Coast or Country?
When thinking about the perfect location for your caravan holiday home many people first consider whether they want a coastal location or a countryside setting. For many the attractions of the Yorkshire Coast are obvious – miles of golden sandy beaches, plentiful tourist attractions, traditional seaside towns and lots for all the family to see and do. Scarborough, Whitby & Filey have a special place in many people’s hearts and have long been a mecca for West Yorkshire folks looking for a holiday destination.
Spring Willows Holiday Park is ideally located to take full advantage of all that the Yorkshire Coast has to offer. Handily located between Scarborough & Filey and just off the A64 from York you can get out and explore easily from the park. The park itself is a great place – a quiet family park with a really nice bar, restaurant and indoor swimming pool. And because the park is small with just 100 holiday home owners and touring customers, your sure to be on first name terms with all the staff and be sure to enjoy friendly, personal service at all times.
If you’re not looking for a coastal location there probably isn’t a better place that you can be than amongst the 200 acres of the Nostell Priory Estate between Wakefield & Pontefract. There’s a holiday home park set in the ancient woodland that has been runner up in the Best Park in Yorkshire for 3 of the last 4 years.
The park is a haven of peace and tranquility that offers a lovely base and the owners at the park are permitted to roam throughout the 200 acre estate which is slowly being restored to its natural state. The park is divided into separate glades giving the holiday home owners additional privacy as well as a beautiful setting to sit and enjoy the abundance of wild life that the park is home to.
The park boast a David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award as well as a Five Star “Exceptional” Grading given by the English Tourist Board. As a private owners park you will soon be making friends with like minded people enjoying the good life at the park.
New for 2009 the park will soon have it’s own bowling green to go with a lovely children’s play area, woodland walk, and the famous obelisk!
Whether your passion is for the coast or the country then these two lovely parks could offer you the dream setting for your new holiday home.
A BOOM in caravan holidays as the recession bites is paying dividends for family businesses in Scotland.
The credit crunch and collapse of the pound against the euro has prompted a surge of bookings at caravan parks and holiday homes sales as families opt to stay at home.
Many of these businesses are family-owned and have survived downturns through several generations, according to the Scottish Family Business Association.
They include Cairnsmill Caravan Park at St Andrews, run by third generation owner John Kirkcaldy with his sisters Margaret and Caroline, niece Michelle and son Alan.
John’s great uncle originally ran the site as a dairy farm and introduced the first caravans around a reservoir on the land in the early 1950s. Cairnsmill now comprises 200 static caravans and space for around 60 touring caravans.
“Because we’re a family business, we’re prepared to go that extra mile to keep the business moving, and that often means rolling up our sleeves and doing more work ourselves rather than relying on employees,” John explains.
“You’ve got to be pretty resilient and be prepared to anything, including working late at night, early in the morning and at weekends. It’s not a nine to five job which doesn’t suit everyone.” John says his father also believed in trying to meet people’s budgets rather than running the business for pure profit. This tradition has helped to keep prices competitive.
Normally Summer bookings wouldn’t start until after Easter, but the park’s phone is already ringing off the hook.
“We’re already taking bookings for July, August and September,” John says. “We usually get bookings about a month in advance, but now they’re happening at least two months’ in advance. Enquiries have definitely gone up.”
The Caravan Club recently announced that advance bookings are up 40% on last year. The Camping and Caravanning Club has also reported a 15% rise in advance bookings and expects new member signings in 2009 to rise above last year’s 53,000.
The British Holiday and Home Parks Association tells a similar tale.
Colin Fraser, BHHPA chair in Scotland and owner of Colin Fraser Park Home Estates, says: “The credit crunch is good and bad news for the industry. Sales of caravan holiday homes are flat, which is bad news for the manufacturers, several of whom have gone into liquidation. I am very concerned tat once sales pick up we will not have a big enough manufacturing base to meet demand. Holiday parks are seeing more people coming in with touring caravans, motorhomes, tents and bookings for hiring caravan holiday homes are well up. I know that touring parks and caravan holiday home parks are going to do very well this year.”
Colin bought his first caravan 46 years ago for £95 which he rented out at Banff Links. He bought his first park 37 years ago and has never looked back. He now owns 6 parks in Aberdeen with 320 residential pitches and 67 touring pitches. His son, Kris, owns the holiday park at Buckie which has 70 caravan holiday homes and touring pitches.
“I think the family ownership element does give the industry more resilience, because people treat the business as their baby in a way,” Colin says. “If you’re in the caravan industry, it’s something you enjoy and get great job satisfaction from. It’s not a job where you wake up in the morning and wish you weren’t going to work. Owners are proud of their caravan holiday parks. The grading of parks is done by VisitScotland ranks about 75% of them as either four or five star. So they’re kept in really good order. Many also have conservation awards from David Bellamy, with those involved having either Silver or Gold Awards.”
Competing at the quality end of the leisure market, Scotland’s 200-plus holiday parks – most of which are family owned and managed – are major players in generating the country’s annual £4.5 billion tourism income. The sector also helps to sustain many of Scotland’s estimated 200,000-plus jobs which are tourism related.
Martin Stepek, chief executive of the Scottish Family Business Association, recently gave a presentation to members of the BHHPA and believes deep family roots can help businesses survive, evolve – and thrive – through multiple downturns and generations.
“Nearly all of these holiday parks emerged from land-owing farmers, themselves family businesses, who were looking to use their land more productively,” Stepek says. “A lot of the owners now represent third, fourth and fifth generations who have lasted through as many recessions. Holiday parks came into their own after the war when people were just emerging from poverty and could really only afford a holiday for the first time. Now they’re enjoying a new resurgence as people cut back on costs and opt to stay at home rather than going abroad.”
“With improved access to education, training and professional advice specific to their distinctive model of business, we believe family firms will be the key to a strong, stable, and ethical foundation for Scotland’s economic recovery and this is where we should be investing our economic development strategies and resources.”
- The Park of Brandedleys, Nr Dumfries, Scotland
2009 has started with plenty of doom and gloom in the news as the Government wrestles with the problems created by the weak pound and financial chaos caused by the difficulties faced by the banking system. Amidst all this though you might be surprised to discover that interest in owning a caravan or lodge in the UK is higher than in any time since Blue Sky sold it’s first holiday home back in 2004.
We are finding that an increasing number of our customers, many of who are either retired or semi-retired are looking to caravan or lodge holiday home ownership as a way of getting value from teh money they have saved over the years.
Interest rates are at their lowest ever and that means that savings are actually losing money when inflation is taken into account and for those with tracker mortgages they are many hundreds of pounds better off.
The cost of traveling to the Continent or America is becoming prohibitive with the exchange rate increasing the cost of being abroad by 30% in the last 6 months and even with the ”cheap” airlines, flights to Spain often come up to over £150 per person once all the charges are taken into account.
So people who once thought that a holiday home on the “Costas” might be ideal are realising that something closer to home might be the answer – something they can use often, and that the family can take advantage of too.
And Blue Sky offers luxury lodges and caravans for sale all over the country and in some of the finest countryside the UK has to offer – from Inverness to South West Wales, the Cotswolds, Northumberland, The Lake District, Scotland and Yorkshire – there is something for every discerning customer looking for that perfect retreat!!
It might be that 2009 is actually the perfect time for you to look at buying your own caravan holiday home or luxury lodge. The standards of the parks and the accommodation have never been higher and this kind of holiday home offers fabulous value for money when compared to investing in overseas property, or other types of “use once” holidays (hotels etc.)
New Hampshire Luxury Lodge