Indie parks prepped for a winter wonderland

Park visitors can enjoy experiences such as winter star spotting at West Bay in Bridport, Dorset

By William Coleman

This year’s touring season was cut short due to lockdown, so winter looks like it’s going to be very busy for sites across the UK. With the “winter season” approaching a group of independent holiday parks is almost ready to showcase its winter plans.

Best of British, which is a consortium of independently-owned sites and parks, says it has quite a few plans for winter to welcome guests right the way through December and well into the new year.

The group has promised that there will be thrilling spectacles awaiting guests, which will highlight Britain’s coast and countryside locations in all their glory.

“Almost everyone was robbed of their spring breaks this year, but winter is going to be payback time,” said James Loveridge of Highlands End Holiday Park in Bridport, Dorset.

“Demand has meant that we will be staying open until the end of December for holiday home rentals, and right throughout November for motorhome and touring guests.

“We’re delighted as I think we’ll see many people becoming overnight converts to a rarely-glimpsed side of our county at its most calming and tranquil.”

Highlands End is one of the 50-plus holiday parks belonging to the Best of British group, all of which are independently owned and offer verified top quality standards.

These Best of British sites are located throughout England, Wales and Scotland, most of which have decided that staying open beyond their usual operating months is beneficial to business and the overall holiday economy of the UK.

“A lot of our visitors in summer were new to staycations, and clearly loved the experience as they are now booking return visits later in the year,” said James.

“What they will be discovering is a gorgeous secret Britain which you can have all to yourself, and not feel you have to compete with other visitors.

“Here in Dorset, for example, are lovely beach and cliff-top walks, as well as inland paths through the countryside, which all have a special quality out of the main season.

“We’ve also a host of memory-making experiences on offer, from fossil hunting to winter storm watching or simply stargazing at Dorset’s famous dark skies,” added James.

As well as Highlands Park, many of the sites in the network will be offering holiday homes for hire, which have been designed for all year round touring. These modern staycation homes come with full heating and insulation to ensure the colder months feel just like summertime. Think more luxury static chalet than caravan.

Another leisure vehicle that is growing in popularity is the motorhome. Throughout the upcoming winter season, it is expected that the demand for motorhome rentals will rise, with a lot of newcomers using them instead of touring vans.

James said that local businesses in areas served by Best of British parks would also be likely to welcome the extension of the holiday year into winter.

“The spending of holiday visitors helps to keep a lot of enterprises afloat, and they were deprived of this income during spring’s shutdown of parks.

Although it will be impossible for us or other businesses to recover those losses, it will be great to see our visitors making the most of Britain in its winter finery!” said James.