Park News

Award-winning leisure park puts customers and community first

Photograph of Sparkes family outside they award-winning leisure park

Award-winning leisure park puts customers and community first as it celebrates 35th anniversary 

A premier Yorkshire leisure park is celebrating its 35th anniversary by pioneering the way forward in engaging with its customers and local community.

Multi award-winning Patrington Haven Leisure Park was founded by Graham Sparkes in 1984 on a disused RAF base near the East Yorkshire coast, after he sold his caravan-building business.

It is now run by Graham’s son, Guy Sparkes, his wife Karen and their extended family, who have grown the team from 35 employees five years ago to more than 70 today.

Canterbury couple's joy after news of holiday home win

Caravan holiday home

There were celebrations this month for a Canterbury couple and their three children after they were named as the winners of a brand new luxury holiday home.

Sam and Olly Bottomley beat hundreds of other entries in a national draw to win the keys to a fully equipped leisure home at Winchelsea Sands Holiday Park in East Sussex.

The draw was organised by park owners Park Holidays UK, and the family was able to choose from three of the group's 30 top-rated parks as the location for their prize.

They opted for Winchelsea Sands, partly because of the happy memories Sam treasured of carefree times spent on the park when she was a little girl.

Brynteg Coastal & Country Retreat Unveils Willerby Richmond

Willerby Richmond Lodge

Park Leisure has boosted the accessibility of holidays at its popular Brynteg Coastal and Country Retreat with the arrival of the Willerby Richmond holiday home. 

The Richmond is a specially-designed, two-bedroomed holiday home, made to be completely accessible. The home is complete with two spacious bedrooms, wide access, low-threshold doors, low-level kitchen facilities and a generous and well-equipped wetroom. 

The luxury Brynteg park is one of the most popular in Park Leisure 2000 Ltd’s 12-strong portfolio and offers a range of amenities including its own Italian bistro with a lake view and leisure complex with pool, gym and spa facilities. 

Perfect Brexit escape? Head for this holiday park, says BBC 

BBC filming Perfect Brexit Escape at holiday park 

As Brits recently braced themselves for yet another news bulletin dominated by Brexit, BBC TV managed to find a surprisingly upbeat side to the sorry saga.

On the main evening news programme one night this month, it posed the question: "Where can you go to escape all the gloom?" – and then provided a very attractive answer.

The BBC's cameras had been to South Lytchett Manor holiday park near Poole in Dorset to find out if this was the perfect bolt-hole from Brexit fatigue.

Viewers were shown a drone's-eye view of the park nestled in tranquil countryside: the ideal rural retreat from bickering politicians and curmudgeonly campaigners.

Taking root: Lakeland park's new recruits in red crusade

Scots pine trees at Lakeland park

An army of Scots pine trees is being raised at an Ambleside holiday park to help defend Cumbria's threatened red squirrel population.

The battle lines are being drawn in the 130-acres grounds of Skelwith Fold caravan park which in recent years has recorded a growth in the number of reds.

Now the family-run business is bidding to secure their future with a two-prong tree attack.

The scores of Scots pines being planted will produce seeds which are much loved by red squirrels – and provide habitats for pine martens, the deadly enemy of grey squirrels.

Henry Wild, whose family has owned the park for more than 20 years, says the trees will help hasten the spread of pine martens from Scotland to Cumbria:

Padstow park rolls out new weapon in war on plastic

Padstow park's new weapon in war on plastic - Mother Ivey's Beach Cleaner

Mother Ivey's Bay Holiday Park in Padstow has stepped up its fight to keep local beaches clean by investing in special equipment which can rid the sand of micro plastic.

Called a trommel, the machine sieves the sand to separate out "nurdles", the small plastic pellets produced in their billions each year during the manufacture of plastic products.

The anti-pollution device, which is operated manually, has been designed and manufactured by Nurdle, a not-for-profit business based in North Devon.

Staff at Mother Ivey's Bay carry out regular beach clean-ups throughout the year, and team leader Anna Wilsher says the trommel will make a huge difference:

MP meets Hornsea family making waves in local tourism

MP Graham Stuart meeting staff at Hornsea park to improve local tourism

MP Graham Stuart swapped Parliament for a Hornsea holiday park this week (Friday 05 April) to help celebrate English Tourism Week in his constituency.

Mr Stuart was at Longbeach Leisure Park during the annual event to highlight England’s tourism sector, and the huge annual contribution it makes to the UK economy.

The Beverley and Holderness MP met with directors Martin Varley who founded the cliff-top seaside park almost thirty years ago, and his daughter Laura Firth.

Today, still under the same family’s ownership, it provides 450-plus privately-owned holiday caravans and lodges which enjoy sweeping coastal and countryside views.

Lake District parks honour six customer service superstars

Lake District customer service superstars

Customer service champions from four top-ranked holiday parks in Cumbria have been put in the spotlight by their bosses at Lake District Estates.

The six have each been presented with Exceptional Service Award certificates from the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, the park industry's professional body.

The accolades are the highest honours given out by the association to individuals shown to have made "significant and substantial" contributions to park businesses.

According to Lake District Estates, each team member has gone far beyond the extra mile to help guests enjoy the best possible experiences at its parks.

MP salutes family's "inspirational" North Yorkshire park

MP at "inspirational" North Yorkshire park

North Yorkshire MP Kevin Hollinrake has praised a family's award-winning Yorkshire Moors holiday park for its "tremendous contribution to tourism" in the region.

Mr Hollinrake made his comments on a special visit to Wayside Lakes at Wrelton, near Pickering, during April's English Tourism Week.

The 10-acre park, recently subject to a £500,000 investment by the family, is based around two picturesque lakes, and provides luxury lodges for private owners.

Mr Hollinrake also took the opportunity to present an Exceptional Service Award to Wayside's manager and co-director Trevor Jones who has worked on the park for 27 years.

Park Leisure Appoints New CEO

Park Leisure Appoints New CEO - Mark Hopper

Luxury holiday park operator, Park Leisure 2000 Ltd, has appointed Mark Harper as Chief Executive Officer. 

Mark brings more than 30 years’ experience in hospitality and leisure to the role, gained in positions as Joint Managing Director at Bourne Leisure for Haven Caravan Parks and more recently, Chief Operating Officer at Parkdean Resorts. He is also a Non-Executive Director of the South West-based restaurant chain, Hubbox. 

Park Leisure 2000 Ltd operates a 12-strong portfolio of luxury holiday parks, with locations in Cornwall, Wales, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Herefordshire and Northumberland. The business recently expanded with the launch of a holiday offering to complement its ownership product, owing to demand from the growing UK staycation market. 

Cheers as Devon park's new show-stoppers take the stage

Devon Park's New Entertainment Team

Six sensational entertainment artists gained a unanimous "Yes!" vote from cheering staff at East Devon's Ladram Bay Holiday Park this spring.

The talented team staged a special preview of their 2019 shows for employees at the park's annual conference as the business prepared to open for the new season.

Ladram Bay says its entertainment line-up is stronger than ever this year, and will once again be relying almost exclusively on shows produced in-house.

The two male and four female entertainers are employed full-time throughout the season at the park, and help provide a raft of day-long diversions for youngsters and grown-ups.

Luxury accommodation at New Forest woodland retreat to open at Easter

Luxury accommodation at New Forest woodland retreat to open at Easter

Leading UK holiday park operator Away Resorts is launching a new village at its woodland retreat of Sandy Balls Holiday Village in the New Forest that will feature accommodation that is inspired by its surroundings.

The Heartwood luxury lodge, named after the central part of a tree, is at the heart of the new development in Sandy Balls, enveloped in the beautiful trees of the New Forest.

Carnforth family's pride as park is crowned best in North West

Old hall Caravan park in the North West

Staff and the family owners of Old Hall Caravan Park near Carnforth in Lancashire are celebrating after winning a top tourism accolade from the AA.

The park has been officially named as the 2019 Campsite of the Year for the North West, beating scores of other businesses in the region to the title.

Awards given by the AA – based on guest reviews and a "secret shopper" visit by inspectors - are regarded as the Oscars of the holiday parks industry.

After putting its facilities, services and hospitality under the microscope, the AA's experts said that Old Hall was successfully meeting the gold standard in every respect.

Award-winning holiday park goes topsy-turvy for Comic Relief 

Staff dressed up for Comic Relief

Multi award-winning holiday park Cofton Holidays has raised vital funds for a global charity by encouraging its staff to try something new. 

As part of the Cofton Comic Relief Job Swap, staff at the South Devon holiday park gained experience in different areas of the family business, all in aid of Comic Relief. Thanks to the support of Cofton’s guests, the team raised £200 for Comic Relief, a well-known charity that strives to create a just world free from poverty.   

Kicking off the day, Grounds Manager Scott swapped his ride-along mower for a cash register, taking the place of Gerry as Cofton’s Shop Manager. Scott tried his hand at serving customers and taking deliveries whilst Gerry got to work clearing the many leaves across the 80-acre site.  

Eskdale Campsite in The Lake District Welcomes National Trust As New Owners

Eskdale Campsite in The Lake District

Savills, on behalf of the Merckel family, has sold Eskdale Campsite in Boot, Cumbria to the National Trust. The site sold from a guide price of £1.65 million.

The 8.5 acre (3.4 hectare) site located on the western side of the Lake District National Park has permission for 100 camping and motorhome pitches and 10 camping pods alongside the self-catering Camping Barn and a four bedroom farm cottage. A shop, laundry area and two children play areas are also provided.