Spring is here and the local festivals have begun
Highlands End Webcam view
Sunday 5th May at Highlands End Holiday Park we organised an Open Day of the new lodges. Over 100 people came to take a look and with the wonderful weather we are experiencing the panoramic view from the lodge living room was outstanding, with perfect views all the way across Lyme Bay to the very end of Portland. Feedback from the guests was all very positive and a couple of people went back to the reception and booked their next holiday immediately for that lodge. Take a look at our webcam and see just how good the view is today click here.
With spring finally here the local festivals and events have started and the weather has been perfect! Lyme Regis Fossil Festival which was on the 3rd – 5th May was a great success, Lyme Regis was buzzing with excitement and entertainment. We advertised to our customers how close Lyme Regis is to our holiday park called Golden Cap and the camping and touring section was very busy that weekend.
West Bay aka ‘Broadchurch’ hosted the National Championship for Power boat racing which was on the 4th – 5th May, the harbour was heaving with families all enjoying the day out, the sun was shining and it was great to see the local businesses doing so well. People were walking round with their bags of chips and ice creams and a lot of our guests from Highlands End walked down from the holiday park along the Jurassic coast cliff, straight into West Bay to join in the fun, overall it was a great Bank Holiday Weekend.
The Spring Tide Festival which is over the 18th – 19th May at Burton Bradstock, we hope will again generate business for our holiday park ‘Graston Copse’ which is located in Burton Bradstock for camping and touring during this period.
We are going through the final details for the Caravan Show that we have organised for the 24th – 26th May at Golden Cap Holiday Park, we have started advertising and plan to publicise the show in some major newspapers, depending on the weather we might offer a BBQ to any guests that come to take a look at the caravans and are possibly interested in buying a caravan at one of our 5 holiday parks. We have joined up with local caravan agents that are also going to be displaying their caravans over the weekend.
A lot of our guests at Highlands End Holiday Park have been asking questions about the filming of ‘Broadchurch’ in our area. From where Highlands End is situated we have the perfect view of the wooden cabin where the murder took place and the park overlooks the whole of West Bay and the Jurassic Cliffs that were used. If you wanted to take a look at our Highlands End Web Cam you will see just how perfect our view is of ‘Broadchurch’.
At Highlands End we are very excited to announce that our entrance road to the park is going to be resurfaced; this will be the first time in 40 years! The work starts today and will be finished on Thursday 9th May. It is going to be a little bit difficult for guests during this time but we have organised diversions and the new road will be well worth it. We have widened the laybys making it easier for tourers and new static caravans on their loading lorries to enter the holiday park. The overall look of the holiday park entrance will be much more welcoming.
Who did it? And what a view
Lodge and View to the East
It has been a very exciting couple of days at Highlands End Holiday Park, we have watched with great pleasure as the lodges arrived on the huge lorries and were sited with cranes. After all the hard work that has been put into the Lodges, with designing and planning we are so pleased with the image that they have prevailed. The views from the panoramic living room windows are unbelievable and we have come up with some great names for the lodges, which highlight the views. Inside the décor is very country, with wooden cladding throughout. The soft furnishings are all in a complimentary soft, pale colour keeping the attention focused on the views and the West Country atmosphere. The garden area and landscape surrounding the lodges is currently being worked on by our skilled staff and we look forward to opening the lodges to their first bookings in May.
It’s the last episode of Broadchurch on ITV next Monday 22nd April. At the office we still have no idea who did it? But we have been having a friendly bet and are all looking forward to next week’s grand finale. Broadchurch appears to have highlighted our beautiful coastline, showing off the stunning scenery that we are all so proud of. From my office window I can see the wooden cabin on the cliffs, which is being used as the main crime scene for the murder, it has always been a key feature in Eype and if any of you are enjoying the programme as much as us, Highlands End Holiday Park is one of the best place to stay and walk the same Jurassic pathways, as David Tennant, Pauline Quirke with her dog Vince and the other famous characters in the programme.
This week 15 members of our staff that deal with customers directly have completed a training course about the Jurassic Coast. They have all said it was a very educational programme and fascinating to discover how the 95 miles of Jurassic coast began. The staff also commented on how they all live and work in this area but did not realise just how enticing and historical our World Heritage site really is. It was also very important that the lecturers covered details about safety whilst fossil hunting and the best beaches to visit to find the hidden fossil treasures.
All 7 of our new websites are now live and we’ve been receiving a great amount of good feedback, with how much more information is now available to our customers. We do want to add some more pictures of our stunning scenery but we want to wait for a really sunny day to really accentuate the countryside and coast close to our holiday parks. We have updated the online booking system making it faster and easier to book a holiday. I would really recommend taking a look at the webcams for each park and the new Woof guide which is a great read if you’re a dog lover.
6th – 7th April Golden Cap Caravan Show
DONT FORGET!!! This Saturday and Sunday (6th & 7th April) we will be hosting a Caravan Holiday Home Show at Golden Cap Holiday Park 10am – 4pm.
Come along and view some great new caravan holiday homes, take a walk around the holiday park and view the stunning scenery from the jurassic coast cliff tops.
For more information about the Caravan Show, please contact Val on email@example.com or 01308 426917
Everyone is welcome
Golden Cap Holiday Park, Seatown, Chideock, Bridport, Dorset DT6 6JX
EFCO Meeting and home to hear the ‘Brown Sign’ debate again!
I have been away for a few days which included a visit to Dunkirk, Ypres and Brugge on the way to an EFCO meeting in Maastricht.
A very successful meeting with many of the normal issues – Working Time Directive, VAT, Package Travel Directive – plus two enlightening presentations on importance of european tourism to economic recovery and a very interesting idea from Holland on workshops on improving productivity on holiday parks. As usual lots of ideas and work!!
We visited a new tourism attraction near Maastricht which involves cycling through caves which highlighted the need to encourage new initiatives for visitor experiences www.aspadventure.nl/cave-biking.php - a short break from our meeting and a quick 5km cycle around dark caves tested my fitness
We returned to the parks in time to join the team in finalising the extension to the toilet facilities at Highlands End and the launch of our new websites – we now have a website for each park together with www.wdlh.co.uk which should make it easier for customers to find us.
On Tuesday evening I attended a meeting about the continuing debate between the local communites on the Dorset Coast Road and the County Council who appear to wish to deter visitors from driving along one of the most scenic 20 miles of coast road in the UK.
Signage has been changed to encourage drivers to go inland and not use the road and although road safety is given as one of the reasons, tourism businesses cannot understand why this decision was taken - look at this video to see what visitors to Dorset may be missing.
Unfortunately, I find it hard to get enthusiastic about making the case for brown tourism signs after 25 years of the negative responses from Dorset County Council when I see such excellent signage in Devon
‘Broadchurch’ has boosted tourism interest
Jurassic Cliffs at West Bay
Thursday 7th March I attended the Bridport District Tourism Associations Social Evening. It was a great opportunity for members and prospective members to get together and network. The BDTA Tourism Award for 2012 was presented to Shaun Fox, Chairman of Bridport Carnival committee who had been nominated by the BDTA members for his efforts and contributions towards the tourism industry in the Bridport area throughout the year. In his acceptance speech Shaun praised the work of his committee who in many respects shared the award.
I attended an interesting meeting of local residents and businesses at West Bay about the road enhancements which have proved to be controversial and once again demonstrated the difficulties of consultation over projects and public sector understanding the impact of decisions on businesses and people.
The Exeter Show was very successful last weekend with a wide selection of Motor Caravans and Caravan Holiday Homes available for potential customers to view and discuss.
Monday 4th March was the first episode of ‘Broadchurch’ on ITV. It has been quite exciting to look at the scenery and try to recognise the local areas that scenes have been filmed in. We are a little unsure on the ‘Dorset’ accents! But I guess this is because we’re the real locals and are a bit critical.
The second episode was on Monday 11th March and the storyline is now really starting to unfold, in the office we’re already discussing who we think is the murderer! Most importantly for us at West Dorset Leisure Holidays, is the day after the first episode the booking lines were ringing and it seems to be generating a lot of interest about the area, this is of course good news for us and the other surrounding businesses and we hope 2013 will see more visitors to Dorset than 2012.
2013 Season Opening Offer
For the weeks beginning the 16th and 23rd March 2013 we’re opening the holiday parks with a GREAT special OFFER!!
Visit the picturesque area where ITV filmed the new programme ‘Broadchurch’ starring David Tennant.
7 night breaks for just £200 in our premier 2 bed caravans at Highlands End and Golden Cap or £220 in our premier plus 2 bed caravans at Golden Cap.
Dogs are welcome in certain premier caravans*
Don’t forget to share and like this on facebook and twitter so your friends can see what we’re offering.
To make a reservation please call 01308 426947
*Extra charges, Terms and Conditions apply.
Broadchurch the TV series & the Jurassic Coast Trust
Our most exciting news for this weekly blog is that we have received a certificate from the Jurassic Coast Trust, as recognition for the £5,300 we have raised in the 2012 holiday season. When customers make a reservation at any of our holiday parks they are asked if they would like to make a small donation. The money raised is all generated back into the Jurassic Coast with study programmes for people visiting the areas, information sites, new signs and preservation.
With the holiday parks due to open in two and a half weeks’ time, we are working hard on getting the last parts of major maintenance complete. At Highlands End we are resurfacing the main entrance road and are looking forward to the completion on the toilet block refurbishment.
Three members of West Dorset Leisure Holidays team have been in Birmingham at the NEC the last few days working at the Caravan & Camping Show. They were based on the ‘My Dorset Park’ stand and have since said it was a great success. They spoke to many people who are interested in visiting West Dorset, handed out a lot of brochures and also recognised and spoke to a lot of previous guests from the holiday parks. We also had one of our recently purchased ABI Alderley caravans on show which generated a lot of interest. The caravan is being brought to Golden Cap Holiday Park on the 4thMarch and from the level of interest at the show I am sure we will have customers coming to have a look at Golden Cap Holiday Park.
‘Broadchurch’ the ITV series will begin on the 4th March, I would really recommend watching it as it will be a great chance to see the picturesque Jurassic Coast and our valued West Bay beach that we all know and love. You can also keep up to date with our facebook and twitter notices about the show and we are planning on participating in a ‘Broadchurch’ competition which will be announced in our social media.
The holiday lodges are now available for hire
Highlands End Holiday Park
The luxury three bedroom LODGES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR HIRE at Highlands End Holiday Park, overlooking the stunning Dorset countryside and Jurassic Coast. These stylish holiday homes are setting new boundaries for that dream holiday. Please contact the bookings team for prices and availability.
We have redesigned our West Dorset Leisure Holidays website and will SOON be going live. We have tried to make the site easy to use and informative, with eye catching pictures and a wonderful new Woof Guide for our special guests. We will announce shortly when the new website is accessible.
The toilet block at Highlands End is coming along brilliantly, the under floor heating has been installed, the walls have been repainted and the new baby baths in the baby changing areas are going to be a real luxury compared to the old.
From the 19th February – 24th February we will be attending the NEC in Birmingham for The Spring Caravan & Camping Show. Some of our staff will be working on the ‘My Dorset Park’ stand if you would like to come and say hello. At the show you will have the opportunity to view new models and meet the manufacturers of Camping, Caravans, Motorhomes and Lodges. There is going to be celebrity appearances and the chance to speak to holiday park representatives, book your holidays and arrange viewings of holiday parks.
On the 6th and 7th April we will be hosting an open weekend at Golden Cap Holiday Park. It will be a chance for people to come and take a look at the vacant pitches we have for sale, view caravans and meet the sales team at West Dorset Leisure Holidays. It’s always a fun couple of days and hopefully we will have good weather and we look forward to meeting potential caravan owners.
The Trade Association Conference in Belfast
Last week Vanessa, James and I attended the British Holiday &Home Parks Association conference in Belfast, the home of the National Chairman. The three day conference included several excellent presentations, all relating to tourism and the holiday park sector. Over 400 colleagues from the UK attended, which was an excellent opportunity for us all to exchange ideas and experiences. Many other trade associations I am sure would like to have such a good level of attendance. The key speakers were very impressed by the support and commitment they received and the list of achievements that the BH&HPA had completed over the last 12 months was more than impressive.
It is always interesting and beneficial to discuss the current market conditions and trends, sharing direct experiences relating to the management of holiday parks, including planning policies and strategies. During the conference we had a fantastic evening tour of the new Titanic Centre, followed by dinner surrounded by Titanic history and the dry dock where the ship was constructed and launched.
After the conference we decided to stay for the weekend in Ireland and followed the coastline to the spectacular Giant’s Causeway. A brand new 5 star facility has been constructed at the site providing information about this world heritage attraction. It was great to see a very well designed modern building in such a unique location and it was very noticeable to the amount of investment being pushed into the existing tourism attractions whilst developing new.
We decided to buy a couple of the souvenirs in the tourist shop at the Giant’s Causeway and to my surprise they were selling chocolates made in Dorchester and Jam from Forest products in Bridport. It never ceases to amaze me that where ever you are in the world you can usually always spot something or meet someone you know from home. To conclude our trip we had to experience the traditional hospitality with a couple pints of Guinness in the famous Crown Pub.
Luxury lodges coming soon to Highlands End Holiday Park
We will soon be expecting the new Holiday Lodges that are going to be available at Highlands End Holiday Park. We plan to have them ready for rental by Whitsun and with the great location we have selected for them; they will offer exceptional views all the way to Portland Bill on a clear day.
View from the lodge
The lodges are both 3 bedrooms and will be the perfect option for a family holiday in West Dorset, with that extra touch of exclusiveness and luxury; we will soon be issuing rental prices and uploading more photos….
A bedroom in the lodge
Lodge living room
Saturday 19th January was our annual staff party, the theme was ‘Race Night’ and we had an excellent response from all our staff and contractors that we work closely with. We had 6 races shown by projector and everyone could bet with fake money, I think the winner in the end had about £30,000 in winnings!! She did however have to trade in her fake money for a real prize which the office staff at West Dorset Leisure Holidays had carefully selected. In total there were 6 winners and then the rest of the evening was spent with lots of dancing and plenty of laughing. I think it was a great night enjoyed by all.