It has been an exciting and busy January at Highlands End. The biggest project we have undertaken for a few years has started with C G Fry arriving after the Christmas break to undertake the refurbishment of Martin’s Bar and Restaurant. Over the next 4 months we will see a full transition from what you have all come to know as the Bar and Restaurant at Highlands End.
The refurbishment includes two separate extensions, one for the back of house which includes increasing the size of the kitchen and storage to double the size it is now. The other extension sees the ‘main room’ being extended and the flat roof being replace by a pitch roof. Plus a complete refit including the bar, new furniture and colour scheme – don’t panic we aren’t losing the Fire Memorabilia!
The team have been planning for the coming months and we are moving into the Cowshed Coffee Shop for the month of February. In the Cowshed, we will be offering a food and drink service to our visitors when the park re-opens for Touring Caravans and Motorhomes.
Back outside C G Fry have completed the footings and the concrete slab has been poured this morning for the new walls which should start going up next week.
It is an exciting time, particularly as we complete our last functions over the next 7 days before the real refurbishment starts, these will see us welcome the Melplash Show Society on Friday followed by a private birthday party on Saturday and the Rotary’s annual Casino Night next week (27 January) will be the last drinks served over at the existing bar.
We are going to publish an update each Friday so keep an eye out and we look forward to sharing our developments with you as well as reopening fully in May 2017
New Glamping Accommodation
We’re excited to have been sent some images of the prototype ‘Lotus Stargazer’ Bell Tent today and wanted to share the images. When we visited The Glamping Show at Stoneleigh in September we liked the tents manufactured by independent manufacturer Lotus Belle and thought they would work well on the parks.
Knowing how much visitors to the parks enjoy the clear night skies and being able to see the Milky Way, we suggested it would be great to have a clear roof on the tents so that guests will be able to see the spectacular night sky from the warmth and comfort of their glamping accommodation.
Lotus Belle have delivered and these images show the prototype they have created with a clear PVC roof at the top of the tent. We are delighted they were able to create this product that will suit our parks so well and further improve the glamping experience our visitors receive.
These tents will be available to hire at Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme Holiday Parks. With a strong waterproof lining, the Lotus Stargazers will sleep 4 people with a double bed and 2 single beds, have an electric hook-up and an outside picnic table, all creating a more comfortable and luxury camping experience.
As well as this, we will be introducing Safari Tents at Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme, sleeping 4 people with separate bedrooms and many extra luxuries such as a hob, fridge, dining table, sofa and outdoor decking with table and chairs. Please note the images below are included to give an idea of roughly what the Safari Tents will look like and are not representative of the exact facilities and furniture in the finished product on our parks.
Both the Safari Tents and Lotus Stargazers should be available from April 2017 and will be included on our current low and mid-season Saver Deals with 10% off 3 or 4 night breaks, 15% off 7 night breaks and 20% off 14 night breaks. We hope to be able to start taking bookings on these in the next few weeks so keep an eye on our websites and social media for the prices.
Jurassic Coast Trust
We are getting ready to go into our 10th year working with the Jurassic Coast Trust. Thanks to the donations of our visitors when making bookings with us and our Caravan Holiday Home Owners, we have been able to raise over £57,000 over the past 9 years. It will be great to celebrate 10 years of raising funds to help conserve and promote the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Site on our doorstep.
Over the years our monies raised have helped provide educational boards along the coast as well as an educational DVD in our Tourist Information at Highlands End Holiday Park which is amazing for both children and adults alike.
We will be meeting shortly with the trustees to review how our contribution is helping the trust develop its objectives and plans. As a company we are proud to of raised such a large amount of money for such a great cause and just want to say a great big THANK YOU to all of you that have donated over the years, well done!
Decades of family memories at Highlands End
It has been a while since our last blog post and we hope to soon update you with the winter work the teams are getting on with. The parks are still open and we are enjoying a busy half term week while the owners can enjoy another 4-5 weeks on the parks with the season dates 1st March to 30th November. We spoke recently to Jennifer and Robert Crockford who are Caravan Holiday Home Owners at Highlands End to get a flavour of what’s attracted them to West Dorset and Holiday Home Ownership…
Jennifer and Robert Crockford at Highlands End Holiday Park
Jennifer’s parents first came to Highlands End Farm in 1959, as it was just the place for a static caravan – well before they were known as ‘holiday homes’! Eype was a hidden gem, with its ‘secret’ valley and secluded beach set in beautiful countryside. The nearby unspoilt town of Bridport was a further bonus.
Since then Jennifer and, soon after, her husband Robert have kept up their family tradition at Highlands End, a ‘top spot’ for their children and grandchildren. The whole family loves the scenery, the wildlife, the beaches, the many walks and Bridport itself with its markets and shops close at hand.
Years ago, park facilities were fairly basic – no electricity, no running water – just gas lighting; the caravans were small – but for Jennifer and Robert this was all part of the fun. Since then there has been a steady growth both in the quality of the caravans and in the amenities on park and there is so much for the family to do safely in and around the park – shop and coffee shop, bar, restaurant, swimming pool, laundry, fitness suite, tennis court, pitch and putt. play areas, etc. Martin and Vanessa Cox achieved all this whilst protecting wildlife and raising environmental standards generally.
Highlands End lies on the Jurassic Coast and Robert has always encouraged his family to look for fossils and interesting rock formations – starting with Eype Beach. Meanwhile Jennifer finds that the Bridport area has so much to offer in local arts, crafts,. books, antiques and agricultural history. In fact right next to Highlands End is Eype Church, now also a popular ‘Centre for the Arts’ –and source of many pictures in the Crockford home.
However, there is one other aspect of Bridport which Jennifer and Robert enjoy and foresaw many years ago. It is now one of Britain’s ‘hot spots’ for the best local produce, food, drink and restaurants. They have rather a long list of personal favourites but suggest that the annual Bridport Food and Beer Festival in June is a good place for starters! They do add that over the years they have eaten well at what is now “Martin’s Bar and Restaurant” on the park; the very local specials are always a favourite!
Finally, they say that the ‘star feature’ of their van is THE VIEW! They would be very rich if they had a pound for every visitor who exclaimed WOW! on looking out from their picture window. Where else is there a panorama from Lyme Bay, National Trust land, Eype Down, Colmer’s Hill, the Marshwood Vale and back round to Eype Church, in an ever changing land and seascape?
Christmas Menu Released!
It may be our busiest time of year on the Parks but it is these first couple of weeks in August that we need to work with the Chefs at Martin’s Bar & Restaurant at Highlands End to put together a special Christmas Menu for our lunches, dinners and party nights throughout November and December. The menus include a range of options, including vegetarian and gluten-free meals at a competitive price.
The team are once again looking forward to hosting Christmas meals and party nights for many locals and businesses in the surrounding area – bookings are taken by Sally and Ty by calling 01308 426919 or emailing email@example.com
Pokemon crazy on the WDLH parks
As the CHIEF WDLH Marketing expert, I was asked to become the head of our latest quest with the brief of ‘catching them all!’
What a first day! After the BH&HPA made us aware of it we have caught numerous Pokemon across the parks and are now level 6 already. Highlands End Holiday Park is close to St Peters Church, our nearest Poke Stop and Eype Mouth Beach is the nearest Gym. Harry (the new park puppy) has enjoyed the walks and I am probably going to get asked by Martin to do some work but Pokémon could be the new thing for WDLH and getting customers to the park, so we are classing it as marketing! (Wink Wink). Here are some of our catches today…… come to Highlands and catch them all!
If you are staying at Highlands End, Golden Cap or any of our parks please post pictures of your catches to our Facebook pages! Good Luck guys!
Over and out…..
James (Team Instinct)
2017 prices, the sun and a twist on Portland
Wow where have 2 months gone, we have been so busy with what I am about to tell you that both myself and the marketing team have forgotten to write a blog, sorry!
During June the parks were very busy and many enjoyed watching the football and Wimbledon in Marin’s, it’s just a shame England let us down again but well done Wales! We were pleased to welcome back the Broadchurch film crew to West Bay over the last few weeks, they have just finished but it has added a little excitement to the area with the thought of Broadchurch series 3 airing in 2017. We just loved seeing our local area on TV and it has brought a lot of Tourism to the area both with holidays and day trips, known locally as the ‘Broadchurch effect’.
In the last week of June we took delivery of Portland Lodge a 40×20 Willerby Caravan Holiday Home. We just had to order one with a name like Portland and it is now fully sited at Golden Cap Holiday Park and up for sale. Take a look here! I am pleased to see Golden Cap slowly evolving and this will be the second lodge for sale and we have four available for hire. Please note the image below is a library image.
Also at Golden Cap during June we extended the shop, the slow change in customers’ requirements and requests has meant we identified a need for a food and drink offering as well as the Grocery essentials our park shops provide. We will never be able to be a supermarket and why would we want to be with four chain supermarkets in Bridport but our offering, and I am sure you will agree, matches the needs of Seatown. The newly styled Seatown Stores as shown below now sells, Pizza, Sandwiches, Pies, Slush Puppies, Milkshakes, Dorset Tea and lovely coffee to name just a few.
We are excited to see the opening of Big Berries Summer Camping Field this coming Friday at Golden Cap. The team have been busy cutting the grass, getting the signs up and the toilet block ready to open. The weather is perfect for it and we are looking forward to letting visitors know about the brand new toilet block that is being built over the coming winter, ready for the 2017 Big Berries opening dates.
Now, where have the team and I spent a lot of our time in June, well the link below will show you all, we have researched, put together and released our 2017 prices both online and through the bookings office (01308 426947). This is the earliest we have done this in WDLH history and we already have a flurry of bookings coming in for 2017, not forgetting the ever more popular winter breaks in our Lodges and Apartments at Highlands and Golden Cap which are available all year round.
View our 2017 Prices
Although a short blog I am sure you can see WDLH is always developing and I will not leave such a long gap until next time.
Dorset Knob Throwing a hit for the Bank Holiday
Well after a colder than usual April and a busy first May bank holiday I was pleased to see many local events had a successful weekend and our visitors enjoyed visiting them. In particular The Dorset Knob throwing contest was enjoyed by visitor’s across the WDLH parks and I was pleased to see the event made the BBC news website which is great for Dorset. See below if you have not read about it already. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-36153406
Looking forward May and June are always great months for events going on in Dorset and this list may just twist your arm to visiting us
I hope you have enjoyed the Bank Holiday weekend and for those of you that have stayed with us have a safe trip home
A new environmental milestone!
At Highlands End we continue to strive to be as green as possible and this includes:
Creating natural havens for wildlife
Extensive tree and hedgerow planting
Install homemade bird and owl boxes
4 separate buildings with Solar Panels
2 buildings with Waterless Urinals
Harvest rainwater to water our plants
Use local suppliers to reduce travel
Promote public transport
A polytunnel to grow all our own plants during the low season
A milestone has been met during April 2016
Our 96 panel Solar Photovoltaic system was installed on the Leisure Club roof in October 2011 and has just reached over 100,000 kilowatt hours saved in less than 5 years and a saving to the environment of over 50,000 kilograms of CO2! We’re proud of the team’s effort in ‘going green’ and is another achievement that contributes towards all 5 of our Parks hopefully achieving David Bellamy Conservation Gold Awards once again in 2016!
Night Warden joins WDLH
As we continue to change at WDLH and wish to meet our customer expectations and requirements we are pleased to introduce a new role to the parks. Not only do we now have wardens, receptions open until 9pm on Highlands and Golden Cap and a friendly team working shifts to cover most hours of the day, we now have a Night Warden.
Bob has been undergoing training for the last few weeks and now works 4 nights a week carrying out routines, procedures and Health & Safety checks as well as attending any emergencies and cleaning the toilet blocks. If you see Bob or any of our wardens working in the evenings please say hello and we hope this service increases the WDLH offering.