Glastonbury touring park will re-open with triple triumph

Glastonbury touring park

It may be closed to guests now, but Glastonbury’s Old Oaks Touring and Glamping Park is getting set for a special celebration when it gets the go-ahead to welcome visitors once again. That’s because the family-run park has just scored a hat-trick of awards in a national poll carried out by the UK’s two top touring magazines. The readers of Practical Caravan and Practical Motorhome voted Old Oaks as their favourite park on which to stay in Somerset, Avon and Wiltshire Dorset. In the same annual poll, readers also named Old Oaks as Britain’s best park for enjoying adults-only stays which are free from the patter of tiny feet. And completing the hat trick of honours, the publication presented the park with its national award for the Best Green Site in the UK for eco-friendly holidays. Old Oaks has been in the same family’s ownership for over 30 years, and is managed by family members Tara White and her husband James.  As well as touring pitches, the park provides a range of exciting glamping options including luxurious fully-equipped mini cedar lodges, shepherds huts and cosy camping cabins. According to Tara, the park’s temporary closure has provided an opportunity to put the finishing touches to a number of new projects started earlier in the year: “We’ve completed a wheelchair-friendly path around our woodland walk and half-acre lake, and upgrading twelve of the fishing platforms,” she said. “Our glamping pods now have brick-built fire pits, and we’re close to completing the upgrade of our dish-washer facilities, and making it possible for guests to choose their preferred pitch from our website. We’re also keeping our grounds wildlife-friendly by putting in extra hedgehog houses and seeding new wildflower areas to provide vital foraging for honey bees and butterflies. These new awards are a fantastic honour, especially as they have resulted from votes by our customers – and we can’t wait to welcome them back again!” added Tara. Not that the Old Oaks is any stranger to accolades for it already holds the prestigious AA Platinum Award, and the highly-regarded five-star grading from Visit England. It is also a member of the Best of British group of top-rated independent parks with verified quality standards. There is more about the Old Oaks on its website at

Cumbria park plans a wild welcome when visitors return

man with carved sculpture in cumbria park Skelwith

A popular Ambleside holiday park, Skelwith Fold, has called a temporary halt to its plans to carve out a celebration of local wildlife life in its 130 acres of woodland.   But there is a silver lining, it says, because when guests are allowed to return, they will be able to witness one of the region’s most acclaimed wood sculptors at work. Owls, red squirrels, foxes, badgers and deer will all be seen taking shape throughout the grounds from blown-down trees and others needing to be felled. They are being created by timber carving artist James Shelliker who lives near Preston, but who works extensively at sites in the Lake District including Muncaster Castle.   Henry Wild, who helps run his family’s park business, says he hopes the animals and birds will stand as a testament to nature’s resilience long after the present crisis is over: “We are we are doing everything to ensure that when we do re-open, our park will quickly return to the happy and cheerful environment which our customers remember,” he said.   “Many families who come here take a particular pleasure in spotting our glorious wildlife, so we thought it would be great to celebrate this part of our natural heritage. James has had to hang up his chainsaws and chisels while the park is closed, but will be straight back on the job when we are allowed to welcome guests back. It’s fascinating to see him sculpting birds and woodland creatures around the park, and now he will be able to have a live audience when we open our gates again. Regarding the present situation, real fears have been expressed about the Lake District’s £3 billion tourism industry and the 65,000 jobs it provides. These are wholly justified, and it’s certainly the case that our sector will need as much support as the Government can provide. But Cumbria has always been an extremely resilient county, as we saw in the foot and mouth outbreak almost twenty years ago from which we also bounced back,” added Henry.   Skelwith Fold, which provides around 450 pitches for touring caravans, privately owned holiday homes and glamping accommodation, has won a number of top awards for its environmental care.   Henry Wild is director of the Cumbria branch of the British Holiday and Home Parks Association to which some 100 Lake District park businesses belong. He is also a former national chairman of the association, and is presently helping to lead representations to Government on behalf of the body’s 3,000 park members. For similar articles visit our latest news section

The new caravan and motorhome drivecation

caravan in garden on drivecation

Caravanning and motorhoming have taken on a new meaning during the Coronavirus lockdown.  As ‘vanners are unable to tour the country, many have pitched up on their driveways, making their leisure vehicles into temporary classrooms for home schooling, home offices, games’ rooms, storage space for household supplies or as a makeshift dining room for all the family to retreat to. Insurance specialists Caravan Guard asked their usually adventurous customers to share stories of how they were using their campers to add some fun to their routine and reduce the stuck-at-home blues. Lorisa Talbot of Chalfont St Giles set up her Coachman Vision caravan as a temporary classroom, switching out caravan accessories for books, files, games and teaching aids on the locker doors. The two dining tables in the five-berth caravan have also been transformed into makeshift desks. Bailey caravanner, Jimmy Butler and his caravan-mad young family, from Daventry have enjoyed a night’s stay in their caravan as well as cooking, baking, sewing and reading as they plan their next “wobble box adventure”. And many dogs have retreated to the ‘van for their own “drivecation” and some peace and quiet in their happy place.  Emyr Jones, of South Wales has been using his Burstner motorhome as a swish home office and the Janaways, who are normally on their travels touring the UK and Europe in their Bailey Autograph motorhome, enjoyed the sun in “Costa Del Drive” in Kent! Marc Jordan bought a pop top Rapido caravan in need of some TLC and is using lockdown to renovate it from the comfort of his home in Norfolk. Ever resourceful campers have also made use of caravanning items in the house during the lockdown. Jane Pollard, of Northamptonshire, and Caravan Guard employee, Liz Harrison, have both dug out their camping tables for their children to do their home schoolwork on whilst schools are closed.    “It’s great as it folds away after use and it’s just the right size for school work,” said Liz. “We’re even thinking about getting the tent out and pitching up in the garden to escape the house for a couple of nights over Easter – it’s the new Staycation! We’ll definitely be using the Cadac barbecue too in the coming weeks.” Other resourceful campers have raided their ‘vans for supplies that have been hard to come by in the shops in recent weeks. Susan Dyson of Cheshire said she’d emptied all the tinned food out of her Vito campervan: “We’re eating like we’re camping now!” she said. And motorhome owner Margaret Drury, from Skipton, added: “Raided our motorhome cupboards for TCP and paracetamol.”  Meanwhile Craig Thompson, another Caravan Guard employee, said he’d been able to empty his seasonal pitch caravan of key essentials just before the lockdown. “I was lucky the caravan had a full pack of toilet rolls, pasta and even hand sanitiser gel and antiseptic wipes!” he said. And to help caravanners dream of future trips Caravan Guard has published a video of the top 10 caravanning sounds voted for by its customers. The video features bacon sizzling and rain gently falling on the caravan roof, as well as other satisfying caravanning sounds, synonymous with the freedom and relaxation of caravanning holidays. Visit to hear the rest! The Caravan Guard team is staying safe with all staff working from home and they’re continuing to service the caravan, campervan and motorhome insurance policies of its customers, as well as provide quotes.   For similar articles visit our latest news section

Over half of holidaymakers planning a staycation this year

family on staycation

Over a third (35%) of holidaymakers will avoid taking a holiday abroad this year due to Coronavirus  One in six (15%) are planning a multi-generational getaway  Beachside holidays still reign supreme, with over three quarters (78%) planning on a holiday by the sea The rising costs of holidays mean that over half (56%) of holidaymakers are planning a holiday in the UK this year, according to new research by booking platform    The research, of over 1,300 holidaymakers, found that although 88% plan to take a holiday in the UK this year, just under a third (30%) were also planning on travelling abroad, with one in eight (12%) still undecided. Over a third (36%) are planning to increase the number of holidays they take this year.    Even with the travel restrictions currently in place due to the global pandemic, interestingly Coronavirus was not the top concern for holidaymakers, with more people being put off from booking a holiday abroad due to rising costs.    The top five factors stopping people from booking a holiday abroad this year are: Cost – 51% Coronavirus – 35% Require a pet sitter – 17% Travel time – 6% Environmental reasons – 6%   Interestingly, Brexit barely scraped the top ten factors, with just one in 20 (5%) stating our departure from the EU as the top factor from stopping them from booking an overseas getaway.    The family dynamic of holidays seems to be changing, with one in seven (15%) holidaymakers planning a multi-generational holiday. Over 38% of holidaymakers are planning a trip with their children, while 29% will be going on a romantic getaway.    When it comes to location, the beach was the most favourite location for a UK getaway, with over three quarters (78%) claiming it as their favourite holiday location. Just 13% prefer to holiday in the countryside.    Gareth Irving, Managing Director at said: “With the coronavirus pandemic creating such a huge impact on the travel industry, it is no surprise that many of us are looking to holiday a little closer to home this year. Whether you prefer a romantic weekend at the seaside or a family trip to the country, the UK really does have something for everyone”.     For similar articles visit our features section