Tills, Food, Prices and Photography
A busy 7 days this week on the parks, thank you for all the feedback last week regarding the soft play at Martin’s it was fabulous to have so many positive comments. Some more details below along with what’s happened this week 😊
We welcome Tourers and Motorhomes back to Highlands End in two weeks on our 37 Hard Base Pitches. The Pitch developments and Tarmac will be complete and we are really pleased with the changes that have been completed over the last 8 weeks.
New Tills have been installed at Highlands End and Golden Cap this week, although this is not big news to a lot of you it is a big change for us moving into the 21st century with electronic cloud fed tills now being in all departments. Fun Times ahead learning how to set them up and use them to their full potential! Other fun this week has been making the new food and drink Menus, I won’t leak too much but here is some of the photography we took as a sneak preview. Martin’s will be open from 09.00 to 23.00 daily from 2nd February serving Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner… basically food all day! The Burger makes us hungry!
A year of Events at Martin’s. Along side our normal opening, Sky and BT Sports, soft play, Sunday Lunch and Cocktail menu we have drawn up an outstanding list of events for 2018 with something happening almost every 3 days and a staggering 100 ‘events’ happening between February and November. These including quizzes, Gin Masterclasses, music and our own Cider Festival.
Marketing – a busy time of year for us but you can now download our 2018 brochure which includes price lists. We are busy working on the on park marketing including our welcome brochure and park signage.
View the brochure
2019 Prices – Look out our 2019 prices will be live soon for Lodges, Caravans, Apartments and Bungalows!
Sales – caravan of the month is this stunning 2 bedroom Swift Burgundy at Golden Cap. Complete with a wrap around colour coded decking it is a great buy at a package price of £44,995 and available from 1st March for handover. Click here to find out more.
Happy New Year!
With only 3 weeks from today until the Hard Bases open at Highlands End for Touring and Motorhomes the parks beginning to come to life again after the Christmas Holidays. We came back to work on the 2nd January and we don’t know where the time has gone and this is what we have been up to:
At Highlands End C G Fry have been in converting the gym that has had dwindling numbers to be part of Martin’s. Below is an artists impression of the soft play that should be available from Mid-April along with some extra toilets for the building and a brand new store room. (Not as exciting as the Soft Play)
Also on Highlands End we have two major projects on going this winter. Firstly on the Caravan Holiday Homes where we are targeting to get caravans 1-108 on underground gas as well as upgrading the Electric and Water Supply. This has proved to be a bigger job than planned but we may get the whole park done but it will be weather dependant. On the Touring Field our toilet blocks are having their annual spruce up but most of the action is happening on the pitches. Grant Brooks and team are busy upgrading Hard Base pitches to be bigger and to meet the road. This includes curbing most of the roads and upgrading 6 of the grass pitches which are heavily used to Gravel. A busy time!
Our new Premier Camping Pods are under construction by Quality Pods Wales and they have sent us some preview photographs this week of their progress. The first 2 will be delivered in the next couple of weeks, followed by 4 more for Highlands End and 2 for Golden Cap. We can’t wait to get them finished!
At Golden Cap there is just as much action. This week we have taken delivery of the last two Horseshoe lodges. It was great to see this area completed and although the picture doesn’t do the unfinished lodges any justice here is a sneak peek! They are available to book from next month!
Elsewhere on the park the Golden Cap Team and one of regularly used contractors Alex Macdonald and his team are working tirelessly towards completing a few projects including:
Tarmac of a road and parking spaces in front of the Toilet Block on Alberlon
A new park water tank
Preparing all of the Holiday Home pitches for stock to be delivered for sale
A conversion of the TIC to park reception and a further upgrade of the shop
Introduction of a much needed road in Alberlon to over 20 of our owners Caravans.
At Graston, Larkfield and Sandyholme although no major projects the teams are continuing with upkeep of the park and are busy hedge cutting and recovering the parks from a busy 2017 season in preparation for the 2018 season starting 1st March.
This weekend is our team party, it is a great occasion with over 100 people attending this year including existing team members and their partners, contractors and new team members starting this month!
It’s nearly Christmas!
The team will finish work for their Christmas break next Wednesday so this is our last Friday working before Christmas which tied in with Christmas Jumper Day. Andrew who recently joined accounts came in with this amazing jumper and showed the rest of us up! – well done Andrew.
Out on the parks we are as busy as we always are in the short closed period. With the target of getting Highlands open again for 2nd February and most winter works complete, the park has been getting most of the attention over the last 2 weeks. This will change in the New Year as we get stuck into planned works at the other four parks but for now Highlands End is coming together nicely. This week we welcomed the last two lodges in Shepherds View to complete the development we started in 2012 and brings the Lodges to a total of 10 with a range of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units available all year round for hire. It was great to watch them get craned on and the development completed and a real achievement for the team and the family.
As Martin’s Bar & Restaurant continues to develop its offering, we were very excited and pleased to attend a meeting earlier in the week and were told Gin Masterclasses are starting on Saturday February 3rd and for the first year ever we will be open for lunch through January, starting on the 3rd. From February 2nd we will open 9am until 11pm daily serving breakfast, lunch and dinner as well Costa Coffee and Cakes (Yummy).
At Highlands End we have started work on the Touring Pitches and for the fourth year in a row we are investing, not only in both Toilet Blocks, but also in the pitches themselves and the area around them. We will have 9 new Gravel pitches in 2018 as well as 19 Grass Pitches upgraded for Touring Caravans and Motorhomes from Camping.
We are also extending just over half of the hard base concrete pitches so they reach the road. We will also welcome 6 new Premier Camping Pods to the park in late March, check our the little flyer below – we are very excited!
We have also taken delivery of our new sauna at the Leisure Club at Highlands End. Work will begin on the 2nd January transforming the gym in the leisure club into something totally new and totally different for Martin’s Bar!
Another busy week at WDLH
It’s been another very busy week at WDLH.
This week the teams from Cresta Leisure and Helo Ltd have been busy at Highlands End Leisure Club, ripping out the sauna and installing a brand new one! The new sauna looks great and will open tomorrow.
After finishing the Jurassic Retreat Lodge Development at Larkfield Holiday Park last week, Grant Brooks and his team have now moved to Highlands End Holiday Park where they are developing grass pitches into gravel, extending some hard base pitches to the road and creating some new roads in South Rye Acres. Over the coming weeks, they will be moving into the area where our new Premier Camping Pods will be located to work on the landscaping, road and footpaths.
Today we announced the winner of our photo competition. There were hundreds of entries throughout 2017 and this photo below was the winning entry from Danielle Pearce, who wins £250 off a 2018 holiday. We think you’ll agree it’s a deserving winner! We will be running a new competition again starting in February 2018.
The Christmas functions are well under way in Martin’s Bar & Restaurant and we are welcoming a number of the local businesses up from the local area for their annual party nights. We are also running a daily advent calendar on our Martin’s Bar Facebook Page with giveaways and our Blaze Bear is getting up to mischief around the restaurant. Our main competition is to win a £100 stocking of local goodies – click here to enter the competition that ends on the 20th December.
The £100 stocking is not the only competition we are running. Click here for a chance to win a long weekend in one of our new 1 bedroom lodges at Highlands End Holiday Park. The first of these lodges was delivered this week and will be craned into place shortly – we hope to bring you a video of this next week! Look out over the Christmas break for our competitions to win a 2018 Leisure Club membership at Highlands End and a holiday in our Premier Camping Pods.
Excitement is brewing…
Excitement is brewing across the teams this week as the winter work is getting going and a few changes are beginning. The team in Martin’s Bar & Restaurant are busy with Christmas functions, with the first one starting at lunchtime today. We now have one or two almost daily until December 22nd when we close for our Christmas break.
We will soon take delivery of our portable bar, which will be used over Christmas as a wine bar. In 2018, the world is our oyster with ideas coming in from all angles including serving a variety of drinks at different times and occasions including cider, cocktails, gin, prosecco and even outdoor events in the beer garden…exciting!
Elsewhere, the Lodge development at Jurassic Retreat got its finishing touches this week with the tarmac going down and some planting. We also took delivery of a 3 bedroom Tuscany Pathfinder lodge, which is a stunning holiday home and the with its decking it really looks the part.
The maintenance teams are busy draining down the 600 or so owner’s caravans across the 5 parks, while inside we are having our normal clean ups and tidying. The Team Managers are busy looking ahead to new ideas we are implementing for 2018, which we will tell you about shortly! On our social media we have a couple of competitions beginning today including a competition to win a stocking full of goodies from Martin’s Bar worth £100 (click here to visit the Facebook Page to enter) and a competition to win a weekend stay in our new 1 bedroom lodges at Highlands End Holiday Park in January (click here to visit the Facebook Page to enter).
We hope you all have a great weekend!
New Premier Camping Pods in Dorset
We’re excited to announce that we are introducing new Premier Camping Pods in Dorset to Highlands End Holiday Park and Golden Cap Holiday Park in 2018. The Pods, manufactured by Quality Pods in Wales, are designed to increase our range of Glamping accommodation across the parks and provide a more luxury feel than our existing Pods.
Due to the extra space inside the Pods, for the first time we are able to offer dog-friendly glamping accommodation, with 3 of the 8 Pods allowing dogs. We are excited to increase the range of dog-friendly accommodation as it is such an important part of what we offer. The pitches have been measured and over the next few weeks, work will begin on levelling the pitches and creating gravel bases for the Pods. Following their delivery in February and March, we will add private deckings to each pod, put up fences and work on the landscaping in time for opening on 30th March at Highlands End and 1st May at Golden Cap.
The Pods sleep up to 4 people with a double bed and 2 single futons. There is a small kitchenette with fridge/freezer, electric hob, toaster, kettle and cooking equipment as well as a built-in wardrobe, bedside tables and a fold-down table with stools. There will also be a small heater, led lighting thoughout and plug sockets and usb sockets. Linen is provided and beds are made up for arrival. While there is no running water in the Pods and therefore no kitchen sink or bathroom, these facilities are available nearby at the toilet and shower blocks.
The Pods will be in stunning locations on each park. At Highlands End, the 6 Pods and designated parking will be in a specific area with amazing views, just 100 metres from the coast path and a 10 minute walk from the beach and West Bay. At Golden Cap, the Pods will be located in Red Hill View, just round the corner from the existing Pods, the Safari Tent and the Stargazer Bell Tent next to the bridleway that runs down to the beach, just a few minutes walk away.
The Pods have been added to our websites and online booking system and the feedback from our Facebook Posts and email marketing looks great. We can’t wait to welcome the first guests in 2018!
Awards, Christmas Markets and new starters
Wow what a 7 days!
Firstly, Highlands End Holiday Park won Silver in the Holiday Park of the year category at the Dorset Tourism Awards. The team have done a great job throughout 2017 and we received some great feedback from the mystery visitor report. 10 members of the team enjoyed an evening out at the Lighthouse in Poole last Thursday for the Awards Ceremony. The image below shows members of the team celebrating alongside the Jurassic Coast Team who won an award for their outstanding contribution to Dorset Tourism.
Yesterday we welcomed the 11th annual Eype Makers Market to Martin’s Bar and Restaurant at Highlands End Holiday Park. It was the biggest and most popular year so far and the raffle made over £900 for charity. There were over 40 bakers, makers, photographers, artists and more selling their locally produced products and the feedback from all was that everyone had a great time and loved the new refurbishment and extension of Martin’s Bar.
This morning we welcome two new team members, Tess Frecknall joins us as Venue Manager and Andrew Mcleary has joined the Accounts Department. They are already busy learning new roles and meeting the team. Tess will be reviewing the services we offer in Martin’s Bar & Restaurant, looking forward to 2018 when, for the first time, we will be open daily between 1st February and 30th November.
Palmer’s Brewery Tour
We had the pleasure of going on a Brewery Tour yesterday as part of a Palmers visit. It was great to be shown around the production line by the Head Brewer Darren Batten and owner Cleeves Palmer and learn about the history of the brewery, the beers it brews and how the business has had to change and adapt since 1794.
Brewing 5 Ales all year round and a seasonal each quarter we learnt about the brewing process and how each beer is made to taste different. We were treated to a few samples while learning about new products in the Palmers Range which includes a Dorset Haze Cider which we now stock at Martin’s.
After lunch we had a talk from Cask Marque regarding keeping the cellar, beer and glasses at a high quality and we are pleased Martin’s has the highest award possible for this. Later we enjoyed hearing about some new wines and prosecco, one of which a Rose Prosecco will be hitting the Martin’s cooler for the Christmas period.
End of Season Meeting
It’s been a busy few months since our last blog and we apologise! We have decided to rename the blog to be a general West Dorset Leisure Holidays blog so that we are able to update it more often with news and events from around the 5 Holiday Park and the local area.
We start with our ‘End of Season’ meeting this morning, attended by around 50 members of the team. As well as reviewing the year, we discussed the work the maintenance teams will be undertaking over the winter, as well as looking forward to future changes to the day-to-day operation of the parks.
We introduced staff awards, starting off with Sandyholme Holiday Park winning Park of the Year for 2017. Fez and Tracy the new wardens have worked hard all year with plenty of fresh ideas. They have improved the park greatly and will continue to do so in 2018 and we look forward to seeing the changes!
Team of the Year was won by the Maintenance Team at Golden Cap Holiday Park who, as a team of only 6, have kept the park looking fantastic all year long so well done to them. Employee of the Year was won by Zoe Lau, who has been working in Martin’s Bar and Restaurant at Highlands End Holiday Park as a valuable member of the Team for a number of years. Zoe was heavily involved in the ideas and implementation of the refurbishment and extension at the beginning of the year and has contributed to the smooth running of the Bar & Restaurant since it reopened in May.
We continue to make finishing touches to Martin’s Bar & Restaurant and will be developing our offering by adding Costa Coffee in the next few weeks. As well as this we will be installing a soft play facility for young children and for functions and events we are having a ‘pop-up’ bar made and creating new toilet facilities in the Fire Engine Room.
We are currently developing a new cocktail menu for our Christmas Meals and Party Nights (click here to view the menu) and are looking forward to the different menus we will be running through 2018, when we will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and evening meals from March to November.
Check back weekly to the new and improved blog for plenty more updates as to what is happening during the winter period!
Tourism Pub of the Year!
This week we were all reminded that it’s not just the investment and development of the parks, the high standard of customer service or the accommodation we offer that keep our guests (new and old) visiting us. It is in fact our beautiful surroundings, attractions and of course the wide range of food and drink on offer in the local pubs and restaurants.
We were proud to hear that The Anchor Inn at Seatown, which is just 150 yards from the entrance of our Golden Cap Holiday Park, won the title of Tourism Pub of the Year at the well-known Visit England Awards of Excellence this week. The traditional country pub located pretty much on Seatown Beach and the Jurassic Coast serves Palmers Ales and fantastic food with ingredients sourced from some of Dorset’s best local suppliers.
Being named the top pub in this category out of 600 applications (the highest number ever received) is no mean feat and Paul and his 20 strong team provide what we would describe as an experience rather than your traditional pub grub. Where else could you be looking out to sea, sipping a pint of Bridport’s Palmers Ale with some food cooked up by a handpicked team of chefs lead by the well-known Jean Paul Deronne. A quick tip, the favourite we hear is the handpicked Crab with Lime and Pepper Aioli Roll, washed down with a pint Dorset Gold Ale!
The Anchor Army (as they like to be known) have been pleasing WDLH guests for years and following a refurbishment 4 years ago the food and drink has developed year on year. The Anchor’s website boasts the use of produce from both land and sea so I am sure you will find something to meet your fancy.
It’s not all about the food and drink, the location of this pub and the park are idyllic, with Golden Cap (the highest point on the South Coast) towering over them. At 627ft it is a challenge for any walkers……..and your reward for succeeding is time to relax and unwind near the beach surrounded by 2000 acres of National Trust Countryside to your left, and to your right the English Channel and the beauty of the Jurassic Coast.
All of that aside, where else but to base yourself at Golden Cap Holiday Park. Whether you’ve purchased one of our holiday homes for sale or staying at our awarding winning campsites in Dorset, we look forward to welcoming you and pointing you towards the best pub in the country!