By William Coleman
Big cities like London, Manchester and Leeds are amazing places to visit but they do seem to have an overwhelming lack of caravan sites, London especially. With the industry getting bigger these areas can introduce a lot more people to the touring lifestyle and open up urban areas to a lot more UK based tourists.
Having lived in London for my entire life I was shocked to see just how few sites there are in and around town. There are a few dotted about but not as many as you’d think, which I think is just a totally missed opportunity.
Growing up I never questioned why we went to Devon or South Coast for our holidays, I just assumed it was for a change of scenery. As I got a little older I found out from my dad that is was simply due to a lack of variety closer to home, and the Death by Chocolate they served in the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe team room.
Fortunately I had a childhood where we went away a lot to camp sites all over the South West and I got a real feel for the caravan holiday and spent a lot of time outdoors being active. The same cannot be said for a lot of people in and around areas of London. We also seem to have quite a lack of leisure vehicle dealers, maybe the two are linked?
So due to the lack of dealers and sites I think there is a huge hole in the market and lots of missed holiday opportunities for inner city people who may be totally unaware of how accessible these getaways are.
Due to how cost effective a caravan holiday can be a lot of our younger generations who may not be able to hop on a plane and go away can really benefit by choosing this holiday type. A lot of holiday for not a lot of spend.
Getting younger children out into sites has so many benefits for their health and ultimately their behaviour. It is better to keep them occupied and active than just sat on a computer or street walking, which is something I saw a lot of growing up with a lot of the people I went to school with.
Most sites you visit are surrounded by walking trails, woodland and a whole host of outdoor activities and theme parks that provide perfect days out and get the kids outdoors more. Something I think kids nowadays need a lot more of.
Aside from getting a lot more kids out and about you can also bring a lot of new business to the industry. If cities add more locations to go caravanning then the need for a dealership will become higher. A win win for the entire industry.
There are some caravanning locations in and around London such as the Abbey Wood and Crystal Palace Club sites and a few dotted around the border of Surrey and Kent.
Sites are few and far between in major city locations and I cannot think of an actual reason why. Maybe perhaps the areas are not seen to be green enough, which could not be further from the truth. I am about a 15 minute drive from pure countryside. Maybe it is the inner city driving that puts a lot of club and developers off, this I can see being an actual issue.
Whatever the reasons are, I think there is a lot of business and holidays that can be had with caravan based city breaks. If only there were more sites and dealers willing to fill this gap in the market.