in the UK. A study by photo wall art creator StoryBoards analysed Instagram hashtag data and the length of 50 of the UK’s most popular beaches to find the top ten beaches and coves with the highest hashtags per metre count.

The study found that Kynance Cove in Cornwall is the most Instagrammable beach in the UK. The cove has over 66,000 posts on Instagram, and with a length of just 200 metres, this equates to 331 posts per metre. Kynance Cove is known for its white sands and turquoise as the cove is part of the National Trust.

Taking second place is Brighton Beach, located in East Sussex. The popular tourist hotspot has over one million posts on Instagram, which equates to 214 posts per metre of the three-mile-long beach. Brighton Beach is host to multiple watersports such as windsurfing, Kayaking and sailing for tourists to enjoy.

Fistral Beach is the third most Instagrammable beach, with over 134,000 posts. Fistral Beach is often called the UK’s best surfing location and has 180 posts on Instagram per metre of beach. The beach is home to the international surfing centre and holds many surfing-related contests and events throughout the year.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the energy regulator Ofgem to take action on the standing charges paid by small businesses, many of whom have seen the daily fixed price they pay, regardless of usage levels, soar over recent months.

FSB has written to Ofgem’s chief executive Jonathan Brearley to draw his attention to the issue, and to recognise the “specific, negative impact standing charges are having on small firms”. Small businesses based in rural areas have been disproportionately affected by standing charge increases, which exacerbates the existing rural-urban divide and ‘[undermines] efforts to level up more remote parts of the UK’, the FSB’s letter says.

Standing charges are used to fund network infrastructure, operating costs, and policy costs for schemes such as the Warm Home Discount, but this can be difficult for small firms to comprehend. Business customers are not covered by the energy price cap for consumers and many small firms suspect that their costs have been hiked as a result.

FSB’s Policy Chair, Tina McKenzie, commented: “We want Ofgem to do a thorough review of standing charges for businesses as well as consumers, for better transparency and to discern whether energy companies are behaving fairly towards their small firm clients. “Small business energy customers behave in a way more akin to consumers than big businesses, lacking the resources, the expertise and the buying power necessary to get the best possible deal out of their energy suppliers.

However, they do not benefit from anything like the same level of protection as that rightly available to households, leaving them caught between two stools. “Many small businesses could be forgiven for suspecting that they have been seen as something of a soft target for price hikes in their standing charges, and they do not have a full picture of where the money they pay on a daily basis is going – something that needs to change.”

Helping You Have A More Sustainable & Cost-Effective Future!

The rising cost of energy bills has become increasingly concerning across the industry, with many looking at making their holiday parks greener and switching to an alternative energy supply. Although CPES manufacture a large number of electrical distribution units, we also have a number of options to support your solar installations.

The flexibility within our products sets us apart from others in the industry, allowing us to suit your specification. When it comes to solar output, it’s proven the highest period is April to October which conveniently coincides with your park visitors – meaning you can save money during peak season.

At Caravan Park Electrical Services we manufacture our Mains Panels and Distribution Units to incorporate the appropriate safety components ensuring you have a panel which supports your solar installation. Alongside these products, we manufacture Inverter Isolation Panels allowing you to isolate the solar panel supply enabling the appropriate work to be carried out. If you’re looking to move from traditionally wired lights to solar powered, our portfolio holds both low and high-level options.

If you’re looking for supporting infrastructure for your solar installation, contact a member of the team who can talk you through the options!

Caravan Park Electrical Services Ltd
Tel: 01790 753153
enquiries@cpes.co.uk
www.cpes.co.uk

Latest consumer spending figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveal UK households spent over £175.4bn on hotels and restaurants in 2023, as the holiday industry rebounded from Covid. The figures reveal a rise of almost 6% on 2022’s spend of £165.7bn.

Brits also splashed £21.8bn on UK-based tourist activities, up from £16.7bn in 2022. It wasn’t only hotels that benefitted from last year’s ‘staycation’ bug. Last year, they also spent £38.3bn on holiday accommodation, such as holiday lets. That was up 6.7% from 2022’s £35.9bn.

While these record figures eclipse even the peak pre-Covid year of 2019, and are encouraging results for Britain’s tourist trade, the sharp rise in spending is also causing some concern. “It’s really great to see Britain’s hard- pressed hotel and tourism industries bounce back from the horrific impact of Covid,” says Lily Smith, a travel expert from the specialist accommodation finder UniversityRooms.

“The amount Brits spent on UK hotels and restaurants plummeted from a height of £144bn in pre-Covid 2019 to £88bn in 2020 – a collapse of nearly 40% – so damaging was the impact of the virus. “Similarly, spending on other accommodation fell from £31.9bn in 2019 to £15.4bn in 2020 as Covid took a grip.”

Looking at these ONS figures, it’s little wonder that many Brits, who want to enjoy seeing new parts of their own country, are now thinking twice. Some Brits clearly feel overseas holidays already represent better value than holidaying in the UK. “We spent £77.9bn on foreign holidays last year, another new record and up significantly from £66.8bn in 2022,” says Lily.

“Clearly, Brits on a budget need to think beyond traditional hotels and holiday accommodation to visit some of our most popular holiday spots. That’s why an increasing number of us are planning to stay in vacant university rooms for our next holiday. “That’s a clever call, as many universities offer rooms that are great value, centrally located and are still readily available to book for the peak summer season.

Best of all, you can stay in them even if you are not a student. Some universities are a destination in their own right. It’s possible to stay in rooms in historic locations such as Oriel and Magdalen colleges in Oxford. Similarly, you can have rooms dating back centuries in Corpus Christi or have breakfast or brunch in the dramatic Gothic dining Hall at Kings in Cambridge. A night’s stay in Magdalen college can cost as little as £55, dependent on date.

LONDON MEET IS JUST CAPITAL

DEVON MP Kevin Foster was invited by Beverley Holidays to the recent British Holiday & Home Parks Association annual conference.

Devon MP Kevin Foster was invited by Beverley Holidays to the recent British Holiday & Home Parks Association annual conference. Torbay MP Kevin Foster was the guest of Paignton’s Beverley Holidays at February’s annual conference of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association.

Held at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, just a short distance from Parliament, the event was attended by representatives from many of Britain’s 3000-plus holiday parks. The MP was welcomed to the conference by Beverley directors Claire Flower, Nicola Furneaux and Gary Furneaux whose family business last year marked its 65th anniversary.

Started originally by Claire and Nicola’s grandparents in the 1950s, Beverley Holidays is today one of Devon’s most thriving park enterprises providing over 50,000 bed nights each year. It employs up to 180 people in the main holiday season, and maintains 70 full-time posts all year round with training opportunities for those seeking a career in tourism and hospitality.

Kevin Foster heard at the conference how the park was currently investing in new top-end accommodation and guest facilities for visiting families and holiday home buyers in 2024: “For 65 years, Beverley Holidays has been making magical holiday memories for those who visit our beautiful bay at the heart of the English Riviera,” he said. “For Torbay, family fun is a serious business, with thousands of local jobs and many businesses supported by our holiday parks.

“They make our bay what it is, and it was great to join the team from Beverley Holidays at the conference to reflect on how national policy can further support them,” added Kevin Foster. Claire Flower told the MP that Beverley was proud to be able to play a major role in the tourism economy of East Devon, and that its visitors supported many other local businesses.

The conference, she said, had coincided with the publication of a new independent study which examined the economic impact of holiday parks in the UK. It found that parks generate £12.2bn in visitor expenditure each year in the UK and provide over 226,000 FTE jobs whilst representing 5% of the GDP of all UK tourism.

EXPANSION GETS THE GO AHEAD

The multi-million expansion of a south Pembrokeshire holiday park, that will create dozens of new jobs and provide a welcome boost for regional tourism and leisure, has been given the green light by Pembrokeshire County Council. The proposed development at the Heritage Park, Stepaside, will be delivered by Heritage Leisure Development (Wales) Ltd.

It will result in the provision of 48 new, high-quality holiday lodges, along with an equestrian centre, five-star leisure spa, café, and cycle hire facility. The £6 million project will expand the local tourism offer while also breathing new life into a former pub, craft village and animal farm that have been abandoned and vacant for a number of years.

Heritage Park sits within a popular tourism location, attracting high levels visitors due to its close proximity to the seaside resort of Tenby as well as other local attractions and towns, including Saundersfoot. According to the Welsh Government, Pembrokeshire is ranked as the fifth overall most visited local authority in Wales, with millions of people coming to the region from within the UK and overseas annually.

The proposed development will provide a significant boost to the local economy in this area. An economic impact assessment estimates that people staying at the site are expected to spend significantly within the area, and together with Park spending, there will be an extra nearly £1 million additional expenditure in the local economy each year. Jobs will also be created during construction phase of the development, which is now expected to start next year.

These will be in addition to a number of full-time and part-time jobs that will be created once the park and the other the associated leisure facilities fully open for business. Working on behalf of the owner and operator, Helen Ashby-Ridgway, planning director at the Cardiff office of planning and development consultancy Lichfields, said Heritage Park is well-deserving of its 5* Visit Wales award.

Karl Watson, owner of Heritage Leisure Development, added: “We’re clearly delighted to have secured approval, which marks the next phase in ambitious proposals to provide top quality hospitality and leisure facilities in south Pembrokeshire for holiday- makers and visitors. This project will also breathe new life into a location that’s ready to be transformed, signalling a new chapter for the local area and creating opportunities and jobs for local people.”

SMART MOVE FOR WELSH PARK

THREE CLIFFS’ TWO CAPELLE 2HCX and Capella 2HCX Lifted comfortably deliver up to 80 miles with their 210AH batteries.

When Three Cliffs Bay needed new utility vehicles to maintain the five-star standard at its holiday park in Gower, Wales, it chose STAR EV. In the move it upgraded to lithium power from petrol and that is always a smart move. From full charge to discharge, STAR smart lithium batteries deliver higher peak power for improved performance all round.

It delivers full power for longer drive distance with no sacrifice in power. Maintenance-free STAR Smart Lithium batteries take a charge, hold a charge, and recharge over 2,000 times. With an extremely low self-discharge rate, the batteries provide maintenance free peace of mind, while Android and iPhone Smart Lithium app monitors battery usage, voltage and temperature, so STAR smart batteries are ready to go when the day’s work starts.

There need be no anxiety when it comes to range. Three Cliffs opted for two Capella 2HCX vehicles, which comfortably deliver up to 80 miles with their 210AH battery and a Capella 2HCX Lifted which offers similar features but with great off road capability and higher ground clearance.

Tom Beynon, owner of Three Cliffs Bay, confirms the point: “These machines have proved to us very quickly that they can take on all the tasks we need them to without any difference in productivity to their petrol counterparts and without disturbance. “We use them for rubbish collection and recycling. The big, strong cargo area at the back of the Lifted and the fact that we can add a trailer means it’s become part of our gardening arsenal too.”

Reesink
Tel. 01480 226800
www.reesink-evehicles.co.uk

THE CAPELLA 2HCX Lifted offers great off-road capability and higher ground clearance.

TOP OF CLASS FOR HOLIDAY MASCOT

PARK HOLIDAYS UK mascot Loopy spread the word about the importance of recycling on a visit to an East Sussex primary school.

Pupils at an East Sussex primary school are learning that recycling with the help of hanks to Park Holidays UK mascot, Loopy. The major holiday parks group has teamed up with Robsack Wood Primary Academy in St Leonards on Sea to help youngsters understand the importance of reducing waste.

Children who come top of the class by showing a commitment to recycling are being presented with a cuddly Loopy rabbit, the eco-friendly mascot of Park Holidays UK. The toys were donated to the school by the company which has its head office in nearby Bexhill-on-Sea from where it operates 40-plus holiday parks throughout the UK.

The donation was the brainchild of Louise Evans who works as a holiday sales support manager at the group, and whose two children attend the 420-pupils school. Louise is also co-chair of the academy’s board of governors, and said she knew how much importance the school attaches to raising environmental awareness.

She persuaded her bosses to make a gift of the 75 rabbits to Robsack Wood and spoke to pupils in two school assemblies about how essential recycling was to the future of our planet.

PIONEERING GREEN HOLIDAYS

SUSAN AND DEREK Dickson (centre) were given two top spots by judges at the Cumbria Business Awards

The husband-and-wife team behind a popular Windermere holiday park say that they were left reeling after learning that they had scooped two top awards in one swoop. Susan and Derek Dickson of Park Cliffe heard the couple’s five-star park near the shores of Windermere had taken first place in the Best Family Business of the Year category.

Susan and Derek were then invited back to the stage again and told that Park Cliffe had triumphed in the Green/Ethical Business of the Year category, beating hundreds of other eligible enterprises to the title. “We were rather knocked for six when we realised that we would be taking two trophies home!” said Susan who, with Derek, has owned the park for just over 15 years.

“Our daughter Abi and son Jack play an important part in the running of Park Cliffe, and the family business award is a credit to how much they make this a real team effort. “Abi and Jack also share our love for the natural world, and our concern to make the holidays we offer as green and environmentally friendly as possible.”

Set in 25 acres of countryside above the shores of Windermere, Park Cliffe provides holiday homes to rent and own, glamping facilities, and pitches for tents, touring caravans and motorhomes. Last year, Susan and Derek welcomed local MP Tim Farron to officially open a major new green energy project undertaken at Park Cliffe by the couple.

Representing a £200,000 investment, it features over 200 high-efficiency solar panels which will save 21 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year. The installation, known as a solar array, is capable of generating around 100Kw of power, and is designed to produce electricity even on the most overcast of days. More initiatives to reduce the park’s carbon footprint and to protect its indigenous wildlife and native plants are planned for 2024, said Susan.

VALUE-ADDED PRICES ON OFFER

FAMILIES CAN ENJOY a weekend camping break at Drayton Manor Club Site from £39 a night.

The Camping and Caravanning Club has launched offers on touring pitches, lowering prices at more than 60 of its Club Sites across the UK. As pressure on household finances continues, the Club remains committed to providing great value campsites with quality facilities in amazing locations.

Discounts can be enjoyed on stays between April and September, with seven Club Sites included in the ‘Ultimate10’ offer, where campers save 10% on stays all year round. With camping proven to make people happier and healthier*, the Club hopes even more campers will reap the benefits of the incredible outdoors this year.

There are eight offers in total, including 35% off stays at 14 Club Sites in July and August. Families can enjoy a weekend camping break at Drayton Manor Club Site, in the grounds of the Staffordshire theme park, from £39 a night, based on two adults and two children on a grass with electric pitch.

THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOOT

CAR BOOT SALES have proved so popular for Suffolk’s Stonham Barns Park that they will now take place on two days weekly.

The traditional car boot season is about to launch and can offer steady extra revenue for appropriate sites as well as increased footfall for on-site attractions and catering. Traditional car boot sales are about to restart at Stonham Barns Park – one of Suffolk’s premier leisure, retail and holiday destination in Suffolk – and due to their popularity, they will not only take place on Sundays but on Thursdays too!

While weather dependent, they are the perfect place to sell any unwanted possessions and buy a bargain or two at the same time. The Sunday event is boosted throughout the spring, summer and autumn seasons by the shows and events held at the venue’s Mid-Suffolk Showground but, is one of Suffolk’s most popular Sunday Car Boots. The event is outdoors where sellers can just turn up and sell on the day.

Covered stalls are available enabling sellers to guarantee a main field position and these can be pre-booked to avoid having to bring tables to sell from. Says organiser Simon Tilley: “The atmosphere of the sale is fabulous, and the event is extremely popular with the local community and visitors to the campsite, holiday park and retail and leisure village.’ He continues:

“We have built an amazing following at Stonham Barns Car Boot and decided to offer an additional day for sellers and buyers. “We pride ourselves on the organisation of the event and the public love that it is offers sellers a stress-free day - without having to put up with buyers climbing into cars. It’s the perfect place for new car booters to bring their goods to sell. The Car Boot attracts absolutely everything imaginable from antiques to children’s toys. It’s a real weekend go-to.’

TOURISM TRENDS UNDER MICROSCOPE

WELCOMING TOURISM minister Richard Lochhead (third from left) to the conference were BH&HPA (Scotland) director Keith Campbell, BH&HPA Scottish policy director Sarah Allanson, and director general of BH&HPA Debbie Walker

Delegates from holiday parks across Scotland gathered in Edinburgh this winter for their annual national conference. Held at Our Dynamic Earth, the event brought together senior figures from many of Scotland’s near 200 parks providing camping, caravan, luxury lodge and glamping holidays. Members of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (Scotland), and guests heard from a line-up of guest speakers including Scotland’s Tourism Minister Richard Lochhead.

Welcomed to the conference by association Directors Keith Campbell and John Kirkaldy, the Minister said that parks were doing much to minimise their environmental impact: “Sustainability is at the heart of the Scottish Government’s tourism strategy, and I welcome the steps the holiday parks industry is taking to champion green getaways in order to help achieve our net zero ambitions.

“This year I have visited several parks to see how they work within their communities, and with other local businesses, to provide the best possible visitor experience. “These businesses – and the visitors to campsites, caravan and holiday parks - make a valuable contribution to our national and local economies,” said Mr Lochhead.

Earlier in autumn, Mr Lochhead visited Findhorn Bay Holiday Park on the Moray Firth where electricity is generated by wind turbines, supported by the grid using a green energy tariff. The minister, who was a guest of BH&HPA, made his own contribution to a greener future by planting a commemorative tree to mark what the park described its new series of eco-adventures.

GUEST SPEAKERS
The conference also heard from other guest speakers on a range of different topics impacting on park businesses, many of which in Scotland are long-established family enterprises. Subjects addressed included how parks can best formulate and implement a green energy strategy, and what holiday home manufacturers are doing to make their products more sustainable.

Tourism trends were also put under the microscope, along with an examination of how parks could continue to meet the ever-rising quality expectations of holiday park guests. Running parallel to the conference at Our Dynamic Earth was an exhibition featuring suppliers of goods and services to Scottish holiday parks.

Keith Campbell, owner of Highland Holidays with three parks in Tyndrum, Oban and Ben Nevis, said that in 2023 holiday parks had remained as popular as ever with families and couples. But he added that the industry was by no means complacent, and that parks continued to invest heavily is their businesses to ensure they provided world-class standards of hospitality.

An economic survey produced four years ago and currently being updated found that BH&HPA member- parks in Scotland are part of a sector generating £772 million of annual spending in mainly rural areas, and that the industry also helps sustain over 14,300 full-time jobs.

SCOTS EMBRACE ‘SLOWCATIONS’

SCOTTISH CARAVAN, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show visitors could choose from a selection of almost 200 vehicles and over 30 different travel brands.

The Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show returned this February at the SEC, Glasgow, to help Scots embrace ‘slowcations’, the hottest travel trend for 2024. With a selection of almost 200 vehicles and over 30 different travel brands to select from, visitors to this year’s show could pick their chosen mode of transport, equipment and all the trimmings for their next getaway.

With searches for ‘slow life’ up 60% on Pinterest, experts have touted ‘slowcations’ as the next craze for people looking to take a load off. According to a new Pinterest trend report, booking flights to exotic countries and packed-full itineraries of sight-seeing are dropping in popularity, with people opting for more laid-back breaks closer to home.

Jillyanne Glen, Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show, said: “People are using their time away differently now – it’s not just about sun, it’s about flexibility, adventure, wellness and doing exactly what suits them and when. “What’s more, we’re seeing people pull away from relying on flights to get them where they want to be and are taking things into their own hands, opting for alternative modes of transport, as well as holiday homes and camping sites across Scotland’s beautiful landscape.

“The show was back this year for its 37th year, once again giving people who are looking for more versatility in their travel an amazing range of top quality products to explore. Our exhibitors are experts in their field, and are always super knowledgeable and helpful, ready to advise new and returning visitors.”

Returning for this year were long standing exhibitors include BC Motorhomes, Argyll Holidays a regular exhibitor who will be showcasing what they have in store for 2024 as well as Willerby, another show regular and leading caravan and campervan manufacturer.

New exhibitors included Barefoot Caravans, a unique new curved caravan design that’s as chic as it is practical; Motorhome World, for those looking for a second hand motorhome to start their new adventure; Bradcot Awnings who is expert at providing awnings for caravans giving extra comfort for those all important trips; and Woodside Luxury Lodges, stunning holiday homes just outside St Andrews looking over the Eden Estuary.

SHOWSTOPPERS

More than 11,000 visitors flock to NEC for the recent business show...

THE EVENT OFFERS a unique opportunity to see, touch and feel many product investment opportunities.

Inspiration was plentiful at the quartet of rural shows held in November at the NEC, run by Agriconnect, owned by Arc. Farm Business Innovation, Family Attraction Expo, Leisure Food and Beverage and Holiday Park and Resort Innovation were run concurrently, providing a plethora of exciting new ideas along with appropriate support for rural business owners.

Across the two days, exhibitors commented on the quality of audience the show draws, with many remarking on the value of leads gleaned. This paves the way for the shows’ rebrand for 2024, which sees the four events merge under one single name - Land, Leisure and Tourism Show.

There will be six distinct zones to the show next year, including Farm Business Diversification, to cater for the wide range of exhibitors the event draws. With an evident appetite by the majority of the visitors for alternative land use and diversification, this demand will be further met in the shows’ new format, with more emphasis put on this audience.

THE ROLEC TEAM were out in force at the holiday industry’s biggest event.

HEALTHY APPETITE
This year’s show saw over 11,000 visitors through the doors, with two thirds of attendees decision makers within their businesses, providing a very valuable audience. With pressures within the agricultural sector, over three-quarters of visitors were looking to diversify or expand within the next 12 months.

Now in his eighth year as an exhibitor, Chris Otty, regional sales director at Cottages.com expressed his support of the event. He said: “There is no other show with such a great array of products, and I think it gets bigger every year as well as continuously improving. “The NEC is a great location for the show as it’s such a central location and we have met with people from all over the country, including several Scottish visitors,” he added.

Verity Hyland, Event Director, Agriconnect said: “It was great to see so many business owners at the shows looking for ideas on how to take their businesses forward. “We are already planning next year’s event, under its new brand and name – Land, Leisure and Tourism.

Here, the four shows will merge to become one event, divided into zones, including Farm Business Diversification and Outdoor Pursuits, to reflect the wide range of areas of interest visitors already enjoy.” Next year’s shows will come together under a single brand - Land, Leisure and Tourism Show. There will be six distinct zones to the show to cater for the wide range of exhibitors at the show.

The six zones are:
• Farm Business Diversification
• Family Attractions and Entertainment
• Holiday Parks, Resorts and Events
• Great Tastes of the Country
• Leisure Food and Beverage
With more than 400 exhibitors anticipated supported by 50 seminar sessions attendance is expected to exceed 11,500 for this free event.

PAUL AND STEVE had plenty of ideas for visitors to the Pathfinder Homes stand.

BREAKING BARRIERS
Breaking barriers between industries, this event fosters collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas to create a vibrant space where professionals redefine tomorrow. Join us for interactive exhibits, workshops, and keynote presentations, all aimed at shaping a more sustainable and inclusive future for these interconnected industries.

As holiday parks continue to keep up with the latest market trends, new products and services, the Holiday Parks, Resorts and Events zone (formerly Holiday Park and Resort Innovation) provides a dedicated area to explore the latest innovations. From new attraction features to business support, holiday park and resort owners visit this zone to find new products and ideas so they can add value to their venues and enhance customer experience on-site.

Whether you’re a holiday park owner, resort manager, event organiser, related service provider, or new to the industry, participating in this zone can open doors to potential business development opportunities. From discovering new products and services to exploring investment prospects, the trade show provides a dynamic platform to explore and capitalise on various avenues for business growth within the leisure and tourism sector.

The Holiday Parks, Resorts and Events zone aims to provide an excellent platform for networking with professionals and experts from the holiday park, resort, and event management industries. Whether you’re seeking partnerships, suppliers, or simply looking to expand your professional network, the trade show offers a conducive environment to meet and connect with like-minded individuals and businesses.

Attending this zone at the trade show allows you to gain valuable insights into the latest trends, innovations, and best practices within the holiday park, resort, and event sectors. From emerging technologies to evolving consumer preferences, staying informed about industry trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions for your business.

Book a day out to visit the 2024 Land, Leisure and Tourism Show which will be staged at the NEC on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 November 2024.

Visit the website to find out more: www.LLTShow.com

CUSTOMER SERVICE CHAMPIONS CROWNED

Leisuredays wins prestigious national recognition...

LEISUREDAYS’ TEAM of 115 people look after the insurance needs of more than 110,000 caravan and motorhome owners

Static caravan and holiday lodge insurance specialists, Leisuredays, are celebrating after winning a top award for their high levels of customer service. The Yorkshire-based company was crowned Customer Service Champion at the 2023 Insurance Choice Awards.

The awards are an annual campaign to find the most trusted insurance firms and this year more than 92,000 data points were received from customer reviews on the Smart Money People website to help them find the winners. Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People, said Leisuredays received high levels of praise from its customers.

“Your customers should be the heart of your business and Leisuredays has proven this to be of utmost importance in its work,” she said. “Our reviews show customers complimenting the friendly and efficient staff, with many claiming that the Leisuredays team has gone above and beyond to solve their queries and concerns. “This kind of reassurance and confidence in a provider is a key part of policyholder satisfaction, and Leisuredays really has mastered its customer service.

Congratulations Leisuredays on this well-deserved win, keep up the great work.” Leisuredays is part of Caravan Guard, an insurance intermediary based in Halifax, West Yorkshire. Its team of 115 positive people look after the insurance needs of more than 110,000 caravan and motorhome owners and are tasked to deliver outstanding customer experiences every day.

 

Managing Director, Ryan Wilby, said he was over the moon the company had been recognised in the industry for delivering great customer service. “We’re passionate about delivering brilliant customer experiences, so for our customers to vote for us in their thousands and give feedback about our excellent service and how we’ve left them feeling impressed is a fantastic accolade,” Ryan said.

“We were extremely proud to beat off some fierce competition and win this top-level award that many insurance providers want to win. Our staff have a big reason to celebrate and a massive thank you to all our customers who took the time to vote for us – we couldn’t have done it without you!”

Leisuredays was also shortlisted for Best Caravan Cover Provider for their specialist caravan insurance cover and its sister brand Caravan Guard won Best Motorhome Insurance Provider. It is rated 4.95 out of 5 by customers on the Smart Money People website. To find out more about how your park can earn extra insurance commission by introducing customers to our team of service champions, email development@leisuredays.co.uk or visit. www.leisuredays.co.uk/operators please call 01422 396772.

LEISUREDAYS IS RATED 4.95 out of 5 by customers on the Smart Money People website

DON’T SLIP UP!

Freezing temperatures trigger increased claims...

Compass, the insurance specialist, has issued warnings to static caravan owners to prepare early for freezing conditions this winter. With a 115% increase in claims for freezing pipes and escape of water year on year, almost 80% of December 2022’s claims were as a result of extreme cold weather.

Static caravan and lodge owners must prepare their holiday homes for winter as per the terms of their policy or risk claims being rejected, according to Compass. The company saw a 115% increase in total claims caused by cold weather in 2022 compared to 2021. Almost 80% of total claims in December 2022 were due to damage caused by plunging temperatures, as the UK was gripped by the coldest start to meteorological winter since 2010.

During December 2022 alone, claims increased by 66% year-on-year compared to the same month the year before. Long-range weather experts are already predicting that another cold snap is on the way this winter, with a higher risk of snowfall caused by the El Niño weather phenomenon.

This typically brings colder, drier weather to northern Europe due to the jet stream shifting course. With the UK’s weather becoming increasingly unpredictable, Compass is warning static caravan and lodge owners to ensure their unit is winter-ready to mitigate the risk of damage and to allow for claims to be processed quickly if the worst should still happen, despite all precautionary measures being followed.

 

WATER ESCAPE
With escape of water being the main cause of damage following freezing weather conditions, static caravan and lodge owners need to ensure that they complete a full drain down of their unit prior to leaving it unattended during winter. While owners may assume that this responsibility falls to the park, performing a drain down is a condition within most insurance policies, making the owner and not the park, liable for any damage that occurs.

Karen Stacey, Managing Director of Compass explains: “Turning off the water and opening the stopcock valves is not sufficient, and does not constitute a full drain down, as the shower mixer valve, taps, and some components in the water heater are still exposed to risk if temperatures drop.” As well as turning off the water supply and opening stopcock valves, there are several other important steps in the process of draining down, including:

• Turning on the heating.
• Opening the caravan’s external taps, usually located underneath the structure.
• Turning on all taps, flushing toilets, and running the shower, as well as removing the shower head and connecting pipe to remove as much water from the plumbing system as possible.
• Removing any remaining water by blowing compressed air through the pipes.
• Using non-toxic anti-freeze where standing water may remain, such as in toilets and down plug holes.
• Securing all windows, skylights, and doors to prevent cold air from entering the unit. Checking any external plumbing and insulating any exposed pipes from the cold.

ALMOST 80% of December 2022’s claims were as a result of extreme cold weather, report Compass.

Stacey continued: “A lot of parks provide a drain down service, and owners should take advantage of this. However, it’s important not to leave this too late, as parks may have hundreds of units to complete, and weather conditions can change very quickly, as we have seen this October.

“If a park does not offer this service, and the owner does not feel confident doing the drain down themselves, they can hire a professional to do this for them. Even units with an automatic drain down system installed may not be covered in the event of a loss, as all precautionary measures need to be taken into account.

“With claims relating to damage caused by frozen pipes and escape of water ranging from a few hundred pounds to a total loss, we urge caravan and lodge owners to take the necessary action to protect their holiday home during the winter months as soon as possible.”

 

STORM HENK
With more wet weather forecast, and reports of flooding in areas which have previously been unaffected, there have been a number of holiday parks impacted across the UK, Compass warns. Karen adds: “The first storm of 2024, Storm Henk, has caused significant flood damage to holiday caravans across the UK.

“Our stats show that storm and flood damage make up 32% of insurance claims, and in one such instance, an entire static caravan was destroyed during a storm, resulting in a £148,590 claim. “In flood-prone areas, holiday home owners may need to check that their policy does not have flood-related restrictions or requirements, such as fitting a floatation device.

While floods cannot be predicted or prevented entirely, having a comprehensive insurance policy in place can help avoid being left out of pocket should the worst happen”.
For more information on specialist caravan and leisure insurance, visit www.compassparks.co.uk

 

Compass Insurance
0344 274 0276
www.compassparks.co.uk

SIGNIFICANT DEPARTURE

PAULA SKELTON, left, has handed over Pinelog sales responsibilities to the safe hands of Judy Barwell.

Paula Skelton, associate director of Pinelog, has retired from a 36-year career with the luxury timber lodge manufacturer. Paula joined Pinelog Limited in 1987, taking up the sales reins at the company which was then based in Bakewell, Derbyshire, before it relocated to Chesterfield in 2023.

Pinelog is the original pioneer in the timber lodge industry, taking them from simple structures more than 40 years ago to the bespoke, luxury living accommodation that can now be found on many of the UK’s top holiday parks. During her time with Pinelog, Paula has witnessed not only significant changes at Pinelog but also within the industry.

HOLIDAY MARKET
“The holiday market has driven up people’s expectations of a timber lodge. They want a home from home so rightly expect more, and that’s something Pinelog has been easily able to adapt to because of the bespoke nature of our products. That’s what has kept the job so interesting over the years,” she explained.

“A Pinelog lodge has always been a quality product that is both manufactured and sold with care. I have loved my time at Pinelog and will miss the people in particular,” Paula added. Throughout her career, Paula has held the hands of hundreds of customers, whether holiday parks or individuals, guiding them through the design and sales process.

“There is nothing nicer than a satisfied and happy customer. Every lodge purchased is an investment, whether that’s financial, lifestyle or both, so it gave me a real kick when customers called me to tell me how delighted they were with their lodge,” added Paula.

Nick Grayson, Executive Chairman of Pinelog Limited, wished Paula well in her retirement saying: “Paula has dedicated her working life to Pinelog, and her excellent work can be seen on the many parks that we are fortunate enough to supply to. She has been a most valued colleague, so her warm presence will be missed by our team that have had the pleasure to work alongside and learn from her over the years.”

LONG CAREER
In such a long and distinguished career, Paula does admit to a hiccup that has gone down in Pinelog history. “Early on in my career I took an order for six lodges which, when they were delivered, turned out to be the mirror image of what the customer wanted.

“They were returned to the factory to be resold and the correct lodges were manufactured and delivered. Despite being more than 30 years ago, it’s still a head-in-hands moment for me and I didn’t sleep for weeks - but I can ‘almost’ laugh about now with the team.” And it’s the Pinelog team that Paula will really miss.

“The Pinelog team have been my second family for nearly 40 years, and I shall really miss the camaraderie, but I am looking forward to having the time to devote to interests outside my workplace,” she said. Expect to see Paula on the dance floor in retirement, as she hopes to now have the time to rediscover her love for salsa and modern jive.

She also plans to spend more time with her family in the USA and to keep her mind active by signing up for various courses offered by U3A. Paula leaves Pinelog’s sales responsibilities in safe hands. Judy Barwell was appointed as Sales Account Manager in April last year and has been working closely with Paula to ensure a seamless handover.

If you are a holiday park operator or own land and are looking to invest in in the private holiday let marketplace, Pinelog can help. Speak to Judy today to find out more about quality, sustainable timber lodges, designed and manufactured in the UK.

Pinelog
Tel. 01246 942842
www.pinelog.co.uk

BE PREPARED

Secure your action plan for flooding risks...

FLOODING IS A SIGNIFICANT risk to holiday park businesses and organisations.

Unpredictable and extreme weather conditions are having a profound effect on businesses in the holiday sector. It is vital you are prepared in the event of a disaster. Flooding is a significant risk to businesses and organisations.

A relatively small depth of flooding can cause exceptionally high losses, with a depth of flooding of around 30cm likely to cause significant/total loss. Traditionally transferring the risk has been the easiest option but insurers are increasingly cautious around flood risks due to significant losses in recent years.

Insurers also have significant concerns around climate change and the impact this may have on flood losses with greater and more regular extreme weather events being experienced. If you’re unable to get flood cover at a reasonable cost, how else can you protect your park? PIB Insurance Brokers highlights four simple steps to assess and manage flood risk:

UNPREDICTABLE AND EXTREME weather conditions are having a profound effect on businesses.

STEP 1
IDENTIFY THE RISK
There are three types of flooding which are considered as having the potential to cause significant disruption in the UK. These are coastal, rivers and streams, and surface water.

GOV.UK provides services to tell you the flood risk of an area: www.check-long-term-flood-risk.service.gov.uk/risk  www. flood-map-for-planning.service.gov.uk/ The information can be limited but provides an overview of the flood risk.

 

STEP 2
ASSESS THE RISK AND IMPACT
Where a risk is identified, it is important to understand the extent of the risk and how this might impact on the business. A specialist risk advisor can assist in a number of ways.

There are various levels of attention depending upon the nature of the risk from a simple desktop review providing greater insight to the depths of flooding etc than is provided by the government backed services through a full site survey to a full hydrologists report.

When considering the impact it is important not just to consider the potential for material losses but also the associated interruption to the business and the financial impact which may occur.

 

 

STEP 3
CONSIDER RISK TREATMENT OPTIONS
There are various ways to look at flood risk management, this can be site level providing full protection to the site or protection of key assets such as building raised plinths for the location of mobile holiday homes and ensuring site level resources such as electrical and gas/LPG supplies are located above flood risk areas and connections etc are water resistant. A permanent protection will be more likely to be effective than a measure which requires a human response.

 

STEP 4
PLAN TO MITIGATE LOSS
A good business continuity plan will consider how the potential for the risk occurring is monitored such as receiving alerts from the environment agency and then deciding upon when the emergency.

David Plowman, Head of Property Risk Engineering at PIB Insurance Brokers advises: “Whilst movement of holiday homes is not practical in the event of flood warnings it can be ensured that future homes and replacement homes are built in consideration of the flood risk.

He continues: “There are core service areas within holiday parks, mitigating measures should be focused on these areas as loss of these can significantly impact sales and income dependent upon the business model of the holiday park. “Floods are likely to occur outside of core opening times and the implementation of demountable flood defences could be considered to buildings not in use outside of core season,” David adds.

 

PIB Insurance
Tel. 0330 058 9863
E. David.Moffat@pib-insurance.com
www.pib-insurance.com

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

Verdant Leisure offers an award-winning holiday formula...

VERDANT LEISURE expanded in 2002 with two parks in Devon - Golden Coast Leisure Park and Cleavewood Leisure Park, pictured

Creating the perfect environment for customers to relax, enjoy and experience is an award-winning formula for leading holiday park operator Verdant Leisure. Since its foundation in 2010, Verdant Leisure has gone from strength to strength, and now boasts 13 parks within its growing portfolio.

Offering quality self-catering holidays and holiday home ownership in stunning coastal and countryside locations across Scotland and northern England, the Verdant Leisure story began with Thurston Manor Leisure Park in East Lothian and Pease Bay Leisure Park in Berwickshire. Riverside in Northumberland and Viewfield Manor in Ayrshire soon followed in 2011.

County Durham- based Heather View and Kingfisher were acquired in 2016, Coldingham Bay, Berwickshire in 2017, Scoutscroft in Berwickshire, and Queensberry Bay in Dumfriesshire in 2018. Two parks in Perthshire – Erigmore and Ballintuim – joined the group in 2019 and 2022 respectively. Finally, in 2022, Verdant Leisure expanded further south with two Devon-based acquisitions: Golden Coast Leisure Park and Cleavewood Leisure Park.

“Golden Coast is a fantastic, family friendly park in North Devon,” says Verdant Leisure Communications Director, Stacey Hope. “As the newest addition to the Verdant Leisure family, it offers a wide range of accommodation options and a whole host of fun filled facilities. Golden Coast Leisure Park is a great addition to the Verdant Leisure portfolio.”

A WAVE SURFING SIMULATOR is just one of the activities on offer at Golden Coast Leisure Park.

ACTION-PACKED
Situated amidst picturesque countryside, just a couple of miles to the east of the award-winning golden sands of Woolacombe beach, Golden Coast Leisure Park offers guests an action-packed holiday. A huge range of family friendly activities is on offer including indoor and outdoor swimming pools with flumes, a wave surfing simulator, high ropes course, climbing wall, ten pin bowling, fishing lake, arcade, adventure golf facilities, and plenty of places to eat and drink.

For those seeking something more relaxing, the Waves Ceramic Studio is ideal for creative pottery decorating. Verdant Leisure parks offer a wide range of entertainment options. From packed programmes including kids’ clubs with their resident foxes Vinnie and Violet, to visiting acts offering everything from comedy to live singers, there really is something for everyone.

Accommodation at Golden Coast includes a wide range of apartments, houses and villas (including some with hot tubs) to suit all budgets and requirements. Modern and stylish self- the exceptional location, Cleavewood owners can also use all the facilities at Golden Coast and enjoy delicious food and drink at the historic Old Mill pub and restaurant on-park.”

WATER ZORBING at Thurston Manor Leisure Park.

HOME-OWNERS
Verdant Leisure caters to 2,000 holiday home-owners across its parks, and this is an ever-growing sector. Another new holiday home development was recently completed at Thurston Manor Leisure Park in Dunbar, Scotland. Nestled at the foot of the Lammermuir Hills, near the stunning East Lothian coastline, Thurston Manor Leisure Park is set in 176 acres of breathtaking countryside.

This beautiful holiday park is under an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, making this park a top choice for holiday makers wanting to combine a visit to the Scottish capital with the benefit of a home from home woodland retreat. Once a private estate visited by kings, Thurston Manor now offers a superb range of luxury caravan and lodge holiday accommodation, alongside fantastic facilities for all the family, on the historic site of the original 16th century castle whose scenic ruins still stand today.

The Glade development consisting of six lodge pitches and 34 caravan pitches for holiday home-owners has been built on an exclusive area of Thurston Manor, offering fabulous views and a private gated entrance. Facilities on the park include an indoor heated swimming pool, fishing lake, gym, outdoor play parks, games room, arcade, dedicated family room with seasonal entertainment, as well as Hunter’s Bar & Restaurant and Muir’s Pub.

Verdant Leisure, whose Head Office is in Lancaster, say that their mission is “To create the perfect environment for customers to relax, enjoy precious family time and experience a new lifestyle.” They also place considerable importance on creating a more environmentally aware holiday experience.

GOLDEN COAST is a fantastic, family friendly park in North Devon.

GREEN TOURISM
“We’re committed to promoting sustainable tourism and protecting and enhancing our natural environment,” explains Stacey Hope. “We have a dedicated Green Team in place across the business, and each park has its own Green Champion. All of our parks are members of the Green Tourism scheme, and we aim to make all Verdant Leisure parks more environmentally conscious and help our customers to do more whilst visiting our locations.”

As part of their Green Tourism commitment, Verdant Leisure also champions investment and improvement in local communities. The company nominates a different Charity of the Year each year, and raised over £80,000 for Blood Cancer UK in 2022. Additionally, it supports the Wildlife Trusts close to their parks (Durham, Northumberland, Scottish and Devon Wildlife Trusts) by offering holiday guests the option to donate £1 per holiday booking.

As a team that prides itself on the exceptional standards of their parks and the customer experience for all holiday guests, it’s unsurprising that Verdant Leisure’s success has been recognised by a slew of top awards, including most recently, Silver for Best Company for UK Family Holidays and Bronze for Best Company for UK Parks and Lodges Holidays in the British Travel Awards 2023.

Verdant Leisure has also won several accolades for its employee engagement. The business has been voted one of the Best Companies to work for within the entirety of the UK, in the northern region, and in the leisure and hospitality sector several times over. A superb achievement, based on ratings from their own employees. With guest – and employee – satisfaction top of the agenda, continued success seems assured.

MIND-BENDING CHALLENGES

Reporting from the Hoseasons Owners Conference & Awards...

THE ANNUAL HOSEASONS awards were presented at a glittering Gala Awards ceremony.

Hoseasons, one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with more than 30,000 British destinations in coastal and countryside settings, gathered for its much-anticipated annual conference and awards event recently. From lodges and parks, to boats, cottages and apartments, the Hoseasons brand offers the widest available range of self-catering holidays in the UK accommodating 2.1 million holidaymakers and more than 170,000 pets every year and is part of Awaze - Europe’s leading managed vacation rentals and holiday resorts business.

More than 600 delegates gathered at the prestigious Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, in November and were rewarded with a packed conference programme and supportive trade exhibition. Many of the conference presenters were from the Awaze in-house team with an impressive injection of expert business and motivational speakers - all topped-off by a star appearance from comedian Tom Allen who co-hosted the Awards presentations.

Lead presenter, Daisy McAndrew, talked about the ‘mind-bending’ challenges holiday park operators had faced in the past ten years following Brexit, the pandemic, war in Ukraine, or five Prime Ministers and the cost-of-living crisis. She set the stage with Hoseason’s Simon Altham. Catherine Smith and Kris Penny gave an insightful talk on revenue management emphasising the importance of effective revenue management strategies for maximising revenue.

SPECIALLY SELECTED TRADE suppliers at the Hoseasons conference including Compass Insurance.

Andrew Goward and Luke Hansford shared key insights and industry trends that are shaping the industry’s future. Daniel Hulme (PhD), an AI and tech expert, shared mind-blowing insights into the future of AI technology before Martin Rovsing and Blake Carroll Fulford-Brown showcased innovative product designs and future technology that will enhance customer experiences. John Crosby’s presentation on Hoseasons’ marketing achievements highlighted the impactful campaigns and strategies Hoseasons have implemented.

Guest presenter, Tori James took delegates on an incredible journey of resilience and determination. Her storytelling was captivating and reminded us of the power of perseverance. Jamaine Campbell from Elite Dynamics, the Headline Sponsor, shared valuable insights on how the company’s partnership has truly elevated holiday park experiences. Adam Boulton, a renowned political broadcaster, discussed the impact of politics on the tourism industry.

His analysis shed light on the challenges and opportunities we may face. Rupa Patel, Laura Smith, and Dan Taylor provided an update on regulatory changes affecting our industry. Their work shapes the new rules to benefit our owners. The business development team discussed innovation and industry trends. They highlighted the importance of collaborating with Hoseasons for new developments.

THE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Panel is a popular part of the annual Hoseasons Conference programme.

Jason Fox inspired delegates with his session on resilience and overcoming challenges. He reminded us that the right mindset can conquer any obstacle before the impressive day-long programme was round-up by Hoseasons CEO, Henrik Kjellberg. Delegates included Gregg Mumford, Chief Executive of Richardsons Group that offers varied accommodation at its Hemsby Beach Holiday Park as well as holidays afloat on a fleet of over 200 boats on the Norfolk Broads.

Greg said they offer a combination of direct bookings and bookings through Hoseasons with slightly more coming through Hoseasons for the dry holidays and 60 per cent booking directly for boats. He confirmed “One of the main things you get working with Hoseasons is that you get the overall picture of the domestic tourism market including insights, such as which accommodation types are booking and how well they will yield,” Greg shared when he talked to Holiday Park SCENE magazine.

“The Conference enables everybody to come together and share your insights individually and there is always a great line up of presenters.” Hemsby Beach Holiday Park will offer close to 400 units this year following the addition of pet-friendly lodges with hot tubs. The resort also offers a popular Clubhouse, a show bar that seats 420 people, restaurant and family entertainment centre. The Hemsby team also work with Hoseason’s Go Active scheme offering climbing walls, and high ropes.

DAISY MCANDREW set the stage with Hoseason’s Simon Altham.

“One of our biggest challenges is predicting the market year on year and Hoseasons are great with statistics and advice on this,” Greg adds. “The external speakers are very good but it is equally important to hear from the Hoseasons team and I value the panel discussion they have.” Sarah and Jeremy Barber, now working alongside son-in-law Richard Broome, began diversifying their 357 acres of rolling farm land in 2016 adding just three holiday lodges and evolving up to a current stock of 16 holiday lodges with hot tubs.

“We have only booked through Hoseasons right from the start,” said Jeremy. “Although they book through Hoseasons, we like to offer the personal touch and make an effort to give each lodge plenty of space and a friendly greeting on arrival,” he continued. “We did not come to the conference at first because we did not release how much was on offer,” he said. “We have really appreciated the Hoseasons involvement and the return on holiday lodge investment has been colossal,” he added.

Love2Stay owner, Mark Debb, of Salop Leisure was an enthusiastic supporter: “The Hoseasons reach is phenomenal,” says Mark who says the stand-out resort still manages to retain its individuality while benefitting from the multi-million Hoseason reach. “We want as much return as possible to reinvest as much as feasible,” says Mark who says with raw materials increases it is now taking two and a half years to see a return on investment of a £45k lodge compared with 12 months pre-pandemic.

DELEGATES MINGLED with a host of selected trade suppliers for a complimentary exhibition.

BEST IN BRITAIN
A prestigious roll of honour at the evening awards presentations heard Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges, near Oswestry, had scooped the Best in Britain Award for the Small Park category for the second year in a row. The park was also named Best Small Lodge Escape destination in the Heart of England.

Commenting on the park’s success, Cosmo Lloyd and Keeta Thomas, Joint Owners of Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges, said: “We were really pleased to be recognised with the regional award, but being named Best in Britain for the second-year running has really blown us away! In the end it all comes down to the hard work the team puts into looking after our guests. They do a fantastic job when it comes to providing excellent holiday experiences and that’s why we have so many happy customers.”

Henlle Hall Woodland Lodges is part of Hoseasons’ Magnificent collection – encompassing six locations across the UK featuring the highest level of luxury accommodation, service and innovation. Another hat-trick winner was Selsey Holiday Park, named Best in Britain for the quality of its food by staycation specialist Hoseasons. The park also won the Customer Choice Food Award for Family Fun Destinations as well as the award for the Best Family Fun Destination in the South of England.

HOSEASONS SURPRISED party-goers as top comedian Tom Allen co-hosted the recent awards.

Andrew Sheerin, Sales & Marketing Director at Cove UK, the parent company of Seal Bay, said: “Winning three awards in one night, including one for being the Best in Britain, has really blown us away! In the end it all comes down to the hard work and dedication the team puts into looking after our guests. They do a fantastic job and that’s why we have so many happy customers.”

Speaking after presenting the awards in front of more than 600 operators, industry suppliers and members of the Hoseasons team, Luke Hansford, Senior Vice President - Supply at Hoseasons, said: “It takes something special to be named Best of Britain at these awards, particularly when you consider the quality of the competition.

PARK OWNERS SET TO SCALE 200 PEAKS

Two Lake District holiday park owners are joining forces this year in a bid to climb all 214 Wainwright fells, and to land a windfall for Cancer Research UK. David Jackson of Castlerigg Hall near Kenwick, and Daniel Holder of The Quiet Site near Ullswater, are dedicating their marathon effort to the memory of their fathers.

Both men lost their dads to cancer at a young age – David when he was 22 and Daniel when he was just 16. The pair have set themselves the target of raising £5,000 over twelve months through a Just Giving page called Fells for Our Fathers (www. justgiving.com/page/fellsforourfathers).

David and Daniel discovered their shared losses last year during a conversation following one of their outings together on the fells. Said Daniel: “We both really enjoy tackling high level trails in the Lake District, and the subject came up when we were talking over a beer after one of our climbs. “We thought it would be great if our outings were able to make a difference to the work of Cancer Research and the many ways in which they support those affected.

“Bagging all of the Wainwrights in one year appealed to us both a challenge, and we’ve been delighted at all of the donation pledges that have so far rolled in,” he said. Alfred Wainwright (1907–1991) hand wrote and illustrated a series of seven volumes describing the ascents and views from the summits of 214 Lakeland fells.

The parks owned by David and Daniel attract many guests keen to explore the Lakeland fells, and each provides a range of accommodation from camping pitches to luxury glamping. Both are long-established family businesses and have achieved a number of awards – including five-star tourist board grades – for their quality standards and care for the environment.

GOLDEN GLOW FOR PARK HOLIDAYS UK

WITH 56 PARKS across Britain, Park Holidays UK is consistently offering outstanding standards.

Major parks group Park Holidays UK has earned two top quality awards, thanks to guests who say that they consistently enjoy gold standards of service during their stays. The first accolade was the prestigious 2024 Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award which puts Park Holidays UK among a small elite of Britain’s most outstanding holiday providers.

Feefo is one of the world’s most trusted review websites, and its gold award goes only to companies which achieve exceptionally high scores from customers throughout the year. In 2023, said Feefo, almost all guests delivering their verdict on Park Holidays UK gave it a rating of 4.5 or 5 – the maximum score – based on their experiences.

Feefo also gave a special award to Park Holidays UK for delivering 10 years of consistent service excellence. Brad May, Chief Marketing Officer at Park Holidays UK – which operates 56 parks across Britain - said that all members of the staff team deserved to take a bow: “These awards are a fantastic achievement of which everyone at the company can be proud, not least because of what customers are saying in their reviews,” he said.

“Our high quality standards always earn praise from customers, but guests are just as keen to comment on the relaxed atmosphere, friendliness, and hospitality they enjoy. “Making this happen is entirely down to the enthusiasm of our loyal and hardworking teams – and many reviewers say what a great difference our staff make to their stay.

“It’s always our aim to provide guests with the best possible holiday memories, and we are delighted to be exceeding their expectations in so many different ways,” added Brad. Bookings for 2024 have got off to an extremely strong start, he reports, and ownership of holiday caravans and lodges are continuing to grow in popularity.

SCOTTISH ACQUISITION FOR PURE LEISURE

PURE LEISURE GROUP has taken over ownership of the Shin Falls Visitor Centre.

Award-winning holiday park operator, Pure Leisure Group, has announced the acquisition of Falls of Shin Visitor Centre in Lairg, Scotland, marking the first investment of this kind for the company. The Visitor Centre boasts a unique salmon viewing platform – one of the few remaining in the Highlands, a selection of woodland walks, a children’s playpark, as well as a soon to be reopened restaurant.

Located just a short distance from Pure Leisure Groups exclusive Gledfield Highland Estate, comprising 47 lodges set amongst 5,000 acres of woodland, it’s expected that holiday home owners, guests and members of the community alike will benefit from the takeover and the current renovations underway.

Commenting on the visitor centre announcement, founder of PLG, John Morphet said: “It’s potential to be a community hub is huge, as well as a go-to destination for tourists visiting the area year-round so we are confident this will provide a boost to tourism a well as supporting the local economy.

“We’re also investing in our Gledfield Highland Estate, with works in motion for a new bar, restaurant, swimming pool and leisure complex that will be accessible to the local community whom we want to support as much as possible, while also increasing staycations and holidays to this beautiful part of the world.”

WINTER BLUES FOR PONTINS CLOSURES

CAMBER SANDS WAS one of three Pontin’s resorts to close this winter. Pic. cheekylorns

Following recent closures there are now just two parks left in the Pontins brand, Pakefield Holiday Village in Lowestoft, Suffolk, and Sandbay Holiday Village in Kewstoke, Somerset. No public explanation was given by Pontins, or its owner Britannia Hotels, at the time, but employees were allegedly told via email the closure was due to a ‘decline in business’, according to multiple media reports.

No longer visible, The Sun reported a website statement that read: “It is with great sadness that we announce the closure of Pontins Southport Holiday Park. “After assessing the future viability of the park, we have come to the difficult decision to close our doors.

“Unfortunately, this means that Pontins Southport Holiday Park will be closing from Wednesday 3rd January 2024. Extracts from e-mails addressed to employees and shown to local newspapers read: “Due to business levels, Pontins Prestatyn Sands will be closing with immediate effect.

“The company have been reviewing the business levels of the park throughout the 2023 season and have concluded that continuing trading at this park in to 2024 is no longer a viable business decision. “Therefore, it is for that reason that the company have made the difficult decision to implement proposed redundancies at Prestatyn Sands.”

Some members of staff had their employment terminated with immediate effect, while others were instructed to continue working at the park until further notice. The e-mail to employees added: “The hospitality industry all suffered a dramatic downturn during COVID.

“The company continues to review the business levels for the park, and since COVID, this park has not been able to return to reasonable business levels. “Current projections are that the park will make a financial loss in the 2024 season and beyond. “The company are looking to close the holiday park to the public for the foreseeable future.”

There has been frenzied speculation on how the vast sites will be used going forward including claims, denied by the Home Office, that accommodation would be used for refugees. Britannia Hotels were approached for comment but no response was received.

UK STAYCATION TRENDS

Holiday bookers would rather staycation than go abroad in 2024, according to new research – but it’s a close call. When 1,000 UK holidaymakers were surveyed by Thermos, 52% chose staying close to home, while 48% would choose to head overseas this year. One in three said they had a staycation at some point in the last year (30%).

Only one in 10 (10%) said they felt a staycation wasn’t as much of a break as a holiday abroad. When asked about preferred destinations for a UK getaway, 11 per cent said they kept theirs secret from wider acquaintances, as they feared them becoming too touristy. One in five (22%) said they actively avoided tourist hot spots because they were too busy.

BEST THINGS ABOUT A STAYCATION:
1. Saves travel time – 45%
2. Supports local businesses – 39%
3. There are still lots of places I haven’t explored and want to – 38%
4. Better for the environment – 36%
5. Saves money – 33%
6. No issue with language – 30%
7. Less stressful – 30%
8. No restrictions on luggage – 25%
9. Know I will like the food – 22%
10. I can take my pets - 20%

THE TOP 10 UK STAYCATION DESTINATIONS:
1. East of England - incl. Norfolk and Cambridgeshire
2. South West England - incl. Cornwall, Devon and the Cotswolds
3. North West - incl. the Lake District
4. East Midlands - incl. Derbyshire and the Peak District
5. North East - incl. Northumberland
6. South East - incl. Oxfordshire, Kent and the Isle of Wight
7. Greater London
8. Yorkshire
9. Scotland
10.Wales

Other reasons quoted were it makes it easier to take family and friends for a group holiday (19%), and enjoying the weather more (12%). The Staycation report also revealed that generally holiday makers will be heading South – with 31% saying that would be their preferred option, whilst 19% would head North.

James Sheldon, Trading Manager at Thermos, said: “Obviously the pandemic necessitated a change in travel habits, and no one was quite sure how that would impact things longer term. It seems the trend for holidaying closer to home is going to continue into 2024, for reasons of ease, cost, the environment and the fact we’re lucky enough to have so many wonderful places in easy reach.

“Twenty per cent of respondents said they preferred a self-catering holiday, so they can choose what and when they eat. In Thermos’ 120-year history we’ve accompanied many families on a Great British getaway, and we are delighted that tradition continues. A flask of tea and fish and chips on the beach remains one of life’s great pleasures!”

£5M BOOST FOR IT SPECIALIST

SOFTWARE SOLUTIONS SPECIALISTS, Elite Dynamics founded in 2015 by Jamaine Campbell, pictured, Nicola Campbell and Jack Vernon.

Elite Dynamics, a leading provider of software solutions to the holiday park and marina industry, has announced a £5 million investment from BGF – one of the largest and most experienced growth capital investors in the UK and Ireland. BGF’s investment will support the continued development of Elite Dynamics’ proprietary software, which is built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform, as well as plans to invest in sales and marketing.

In the last three years, the business has grown revenues at more than 40% per annum, with plans to triple in size and double its headcount by 2026. Founded in 2015 by Jamaine Campbell, Nicola Campbell and Jack Vernon, the North West-based business has developed a range of digital transformation solutions specifically designed for holiday parks, marinas, as well as holiday home manufacturers and dealers.

These help to improve business functions from maintenance, memberships and marketing, to reservations, sales and finance. The range is currently used in more than 350 parks, both in the UK and internationally. Commenting on the deal, Jamaine Campbell, CEO and co-founder of Elite Dynamics, said: “In the last eight years, we have built a highly successful, and profitable business through a balanced blend of strong industry experience and technical know-how.

“Our aim is to become the dominant provider of technology solutions to holiday and residential parks, manufacturers and marinas, expanding our reach both domestically and overseas. In order to achieve our growth ambitions, we needed an investment partner that recognised the potential of our business, as well as that of the sector, and was willing to take a long- term approach in helping us to seize the opportunities that lie ahead.

In BGF we have found that investment partner.” The deal was led by Harry Jones and Courtney Walker, investors in BGF’s North-West team. As part of the investment, Martin Moran has been appointed to the board as non-executive chair through BGF’s Talent Network – one of the largest groups of board-level non-executives in the UK and Ireland. Martin was a founder of Salesforce.com in EMEA and has more than 20 years’ experience in SaaS and cloud computing.

Harry Jones said: “Elite Dynamics has established itself as an innovative and respected player in the parks and marina industry – created to disrupt a market saturated by archaic technology and systems. By combining the team’s intimate knowledge of how the market works, with technical expertise, Elite Dynamics is helping park operators to simplify processes, while helping to boost their bottom line.

It’s an extremely attractive proposition.” He added: “BGF has considerable experience in the holiday parks sector through our investment in Coppergreen Leisure Resorts, which we successfully exited in 2021, as well as supporting dynamic and fast-growth technology companies looking to transform markets through business improvement processes. As such, we’re delighted to be joining the team, as they embark on the next stage of their growth journey.”

HITTING THE CARAVAN ROAD SAFETY

MULTI-LEVELS of support is available to caravan and motorhome drivers through The Camping and Caravanning Club. Pic credit. The Camping and Caravanning Club

The Camping and Caravanning Club is offering more than 15 caravan and motorhome manoeuvring courses until September 2024 at their head office in Coventry.

The courses are designed to help both members and non-members brush up on their skills when driving and towing. Courses are available for different levels of experience, whether motorists have never towed a caravan or driven a motorhome before or if they just want to refresh their knowledge and boost their confidence behind the wheel.

BRACE FOR INCREASED STORM DAMAGE

CLAIMS FOR STORM damage is increasing due to climate change impacts on UK weather.

Static caravan and lodge owners should prepare for the likelihood of increased storm damage due to climate change, according to Compass, a specialist provider of caravan and leisure insurance.

The company saw a 16% increase in total claims caused by storm damage between 2021 and 2022. The insurer is warning owners to ensure their caravan is storm-ready and also to check they have comprehensive insurance.

During 2022, 32% of Compass’ static caravan claims were due to storm damage. In one such instance, an entire static caravan was destroyed during a storm, resulting in a £148,590 claim.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Due to the effects of climate change, claims for storm and flood damage have the potential to increase in the coming years, making it even more important that static caravan owners purchase insurance to protect their home-away-from-home as extreme weather events become more frequent.

According to the Met Office 2, July 2023 was one of the wettest on record, with many parks across the country also being impacted by unseasonably windy weather, with gusts of up to 55mph recorded in Devon, Gwynedd, and Northumberland.

Analysis of claims data highlights how unpredictable UK weather can be. As a result of Storms Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin 3, February 2022 saw a significant increase in the number of claims for storm damage, up more than 2,000% on the previous year.

BEYOND REPAIR
In the UK, it is not a legal requirement to insure a static caravan. However, it is a condition of many caravan parks that caravan owners have adequate insurance to cover damage to their property when it is on-site. This insurance will also ensure a safe and efficient removal of the unit, should it be destroyed beyond repair.

Even if not completely destroyed, storm and flood damage can make a static caravan completely uninhabitable. “Unlike bricks and mortar holiday homes, static caravans are particularly susceptible to damage from storms or floods,” points out Karen Stacey, Managing Director of Compass.

“Unpredictable weather events, especially flash floods caused by heavy rain on parched ground during the summer, can cause a significant amount of damage to static caravans. “We know caravan parks do everything they can to protect the units on their site all year round but freak storms and the damage they cause are somewhat out of their control.

“Caravan owners should make sure that they have adequate insurance for their unit and take the time to do regular maintenance to ensure any damage is kept to a minimum.” For more information on specialist caravan and leisure insurance, visit compass.co.uk

CELEBRITY RELAUNCH FOR HAVEN PARK

TV PERSONALITY, Joe Swash, launches the revamped and renamed Haven Kent Coast holiday destination.

Haven, the UK’s leading UK holiday park operator, has revealed its new-look, flagship park in Kent after undergoing an £18 million transformation, with the help of much-loved TV presenter, Joe Swash.

Haven revealed the holiday park’s new name, Haven Kent Coast, formerly Haven Allhallows Leisure Park, at an exclusive event in celebration of a new era for caravan holidays within easy reach of Greater London. This investment forms part of Haven’s £170 million development plan across its parks in 2023, which was announced earlier this year, and has seen major renovations at Haven Kent Coast.

These include an ‘Adventure Village’, an outdoor waterside spot where thrill seekers can try their hand at a wide range of high-adrenaline activities; new state-of-the-art 1,200-seater Marina Bar & Stage; and a 100-seater terrace. Visitors will also be able to enjoy recently developed food and beverage outlets such as the new Seaside Treats, Burger King, Papa John’s, and Cook’s Fish & Chips restaurants.

The most recent development is Haven Kent Coast’s new Yacht Club for holidaymakers to eat and drink by the waterside. Acquired by Blackstone in 2021, Haven has already invested almost £230 million in parks across 2021 and 2022, with a commitment to upgrading and modernising all holiday sites to offer guests an unforgettable holiday experience.

This investment will allow the company to offer a wider range of entertainment concepts and on-park experience improvement for its homeowners and holidaymakers, whilst also creating over 7,000 new seasonal and 500 permanent jobs across its parks this year.

SURGE IN LATE SUMMER BOOKINGS

LANDAL GREENPARKS UK is seeing a surge in late summer bookings at destinations such as Northumberland’s Kielder.

Managing Director of Landal GreenParks UK, says there are several factors as to why people are leaving it later and later to book their summer holiday, he says: “Summer 2023 is looking strong for domestic tourism, but there is no doubt that people have tighter budgets.

The cost-of-living crisis is still at the forefront of many people’s minds, especially when it comes to luxuries such as holidays, and we can see holidaymakers are searching for late availability and deals to help save money.

“I think it’s also fair to say that alongside the airline strike action, the latest heatwave affecting popular European package holiday destinations will leave consumers cautious of booking a holiday abroad. As a result, to avoid disruption to plans, many holidaymakers are opting to stay at home and explore what the UK has to offer.”

The south-west continues to be the best-performing region for Landal GreenParks UK, with new and additional accommodation offering at its resorts, helping contribute to a 30% increase in summer bookings compared to last year. There is also demand in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Scotland due to pet friendly staycations – with bookings up 25% compared to 2022.

SIXTY ACTS OF ANNIVERSARY KINDNESS

ROBERT AND RICHARD HARTLEY are celebrating Trevornick’s six decades in business with a grand giveaway.

The family behind Cornwall’s Trevornick Holiday Park will be marking six decades of hospitality with 60 Acts of Kindness to the local community and their loyal guests. So far, these Acts of Kindness have included gifting a free night’s stay at one of Trevornick’s popular self-catering cottages to an inspiring man walking the British coastline to raise money for charity.

The team have also carried out beach cleans, donated to local food banks, built extra bird boxes on site and perked up the much-loved Holywell Bay RNLI Lifeguards on a dreary day with doughnuts. The team has until the end of the year to complete the task of fulfilling all 60 acts.

The Hartley family and their Trevornick team have also been surprising guests with randomly placed ‘Diamond Tickets’. “To celebrate such a milestone for our park, we are giving back to our loyal guests, local community and beautiful natural environment here in Cornwall with 60 Acts of Kindness,” explains Robert Hartley who runs the business, founded by their parents, alongside his brother Richard.

“Diamond Tickets have been hidden throughout the park as a way to reward our wonderful visitors by offering them a fantastic mix of gifts and giveaways,” Richard continues. “So far this year, guests have enjoyed free drinks at on site bar The Farm Club to free holiday stays, and so much more.”

Nestled in the heart of the picturesque village of Holywell Bay on Cornwall’s north coast, Trevornick have been providing holiday experiences for families and travellers since 1963. With its enviable position perched high up on the hill of Holywell Bay with sweeping coastal views across to stunning Gull Rocks and out to sea, the park welcomes over 20,000 guests through its gates every season.

PRAISE HEAPED ON WATERSIDE RESORT

WATERSIDE’S BOWLEAZE COVE Holiday Park & Spa is seeing returns on significant investment.

Consumer champion, Which? has named Waterside one of the UK’s best value holiday park providers for the second year in a row. The company, which operates three holiday parks in Dorset and one in Cornwall, scored 87 per cent in a survey of more 1,355 participants – a close second next to the top spot at 88 per cent.

Waterside achieved a full house of five out of five stars in every category, including quality of accommodation, customer service, and value for money. The company was praised for its luxury offering, with acknowledgement for its ‘top end stays in beautiful coastal locations’.

Waterside has continued its significant investment into its parks over the past year. The brand recently unveiled two new, exclusive holiday home developments - The Stables, situated at Bowleaze Cove Holiday Park & Spa in Weymouth, and Samphire Cove at Tregoad Holiday Park near Looe.

Both feature a private collection of bespoke, luxury lodges with open plan living, deluxe bathrooms, king-sized bedrooms, hot tubs, and full wrapped decking. Dave Bennett, CEO of Waterside commented: “It’s fantastic to triumph in a renowned nationwide survey for two consecutive years, with a consistent score that reflects all our parks’ exceptional standards delivered by our dedicated team!

“As a family-owned business with knowledge that’s been passed down in generations for the past 60 years, we’re proud to offer a holiday experience that goes the extra mile for our guests. Each of our parks offers something different and we’re continually investing in each site to uphold our quality promise. “We wouldn’t be where we are today without our team, and our consistent recognition by Which? is testament to their fantastic work year after year.”

FIRST HAVEN OPENING FOR EIGHT YEARS

HAVEN SKEGNESS HAS OPENED following an £11m renovation project.

The wraps have come off Haven Skegness, the company’s first new holiday park to open in eight years. An £11 million pound renovation project follows Haven’s acquisition of the Richmond Holiday Park in 2022 and is the first new holiday park opening under Blackstone’s ownership of the business.

Now with Haven’s heritage firmly embedded in family ownership and following significant investment, the park will continue to deliver the holiday experience that guests and owners have enjoyed for decades, as well as enhance its offering to UK holidaymakers across its three parks in Lincolnshire.

One of the UK’s most famous seaside holiday destinations, Haven Skegness has benefitted from wide ranging renovations. These include a brand-new state of the art Marina Bar & Stage entertainment venue, a fun-filled arcade and new food and drink options, including a Cook’s Fish & Chips, Papa John’s and Burger King.

Meanwhile, the park’s outdoor piazza and stage provide an inviting escape for holiday makers to relax and be entertained. Additionally, the Richmond Arms, a stylish 80-seater restaurant, offers guests a gastro-pub style option. As the domestic tourism market continues to grow, Haven is welcoming more holidaymakers than ever, with projected guest numbers expected to reach 3.5 million across all Haven parks throughout 2023.

Bookings for this year’s summer school holiday period have exceeded pre-pandemic levels up 31% compared to 2019. Signalling a resounding vote of confidence in UK seaside resorts, Haven Skegness has increased its guest capacity by 33% and team numbers have more than doubled from 85 last summer to 191 in 2023.

CONTINUED INVESTMENT IN COASTAL PARK

MULTI-MILLION pound plans have been submitted for the development of a state-of-the- art leisure complex at a popular holiday park. SF Parks submitted proposals for a six-lane bowling alley, rooftop bar, extended amusement arcade and relocated reception and offices at its Golden Gate Holiday Centre in Towyn, Wales.

The revamped facilities will complement a new swimming pool and recently renovated clubhouse on-site and come as the business seeks to increase the current 7 ½ month season to 10 ½ months in a bid to further boost the local economy and create more full-time jobs.

Doing so would also mean these high-quality attractions could be used by caravan owners and the public throughout the year. It is another significant investment by directors Oliver and Jonathan Seldon, who want to build the seaside town’s reputation as a popular tourist destination.

“Bringing people to the area throughout the year, not just in the summer, is vital for Towyn and surrounding areas,” said Jonathan. “Which is why the application to extend the season at Golden Gate to 10 ½ months goes hand-in-hand with our plans to transform the leisure facilities and continue improving the experience for our loyal customers.”

GO-TO DESTINATION

Beth Connor enjoys a memorable escape to John Fowler's St. Ives Holiday Village...

COMMODATION BOASTS comfortable furnishings and well-equipped kitchenettes.

A charming resort, John Fowler’s St Ives Holiday Village is the go-to destination for travellers looking to experience the best that Cornwall has to offer. Nestled near to the charming coastal town of St Ives, the tranquil family retreat is ideal for those seeking an escape from the daily hustle and bustle.

As soon as guests arrive, guests are immediately captivated by its idyllic setting, camouflaged within lush greenery, surrounded by rolling hills with a hint of the nearby ocean breeze. The well-maintained grounds, adorned with colourful flowers and quaint pathways, create an inviting atmosphere that instantly sets the tone for a relaxing getaway.

Accommodation at St Ives Holiday Village cater to various needs and preferences. The charming holiday lodges exude a homely ambiance, featuring modern amenities, comfortable furnishings, and well-equipped kitchenettes. Each lodge offers privacy while maintaining proximity to the resort’s central facilities.

Additionally, the resort provides options for larger groups, with spacious cottages and villas designed to accommodate families or friends traveling together. The woodland walk is an exceptional feature of the village that draws in visitors.

It has a carefully designed and maintained pathway that meanders through a lush and enchanting forest, offering a unique and immersive experience with nature. In the centre you will find a Play Area HUB with plenty of informative nature boards as you walk through.

 

 

HEATED POOL
One of the highlights of the St. Ives Holiday Village is its range of leisure facilities. The heated swimming pool attracts visitors of all ages, providing a delightful way to unwind. For those seeking more active pursuits, the resort offers a fully equipped gym and sports courts for tennis, basketball, and football.

The children’s playground keeps the young ones entertained, ensuring that families can enjoy quality time. A standout feature of the village is its entertainment programme. The dedicated team hosts various activities and events throughout the day, catering to guests’ diverse interests.

From interactive games and arts and crafts sessions for the kids to evening performances, quizzes, and live music for adults, there is never a dull moment at St. Ives Holiday Village. Food enthusiasts will find a satisfying selection of dining options on-site. The village boasts a restaurant with a diverse menu featuring local delicacies and international dishes.

The talented chefs prioritise fresh, locally sourced ingredients, elevating the dining experience to a memorable one. Those looking for a more casual setting can head to the village’s pub, which offers a relaxed atmosphere and a great selection of beverages to complement hearty pub-style meals.

THE TALENTED CHEFS prioritise fresh, locally sourced ingredients on the restaurant menu.

SHUTTLE SERVICE
One of the resort’s undeniable advantages is its proximity to St Ives, one of Cornwall’s most enchanting towns. The village provides a convenient shuttle service to the town centre, allowing guests to explore its charming cobbled streets, art galleries, and beautiful beaches effortlessly.

Whether visitors want to savour fresh seafood at a local restaurant, immerse themselves in the town’s artistic heritage, or simply relax on the sandy shores, St. Ives has something for everyone. John Fowler’s St Ives Holiday Village proves to be a delightful destination for those seeking a memorable escape in the heart of Cornwall.

Its tranquil setting, well-appointed accommodations, excellent leisure facilities, and proximity to St Ives make it an ideal choice for families, couples, and friends alike.

John Fowler Holiday Park, St. Ives Holiday Village, Lelant, Saint Ives TR26 3HX
www.johnfowlerholidays.com/cornwall-holiday-park/st-ives-holiday-village

REAPING WHAT THEY SOW

Jane Herbert meets the personalities behind the thriving Beston Group...

YAXHAM WATERS HOLIDAY PARK in Norfolk offers a stunning setting for holidays

On a cold winter’s day in the mid to late nineties, Timm Hay and Steve Johnson stood on a hill overlooking a rather tired-looking Beeston Regis Holiday Park on the North Norfolk coast wondering how to buy it!

At that time, Beeston Regis comprised 60 acres with 120 static caravan plots and roughly 400 tent and tourer plots, with a handful of hook-ups and a very old-fashioned shower block that hadn’t much changed from the original 1950s. The owner had sadly passed away, and the bank had taken control of the site.

On face value, it didn’t look like much of an investment but to Timm and Steve, Beeston Regis offered the ideal opportunity to cement their burgeoning business partnership. “We were young and keen,” says Steve. “Having done some research, Timm had discovered that Beeston Regis benefited from Section 17 of the 1960 Caravan Site Act.

“This was at a time when park owners, usually landowners, were required to apply for planning for the use of their land when used for six months of holiday use and six months grazing rights for cattle,” Steve continues. “The permission was granted if the local council didn’t reply within six months, which became deemed as unconditional planning permission with no time constrictions.”

TIMM HAY AND STEVE JOHNSON, the founders of The Beeston Group.

INSIDE KNOWLEDGE
Timm’s inside knowledge from his first job as a planning consultant for a holiday park specialist in London came in very useful when he realised that this was the case at Beeston Regis. Says Steve: “Uncovering the Park’s unutilised planning permission was a pivotal moment for us. This was extremely valuable, and so we just had to find a way to buy the Park.”

Timm and Steve had found their first joint investment. Beeston Regis Holiday Park is now a thriving park with 300 holiday bases and 190 camping and touring plots. Moving forward, the duo soon expanded into another small park which they later sold at a profit, and also added Cliff House Holiday Park in Dunwich to their portfolio.

At the same time, they undertook a major project to build The Hollies, a 30-acre park in Kessingland, Suffolk, on former farmland and a derelict house. Timm invested in five further parks which he still owns: four in Norfolk - Gold Coast and Hazelbury Holiday Parks in East Runton, Yaxham Waters Holiday Park and Mundesley Holiday Village: as well as New Hall Lodge Park in Dovercourt, Essex.

Over time, the eight parks co-owned by Timm and Steve all came together under the one umbrella of The Beeston Group. Today, with just under 800 lodge and static caravan plots, 750 camping and touring plots, and around 150 self-catering units, The Beeston Group is wholly concerned with holiday home ownership and rental, camping and touring. “With large holiday park groups owning a big percentage of the holiday parks in the UK, we really try to set ourselves aside,” explains Steve.

GUESTS STAYING AT CLIFF HOUSE Holiday Park have access to the lovely beach below

“We pride ourselves on offering great holidays in superb locations, mostly on the beautiful East Anglian coastline, and many of our parks offer guests direct access to the beach. Most importantly, however, the majority of our customers know us as Steve and Timm. As business owners and operators, the personal touch is very important to us.” The Beeston Group employs around 160 staff who support Steve and Timm across the individual parks.

Cliff House Holiday Park is considered the flagship of The Beeston Group. The scenic lodge plots take full advantage of the Park’s enviable location on the idyllic Suffolk Heritage Coast and it is considered to be one of the top locations in East Anglia to own a holiday lodge. The 30-acre park is situated on the cliff top between the popular coastal towns of Southwold and Aldeburgh.

Visitors benefit from the stunning heath and woodland surroundings, as well as direct beach access below. Cliff House Holiday Park has won many accolades, including East of England Park of the Year in the National Tourism Awards, as well as numerous regional awards and The David Bellamy Gold Award for conservation many times. Since purchasing Cliff House Holiday Park in February 2000, The Beeston Group have invested heavily.

At the centre of the Park is the eponymous Cliff House, a large Victorian property built originally as a merchant’s house, and later owned by the family of the famous Aston Martin racing driver Jock Horsfall. Cliff House is currently being renovated to a high standard at a cost of £1.5 million. “We’ve very excited about the development of Cliff House,” explains Steve.

“It’s a lovely historic building and the careful renovation is taking around two years. When it’s finished, the nine-bedroom house will be rented out to single parties of up to 18 people for family gatherings and the like. “The rooms are to be named after James Bond films, and the house will feature a ‘secret room’ hidden by a bookcase containing a casino for the guests!” The Park’s existing popular bar and restaurant has also been extensively renovated since opening in 2010.

It’s named ‘The 12 Lost Churches’ in recognition of the tragic destruction of 12 local churches during three major storms over a period of 100 years during the 1100: 1200’s when Dunwich was actually the capital of East Anglia. With updates to their portfolio of parks an ongoing project, Timm and Steve are keen to ensure that any developments are as sustainable as possible.

“We use ground heat source pumps to heat our bar and restaurant,” says Steve. “We also have banks of solar panels dotted around all our parks and electric car charging points. Staff can choose to opt into a salary sacrifice scheme to buy or lease new electric vehicles. All our parks are also very active in conservation projects. For example, this year our teams have installed 50 bat boxes and 100 bird boxes across our developments.”

Mundesley Holiday Village has also received significant investment since it was acquired by Timm. Originally built in the 1930s, Mundesley was one of the first holiday camps on the North Norfolk coast. The holiday village now boasts luxury accommodation including lodges, bungalows, cottages and barns (some with hot tubs). The site occupies a prime clifftop spot with a beautiful beach just a short walk away.

THE PURPOSE-BUILT HOLLIES Camping & Leisure Resort in Kessingland, Suffolk

Guests staying at Mundesley are spoilt for choice with the outstanding beauty of the local countryside, as well as the excellent on-site facilities that include a games room, gym, sauna and spa. The Park works closely with Hoseasons and is pretty much full all-year-round. Despite the challenges of doing business over the last couple of years that have affected all industries, Steve is quietly confident that The Beeston Group’s ethos continues to stand them in good stead for the future.

“There’s no doubt that the conflict and cost of living rise have had a knock-on effect,” says Steve. “Customers are definitely being more cautious with their spending but that gives us even more incentive to renovate and refurbish our Parks so that our product is the absolute best that it can be. We already offer great quality and excellent value to our guests and holiday homeowners. Continuing on that path, we hope to share many more years of success together.”

MAIN STAGE SHOWCASE

SALTEX WILL HOST hundreds of brands showcasing products in halls 6, 7 and 8, over two days.

Now in its eighth decade, SALTEX, at Birmingham’s NEC on November 1 and 2, remains Europe’s largest free sports turf, amenities, and landscaping trade exhibition. With hundreds of brands showcasing products in halls 6, 7 and 8, across two days, SALTEX is a must-attend event for everybody operating in, or supplying to, the grounds care sector.

The 2023 gathering provides a great opportunity to meet industry colleagues and make new connections – building networks, knowledge and learning about new innovations. The event is organised by the Grounds Management Association, the leading not-for-profit membership organisation representing grounds managers, grounds personnel, grounds maintenance managers, greenkeepers and all others involved in the management of sports turf, pitches, landscape, and amenity facilities in the UK.

SALTEX is known for the quality, range and breadth of professional development opportunities it provides through its industry-leading, established Learning LIVE programme. This year, over 20 presenters will speak across three stages in two days. It is the largest free live learning event for the sector with many visitors citing it as a key reason to attend the show.

SALTEX PROVIDES A PLATFORM to build networks, knowledge and learning.

Sarah Cunningham, director of commercial and events at the GMA, says: “Learning LIVE is a well-respected, highly anticipated highlight at SALTEX, known to be a fantastic way to boost knowledge in a wide range of topics. Here we provide a snapshot of some of the headline speakers and sessions available. It’s exciting and there is so much more to come!”

This year, the main stage will continue as it always has done to highlight the latest hot topics and issues, bringing visitors into the big conversations of the moment. Day one of the show sees Lee Guerriero, pitch and technology specialist at UEFA, discuss UEFA’s 2024- 2027 pitch strategy and on day two Tony Hanson and his fellow panellists from the Environment Agency and Anglian Water will cover future water restrictions for golf greens and sports turf.

Lee Guerriero explains: “Attending events like SALTEX is important to maintain an understanding of the latest developments in a rapidly evolving industry. With challenges facing grounds keepers as a result of heavy fixture schedules, climate change and the need to work in a sustainable way, it is important that all stakeholders from grassroots sports to the elite game come to events such as SALTEX.

“The Learning LIVE sessions in particular allow for an exchange of best practice and an open dialogue across sports so that the quality of the pitches continues to improve as expectation levels and demands around pitch quality also continue to grow.” New for 2023 are themed stages and reflecting the need to place sustainability and environmental issues at the heart of the grounds maintenance sector’s thinking, the Eco Stage will do just that.

SALTEX is proud to introduce Dr Eric O’Donnell from SportsLabs to talk about recycling solutions for synthetic turf and a session from the Football Foundation on its pilot on the future of sustainable synthetic turf The Spotlight Stage brings to the fore the crowd-pullers into an ask the experts-style forum. Dr John Dempsey will bring his insights to the 2020- 2023 independent turfgrass research update and non-pesticidal disease management sessions, while Aled Lewis will highlight Welsh FA’s Pitch Improvement Funding Strategy.

Dr John Dempsey, independent turfgrass research, says: “The reason I like to present at events such as SALTEX is that I love sharing the results of not only my research but also the latest data available on relevant turfgrass subjects and it gives me the opportunity to meet many turfgrass professionals.

SALTEX TAKES PLACE at Brimingham’s NEC on November 1 and 2.

“Hopefully attendees will find the presentations of value and take away something that will be able to incorporate into their maintenance programs be it golf, football or playing fields.” Sarah continues: “We have curated what we believe to be a well-rounded, industry representative programme of CPD-accredited seminars, which we will be able to share in full with visitors in due course.”

Register now to boost your knowledge and guarantee entry to Europe’s largest and leading sports turf, amenities, and landscaping trade exhibition at www.saltex.org.uk

SALTEX IS KNOWN FOR THE QUALITY, range and breadth of professional development opportunities.

EV RANGE ANXIETY ROADBLOCKS

Funding support available for holiday park operators...

47% OF THE AVAILABLE public charging network, or 19,044 charge-points, can be found in destination locations.

Identified as the main concern for EV drivers in Zenith’s EVXperience report, range anxiety and the struggle of finding somewhere to charge-up on long journeys, stands as a major roadblock to enjoying an EV staycation. Having the option of charging at your destination, for many, will make the difference between a relaxing family vacation or a weekend trawling the countryside trying to get charged up.

Holiday park operators could be eligible for government grants of up to £14,000 towards the purchase and installation of new chargepoints through the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). This grant covers up to 75% of the total cost of chargepoint purchase and installation, up to £350 per socket.

Charging tariffs can now be completely customised: you can segment pricing for different groups, like staff and public. Tariffs can be raised during peak hours, and you can even reserve chargepoints for certain visitors at certain times -- meaning you can guarantee your guests will have charging available to them.

Thanks to their recent partnership with Wattif EV, Rolec is in the unique position of being able to offer partial and fully-funded options to EV customers. If you did want to take part in the WCS, applications close at the end of March next year.

TURNKEY SOLUTIONS
Wattif’s 100% fully funded turnkey solution covers the cost of charge-point installation, purchase, maintenance, and software. Meaning you can install charging infrastructure without any risk of investment for the business. Alternatively, you can take advantage of a 50% partially funded option.

If you opt for this alternative, Wattif EV will take responsibility for the cost of installing, maintaining, and operating your charge-point but the initial upfront cost will be shared between the two. According to the International Energy Agency, the number of electric cars on the road globally surpassed 10 million in 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

This trend is expected to continue as more manufacturers invest in electric vehicle technology. Almost half (47%) of the available public charging network, or 19,044 chargepoints, can be found in destination locations. By adding charging to your list of facilities, EV drivers will have the security of knowing that they won’t have to plan their trip around charging, which will encourage them to favour your park for their next short-break or summer holiday.

Rolec
Tel. 01205 724754
E. enquiries@rolecserv.co.uk
www.rolecserv.com

THIRD PARTY SAVVY WORKING

CHECK ALL ON-SITE contractors are insured.

For many parks bringing third parties and contractors on site to complete works is part of everyday life. Whether it’s for large developments, upgrades or just simple repairs and maintenance, having other businesses onsite is a regular occurrence.

As we head into the period when many parks undertake important maintenance and development work, specialist holiday park insurance providers, Compass, have put together some helpful tips to consider when it comes to insurance. Contractors come in all shapes and sizes, from large commercial businesses to bona fide contractors.

Regardless of the type of their business, the length of contract and the work they are undertaking, when coming onto your park requires them to have their own insurance cover. The only exception is if you’re employing a labour-only sub-contractor as they are automatically classed as your employee by most commercial policies and would therefore be covered on your own policy.

From an insurance perspective you want to check that:
• The contractor does have insurance in place
• That insurance is specific to the work they are going to undertake
• Their insurance doesn’t expose you and your policy to any claims

Remember, a contractor working on your park without the right level of insurance could expose you, the most obvious way is in your liability to the public. The limit of indemnity (LOI) on Public Liability needs to be the same as the limit you have on your Park business policy, referred to as being ‘back to back’.

If it isn’t then in the event of a liability incident, you could find yourself picking up the gap in an award to a claimant. Compass has produced a handy check list for you to use which you can find on www.compassparks.co.uk

THREE DECADES OF DEDICATED SERVICE

RKUBOTA HAS BEEN THE SUPPLIER of choice for Deighan’s Caravan Park for the past three decades.

2023 is a special year for Deighan’s Caravan Park, as the family-run business celebrate 30 years since the doors first opened on the five-star resort close to Benone, Northern Ireland. Their first mower – installed by local dealers D.A.Forgie - was a Kubota and three decades on, it remains Kubota at the heart of site maintenance, with a fleet of Kubota F-Series mowers ensuring a picture-postcard start to every holiday.

Deighan’s currently has four mowers, including an F3890 and F391 from Kubota’s F-Series. The F3890 sets the benchmark for the out-front mower market, featuring a 38hp 4-cylinder engine that delivers unbeatable productivity and impeccable cut quality. The F391 further enhances the F Series’ position as the professional’s choice for parks, open spaces and local authorities with a high output, maximum comfort philosophy.

The newer, stage-V compliant model also offers power steering and an adjustable out-front deck making the F391 highly manoeuvrable. Together with an RTV-X1110 used to transport the team around the site, the latest delivery was a Kubota M4063 tractor, fitted with turf tyres, installed in December 2021.

Kubota has been a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, construction equipment, lawn mowers and industrial engines since 1890. With its global headquarters in Osaka, Japan, offices in more than 120 countries and more than 41,000 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, Kubota had a turnover of $20 billion in 2021.

Kubota
Tel. 07866 810794
E. rob.edwards@kubota.com
www.kubota-global.net

STARS IN THEIR EYES

THE CAPELLA 2HCX Lifted offers great off-road capability and higher ground clearance.

When Three Cliffs Bay needed new utility vehicles to maintain the five-star standard at its holiday park in Gower, Wales, it chose STAR EV. As part of the move, the destination upgraded to lithium power from petrol and that is always a smart move.

From full charge to discharge, STAR smart lithium batteries deliver higher peak power for improved performance all round. It delivers full power for longer drive distance with no sacrifice in power. Maintenance-free STAR Smart Lithium batteries take a charge, hold a charge, and recharge over 2,000 times.

With an extremely low self-discharge rate, the batteries provide maintenance free peace of mind, while Android and iPhone Smart Lithium app monitors battery usage, voltage and temperature, so STAR smart batteries are ready to go when the day’s work starts. There need be no anxiety when it comes to range.

THE CAPELLA 2HCX comfortably delivers up to 80 miles with a 210AH battery

Three Cliffs opted for two Capella 2HCX vehicles, which comfortably deliver up to 80 miles with their 210AH battery and a Capella 2HCX Lifted which offers similar features but with great off road capability and higher ground clearance. Tom Beynon, owner of Three Cliffs Bay, confirms: “These machines have proved to us very quickly that they can take on all the tasks we need them to without any difference in productivity to their petrol counterparts and without disturbance.

“We use them for rubbish collection and recycling. The big, strong cargo area at the back of the Lifted and the fact that we can add a trailer means it’s become part of our gardening arsenal too.” To find out how the STAR range of lithium-ion phosphate battery powered utility vehicles and golf buggies can bring a five-star performance to your holiday park contact distributor Reesink e-Vehicles today.

Reesink
Tel. 01480 226800
www.reesink-evehicles.co.uk

GREEN TRAILBLAZERS

Investment in eco tourism continues to thrive...

EACH LODGE OFFERS PRIVACY while maintaining proximity to the resort’s central facilities.

The David Bellamy Blooming Marvellous Pledge for Nature works in partnership with over 500 holiday parks in the UK. Pioneered over 28 years ago by botanist and TV personality David Bellamy, the scheme is now administered by his son Rufus, who is himself an Environmental Adviser, working closely with parks of all sizes.

The organisation has singled out Parkdean Resorts for special praise thanks to their commitment to the environment and its responsible stewardship of over 3,500 acres of land at its 66 sites. Parkdean Resorts was described this month as ‘a green trailblazer’ for kickstarting work that will provide wildlife and the natural world with the same warm welcome as its holiday guests.

Scheme co-ordinator Rufus Bellamy said Parkdean Resorts deserved major recognition for mobilising a raft of exciting and imaginative environmental projects across its parks this year. Once they are completed, said Rufus, the work will not just benefit nature, but will also help provide an enjoyable and educative experience for guests, and for youngsters in particular.

Making new wildlife discoveries, he said, was just one of the ways in which Parkdean Resorts was helping to create magical memories for the 3.5 million guests it welcomes each year. The group’s parks have all taken the David Bellamy Pledge for Nature which commits them to managing their green spaces with wildlife in mind and undertaking at least one significant wildlife project over the next year.

These include setting up bird boxes and other artificial habitats, creating areas where bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects can get food, focusing on the conservation of a specific species, and working to enhance ponds and other wetland habitats.

INTERPRETED NATURE TRAILS encourage all family members to make wildlife discoveries in the park’s grounds.

CONSERVATION GOALS
Parks taking the Pledge receive visits from independent wildlife assessors who provide advice on new projects to be undertaken, and the steps needed to accomplish their nature conservation goals.

Responsible at Parkdean Resorts for steering the scheme is the group’s Regional Director of Scotland Colin Pearse, and he said park managers play an important part in delivering the results: “Our managers are given a great deal of autonomy in deciding what conservation projects will best suit their park, and then involving team members in making it a reality,” said Colin.

“This is crucial as our parks are located in different and very beautiful coastal and countryside locations throughout Britain, each with its own individual character and natural assets. “We ask each manager to propose a project and explain the ways in which it will enhance the guest experience, and then it’s up to them with help from members of their team.

“There’s never any shortage of volunteers coming forward, not least because it’s very satisfying to know that you are making a real difference to safeguarding wildlife and the natural world. “We receive tremendous support from the scheme’s advisers who are always willing to go the extra mile in providing both encouragement and expert guidance,” added Colin.

Rufus Bellamy said that Parkdean Resorts had become national cheerleaders for the scheme, and its parks were role models for how tourism businesses could work as a group to help nature.

 

CHEERS LEADERS
Just as importantly, he said, Parkdean Resorts was encouraging millions of holiday guests each year to discover more about the natural world, and the part they can play in its conservation. Mythtopia is an eco-glamping resort situated just outside of Edinburgh that is due to open in Spring 2024. The resort is designed to be 100% sustainable, carbon-negative, and powered entirely by natural energy sources, such as solar and wind energy.

To help in its rewilding efforts, Mythtopia is also leveraging its own cryptocurrency funded by carbon credits, as part of its mission to plant 120,000 trees on the site itself. Its founder, Oliver Pyle-Santini, was inspired to create a flourishing and environmentally-conscious business that would provide a wealth of jobs to the local community, and safeguard the natural surroundings of the estate.

The luxury glamping resort will feature many activities from yoga to silent discos but the most unique is ‘Legends’; an augmented reality game based on Celtic mythology and folklore aimed at families, couples and gamers alike. Situated among 200 acres of preserved green land and located just 20 minutes from the Scottish capital, Mythtopia is the ideal place for families to experience nature while embarking on an immersive AR adventure.

MYTHTOPIA OFFERS ITS GUESTS a unique immersive AR experience based on ancient Celtic mythology

Mythtopia will also be the UK’s first holiday destination exclusive to NFT token holders. Mythtopia will feature 150 low- carbon impact geometric domes and lodges, along with a restaurant, clubhouse, bar, and spa. Each guest will receive access to a wealth of activities including a geofenced augmented reality playground based on ancient Celtic mythology called ‘Mythtopia Legends’.

The game allows players to explore the natural woodland environment while following a spellbinding story of mythical creatures. Participants can build their own AR character, interact with talking trees and dwarves, and go on mystical missions alongside the characters of their friends and family.

Using Celtic legends, this unique AR experience will create a ‘digital theme park’ perfect for families, couples, gamers, and LARPers. Guests can also get involved in a wide variety of other activities to help them enjoy the natural world with opportunities for open water swimming in its own lake, stargazing, horse riding, yoga classes, and silent disco parties.

ECO-VISITORS will help plant over 120,000 trees by visiting Mythtopia, a carbon-negative retreat.

GREEN INVESTMENT
Tregoad Holiday Park in Looe, Cornwall, celebrated the completion of a raft new developments this summer by opening its doors to members of the local community. Representing an investment of £2.5 million, the initiatives were focused on sustainability, and the introduction of new ways to protect the natural world.

The family-owned park, part of the four-strong Waterside group, chose a Saturday in July to showcase its achievements to guests which included members of the public, senior local authority and VisitCornwall representatives, and Tregoad’s local suppliers. New features include the creation of Cornwall’s largest wildflower meadow bank covering more than 3,000 square metres, and seeded with high pollen-bearing plants.

Nectar produced by the blooms, says the park, will provide a valuable foraging resource for honey bees, butterflies, and other important pollinators. In addition, the park has invested £300,000 in planting hundreds of indigenous plants, trees and shrubs, and installed a range of new wildlife habitats.

The living quarters installed throughout the park’s grounds include three traditional beehives, duck houses, plus bird and bat boxes made from recycled materials This year, the park is also spending £36,000 on upgrading its popular wildlife walk. The move will add an additional 2km to its length, allowing guests to explore even more of the park’s rich and varied landscape, and to uncover its wildlife secrets.

Matt Way, General Manager at Tregoad Holiday Park, said: “An important part of our guests’ experience is enjoying our wildlife, beautiful lakes, and woodland walks. We believe we have a responsibility to nurture and enhance our natural surroundings, helping Cornwall’s natural environment to thrive and contribute to a greener future.

PARKDEAN RESORTS’ many accommodation options include lodges located in tranquil wooded surroundings.

“As well as focusing on wildlife and planting, we’ve been assessing everything that we do at Tregoad to ensure we’re operating as sustainably as possible. “For example, we’ve introduced a new waste-water treatment facility to allow the park to be self-sufficient, installed water refill taps, and reused construction materials across the site, such as our former toilet blocks which have been crushed and reused as road infill. We’re also continuing to work with Climate Vision to identify more ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint.”

Tregoad Holiday Park works with more than 50 local suppliers, including Flotsam Flo which creates fashion accessories from waste which is difficult to recycle. Items are taken in, including old wetsuits, which are then upcycled by Flotsam Flo to be sold in its shop. The park is the first holiday park in the UK to go ‘full cycle’ in recycling, upcycling, and redistributing in such a manner.

Through partnership with a specialist upcycler of wet suits, inflatables and plastics, the park is aiming to reduce its landfill by a further 10% this year – after diverting 80 tonnes of waste from going to landfill between 2022 and 2023 through switching to alternative waste companies. Matt continued: “Collaboration is key to helping us tackle climate change. We’re proud to be working with like-minded businesses which champion sustainability and consider their environmental impact when planning their future investment and areas of growth.

“Our sustainability efforts complement our wider enhancement works at Tregoad. Over the past two years, we’ve introduced 100 new high-quality holiday homes and invested more than £500,000 in improving our guest facilities. Matt adds: “Our holiday accommodation and facility improvements, alongside our sustainability initiatives, are helping us achieve our core objective of delivering an exceptional quality holiday experience.”

MAKING SEASIDE BEACHES SPARKLE

LAST YEAR’S BEACH CLEAN saw almost 5,500 volunteers collect over 140,000 pieces of litter.

Staff at parks belonging to Park Holidays UK volunteered to take part in the Marine Conservation Society’s Great British Beach Clean this autumn. Marking its 30th anniversary this year, the annual clean-up event aims to rid beaches of litter and to highlight the importance of disposing of waste properly.

Many of the 50-plus parks belonging to the group played their part, each based alongside some of the most attractive beaches in England, Scotland and Wales. Group director Tony Clish said that there was no lack of volunteers coming forward to help keep the sands spotless for holiday guests: “This summer, as ever, the glorious beaches adjoining many of our parks made the perfect day out for families – whether they were basking, playing, swimming or rock-pooling.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy a clean and safe environment when they go down to the sea and are proud supporters of the Marine Conservation Society’s initiative. “A beach free of litter doesn’t just benefit holiday guests, it also helps remove a serious threat to marine life when the waste is swept out by the waves.

“We hope that our efforts will send out a wider signal about the importance of taking items such as plastic drink bottles and food wrappings back from the beach for recycling,” he said. According to the Marine Conservation Society, last year’s Beach Clean saw almost 5,500 volunteers taking part and collecting over 140,000 pieces of litter.

BUZZ OF EXCITEMENT FOR LANCS PARK

AN INTERPRETED NATURE DISCOVERY trail on the park allows youngsters to make many wildlife discoveries

Honey bees and butterflies have helped a family Lancaster holiday park to wing its way into the finals of this year’s Lancashire Tourism Awards. Moss Wood Caravan Park in the village of Cockerham has been nominated in the “ethical, responsible and sustainable” category for its successful efforts to protect the natural world.

Now the final hurdles for the park will be a “mystery shop” from an industry professional, and a face-to-face interview with the awards’ judging panel. The winner will be revealed at next February’s glittering awards ceremony of the Lancashire Tourism Awards in Blackburn, attended by tourism professional from across the region.

Moss Wood, which is owned by the Wild family, has already had its environmental policies and green tourism credentials put under close scrutiny in the competition. Judges noted that the park recently became home to its second colony of 80,000 honey bees after installing two traditional timber hives in its grounds.

Their thriving future is assured thanks to the many high nectar-bearing blooms at Moss Wood, including a 3000 square-foot wildflower wilderness planted by the park. The bees share their food sources with a wide range of butterflies and other pollinators, and there are plans to harvest the honey for sale in the park’s shop.

The park also encourages holiday guests and members of the local community, especially children, to engage with nature and to protect wildlife. Available for them to explore is a 1.5km nature discovery trail, and two spring-fed lakes which act as a magnet for birdlife, dragonflies, water fowl and a host of other different aquatic species.

 

TOP NATIONAL ENERGY AWARDS

ADEVON’S MOLE RESORT has been recognised in two categories at the prestigious National Energy Efficiency Awards.

North Devon lodge resort and countryside ‘playground’, The Mole Resort, is celebrating after being recognised in two categories at the prestigious National Energy Efficiency Awards, which champion best practice across the UK energy efficiency industry.

The Mole Resort received special commendation for Multi-measure Project of the Year and achieved third place in the Project Management Company of the Year category, at the awards ceremony held at Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Comprising 58 lodges and a fully refurbished hotel set in the heart of the Devon countryside, The Mole Resort is an eco-conscious lodge and hotel destination.

As part of its ongoing commitment to the environment and target to be a Net Zero resort, owner L+R Hotels designed a ground-breaking Energy Positive Lodge for its newest development. The lodge is so-called because it produces more energy than it consumes – generating its energy through an array of solar PV panels and with a fabric-/first approach at the heart of its design.

GREEN HOLIDAY PARK CHAMPIONS

SCOTTISH TOURISM MINISTER Richard Lochhead MSP plants a commemorative hornbeam at the Findhorn park.

Eco-friendly tourism was on the agenda for Scotland’s Tourism Minister Richard Lochhead when he visited Findhorn Bay Holiday Park. The holiday park based near Forres is championing green getaways on the Moray Firth.

Mr Lochhead attended as a guest of the Scottish holiday park association (BH&HPA) in advance of his being the principal speaker at the body’s Edinburgh annual conference in November. The association said it was keen to show how many park businesses were helping to boost regional economies and create employment without damaging the environment.

The minister also made his contribution to a greener future by planting a commemorative hornbeam tree to mark what the park calls its “new series of eco-adventures”. The park, he heard, was based within the Findhorn Foundation Eco Village which, for over 50 years, has offered retreats, workshops and gatherings in its spectacular setting.

Electricity on the park is generated by wind turbines, supported by the grid using a green energy tariff, so reducing to a minimum Findhorn’s carbon footprint. Its holiday accommodation is fully powered by green energy and is connected to an ecological waste-water treatment plant which also serves the 500 people living in the Eco Village.

Mr Lochhead also discussed the park’s plans to convert holiday caravans from gas to electricity, to invest in more eco-friendly accommodation, and its flood alleviation projects.

JEWEL IN THE CROWN

A lesson in diversification for visitor destinations...

A VIBRANT SHOPPING VILLAGE is packed with a plethora of bespoke shops.

For those looking for a quick-fire lesson in destination diversification, a visit to Suffolk’s Stonham Barns Park will leave you overflowing with a bucket load of ideas and inspiration. Bought by the Starglade group, principally operating as a day visit location, in 2020, the 110 -acre site is being transformed into a bustling leisure destination.

Ticking all the boxes from retail to live entertainment and from short-break holidays to permanent holiday homes, Stonham is still a work in progress. Brimming with pride, passion and ambition, owner, Alan Forward took me on a guided tour of the bustling family complex that sits on a favourable tourist route.

“Everyone needs a break away to reset and it seems as though the pull to the countryside is strong,” he says. “Many are looking for a relaxing fishing holiday or break where they can recharge and refresh in a safe environment.” “For many people, post-pandemic, the temptation to stay local and in the country is still very strong.”

HOLIDAY HOME ACCOMMODATION has been sympathetically placed around Stonham’s 100-acre site.

FAMILY COMPLEX
Stonham Barns Park is a bustling family complex filled with an abundance of attractions and activities to suit all. A vibrant shopping village is packed with a plethora of bespoke shops, and provides a huge draw for day and longer-stay visitors. Coach parties are tempted onto site to view not just the shops but also to visit specialist teapot makers, Carters of Suffolk, and its charming Teapot Tearoom.

Supplying big names from Harrods to Walt Disney, visitors can see the production of handmade, collectable teapots and even decorate a few themselves. Just a short walk away, the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is a also a major draw. Providing a home to over 80 stunning owls and birds of prey from around the world the Sanctuary team put on with outstanding flying displays and are more than keen to chat to the enthusiastic visitors.

The site is home to the Mid Suffolk Showground offering numerous events throughout the year, including classic vehicle events, history re-enactment performances and music festivals. Add in a splash of talent at the on-site Legends Bar and Aspal Theatre and the entertainments’ programme is simply spilling over. Impressive Stonham golf facilities include a pirate-themed adventure foot golf course, crazy golf, nine-hole golf course and a well-stocked shop boasting simulator bays.

Still enjoying the great outdoors, two stunning fishing lakes have attracted a great following, including the attention of, world renowned angler, Bob Nudd while another water area has been established to offer SUP boarding and kayaking. There is a wealth of entertainment to keep the youngsters amused from a giant bouncy pillow with a perimeter sand pit that is free to use. Seasonal fair rides, dodgems, small children’s rides, play areas, inflatables, stalls, and land train ride all add to the appeal.

ATTRACTION SCOPE
Stonham Barns Park is now gaining a reputation as a popular wedding venue with designated room space available for hire. Add in a few fireworks displays, cycle racing, darts competitions, hot air balloon festivals and a plethora of themed party events, and you are beginning to understand the full scope of the Stonham Barns Park picture.

On-site refreshments are largely dealt with by Cafe 24 that offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating and uses locally-sourced produce for their breakfast and lunch, no-fuss menus. Accommodation varies from own tent camping to caravan or motorhome pitches including the chance to hire one of one of six luxury bell tents or a shepherd’s hut as well as fully furnished holiday homes and holiday home purchase.

The Starglade Group of Companies is a well-known and respected, family owned, group of companies established for over 50 years. Originally started by Rodney Forward who was a successful builder, in 1994 Rodney joined forces with Alan, his son, to start Starglade Properties, mainly working with land transactions for residential properties.

ON-SITE ACCOMMODATION includes lodges, bell tents and even a shepherd-style hut.

Alan and his family over the years have acquired many other companies, to be part of the Starglade Group of companies that include residential and commercial lettings and new house-build developments. Working with long-term, tried and trusted suppliers, Stonham is undoubtedly a jewel in the Starglade crown.

As well as the creation of on-site job and business opportunities, the company invests back into the local community with sponsorship of sports sides and emerging talent as varied as rugby to Formula 3 motor racing. “The exciting thing about Stonham is its potential for future development,” says Alan, who shares plans for more pop-up shop retail opportunities and even a new on-site boutique hotel.

“It is all about constantly re-investing in this type of business and I hope this is what is driving the on-going popularity of the resort for short as well as longer term visitors,” says Alan, who has the backing and support of his son, Keith, and daughter Terri, managing the Starglade portfolio that now includes several new holiday home sites. Alan adds: “This type of business is all about team effort and it is thanks to the passion and enthusiasm of every individual that Stonham looks forward to such a very bright future.”

Stonham Barns Park
Tel. 01449 711 111
E. events@stonhambarns.co.uk
www.stonhambarns.co.uk

SMOOTH AND INTEGRATED GAME CHANGER

Holiday destinations are being urged to switch Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to Maxxton Software. Maxxton Software has emerged as a true game-changer in the hospitality industry by changing traditional but out-dated ERP systems into an integrated, all-in-one software solution.

Through its superior technology, Maxxton software keeps empowering businesses with comprehensive software solutions that optimise operations, enhance guest experiences, and maximise revenue potential. With a strong focus on innovation, customer success, and data-driven insights, Maxxton continues to redefine the possibilities within the industry, shaping the future of hospitality one success story at a time.

Holiday destinations looking to make a significant difference to their business with one strategic decision are being invited to switch their Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems to Maxxton Software.

KEY STRENGTHS
One of the key strengths of the Maxxton system is its ability to integrate and seamlessly link various operational areas within the holiday business. Whether it’s reservation management, housekeeping, maintenance, guest communications, or financials, an integrated ERP system enables smooth coordination across departments.

Maxxton Software provides a joined- up solution that serves as the ultimate one-source solution for organisations and stands out for its customer-centric approach. By closely collaborating with holiday parks, such as Roompot, Landal UK, Vacansoleil, and Europarcs, Maxxton has gained deep insights into the industry’s challenges, pain points, and evolving trends.

This understanding has allowed Maxxton to develop an ERP system tailored specifically to the needs of holiday parks, ensuring optimal functionality and operational efficiency. Every part of your holiday destination business is included in a process that is simple, smart, and connective.

SIMPLIFIED SYSTEM
The centralised reservation management is an integrated system that simplifies the booking process for holiday parks. Park operators can efficiently handle reservations, availability, and pricing, ensuring accurate and real-time information. The Content Manager enables holiday park owners and managers to efficiently create, organise, publish, and update content across multiple channels.

You have the option to link media, descriptions, available channels, rentable conditions, add-ons etc. for editing or adding the content to dashboards. The Revenue Manager is an integrated and real-time data-driven solution. The Revenue Manager integrates powerful revenue optimisation tools that enable businesses to set dynamic pricing strategies, maximise occupancy, and increase revenue.

“The significant growth of the Roompot organisation in recent decades has partially been made possible by Maxxton,” shares Jurgen van Cutsem, CEO of Netherlands-based Roompot. “We have been working together for many years to set the standard within the hospitality industry and to remain at the forefront. As a result, our collaboration and progress with Maxxton is going very well.

“ Responding quickly to changing conditions, adequately implementing newly acquired parks, and always able to translate the latest developments in our industry into software solutions in agreement. The specialised Maxxton software consultants always ensure innovation and renewal. If you want to make a difference for your organisation then make your first move by logging on to www.maxxton.com

ALL-YEAR-ROUND APPEAL

KESWICK is one of a growing number of parks open to visitors all year round.

The seasons might be changing but The Camping and Caravanning Club has 18 sites open year-round and a total of 23 sites open until the end of the year. “Camping, caravanning and motorhoming doesn’t have to stop when the nights draw in,” says Simon McGrath, Head of Communications at the Club.

“We have 23 Club Sites open through to Christmas and into the New Year and 18 that welcome campers year-round,” he continues and adds: “Modern motorhomes and caravans are warm, comfy and well-equipped for year-round use – and even tent campers can still enjoy pitching up in colder weather with a little more preparation.”

The following Club Sites are open year-round:

THE BOROUGHBRIDGE CLUB Site in North Yorkshire provides an ideal base from which to explore York and the North York Moors National Park.

• Blackmore, Worcestershire
• Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire
• Bowness on Windermere, Cumbria
• Braithwaite Village, Cumbria
• Canterbury, Kent
• Chertsey, Surrey
• Conkers, Derbyshire
• Delamere Forest, Cheshire
• Derwentwater, Cumbria
• Devizes, Wiltshire
• Hertford, Hertfordshire
• Keswick, Cumbria
• Kingsbury Water Park, West Midlands
• Moffat, Dumfries and Galloway
• Oxford, Oxfordshire
• Salisbury, Wiltshire
• Tavistock, Devon
• Theobalds Park, Hertfordshire

To help people prepare for the autumn and winter, Iain Geddes, Senior Technical Advisor at the Club, has compiled five top tips for making the most of a winter camping break:
• Set up camp while it’s still light
• Insulate from the ground up
• Check the power
• Complete vehicle checks
Keep your eyes and ears on the weather

For more advice on autumn and winter camping check out the Club’s advice pages: www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/advice

FIRST IMPRESSIONS PAY OFF

ROB AND CHRISTINA Skeel’s perceptions of holiday park home ownership were transformed.

A Northamptonshire couple has described how a spur of the moment visit to a Leisure Resorts holiday park in Yorkshire led to them buying a holiday home there the same day – despite never having considered owning one. Leisure Resorts is an award-winning, five-star luxury holiday home and holiday park provider, with parks across the UK in The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire Moors.

Christina and Rob Skeel bought their luxury three bedroom, two bathroom lodge in Angrove Country Park in the North York Moors last summer and have since spent a third of their time in what they now refer to as their ‘happy place.’ Angrove is set in 70 acres of stunning countryside on the edge of the moors, yet just 20 minutes from the coastal resort of Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

Christina, 57, said: “My impressions of holiday parks had come from seeing lots of static caravans, side by side in rows along the Norfolk coastline and when Rob suggested we take a look at a park on our way home from a cottage holiday in Yorkshire my first reaction was ‘Not a chance!’” “We had never even been to the North York Moors until the day we visited Angrove,” said Rob, 58.

“We fell in love with both the park and the location immediately – and then the lodge itself clinched it for us. It has a deck at both the front and the back, as well as a patio on one side, so as well as the sun throughout the day we have spectacular views in every direction.”

LOVE STORY
“You could say we’re quite impulsive, buying the lodge the first day we visited the park, but we’re strong believers in fate and prepared to take a risk. If we hadn’t visited Angrove that day we wouldn’t have found our happy place.”

BESSY THE DOG IS COMPLETELY comfortable in her holiday home environment.

INVESTMENT IN STAFF WELLBEING

PARKDEAN RESORTS has partnered with the British Foundation to offer free heart health checks for its staff.

Parkdean Resorts, the UK’s leading holiday park operator, has partnered with the British Heart Foundation to conduct free heart health checks for hundreds of team members.

To mark National Cholesterol Month, which ran throughout October, the free on-site health checks will be offered to any members of Parkdean Resorts’ Maintenance and Accommodation teams aged 40 or older. The checks will benefit up to 520 full-time and seasonal team members across the company’s 66 award-winning holiday parks.

The 15-minute sessions will check blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, body mass index and waist circumference, and from this, the Practitioners will provide advice to individuals about what they can do to improve their physical health. Staff will also be shown how to access self-help through the company health and wellbeing platform.

HEALTH DATA
The British Heart Foundation will then provide Parkdean Resorts with a company wellbeing aggregated report showing the health data of its teams, allowing the company to create an action plan to put further measures in place in the future to help improve the health and wellbeing of its teams.

Lisa Charles-Jones, HR Director, Parkdean Resorts, said: “We know it can sometimes be difficult to get an appointment at the doctor’s surgery, and that life can get in the way of booking an appointment for health checks. We are dedicated to caring for our Parks, People and Planet and supporting team wellbeing is one of our key people commitments, so we’re delighted to be able to partner with the British Heart Foundation to deliver these vitally important heart health checks.”

Parkdean Resorts is dedicated to finding new ways to increase wellbeing for team members and their families in local communities. In 2022, the company introduced health checks and discounted gym memberships, 30-minute lunchtime walks on ‘walking Wednesdays’, free flu vaccinations, and support for National Cycle to Work Day.

As a further source of support, the team can access Parkdean Resorts’ Employee Assistance Programme 24/7 – a free and confidential telephone line offering practical solutions, information, and support from external trained professionals.

DARING DEVON HOLIDAY PARK DROP-IN

AN EAGLE-EYED VIEW of the Red Arrows parachute display team visit to Ladram Bay.

Eighty years of providing seaside holidays on the Devon coast were marked this summer by the family owners of Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Budleigh Salterton.

The celebrations climaxed in a special birthday event which saw holiday guests join the park team and members of the local community in a weekend of festivities. Dropping in on the fun were members of the Red Arrows parachute display team who made a spectacular appearance after a daring skydive from over 3000-feet above the park.

Ladram Bay is possibly the oldest holiday park in Britain to have remained under the same family’s ownership for such a length of time. It was in 1943 that farmer Bill Carter and his wife Margaret decided to allow Scouts to pitch up on their front field amid some of Devon’s loveliest countryside.

Eight decades on, Ladram Bay now welcomes customers from across the world, and provides one of the West Country’s best equipped parks for family holidays.

UNLOCKING YOUR BUSINESS POTENTIAL

Looking forward to an unmissable event...

HOLIDAY PARK & RESORT INNOVATION visitors can explore showcases offering an extensive range of products and services.

If you’re eager to stay ahead in the industry and unlock the latest trends, innovations and strategies to take your business to new heights, then mark your calendar for November 15th and 16th and set your SAT NAV to Birmingham’s NEC! The countdown is on to Holiday Park & Resort Innovation, the UK’s premier event for holiday park and resort professionals at the NEC Birmingham this November 15th and 16th.

The event will once again run concurrently with three other shows – Farm Business Innovation, Family Attraction Expo, and Leisure Food & Beverage Expo. Together, the four shows form the largest event for businesses in the fields of land, leisure, and tourism.

Whether you’re a seasoned industry player, or exploring the idea of starting your own business, join Holiday Park Innovation to discover cutting-edge products, strategies and insights to stay ahead in the leisure, hospitality and tourism industry.

The 2023 event promises to be the best yet, with visitors getting the opportunity to explore exhibition space spanning two halls that showcases an extensive range of products and services essential for building successful holiday businesses, as well as getting valuable updates and inspiration from the show’s insightful speaker programme.

TOURISM SECTOR
With new innovations reshaping the UK tourism sector by improving the planning and booking process, enhancing customer experience, promoting sustainability, and providing valuable insights to businesses, technology is a key theme through the exhibition halls and seminar programme.

Immerse yourself in a world of pioneering innovation, with 420 exhibitors across the four shows showcasing tailored products and services designed to meet your unique needs.

Confirmed exhibitors include Swift – the UK’s largest manufacturer of touring caravans, motorhomes and holiday homes, Hoseasons, TouchWood Play, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, Tiny House Pro, Creative Play, Dale Leisure Supplies, Cubicle Works, Clear Sky Safari Tents, Innovative Leisure, Volta Compliance and Go Low Carbon.

Every aspect of providing a first-class holiday experience will be covered – from planning consultancy and booking management software, to safari tents, outdoor play equipment and washroom solutions.

THE HOLIDAY PARK & RESORT Innovation event covers every aspect of providing a first-class holiday experience.

SEMINAR HIGHLIGHTS
The extensive seminar schedule across both days of the show features experts from a wide range of specialisms sharing top tips and advice for start-ups and existing businesses. Across both the Keynote Theatre programme – sponsored by Cottages.com and Hoseasons – and the Seminar Theatre - sponsored by Maxxton – you can hear from dozens of industry experts across 90 sessions.

Tom Clark is General Manager of Brit Stops, and will host a seminar at the show. “From a small family business and passion project, we have grown Brit Stops into an established and recognised brand within the motorhome industry. At the show we’ll share our focus on driving innovation and expansion at Brit Stops and supporting the next chapter of UK motorhome tourism.”

Gillian Hare and Brodie Farrow of Pitchup.com will reflect on post-pandemic trends. “Rather than representing a one-off peak, the pandemic kickstarted a legacy of outdoor holidaying that will continue to benefit the industry for years to come,” says Gillian. “We’ll talk about emerging trends and provide tips on how you can successfully ride the new wave of outdoor tourism, including case studies from those that have been there and done it.”

WITH LONGER OPENING TIMES this year, Holiday Park & Resort Innovation looks to be the best ever.

NEW ZONE
New for this year is ‘Great Taste of the Country’ a dedicated zone for independent food businesses which will feature live culinary demonstrations, providing an opportunity for businesses to showcase their products in action. The line-up includes popular food brands Hello Fresh, Devil’s Bridge Rum, and My Gyros.

Verity Hyland, Events Director for Agriconnect, said “As the UK tourism industry continues to thrive, many business owners are looking to invest in their businesses with new innovations and diversification options,” she said. “Holiday Park & Resort Innovation provides a unique platform to learn from a diverse range of experts, connect with like-minded rural entrepreneurs, and acquire actionable takeaways to enhance the profitability and sustainability of your business.”

With longer opening times this year from 9am to 5pm on day one and 9am to 4pm on day two, entry to Holiday Park & Resort Innovation, and the other three events, is free of charge.

HOLIDAY PARK & RESORT INNOVATION provides a unique platform to learn from a diverse range of specialist suppliers.

REGISTER FOR TICKETS HERE

 

 

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Snapshots from The Quiet Site in The Lake District...

The Quiet Site has scooped gold at this year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023, having been named the top Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year. The Cumbrian destination boasts a stunning location in the fells overlooking Ullswater, first opened its doors to campers and caravanners 60 years ago.

Over the past two decades sustainability has been the site’s focus, with both business and investment choices based on a desire to be fully sustainable which has resulted in the site becoming one of the greenest holiday parks in the UK.

The Quiet Site is a multi-award-winning carbon neutral holiday park, consisting of several accommodation options including a self-catering holiday cottage, luxury Glamping Cabins, timber Camping Pods, underground Glamping Burrows and carbon positive Gingerbread Houses.

In addition, it offers all-weather tent pitches and hard standing pitches for caravans and motorhomes. The site’s facilities include a historic pub, a zero-waste shop, pizzeria and creperie, games room and lots more. Daniel Holder, Managing Director of The Quiet Site said: “We are over the moon to have been awarded this most prestigious recognition by Visit Britain.

“Our team works tirelessly to provide guests with both the best and the most sustainable stay possible, reflected in the fact that 84% of our bookings come from repeat stays or recommendations. “We hope to welcome both returning and new guests for many years to come.”

The Quiet Site
Tel. 01768 486337
Email. info@thequietsite.co.uk
www.thequietsite.co.uk

SPANNING THE SCOPE OF OUTDOOR SPACE FROM PLANTS TO DECKING

LANDSCAPE 2023 promises an array of outdoor essentials from plants to decking.

LANDSCAPE 2023 is an industry trade show representing the landscaping industry with suppliers of everything from plants and furniture to decking and lighting. With the rapidly evolving demands of modern travellers, staying ahead of the curve is essential to maintaining the success and growth of your business.

LANDSCAPE 2023 aims to equip you with the knowledge, connections and inspiration you need to thrive in this dynamic landscape. At LANDSCAPE 2023, you will be immersed in an environment brimming with cutting- edge technologies, industry trends and game-changing ideas for your outdoor spaces.

LANDSCAPE 2023 also plays host to free CPD accredited seminars held by over 100 industry-leading professionals. Each seminar session has been carefully curated and the programme exists to educate, inspire, connect professionals and provide a setting to share ideas and knowledge that will aid future projects. Visit the website to register to attend for free.

LANDSCAPE – The Industry Trade Show.
27th - 28th September 2023.
Hall 3, The NEC, Birmingham
www.landscapeshow.co.uk

YOUR NEXT STAR PERFORMER

THE CAPELLA 2HCX in action at Three Cliffs Bay holiday park.

Every holiday park will appreciate the vital role a utility vehicle plays in the smooth running of the site. And the STAR EV range of utility vehicles not only performs effectively behind the scenes but also as the star of the show too.

For holiday parks that can extend over acres of land, utility vehicles aren’t just a nice-to-have; they’re essential for daily operations, maintenance and gardening work as well as transporting equipment, guests and luggage from one side of the resort to another. STAR EV’s award-winning range brings productivity, sustainability, efficiency and value to every holiday park’s fleet and we look at how they do that.

ENERGY DENSITY
The greater energy density of a 210Ah maintenance-free lithium-ion battery makes STAR utility vehicles productive members of the team. With an industry leading tow capacity and payload able to handle up to 670kg of material and an electric tipping bed ideal for off-loading, vehicles such as the Capella 2HCX and Capella Work Machine are ideal to ensure the smooth behind the scenes operation of your holiday park.

Whether it be transporting guests, linen, maintenance equipment, hospitality services or even medical equipment, the Capella can maintain steady productivity between charge cycles, and easily be topped up via an on-board Lester charger. With the Lifted model staff and guests can also be safe traversing any kind of off-road terrain.

The guest experience is a top priority for a holiday park, so a vehicle that can be seen but not heard is vital. With a lithium-ion battery, the STAR EV lineup is able to perform its maintenance tasks noiselessly so as not to disturb the peace and enjoyment of the park’s visitors – an essential around guests staying in tents and caravans.

Even so, these vehicles don’t always belong behind the scenes. The Sirius 2+2 is designed to hold up to four passengers and is an attractive addition to any holiday park, elevating the guest experience, allowing them to ride in style and comfort as they take in the views of their destination.

THE SIRIUS 2+2 IS DESIGNED to hold up to four passengers and is an attractive addition to any holiday park.

ELECTRIC FLEETS
Many guests go to holiday parks to escape the bustle of city life, including the traffic that comes with it. With a close connection to their natural surroundings, it’s important for many resorts to be kind to the countryside they call home. STAR EV electric fleets produce zero emissions or leaks when being charged.

Pair this with superior energy efficiency and they reduce their actual pollution percentage, eliminating any contribution to global warming. What’s more, beyond their zero emissions, machines such as the Capella and Sirius are lightweight with a light tread too, providing a gentle drive on grounds while the lithium battery also eliminates the risk of a hydrochloric spill.

Reesink
Tel. 01480 226800
www.reesinkagriculture.co.uk

BRITAIN’S BEST CHILD-FREE BREAKS

BACK OF BEYOND’S Victoria and Martin Bowrey proudly show off their award certificates.

Britain’s top camping park for adults-only holidays has been named as Back of Beyond near Ringwood in Dorset. The park took the title after a poll was taken among readers of two top-selling touring magazines, Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome. Asked for their favourite destination to escape the patter of tiny feet, couples put Back of Beyond in the top spot for blissful 18-plus breaks.

It was just ten years ago that Victoria and Martin Bowrey sold their London photography business and took a gamble on their future by buying a 30-acre campsite on the fringes of the New Forest. The aim, said Martin, was to run a sustainable holiday park for nature-loving guests in a part of the country where he and Victoria often went camping.

Since then, they have invested much time and energy into creating five-star surroundings which include not just camping and touring pitches, but also a host of glamping options. Among the line-up of luxury accommodation are yurts, pods, shepherds’ huts and timber lodges.

Martin says they decided to make Back of Beyond an exclusively grown-up experience after being told by friends that top quality adult-only parks were thin on the ground: “There are lots of couples whose idea of holiday heaven is to be in a tranquil environment where the only sound likely to wake them up in the morning is birdsong,” he said.

“A lot of our customers come from professions such as teaching and child care, and who would prefer not to be reminded of their jobs when they go away. “Then there are younger couples who haven’t yet started a family, and more mature guests who tend to prefer peace to playgrounds when making their holiday choice.

“It also means we can provide facilities more in-tune with adult thinking, such as a wild camping area, a continental-style outdoor bar, a boules court, and private firepits,” said Martin. In the same poll of magazine readers, Back of Beyond was also voted the Best Park in Dorset across all categories, beating hundreds of other eligible parks to the top spot.

KUBOTA INVESTS IN GROUNDCARE

THE KUBOTA UK TEAM showed off the company’s latest products at a recent special event.

Media spanning sports turf, landscaping, amenity and equine were recently given a rare insight into the ‘behind the scenes’ workings of one of the most recognisable brands in groundcare, as Kubota UK opened their doors for a special event. The overarching theme of the two days was Kubota’s ongoing investment into the industry with updates on recent acquisitions and new initiatives in the areas of warranty and recruitment.

Kubota has been a leading manufacturer of agricultural equipment, construction equipment, lawn mowers and industrial engines since 1890. With its global headquarters in Osaka, Japan, offices in more than 120 countries and more than 41,000 employees in North America, Europe and Asia, Kubota had a turnover of $20 billion in 2021.

Although agricultural, construction and turf equipment are its main product lines, Kubota also produces a wide range of products such as city water purification systems, irrigation systems, piping systems, roof and home construction, and large underground valves.

Commenting on the event, Kubota UK Marketing Manager Rob Edwards said: “We, like all manufacturers, are aware of the issues facing the industry and that doesn’t just stop at having the right products to fit today’s market. “It was brilliant to be able to demonstrate to the press the programmes we’re delivering to support our dealers and our customers and show how proud we are to be re-investing in the needs of the next generation.”

The presentations concluded with a ‘ride and drive’ experience where Press representatives had the opportunity to test-drive a number of machines from across the range, including the recently-launched FC3 and FC4 mowers, and the LXe – Kubota’s first electric compact tractor, in the UK currently for extensive testing.

PEDAL POWER FOR PARKS

WITH A 60-MILE RANGE, Oyster Bay’s e-bikes mean that riders are unlikely to need topping up on their trips

Stonham Barns Park has hosted its inaugural Suffolk CycleFest for bicycle lovers, enthusiasts and racers from across the region. Over 100 participants joined in 30, 60 and 100-mile Sportives, supported and run by Stowmarket and District Cycle Club. The event featured the Extreme Bike Battle Stunt Team, a Kids Balance Bike trail, bike specialists Maglio Rosso, Salice UK, Ipswich Cycle Speedway, Suffolk Police and Combat2Coffee.

Up-and-coming British Cycling star Abbey Thompson, who is sponsored by the leisure, retail and holiday venue Stonham Barns Park attended the special one-day event. Says Events Manager Joanna Daines: “We are delighted that this debut event has been such a huge success for cycle clubs and cyclists everywhere.

“As cycling has grown so much as a participation sport in recent years, we are looking forward to rolling out Suffolk CycleFest again next year for cyclists from the region.” Meanwhile, holiday home-owners at Oyster Bay Coastal & Country Retreat in North Cornwall are now enjoying another benefit of staying at one of the West Country’s most stunning leisure resorts.

The top-rated holiday destination is offering them free use of a Volt Pulse e-bike when they stay to explore the scenic trails around the village of Goonhavern where Oyster Bay is based. It means that couples and families can enjoy fun-filled coastal and country jaunts with the minimum of effort whilst covering the maximum miles from their luxury accommodation.

STONHAM BARNS PARK recently staged its inaugural CycleFest.

 

As a bonus for the park, staff also have use of the Pulse e-bikes to travel around Oyster Bay’s extensive grounds with zero noise and zero atmospheric pollution. Oyster Bay sales manager Ash Reeves says the e-bikes have been given a warm welcome by owners, all of whom are able to use their holiday homes throughout the year: “The e-bikes are a fantastic way to get the most out of a visit to Oyster Bay, whether it’s for a short break or a longer holiday,” he says.

“The on-site Pulses mean that owners don’t have to lug their own bikes down on every occasion, and they are extremely comfortable to use whether on or off road. “They look very stylish too, and the sixty-mile range means there’s plenty of juice to get families wherever they want to go without having to pause for re-charging.

“Oyster Bay is a premium location for holiday home ownership, so we are always looking for ways to add extra value to the customer’s experience here. “Volt has helped us to deliver on this in a marvellous and memorable way – and the e-bikes have also won a massive vote of support from our always-on-the-move team members!” said Ash.

Oyster Bay is one of the flagship locations of the Park Leisure brand, and is among the fifty-plus parks operated by Park Holidays UK in England, Wales and Scotland.

INSURANCE SUMS MUST ADD UP

A PROFESSIONAL SURVEYOR will undertake a review to determine what business insurance values should be.

If the worst happens, and you suffer a loss to one of the buildings or infrastructure on your Park then the amount you are insured for becomes an important number. With rising costs of materials and labour, knowing how much to insure for is difficult. There is a lot of focus at present on the rising costs in construction, and in particular in the leisure industry.

Whether it’s replacement caravans and lodges, the cost of timber or the cost of labour. In their latest report on Building Repair Costs, Sedgwick, one of the leading global Claims providers, forecast that the cost of insurance repairs in relation to buildings will rise 10.5% through the first part of this year.

Known as the Insurance Repair Specific Index (IRSI), it monitors the four main cost components typically found in insurance repairs: Labour, Plan, Materials and Waste disposal. If costs of rebuild and replacement go up by 10%, is a 10% increase in your sums insured sufficient?

Or would 15% be more appropriate for you? A reliable source of information, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, also measure the cost of construction materials and in late 2022, they recorded a 12.7% increase. The most robust way to determine sums insured would be to engage a professional surveyor to undertake a review for you and use their report to determine what those values should be.

You may wish to check with your insurer to see if they offer a valuation service. If you have a policy with Compass, we have an exclusive Valuation Service, which will help to give you peace of mind by providing a range of options for professional valuations of all the buildings on your park. It offers solutions from remote desktop surveys to on site physical valuations, all designed to give you the insight and information you need to insure your business.

The service includes:
• Choice of desktop review or on site survey(depending on the size of your business and specific needs).
• Full reports with declared value, rebuild and sum insured estimates.
• Discounted follow up reports at 3 and 5 years.
• Access to quarterly building cost indices and reports.

Prices start at £150 + VAT for a desktop review and £800 + VAT for an onsite survey and are linked to the size of your business and the sums you need to insure for. To find out more about the service you can speak to your Regional Account Manager,
contact us via:

COMPASS INSURANCE
0344 274 0276
enquiries@compass.co.uk
www.compassparks.co.uk

PROVING THE PERFECT APP SOLUTION

GEMAPARK AND HOLIDAYMAKER APP working together give Wooda Farm Holiday Park the edge in providing a great customer experience

Wooda Farm Holiday Park identified that a mobile app was the perfect solution to giving customers a central place to go for information and booking functionality, and also provided an easy way to communicate with customers in the run up to and during their stay. It was important that the app tied in closely with their GemaPark booking system to allow the customer to review their booking and plan their stay by adding extras and booking activities.

Charlotte Veale from Wooda explains: “It is so much easier for the customer to find all the information they require in one place. “It is really easy for them to book activities whilst they are here, book a table in the restaurant or order their takeaway online, and also to keep track of their booking details/ payments etc without having to search for their email confirmation before they arrive. They can easily see what’s on during their stay and what they can do whilst on holiday.”

GemaPark’s integration with Holidaymaker mobile app provides allows customers to view their booking details and see activity availability all from within the app. It integrates seamlessly to the GemapPark guest area for making payments, add extras and booking activities prior to arrival and during their stay. Combined with the use of push communications through the app this is also perfect for upselling whilst your customers are with you.

David Lakins, of Holiday Maker App, comments: “Adding in the new GemaPark events module takes the whole guest offering to another level. “Wooda guests can now download the app, sign in with their GemaPark booking ID and then see a live feed of events and activities on the park. “To make a booking, it is a seamless click through to GemaPark’s portal to make a payment. This is another first for GemaPark and Holidaymaker app” he adds. To learn more about GemaPark or the Holidaymaker App, please get in touch for an informal conversation.

GemaPark.co.uk
Holidaymakerapp.co.uk

BOOSTING BOOKINGS

On-line technology does the hefty lifting for hospitality sales...

THE CONVENIENCE of automated, easy- to-access, digital systems needs no explanation.

Artificial Intelligence is big news, dominating social media tweets and posts around the world. AI comes as no surprise for the holiday destination sector where automated technology has long been embedded in the hospitality experience. From booking a destination through promoting on-site spend to sealing timely confirmation of return accommodation, the convenience of automated, easy-to-access, digital systems needs no explanation.

Zonal is a UK-based, family-owned, connected technology provider offering innovative solutions to more than 16,000 businesses of all shapes and sizes across the hospitality sector. Zonal provided detailed figures to partners, CGA, enabling them to produce an exclusive GO Technology survey of 5,000 nationally representative British consumers earlier this year.

That report reveals consumers’ latest attitudes to using technology within hospitality, and how venues can strike the right balance between digital solutions and personal interaction. Having an online, direct booking system in place, that is easy to use, will help operators drive footfall and increase overall revenues this summer and beyond.

 

In food and beverage outlets, online booking systems can be set up to prompt guests to opt for up-selling options such as pre-dinner cocktails or a bottle of fizz on arrival. What’s more, enabling guests to reserve a table will reduce queues and improve the guest experience. Key to this, will be simple things such as ensuring WIFI is available.

The research shows that only 53% of people consider WIFI in holiday parks to be good or excellent whilst 64% say that these tech solutions will improve the quality of their stay. With this in mind, making sure WIFI works and connects well can reduce guest frustration and make it easier for them to make impulse bookings and purchases.

Booking technology can also alleviate pressure on staff particularly if it is integrated with other tech in outlets and across the park. For example, an integrated bookings and table management system will save staff time by relieving them of the task of manually re-inputting information and reduces the risk of error.

GUESTS WILL BE PROMPTED to opt for on-site options and less inclined to look for alternative options off-site.

ON-SITE SPEND
Personalisation is a key consumer trend and enabling guests to tailor their holiday to their preferences improves guests’ overall experience and drives revenues. Tech systems help here by giving control to guests. A fully integrated booking system can enable guests to prebook activities, preselect tables, pre-order food and even order food and drink to be delivered to their accommodation.

Over half of holiday park guests (56%) find the idea of having breakfast delivered to their accommodation appealing. By making it as easy as possible to browse and book holiday park experiences, guests will be prompted to opt for on-site options and less inclined to look for alternative options off-site.

“The role of technology in hospitality is clearly growing – in a post-pandemic market, not only are customers used to seeing technology in-venue, but a lot of customers expect it to be present,” points out Olivia FitzGerald, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Zonal. “However, we cannot afford to underestimate the importance of human connection, Olivia continues.

“Hospitality is a sector that is brilliant because of its people, and it is important that technology enhances that by working in the background, doing the heavy-lifting and alleviating staff pressure so they can focus on delivering exceptional service to their guests.”

THE ZONAL AND CGA DATA shows the enormous value of technology users in hospitality.

REPEAT VISITS
Digital booking systems also enable operators to capture important customer data. This can then be used to encourage repeat visits – boosting business by helping marketing teams reach more prospects in more channels with less budget. Whilst holiday parks can expect park members to return time and time again, operators cannot rest on their laurels.

Ensuring members are kept engaged, as well as ensuring there are guest visits increasing year on year will be vital. To help drive this, guests should be contacted post-stay with offers of promotions, discounts and other bounceback schemes. If a booking system is linked to all other tech and integrates with one central hub, such as an EPoS, operators can take this one step further, using customer spend data from across the holiday park to create bespoke and tailored on-site offers and promotions based on those likes and dislikes.

This not only encourages spend and repeat visits but gives guests a more personalised and bespoke experience. Figures in the report indicate that 81% of people are planning to stay in a UK destination - so there has never been a better time for park owners to ensure their booking systems are fit for purpose.

As operational costs continue to soar it is vital that holiday parks are able to drive spend per head across all parts of the business and booking technology can support this by opening up opportunities to encourage up-selling and add-on sales. Approaches to interactions via tech and human contact have become neatly split: between their tasks outside a restaurant or pub; and steps they take while inside (see box).

For example, nearly half (47%) would prefer to make table bookings via technology, while even more want to be able to cancel bookings (51%) or get reminders without having to contact someone (60%).

BOOKING TECHNOLOGY can also alleviate pressure on staff particularly if it is integrated with other tech in other park outlets.

 

IN PERSON
Once they are through the doors, it’s a different story, as nearly three in five consumers want to place food orders, settle bills and leave tips in person. In practice, the division of preferences isn’t quite so straightforward. Many people still want to complete pre-visit tasks offline, like general enquiries (33%) and booking tables (25%). Likewise, a minority prefer to use technology to place orders or pay bills.

“Wherever technology is deployed, choice and flexibility are key. It can be a superb enabler for hospitality for guests and operators alike, giving consumers the speed and convenience they want and freeing up teams to focus on what they do best,” notes Karl Chessell, CGA Director - hospitality operators and food, EMEA. “In such a competitive and challenging market, brands that make the smartest use of tech, without compromising human elements, have a crucial advantage.”

This highlights the importance of choice. Going too far in either direction—whether by withdrawing human interaction completely or failing to offer enough alternative options— risks alienating sizeable proportions of potential guests. Understanding the breakdowns of consumers who prefer technology and human interaction is the first step towards meeting their needs, and this GO Technology research pinpoints their key demographics.

The key takeaway is that technophiles tend to be heavy spenders. They spend an average of £24 a month more on eating and drinking out than those who prefer human interaction, and their household income is £10,100 higher. On top of that, more than half (53%) live in city or town centres, where hospitality venues are more heavily concentrated and people eat out more often.

Of course, consumers who typically choose human contact over digital interaction are just as valuable, and operators need to carefully retain their loyalty. But this data shows the enormous value of technology users in hospitality and makes a strong case for sustained investment in digital solutions that satisfy them. To download the full report, contact info@zonal.co.uk

LET US ENTERTAIN YOU!

The vibrant mix of holiday destination talent...

BUTLIN’S BIG WEEKENDERS, exclusively for adults, has a brand-new break for 2023, We Call It Dance.

Holiday entertainment has significantly evolved from the first Redcoats of the 1930 and the Hi de Hi era of the Sixties. Operators of parks, large and small, still agree that getting the entertainment mix right remains crucial to ensure happy, satisfied customers. While holiday parks continue to evolve and offer modern amenities, depending on the target market, the traditional camp host still has a place.

Their expertise, personal touch, and ability to create a sense of community contribute to the overall experience and can make a holiday park stay even more enjoyable. These days, holiday destinations are constantly raising the bar by offering a diverse range of entertainment options to cater to different age groups and interests.

A mix of live shows, musical performances, themed events, and interactive experiences all aim to engage visitors. Holiday parks typically manage their entertainment offerings through a combination of planning, coordination, and collaboration.

 

• Entertainment Programming: Design a varied programme that caters to different age groups and interests, including live performances, themed events, sports tournaments, and workshops.

• Talent Booking: While considering the preferences and demographics of guests, working with external performers or talent agencies can be a cost-efficient way of securing talent such as musicians, magicians, dancers, and comedians.

• Activity Scheduling: The entertainment team creates a schedule for activities, ensuring a good balance throughout the day. This helps guests plan their participation and prevents overlapping events.

• Facilities and Venues: Dedicated spaces for entertainment may include theatres, outdoor stages, sports courts, and activity rooms. These areas are equipped with appropriate sound systems, lighting, and seating arrangements to enhance the overall experience.

• Key Personnel: Trained staff members including entertainers, activity coordinators, and event managers, are employed to execute the entertainment programme. They oversee the smooth operation of events, interact with guests, and ensure everyone’s enjoyment and safety.

• Guest Feedback: Collecting client feedback through surveys, suggestion boxes, or online platforms.

This helps them understand preferences, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to future programs. No better example of holiday destination entertainment than Butlins with its wide range of shows, live performances, and activities suitable for all ages. The resorts often feature popular acts, live music, and themed events, ensuring a vibrant atmosphere.

THE EVOLUTION OF UK HOLIDAY destination entertainment has resulted in a more inclusive and engaging experience for visitors. Pic. Fowlers

BIG WEEKENDERS
Ranging from genre specific breaks like the new We Call It Dance weekender to popular decade breaks, 2023 will see 16 different Big Weekenders – all for adults only. There are also some new, big-name artists performing at Butlin’s for the first time. Continuing with the dance theme, Tom Zanetti, Route 94 and Lovely Laura and Ben Santiago are all new acts playing the We Love Ibiza weekender.

Sophie Ellis-Bextor is other new headliner performing on Back To The 2000s and Replay Weekenders. Mike Godolphin, Entertainment Director at Butlin’s, said: “We’re thrilled to be introducing a new dance weekender featuring some of the biggest names in the industry. “We Call It Dance is a brilliant opportunity to get your mates together and enjoy an unforgettable three nights of house, disco, garage and much more.

We can’t wait to see everyone on the dancefloor in Skegness later this year.” With the tagline ‘the Home of Entertainment’, Butlin’s is continually redefining what entertainment is, could and should be. The holiday park chain is opening a brand-new indoor activity centre, PLAYXPERIENCE, at its Bognor Regis resort.

Described as “an immersive indoor hub”, this new £15million space will feature a variety of experiences all under one roof. Covering nearly 50,000 square feet, each room will be filled with adrenaline-pumping activities in the daytime and competitive, interactive bar games in the evening.

HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS like Park Holidays UK continue to invest in the quality on-site entertainment.

BIG SPENDERS
In 2022 Parkdean Resorts announced a £140 million spend nationwide at its parks as part of its biggest ever investment programme. The investment went towards new accommodation, new and upgraded activities and facilities, and installing park-wide Wi-Fi capability.

The investment also allowed Parkdean to continue to roll out its hugely popular brand partnerships, with Bear Grylls’ Survival Academy, Tots’ Breaks, and events and entertainment from Milkshake and Nickelodeon now available at more parks than ever.

Steve Richards, Chief Executive of Parkdean Resorts tells us: “By investing in our parks, we’re not only improving the guest experience, but we’re also ensuring that holidaymakers keep coming back year after year, spending money in local shops, attractions, pubs and restaurants, and supporting the communities that rely so heavily on tourism.”

The entertainment and activity offering at holiday operator Away Resorts is unique to each park. Across the portfolio there is everything from archery to line dancing, laser tag, axe throwing and zorbing, to alpaca walks and yoga, arts and crafts, bug hunts. fishing and cycle hire.

There are also traditional character shows, breakfasts and meet-and- greets with the likes of Bear, Scratch and Lucy. Sammi Storey, Entertainment Manager at Sandy Balls says “[Bear’s] so real, and it’s so rewarding seeing all the kid’s smiles!”

PROVIDING DIVERSE ENTERTAINMENT options will cater to different preferences and age groups.

 

CUSTARD PIE
Creative Director Max Barraclough is proud of what Away Resorts has achieved: “My team thrives on building unique experiences our customers will remember forever,” he says. “Our Custard Pie and Colour Festival events are now famous, with guests coming back time and time again for them.

“Our mini festivals get customers singing, dancing and really letting go. We Live Stream many events now, so no matter which park you’re staying at you can enjoy the full Away Resorts experience. We like to think the attention to detail in all our entertainment shines through.”

The entertainment offering is big – and growing - at all the parks. A good example of this family together festival, Famaland. New for 2023, it will take place at Tattershall Lakes between 21st July –2nd September and bring together epic headline shows, mini versions of its well-loved festivals including Dinoworld, Colour Throws and Custard Pie Fights, as well as some brilliant family favourite character appearances.

“All our most popular events together each week,” says the creative team behind it. Whether seeking adrenaline-pumping adventures, enchanting live performances, or a tranquil retreat surrounded by nature, the evolution of UK holiday destination entertainment has resulted in a more inclusive and engaging experience for visitors, with a focus on providing diverse entertainment options that cater to different preferences and age groups.

HAVEN OPTS FOR HAPPY NAPPY

Haven has invested in the reusable Happy Nappy swim nappy, for babies and toddlers under three years, in a bid to reduce disposable nappy use across its onsite swimming pools. This decision will save Haven an estimated 20 tonnes of waste annually across its 41 UK holiday destinations, compared with single-use disposable swim nappies

“Haven is committed to taking paper swim nappies out of its pools to end the cycle of waste from disposables, so much so that we are heavily subsidising the cost of the Happy Nappy in all our poolside retail outlets, to make it easier for holidaymakers to ditch the disposable swim nappy for good.” Said Simon Palmer, Head of Activities & Leisure at Haven.

“Not only will this have a positive effect on the environment with, we estimate, a reduction of 20 tonnes of waste to landfill, but it will also enable us to meet our strict environmental targets and ensure we have the cleanest water for all our swimmers.” Simon Palmer concluded. The Splash About Happy Nappy is the UK’s best-selling reusable swim nappy.

For the past 20 years it has been recommended by 95 percent of baby swim schools as the de facto reusable swim nappy due to its highly effective award-winning design. British Standards Guidelines for Baby Swimming also consider it best practice for children under 3 years to wear a Happy Nappy to keep pool water clean.

Splash About now supplies 85% of the UK holiday and leisure market with its range of family fun swim products and its innovative business model is transforming the face of leisure retail. By focusing on retail theatre, strategic merchandising, online ordering, and stock guarantees, retail sales are optimised, especially during peak trading periods.

Splash About
Tel. 01472 236 465
Email. info@splashabout.com
www.splashabout.com

ENERGY EFFICIENT SAVINGS

When it comes to heating swimming pools efficiently, park managers can look no further than the Fairland InverX heat pump. The patented biometric hexagon design maximises heat exchange efficiency, and a real-time power consumption display allows park owners to track usage.

The high coefficient of performance means that for every kilowatt consumed, InverX offers 16 kilowatts of heat in return. Even at 50% capacity, InverX still delivers high coefficient of performance of 11.6. For flexibility, InverX has three operational modes.

Turbo mode increases capacity to reduce initial heating time by 20%, Smart mode runs at 20-100% capacity according to water and ambient temperature for energy efficiency, and Silence mode is ideal for night use when capacity is reduced to 20-60%.

Golden Coast
Tel. 01271 378100
www.goldenc.com

NEW CORDLESS CLEANER IS SMASH HIT

SPLASH LANDINGS Resort is one of the first locations to snap up the new cordless Inver X Warrior pool cleaner, available now through Ocea UK.

New to the market, the Inver X Warrior is a cordless robotic cleaner, from Ocea UK. Operating without the nuisance of wires and able to operate unassisted overnight, even under a pool cover. Taking the pool cleaning strain, the Inver X Warrior out performs in all environments in both residential and commercial pool environments.

It climbs walls, scrubs the water line and comes packed with advanced AI technology including APP control. “We knew we had a special product on our hands but the response to the Inver X Warrior has been phenomenal,” says Ocea UK’s Alan Thorne.

“The biggest selling point is that this is has eliminated the need for cords as it is completely rechargeable,” he continues. “To say the least, we are more than a bit excited about the potential for this revolutionary product that is not just outclassing its rivals on performance – but even more so on value.”

The product has been under development for four years. Ocea UK has spent the past six months carrying out vigorous final field tests including glowing reviews from the Alton Towers Splash Landings resort.

Ocea UK
Tel. 01993 707910
www.oceauk.com

WATER TREATMENT EFFICIENCY

Pool chemicals are expensive and one of the issues often seen is the habit of overdosing to make sure there is ‘enough’ treatment in the water. This practice can lead to using unnecessary additional chemicals which in turn can add substantial cost.

Using a good testing system, testing frequently and knowing the levels you have can give you better control of chemicals and will save you money. Testing the water correctly and frequently and carrying out a balanced water analysis can reduce the risk of damage to the pool plant – and also works for hot tub fittings.

The Lovibond MD110 6in1 Photometer enables the operator to test for all the common pool and spa water tests including free and total chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

The meter is easy to use and will give accurate, repeatable, and reliable readings and is supplied with everything you need to carry out testing immediately. When used in conjunction with a suitable TDS Pen (such as the Lovibond SD80) balanced water analysis can be carried out on a regular basis.

Lovibond Tintometer
Tel. 01980 664800
www.tintometer.com

MAKING A SPLASH

Top tips and strategies for aquatic attractions...

POOL AND SPLASH pads offer an irresistible combination for water-based fun.

Serving up popular visitor appeal is crucial for reaping the return on water leisure investment on holiday destination swimming pools. Sometimes a daunting commitment, traditional pools can pose challenges such as water treatment, heating, safety regulations and staffing. In comparison, the addition of a splash pad caters for more users yet appeals to the broadest audience of individuals, families and groups.

Equally, the pool and splash pad can work together; a complementary space for users to engage in water-based fun simultaneously. The result is a vibrant and energetic aquascape that elevates the overall pool experience and creates an environment where more guests can engage in aquatic fun. The Splash, a renowned UK-based company, specialising in bespoke splash pads, has set itself the ambitious goal of revolutionising the water leisure industry by providing game-changing solutions.

By integrating a custom-designed splash pad from The Splash, pool owners can experience a significant increase in the bather load, accommodating more users than ever before. With their commitment to manufacturing excellence and limitless design possibilities, The Splash is redefining the concept of interactive water play. Customisation is at the heart of their philosophy.

THE SPLASH ENSURES that each splash pad is crafted with meticulous attention to detail.

 

Each splash pad design is crafted with precision and tailored to the specific requirements and preferences of the customer. This commitment to bespoke designs ensures that every splash pad is unique, offering endless design opportunities that enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of the facility. The Splash takes pride in its UK- based manufacturing process, guaranteeing the highest quality standards.

By keeping production local, The Splash ensures that each splash pad is crafted with meticulous attention to detail and adheres to stringent quality control measures. This commitment to manufacturing excellence guarantees durable and long-lasting splash pads that withstand the test of time while offering endless design possibilities.

Established in 1966, Ustigate Waterplay has specialised in the design, build and maintenance of aquatic facilities for 57 years and are renowned for providing high quality, efficient and sustainable solutions that are safe and full of fun for their user groups as well as lasting the test of time. This testimony is backed by their past projects, their membership of the Association of Play Industries and Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group and the long-term warranties provided on all their aquatic play products.

ALL OF USTIGATE’S SPLASHPAD® products are formed from tactile, interactive and user-friendly products.

STAFF TRAINING
Staff training is provided for clients that have a team to operate their aquatic facilities. Ustigate also provide ongoing customer care packages that consist of monthly and annual services, seasonal commissioning, decommissioning and facility and surfacing refurbishments. Ustigate has worked with many clients for many years.

In 2004, Ustigate designed and built Aqua-Tek at Magna Science Adventure Centre; no spare parts have been required on the Vortex products to date and Ustigate replaced the original EPDM wet-pour surfacing in 2022, following 19 years of consistent popularity and play. The correct calculations for aquatic play schemes are based upon the number of water features, their flow rates and the bather load, advise specialist Ustigate.

Tanks, pumps and filters are sized to meet specification, performance and demand. The majority of Ustigate’s aquatic play schemes are provided with a PWTAG compliant recirculation system with two separate tanks (one for clean water and one for returned water) to guarantee water quality, safety efficiency and to enable one body of water to be treated and recycled.

This is the most efficient and sustainable water management system in terms of water usage. Energy and water conservation for splashpads is achieved through the setting of the height of water effects, feature activation, sequencing and sleep mode in-between water cycles.

The brains of the system is a controller that sets the hours of operation and feature sequencing as well as providing live real-time data on critical plant room equipment, water treatment and water usage, all designed and manufactured by Ustigate Waterplay at its base in Dartford, Kent. The controller is user-friendly with a touch screen that can be operated manually whilst in the plant room or via an iPad, mobile phone or PC when provided with an Ethernet internet connection and remote access.

THE SPLASH PROVIDE game-changing solutions for aquatic attractions.

PEACE OF MIND
Public safety is paramount and it is imperative that the water quality and chemical balance is correct. The Ustigate controller provides peace of mind and guarantees public safety because if the water quality and chemical balance falls short, an alarm is triggered to action immediate attention and correction. The majority of Ustigate’s PWTAG compliant, two-tank recirculation systems, include chemical water treatment and ultraviolet disinfection.

Ustigate’s in-house manufactured controller ensures consistent operation, optimal performance and safety efficiency. The majority of Ustigate’s poolside Splashpad® play items are provided with a Safeswap™ anchor, enabling products to be removed for easy cleaning.

The Safeswap™ anchor system also provides a sustainable and low-cost solution to exchange products for alternatives in future; ensuring aquatic play facilities remain as modern as the first day of installation. All of Ustigate’s Splashpad® products are formed from tactile, interactive and user-friendly products that are tried and tested and certified to meet EN 1176 safety standards.

Ustigate’s flumes also meet the strictest of safety standards, having been tested by the TÜV (Technical Supervision Authorities) and certified EN 1069, the European standard for waterslides and EN 1090, the European standard for steel and welded constructions. If you are looking to splash out on water leisure, think outside of the swimming pool box. Get the basics right and remember to add a splash of interactive fun and you will have found a recipe for success.

The Splash
E. enquiries@thesplash.uk
www.thesplash.uk

Ustigate Waterplay
Tel. 01322 4244 45
www.ustigatewaterplay.co.uk

 

TEEN MACHINES

TOUGH TRAIL IS DESIGNED for children over the age of ten.

Inspired by the thrilling ninja warrior experience and created to engage teenagers, Tough Trail innovation is eibe’s newest brand range. Tough trail tempts teenagers off todays tech and gives them an interesting alternative to common exercises.

With elements of parkour, free running and calisthenics, play meets sporting challenge with full body commitment. The Tough Trail transforms a play area into an exciting, action-packed fitness/play experience for young people aged 10 and up playing independently or playing collaboratively / competitively in groups.

Tough Trail is tested and certified EN 1176 compliant. It has been designed with deliberately challenging access so younger children cannot climb onto the equipment and use features designed for children above the age of 10.

Tough Trail is just one of the segments within our extensive brand range which can be viewed via our main catalogue. Request one today or view today online via our website. Should you ever have a unique brief that requires a one-off piece we offer a bespoke design service and work with you to help make your play concepts a reality.

eibe Play
Tel. 01483 813834
www.eibe.co.uk

EYE-CATCHING THEMES

FROM CASTLES TO EXPLORERS TO PIRATES, a Ledon Playground from OLP can give your holiday park the edge you are looking for.

If you are looking for an eye-catching themed playground to keep your smaller visitors entertained, then look no further than Online Playgrounds who are the main UK partner for Ledon Play Equipment. Designed in Denmark with children for children, no ideas are scrimped on.

This is not just tested or photographed with children, but they are involved from developing the first ideas through storytelling, through to trialling the final prototypes. Children are the experts at play, so it makes sense to ask them what makes the most fun play equipment.

With a huge number of imaginative play values, the play equipment is not only amazing fun, but it also helps children’s creative, emotional, social, physical and cognitive development – an all-round winner! The Ledon theme worlds create exciting universes which can spark the imagination and encourage role play.

This encourages emotional understanding and social interaction. From castles to explorers to pirates, a Ledon Playground from OLP can give your holiday park the edge it needs to attract more visitors. These worlds can be as large or small as your space or budget dictates.

From large multiplay units and associated matching springers, swings and see-saws through to much smaller single item areas we can work within your guidelines to create an enticing and accessible play area.

Online Playgrounds (OLP)
Tel. 01354 638359
www.onlineplaygrounds.co.uk

AN INSTANT NEW ATTRACTION

BATTERY RIDES can be operating and taking money within a few hours of reaching a holiday park site.

Battery-operated rides are long-term generators of all-year-round income for holiday park destinations. Crucially, battery rides can be operating and taking money, on any hard and level surface, or pool in the case of bumper boats and family day boats, within a few hours of the rides and their long-life batteries being delivered, fully charged, to site.

Top of the 2023 popular attractions for holiday destinations are bumper cars, bumper boats, disco bikes, driving schools and ‘Big Car’ adventures, advise World Of Rides. These chart-topping choices all come with high-income credentials and with versions of customer-friendly ‘pay-to-play’ systems.

Offering zero emissions, ‘parent and child’ battery-operated rides can also be easily and safely operated either indoors or outdoors as the weather and seasonal demands dictate and can be easily transported between grounds. “Can I just say a very big thank you to all our early-bird and forward-thinking customers for their early confirmed orders as it saves any last-minute panics and the disappointment of a late delivery,” said World Of Rides’ Sales Manager Andrew Robinson.

Forward ordering is everything this year, due to supply chain problems world-wide, and the rides are also much cheaper to buy, as further price increases this year are almost certain. All World of Rides battery-operated rides are proudly supplied with full UK BACTA-HSE-ADIPS safety documentation that is now an essential requirement of BACTA membership.

World of Rides
Tel: 0191 49 20 999
www.worldofrides.com

THE FUN FACTOR

Play remains an integral part of the holiday offering...

POST PANDEMIC, there appears to be a strong demand for parents to allow children the freedom to play outdoors in the fresh air. Pic. Proludic

Independently commissioned research - by leading outdoor play and sport provider Proludic, has shown that the public is as keen as ever to see high-quality outdoor play areas at holiday destinations across the UK. The results showed a relationship between the availability of play facilities and time spent at leisure venues. There is a clear desire to see play as an integral part of the offering.

Over half (51%) of the respondents said play areas were an important consideration for them when visiting a holiday park, or visitor attraction. A significant 41% said they were more likely to book a UK holiday park vacation if they had made good provisions for children’s play. The majority (65%) said keeping children entertained in a good play space at all visitor and leisure attractions was important to them.

Post pandemic, there appears to be a strong demand for parents to allow children the freedom to play outdoors in the fresh air, particularly as they have recently spent many months indoors. Playing outdoors has many benefits but particularly improves mental health, fitness and boosts vitamin D levels.

Proludic’s history in play began in 1985 with a range of play equipment constructed from timber. Back then the focus was to capture the elements of nature incorporating tree houses to play in, logs to balance along and trunks to climb up.

PROLUDIC, has shown that the public is as keen as ever to see high-quality outdoor play areas.

DESIGN INFLUENCES
Nature is ever present in Proludic’s history influencing designs and creating wonderful play opportunities for children in the play areas that the company has built over the last three decades. Nature has an abundance of play resources for children and is an ideal setting for adventure and discovery. The unstructured activities provided by nature stimulate physical activity, imagination, creativity, motor skills and cognitive development.

The use of natural materials in the construction of playground equipment brings nature into the play space and can offer an ideal backdrop within holiday destination venues and at leisure attractions. With this in mind, Proludic’s Origin’ range, launched in 2013, was designed to provide children with a secure environment to learn and develop through exploring nature’s play activities.

Balance trails, swings, springers, roundabouts and role-play items offer individual play opportunities to support movement development. A range of multiplay units has limitless combinations. Triangular towers with different floors, heights, ladders, climbing, ramps, fixed, and mobile, bridges, tunnels, vertical nuts, climbing walls, slides and Fireman’s poles.

All of these elements, make for original tailor-made play combinations. Known for its durability and resistance in outdoor environments to insects, fungus and inclement weather, Robinia guarantees the longevity of playground facilities. Rotproof and stable over time, it can be installed in the ground without the need for chemical treatments.

The Robinia used for the Origin range is PEFC-certified, which means it comes from sustainably managed European forests. Due to the expertise and skill of Proludic team members who have worked within the forestry industry, the company has recently extended the standard Origin’ range to include larger structures based on three themes - Medieval Legends and Tales, Adventures in Nature and Sealife Scenes.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORTS
Wicksteed is the leading manufacturer of outdoor playground equipment in the UK. The company boasts a longstanding history and heritage within the playground sector, developing trusted relationships with schools, councils, holiday parks and housing developers for more than 100 years. Working in partnership is a key ingredient for Wicksteed projects.

For instance, Pensnett Coppice has undergone a remarkable transformation, thanks to the dedicated collaboration between Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council, Friends of the Coppice, and Wicksteed Leisure. This rejuvenation project not only brought life back to the once-empty site but also created a vibrant and engaging playground that seamlessly blends with the natural surroundings.

With Wicksteed Leisure’s unwavering commitment to safety, children can now explore and play with peace of mind. The newly installed play equipment, in vibrant yellows and greens, stands as a beacon of joy amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings. Wicksteed Leisure’s expertise in design and playability ensured that the equipment seamlessly integrated into the environment while capturing attention from afar.

Every element was carefully selected to provide a diverse range of engaging options, offering endless hours of entertainment for children of all ages and abilities. Harmony with the natural environment was a paramount consideration in the playground’s design.

To preserve the rural charm of Pensnett Coppice, the play area features Notts Sport synthetic carpet surfacing. This durable and robust surface not only enhances safety but also blends harmoniously with the picturesque surroundings. The transformed playground has been embraced wholeheartedly by the local community.

PLAYING OUTDOORS HAS MANY BENEFITS but particularly improves mental health, fitness and boosts vitamin D levels. Pic. HAGS

HIGH ROPES
Following significant investment, SF Parks has launched a much-anticipated high ropes course at its White House Leisure Park in Towyn, Wales. This latest addition to the park will be followed by an upgrade to Jakes family restaurant and pub, an amusement arcade, a cinema room, and soft play, complementing existing facilities including a crazy golf course and food and drinks outlets.

And it comes as the family-owned business awaits planning permission for another adrenaline-fuelled activity – The Jump – where customers can leap from a three or six-foot platform onto a giant airbag. SF Parks, which also owns Golden Gate in Towyn, Riverside and Sun Valley in Rhuddlan, and Sirior Bach in Moelfre, Abergele, has big plans for the future. Director Jonathan Seldon says these exciting developments are just the start.

“The response to the high ropes course and all of our plans has been really positive, so we thank everyone for their support,” he said. “Our loyal customers are always top priority and enhancing their experience is paramount, which is why we will continue to make improvements and introduce more exhilarating and engaging attractions across the SF Parks portfolio.”

Fellow director Oliver Seldon reinforced those comments and revealed their overall vision will lead to more developments in the months ahead. “This new attraction and The Jump – should we receive the green light next month – show how committed we are to our customers and also the local economy, supporting small businesses and creating full-time and seasonal jobs,” he said. “We will continue to improve standards, embrace innovation and keep investing in all of our parks as that will have a lasting impact not just on SF Parks but the region’s tourism sector.”

WICKSTEED FIRE THE IMAGINATION with outstanding holiday park installations.

ADVENTURE PLAY
If you are looking for more examples of holiday stay and play options, then look no further than Blenheim Palace that offers vacations in partnership with Darwin Escapes. A new £3.6 million outdoor play experience at Blenheim, has been carefully designed and created to ensure children of all abilities from the ages of 2-12 are able to explore and enjoy the extensive play areas.

Adventure Play is a series of immersive interconnecting zones with secret chambers, clamber nets, tunnels, slides, rope bridges - and giant carrots! Covering a site larger than a football pitch, it celebrates the rich heritage of the 18th century baroque Palace, inspired by real-life features including the lakeside Boat House and Hensington Gateway.

Unfortunately, the days when children played out on the street all day are long gone. For many children today – especially families without gardens – outdoor play only happens on holidays.

The onus is therefore on holiday park owners and operators to ensure the play facilities they offer are the best they can be. The key message is invest in outdoor play and you will be rewarded with happy families who are much more likely to return to your park – and tell their friends about it.

COMPANY CONTACTS

Blenheim Palace
www.blenheimpalace.com/adventure-play/

Proludic
Tel. 0115 982 3980
www.proludic.co.uk

SF Parks
01745 833048
www.sfparks.co.uk

Technical Outdoor Solutions
Tel. 01768 840 300
www. technicaloutdoorsolutions.co.uk

Wicksteed
Tel. 01536 517028
www.wicksteed.co.uk

HOLIDAY HEROES

Away Resort's raises the UK holiday park bar...

WATERSPORTS are a big attraction at Tattershall Lakes

International travel is back, but the Great British Holiday continues its rise. At the forefront of this increasingly sophisticated market are innovative operators like Away Resorts. A UK holiday park operator with a difference, Away Resorts started life in 2008 when Chief Executive Carl Castledine teamed up with industry stalwarts Neill Ryder and Greg Lashley.

Following in the footsteps of his grandfather who ran one of Britain’s first holiday camps, it was written in the stars that Carl would enter the parks business. In fact, according to colleagues, if you cut Carl in half, he would have the words ‘holiday park’ and ‘Away Resorts’ running through him like a stick of rock! With the acquisition of their first holiday park – Whitecliff Bay on the Isle of Wight – and a self-confessed ambition to ‘shake up the industry,’ Away Resorts was in business.

“We wanted to take the best bits of the great British holiday park, throw out the worst aspects, then add in some amazing contemporary touches, creating holiday parks for the next generation,” says Carl. And that’s exactly what they have done. Today, Away Resorts operates 27 holiday parks across the UK set in beautiful locations throughout Scotland, Lincolnshire, Isle of Wight, North Wales, Hampshire, Dorset, Cornwall, Hayling Island and Essex.

INNOVATION SUCH AS CONTEMPORARY themed accommodation fuels development. Pictured, the Rockstar.

Each park in the portfolio is unique and has its own individual appeal, whether it be festival inspired entertainment and Instagrammable themed accommodation, or retro-style talent shows and low-key camping under the stars. At the heart of every park is the same desire to inspire their guests to make memories.

“Whether customers want coastal or country locations, full-on fun or a relaxing time with loved ones, each resort is alive with character and atmosphere, and specifically crafted to suit customer needs,” explains Laura Miller, who joined Away Resorts as Head of Marketing in 2017.

“We want to ensure that our customers feel inspired and leave with ‘remember when we did that?’ moments that will last a lifetime. We want our guests to remember their holidays forever.” With an accommodation portfolio that includes over 500 Lodges (250 with Hot Tubs), 1,800 caravans, three hotels and over 200 chalets, that’s more than 120,000 holiday bookers in any one season.

Not forgetting the additional 4,000 holiday home owners across 20 parks. With investment in holiday homes growing across the UK, owners are an increasingly important part of the Away Resorts family. “Our owners tell us they enjoy their time with us again and again: unlimited holidays led by our teams on park - true Holiday Heroes,” says Laura.

THE WIDEST RANGE of accommodation appeals to all types of guest. Pictured, Camping Pod at St Ives Bay Beach Resort.

CORE VALUES
Away Resorts have 172 ‘Holiday Heroes’ supporting guests at the central office in Hemel Hempstead. During peak season, the total number of employees is just shy of 2,400. Employees share a common goal: to ‘deliver delight’ to customers. “Ultimately, our vision is to inspire everyone to holiday in the UK, driven by a mission to ‘strive for extraordinary’.

At the heart of all this are our people, led by three core values: Attentive, Amazing, Lovers,” explains Laura. Building a team that aims to be the ‘best in the industry’ has not been without issue in recent times. “The pandemic was obviously a huge challenge for all businesses, and some of these challenges have continued, most notably in hospitality and seeing a return of this skillset in particular destinations,” says Carl Castledine, CEO.

“During the pandemic, our fantastic team responded well to the crisis, continually putting each other and our customers first. For now, we look to attract talent with some of our fantastic benefits, training and coaching opportunities. We have such an amazing sector to work in and it’s about attracting new, young talent.” Latterly, the war in Ukraine has also put pressure on the business.

“The impact of both energy and non-energy commodities continues to be challenging,” says Carl. “We have had to work smarter through this difficult period, whilst not compromising our great offering for guests and owners.” There’s clearly no slowing down on delivering on expectations at Away Resorts. Excellence in service and a commitment to innovation are the hallmarks of their continued success, and there’s a constant flow of new and exciting ideas to fuel development.

With over £14.5 million invested in the last 5 years, Tattershall Lakes in Lincolnshire is now the biggest resort in Away Resorts’ portfolio. With a guest profile split equally between young families, families with teenagers, couples and groups, Tattershall Lakes really does offer something for everyone. Water-based activities are a major draw at this eight-lake site (three offering watersports) including water and jet skis, stand-up-paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking, as well as more laid back pedaloes.

NEW STARGAZER ACCOMMODATION at St Ives Bay Beach Resort.

There’s also an inflatable Aqua Park, outdoor lakeside Lido, outdoor splash pad, sandy man-made beach, as well as an indoor swimming pool complex with an aqua play splash zone. An extensive variety of accommodation offers the widest appeal from classic caravans to lakeside lodges, to the ultimate in ways to stay with Away Resorts new range: the Esme, the Rockstar and the TriBeCa.

With enormous flatscreen TVs, private hot-tubs and stylish, contemporary furnishings, as well as quirky individualised design touches (think foliage and Union Flag feature walls and neon light décor), these exclusive holiday homes are ideal for a new generation of UK holidaymakers. And when they want to head out after dark, how about a trip to the Giggling Goose, a stylish over 18s gin and cocktail bar with an expert mixologist and secret rooftop garden.

With a multi-million-pound private equity investment taking place in 2021, Away Resorts were primed for further expansion with the acquisition of St Ives Bay Beach Resort. This beautiful location with access to 3 miles of prime Cornish beach has seen £3.7m investment in new accommodation over the past two years. The new Thalassa and Stargazer holiday homes are the ultimate in indulgence with the latter offering roll top baths, hot tubs, and a glass window in the bedroom for exploring the evening stars.

More innovation is apparent at Sandy Balls Holiday Park, one of Away Resorts most popular destinations. This holiday village offers forest-themed accommodation, exceptional family leisure activities including walks with resident alpacas, and an annual Forest Festival, all with the outstanding natural beauty of the New Forest as its backdrop.

AWAY RESORTS INVEST heavily in new entertainment and activities. Pictured, Alpaca Walks at Sandy Balls Holiday Park.

FUTURE-PROOFING
With future-proofing a top priority, it’s no surprise that sustainability and ‘giving back’ are also high on the agenda. All new developments are built using the latest energy-saving technology and the team work closely with caravan and lodge manufacturers to keep pushing boundaries.

“In our recent new development at Mill Rythe Coastal Village in Hampshire, we’re installing a brand-new natural airflow system instead of electric-powered air handling units,” explains Carl. “This natural airflow system is PV (solar) powered.” Projects to end single plastic use and increase recycling including uniforms are well underway. Charitable giving is also significant.

Working with Creating Tomorrow’s Forest, Away Resorts plant a tree for every holiday home sold to a new owner. There’s also a partnership with Surfers Against Sewage with many locations doing regular beach cleans. A commitment to protect the Great British Holiday and our Planet… it seems Away Resorts are well on the way to their ambition ‘to make the future amazing for everyone!’

FIVE STAR BLISS

Beth Connor visits Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa...

THIS 80-ACRE holiday destination caters for both adventure seekers and those in search of tranquillity.

Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa, nestled in the heart of Devon’s picturesque landscapes, has marked its first successful year by garnering an impressive average 5-star review on TripAdvisor. Having recently introduced two new luxury escape packages, this 80-acre holiday destination offers an array of activities and amenities that cater for both adventure seekers and those in search of tranquillity.

For water sports enthusiasts, the resort has put together an activity package that includes fishing, kayaking, wild swimming and paddle boarding lessons on their leisure lake. The resort seamlessly coordinated the lessons, providing top-notch equipment and experienced instructors who patiently guide visitors through the activities.

The picturesque leisure lake setting added an extra touch of charm to this invigorating adventure, leaving unforgettable memories. If relaxation and pampering is on the wish list, Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa has created a package designed to immerse you in pure bliss. The resort’s spa, overlooking the serene lake, offers a range of indulgent treatments that aim to rejuvenate both body and mind.

EARLY BOOKING IS ADVISED at the popular Apple and Grape restaurant.

From luxurious massages to rejuvenating facials, every moment spent in the spa is sheer bliss. The attentive staff and serene ambiance further enhanced the experience, allowing me to truly unwind and escape from the stresses of everyday life. The resort itself is a picturesque haven, surrounded by lush greenery and sparkling lakes.

The well-appointed accommodation options provide a cozy and comfortable retreat, ensuring a restful night’s sleep. Visitors wake up to each morning to views of wildlife from their lodge, feeling refreshed and energised, ready to explore the resort’s extensive grounds.

Walking along the scenic trail, visitors can discover hidden gems, including charming picnic spots and many tranquil fishing lakes, where they can spend hours immersed in the serenity of nature. Guests can take in the sweeping views of the estate from the Apple & Grape, a new Al Fresco dining area, featuring a retractable roof and glass walls to provide the perfect indoor/outdoor dining experience.

CLAWFORD LAKES RESORT and Spa has marked its first successful year with an impressive average 5-star review on TripAdvisor.

LUXURY COCOONS
Since opening in April 2022, new accommodation has continually been added to meet demand, including seven further, exclusive to the UK, luxury cocoons, six floating lodges and many more luxury holiday lodges. Further accommodation will be added this year including lodges, holiday homes and exclusive Family Pods.

Lakeshore Leisure Group is a UK leisure brand offering high quality holiday accommodation including self-catering rental cottages and lodges, hotel accommodation and privately owned lodges across three Devon locations; Otter Falls, Lakeview Manor and Clawford Lakes.

Graham Plant, Operations Director at Lakeshore Leisure Group commented: “When we created Clawford Lakes, our vision was to offer guests a truly unique way of experiencing this remarkable and beautiful part of Devon. “We wanted to ensure whether you visit us as a family, in a couple or a group of friends that you would have a holiday to remember and we’re delighted that our first year has been so successful.

 

“As we head into our second holiday season, we wanted to improve our offering even further so, with extra accommodation available and the two new escape packages we have just announced, we feel that we’ve enhanced an already excellent holiday park into something truly outstanding.”

The staff at Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa deserve special commendation for their warm and attentive service. Expect to be greeted with genuine smiles and a willingness to cater for every need. Their dedication and professionalism lifts a stay, making it truly exceptional.

Clawford Lakes Resort and Spa lives up to its aim to provide an idyllic escape for those seeking both adventure and relaxation. With their newly introduced luxury escape packages, the resort has ensured that every guest can find their perfect getaway. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking to conquer water sports or simply seeking a serene retreat, this resort offers an unforgettable experience.

Clawford Lakes
01409 678018
www.clawfordlakes.co.uk

STRATEGIES TO DRIVE GROWTH FOR HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS

THE HOLIDAY PARK & RESORT INNOVATION event offers a wealth of insights and resources to help attendees stay at the forefront of industry trends.

The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation is a premier event dedicated to the holiday park and resort industry. Attendees have the chance to gain valuable insights, practical advice, and actionable strategies to enhance their operations and drive growth.

The event serves as a hub for professionals and businesses operating within this dynamic sector. With its comprehensive range of exhibitors, expert speakers, and networking opportunities, the show offers a wealth of insights and resources to help attendees stay at the forefront of industry trends and drive their businesses forward.

Explore a diverse array of exhibitors showcasing the latest products, services, and innovations in the holiday park and resort sector. From accommodation solutions and outdoor equipment to technology advancements and leisure facilities, the exhibition floor is a treasure trove of ideas and opportunities for both established operators and aspiring entrepreneurs.

One of the highlights of the event is the extensive seminar and keynote program, featuring industry experts, thought leaders, and successful practitioners. These sessions cover a wide range of topics, including business strategies, marketing and branding, customer experience, sustainability, technology integration, and much more. Don’t miss out and register for your FREE ticket today

Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show
15th – 16th November 2023
NEC, Birmingham
www.holidayparkshow.co.uk

NEW £1M STAFFS HOLIDAY DEVELOPMENT

ADAM BREAKSPEARE has decided to pitch the Oakland Holiday Park lodges at the top end of the market

Rising demand for holiday homes in rural Staffordshire has prompted a local family to create a new £1 million development on its long-established holiday park. Oakland Holiday Park, near the village of Brewood and close to the Shropshire border, says that sales enquiries have been booming since the end of pandemic.

Now the park is getting ready to open up a new phase of luxury lodges which are all located on the banks of the Shropshire Union Canal which runs through the grounds. Adam Breakspeare, whose family has owned the park for 35 years, says that although the investment is substantial, he is confident the demand will be there: “Many people took a holiday in Britain for the first time during the pandemic years, and clearly enjoyed the experience,” he says.

“Now many are looking to own a holiday home in tranquil countryside which they can enjoy throughout the year, both for short breaks and longer stays. “We have decided to pitch our new development at the top end of the market, and all of our new holiday lodges are fully equipped and furnished to the highest standard,” said Adam.

Starting at around £145,000, the lodges are for a limited period being offered with a free hot tub in which owners can unwind. Each also has its own exterior decking for al-fresco dining. Owners will have full use of Oakland’s extensive guest facilities which include an indoor pool and sauna, fitness suite, fishing pool, and friendly park bar serving snacks and meals.

The park is a previous overall winner of the Enjoy Staffordshire Tourism Awards in the parks category, thanks to its first-class standards and welcoming atmosphere. The wildlife-rich nine-acre grounds of Oakland, says Adam, are a haven for wildlife which the family encourages with a raft of conservation initiatives.

Rainfall is harvested for irrigating the many shrubs and flowers planted throughout the park, a lot of which have high nectar-bearing blooms which draw butterflies and honey bees. In addition, the family has installed many bird, bat and owl boxes, and provides heating for its pool with a highly efficient solar energy system.

£7 MILLON MAKEOVER FOR ABER BAY

ABER BAY’S NEW SWIMMING pool complex provides family fun in light, airy surroundings

Staff and the family owners of a Mid Wales holiday park are celebrating the opening of a massive £7 million makeover of the park’s facilities. Aber Bay Holiday Park near Aberystwyth now boasts one of Wales’s most environmentally-friendly entertainment and leisure complexes.

The project by owners Allens Caravans was undertaken in tandem with an extension of the park which has seen the addition of 55 new holiday homes, available to own from around £70,000. Aber Bay Holiday Park is just a short stroll from the beach at Clarach Bay and is especially popular with young families and others who enjoy the many nearby walking opportunities.

It is one of twelve top-end parks operated by Allens Caravans which was founded over 80 years ago by Bill Allen, and is today still run by his grandchildren and family members. The new development at Aber Bay is the biggest single investment ever made by the company and is intended to meet the ever-rising quality expectations of guests.

Its striking new clubhouse has a rooftop terrace providing dramatic and far-reaching views of the coast, and of the surrounding countryside with its mountain backdrop. The clubhouse also includes a bar, restaurant, lounge areas and professional lighting and sound systems for the staging of live family entertainment.

A new heated indoor swimming pool can be enjoyed throughout the 10.5 months when the park is open. Other facilities include a games room and outdoor children’s play areas. Allens Caravans’ longstanding commitment to sustainability is evident in the many features of the new centre designed to conserve energy and reduce the park’s carbon footprint.

BEVERLEY BAGS DOUBLE GOLD

A TEAM EFFORT HAS SECURED winning success for Devon-based Beverley Holidays.

The awards cabinet at Beverley Holidays is positively bursting after the family-run holiday park group scooped not just one but two top industry accolades. Based in Paignton, the family-run group overcame tough competition to take the coveted Tourism Business Of The Year title for a second year at the 2023 Torbay Weekly Inspiring Business Awards.

The award follows hot on the heels of further good news for Beverley Holidays which was also recently given AA Gold Pennants – a much-coveted accolade only reserved for the best camping parks in the UK. A recent AA inspection saw it total up a quality score of 90%, a reliable marker more that the standard of quality and variety of facilities offered at the holiday park group is top-class.

Director of Beverley Holidays, Nicola Furneaux, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to be adding not just one but two new accolades to our awards total – a much-deserved win for our hard- working team who pride themselves on going above and beyond for our guests”.

ACCOLADE FOR RISING PARK STAR

CUMBRIA TOURISM PRESIDENT Jim Walker presents the unsung hero award to Ben Mcgregor.

Ben McGregor, from Lake District Estates, beat off tough competition to win The Sheila Hensman Unsung Hero Award at the recent Cumbria Tourism Awards 2023. Star employee Ben, 21, joined Lake District Estates as an apprentice two years ago and has progressed to the role of Digital Marketing Coordinator.

Not only does the 21-year-old show a maturity well beyond his years, but he is a true ambassador for Cumbria and has also helped the company innovate and embrace new technologies – even recently learning how to fly drones. Ben is passionate about improving mental health and wellbeing for young people and his colleagues.

He volunteered as a youth activist with the Young Minds charity and ran the 2023 London Marathon to raise funds. He has also recently taken up a new voluntary role as a Trustee of local mental health charity, Wave Forward, continuing to build on his experience in the topic of mental health.

NEW NORTHUMBERLAND DESTINATION UNVEILED

THE NEW PARK HOLIDAYS UK destination will have waterside holiday homes similar to those at other parks in the group, such as Chichester Lakeside in West Sussex

Intending to put the region firmly on the tourist map, Park Holidays UK is investing in a major new holiday park in North East England. Widdrington Lakes Holiday Park is still around 12 months away from welcoming its first guests, but Park Holidays UK is promising ‘our most ambitious and exciting new park to date’.

Located near the village of Widdrington in Northumberland, the 300-plus acre park is close to both Druridge Bay with its seven miles of sand dunes, and the Northumberland National Park. When it opens next spring, the development will provide in its first phase up to 475 pitches for luxury holiday lodges to own and rent, plus facilities for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.

Outline consent has also been obtained for a second phase of development which will further increase the park’s capacity in the future. Many of the holiday homes will have spectacular views across the two lakes which sit at the heart of the park, and around which extensive landscaping and biodiversity work will be taking place.

Both lakes attract a myriad of wildlife, including many different migratory and native bird species which the park is working closely with Northumberland Wildlife Trust to help protect. There will also be many other conservation projects in the park’s grounds, including the creation of new wildlife habitats and the planting of native trees and shrubs.

Also planned is a wildlife meadow to provide foraging for honey bees and butterflies, plus wetland areas in which protected plants and animals can flourish. Leisure facilities on the multi-million-pound development will be provided for guests and holiday home owners, plus a bar and restaurant where locally sourced food will feature on the menu.

TREGOAD ACCELERATES SUSTAINABILITY

CORNWALL’S TREGOAD Holiday Park has stepped up its sustainability investment.

Tregoad Holiday Park, near Looe in Cornwall, has stepped up its sustainability efforts as part of a multi-million-pound investment programme, including introducing various new wildlife species and installing more than 3,000m2 of wildflower turf. The park has invested £300,000 in planting various indigenous plant species, and installed various new habitats including three natural beehives, duck houses, bird and bat boxes made from recycled electric cable colonies.

This year, the park is spending £36,000 on upgrading its wildlife walk, adding an additional 2km to allow guests access to more of the park’s rich landscape and range of wildlife. “Our wildlife assets are central to Tregoad, with our signature lakes and woodland walk a core part of our guest experience,” comments Matt Way, General Manager at Tregoad Holiday Park. “We believe we have a responsibility to nurture and enhance our natural surroundings, helping Cornwall’s local environment thrive and contribute to a greener future.

“As well as focusing on wildlife and planting, we’ve been assessing everything we’re doing at Tregoad to ensure we’re operating as sustainably as possible,” Matt continues. “For example, we’ve introduced a new foul waste treatment to allow the park to be self-sufficient, installed water refill taps, and reused construction materials across the site such as our toilet blocks, which have been crushed and reused as road infill.”

“We’re also continuing to work with Climate Vision to identify ways in which we can continue to reduce our carbon footprint.” Tregoad Holiday Park was acquired by family-run Waterside Holiday Group in 2020, representing the company’s fourth holiday park and its first in Cornwall. Located in the heart of the Cornish countryside, the park offers a range of high-quality facilities and self-catered accommodation, including static caravans complete with hot tubs, holiday cottages, and a Manor House.