MARTIN'S BLOG

The goings on at West Dorset Leisure Holidays
19
Jan

From 33 to 51

I am pleased to see the conclusion of our first project this winter carried out by an external contractor. This involved the transformation from Grass pitches to Gravel pitches at Highlands End. In 2016 this will mean an increase from 33 to 51 gravel pitches, which is exciting because last year they proved to be our most popular pitches for Touring and Motorhome visitors. The team just need to wait for the weather to get a bit warmer to get the grass seed down and complete the landscaping.

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I visited Golden Cap this morning to see how the team are getting on in the toilet block. The transformation is very pleasing and I am sure both our returning customers and our new customers will find the new look very welcoming. January is always a busy time on the parks as we finish off work started before the Christmas break. I am sure that our touring customers will be very impressed with the upgrade of the toilet and shower facilities.

This week we have seen the arrival of our new hire fleet, the siting team have been busy changing them over which is also means we have some pre-owned stock up for sale now at Graston Copse Holiday Park. Tomorrow brings another visit to Golden Cap as our next project starts upgrading the roads in Alberlon and adding parking spaces for the owners Caravans.

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Next week we are attending the annual BH&HPA conference in London. It is always great to hear what our colleagues in the industry are up and to exchange ideas and experiences. We will also have an opportunity to meet many of our suppliers

Yesterday we welcomed the first lamb of 2016 to WDLH. Hopefully the first of many!

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14
Jan

A seal in Seatown!

Brian the seal

At WDLH we love welcoming everyone to West Dorset, as a family business we thrive on making memories for families and their pets. Normally this involves a pet dog and I am sure you will join me in astonishment when the Anchor at Seatown shared an image on Facebook of a seal they named ‘Brian’ relaxing at Seatown. It seems our most recent visitor had a rest and has gone back out to sea, let’s hope he returns when the parks open on 1st March.

The Anchor at Seatown shared an image on Facebook of a seal they named ‘Brian’ relaxing at Seatown.

 

New caravan holiday home bases at Golden Cap

It has been a busy day at Golden Cap with a line of lorries queuing up to deliver concrete to the next 6 caravan Holiday Home bases. We are struggling with the weather but I am pleased the team are working well together to overcome issues. Next week we will be starting roadways and parking bays.

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5
Jan

Happy New Year from WDLH!

From all our holiday parks in Dorset we wish you a Happy New Year!

How does the start of January come around some quickly? It only seems like yesterday that we had a Christmas drink before we broke up for the festive season. I hope you all have had a fantastic break and are looking forward to 2016.

The team have all returned to work after 10 days off. Inside we are busy catching up with enquiries, emails and phone calls. Outside it is wet, but the maintenance team and the contractors currently working on the parks have come out of the starting blocks quickly this year. The works lists need to be ticked off and we have decided to try to complete the three toilet block refurbishments first while the ground dries a little. The weather during the winter break has caused West Dorset some issues but thankfully we have suffered no major disruptions or issues and our winter bookings have enjoyed watching the stormy seas.

Dorset Storm January 2016. Happy New Year from all our holiday parks in Dorset.

I have just completed my first two meetings of 2016, the first being with Sally our Bar and Catering Manager of Martin’s Bar and Restaurant. We concluded our plans for the January decoration program and the bar team are now on their way to the Touring at Highlands End reopening on 5th February. We are also working on an exciting new menu for 2016, looking for new dishes while keeping all the old favourites. My second meeting was with Jasper, our Caravan Holiday Home Sales Manager, we reviewed the Christmas period and have planned when the 2016 Demo stock was arriving, all of which should be in the next 6 weeks with the first arriving this morning! I am pleased the enquiries have been busy over Christmas and we have some viewings planned over the next 10 days. Pitches will be snapped up quickly like the one below, purchased by newly retired Mr and Mrs Robson who are looking forward to spending plenty of time relaxing in Dorset over the coming season.

Caravan Holiday Homes for Sale in Dorset

Happy New Year once again and we look forward to welcoming you to one of our holiday parks in Dorset in 2016

 

18
Dec

Where has 2015 gone?

As we are preparing for our winter break I thought the blog should be updated, I was shocked and can only apologise that our last post was 6th November hence the blog title ‘Where has 2015 gone?’

Many customers and Holiday Home owners enjoyed our first extended season and we said goodbye on 30th November to bring the 2015 season to an end. Our teams have been busy since early November as you can see from the last post, and I am pleased to share with you the inside of one of the 3 new Lodges at the front of Golden Cap, with its outlook over Seatown Beach. I have dreamt about these lodges for the last 25 years or so and we look forward to welcoming the first customers in April when the Lodges open.

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We hear from our customers through the winter period, some of which are surprised we are still picking up the phone or answering emails and processing online bookings. This got me thinking about what does really happen on our holiday parks during the ‘closed season’! I am sure many of the WDLH team will feel they are busier than when we are open but the parks must develop and every year we listen to our customer feedback and try to reinvest in the correct areas. This year the job list or wish list is well underway, to name just a few changes you can all expect to see come the 1st March does not give the team the credit they deserve but I think you will only want to hear the most exciting ones.

At Highlands End and Golden Cap close to 30 pitches are being upgraded for both Holiday Homes for Hire and for Sale. This in turn means the Caravan movements that come with these upgrades but most importantly provides our customers with some 2016 caravans to come and stay in or purchase as their Holiday Home. We are also busy refurbishing the main Toilet Block at Golden Cap with new windows and a full refurb inside. James from Marketing has asked me not to tell you much more as a mailshot will be sent in the new year with pictures! Lastly for those of you who enjoy touring or visiting in your motorhome at Highlands End we are right in the middle of developing an extra 19 Gravel pitches for 2016!

With a busy January and February ahead all of us here at WDLH wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I leave you with this image of a very happy Santa overlooking West Bay from our Lodges at Highlands End.

 

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6
Nov

A busy October at WDLH

While our visitors enjoyed half term and some nice October weather in Dorset, we’ve had a very busy few weeks at West Dorset Leisure Holidays with changes taking shape.

This week saw the arrival of the first new Pinelog Lodge at the front of Golden Cap Holiday Park. Our team battled against wet weather and muddy ground to move the 2 halves of the Lodge onto one of the new pitches. We are very pleased with how the area is looking, the quality of finish and the views from the Lodge. The pitches are ready for the next 2 Lodges, which will arrive next week and the week after from Derbyshire. These Lodges are available for Holiday lets and short breaks from 1st March, 2016 and we have already begun taking bookings for these.

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On October 16th a few members of the team attended the Dorset Tourism Awards at The Tank Museum, where Highlands End won the Gold Award for Camping, Caravanning & Holiday Park of the Year for the second time in 3 years. We were very proud to see the team’s hard work recognised over the 2015 season. It was encouraging to see other local businesses in the Bridport area win Gold Awards also, such as Symondsbury Estate and Lyme Bay RIB Charter.

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22
Sep

September Updates

Well the wind is blowing a little here at Highlands End, the sea has gorgeous brilliant white caps on the waves and the Park is really busy, with our customers enjoying a more relaxed atmosphere now the children have returned to school.

Dorset has so much to offer for those who enjoy the autumnal walks in the countryside or along the coastal path, whether you have 2 or 4 legs, you will find a hearty welcome in Martins Bar each evening, which has competitive meal deals between now and the end of October.

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The decision to extend the season for touring caravans until the end of November at Highlands End has been a success with a good number of bookings for the winter period.

Click here to book

If you are a fan of Historic Houses, the National Trust has a number of properties and gardens in the area which are well worth a visit. The early autumn shades of golden browns as the leaves turn colour and go crispy before they drop and the picturesque early evening sunsets act as a reminder to bring your camera and snap these gorgeous scenes.

The development of the front of Golden Cap has already commenced and three new holiday lodges will be delivered in early October. We will soon be running a competition for one lucky family to be our “official testers” and have a free holiday before the season starts.

Golden Cap Lodge Work

In accordance with our policy to provide the highest quality accommodation at affordable prices; we have already added some new Hire Fleet Holiday Caravans for 2016 from Willerby, Swift, Victory and ABI for both Golden Cap and Highlands End, many of which will have Sea views.

We have a limited number of Seaview Plots for new caravan purchasers at Highlands and Golden Cap, if you were thinking of delaying your decision to purchase to the New Year you risk missing out on a unique opportunity.

If you have a Holiday Caravan anywhere on the parks, I would remind you to turn the water off at the stop cock before leaving in case we receive an early frost, to prevent unnecessary damage.

The Sales Team are busy preparing for the Beaulieu and Westpoint Shows and are busy dealing with an influx of Seasonal Touring customers who are looking to upgrade to their first Static Holiday Home.

Take a look at our current Sales List

17
Aug

Own a Holiday Home by one of Britain’s most blissful country pubs!

Whilst the children are enjoying their Summer Break, the Sales Office has been really busy at Highlands End. The latest 2016 Models are being delivered and in the case of a 2016 Victory Coaster it was sold soon after it was unloaded. Currently there is a varied selection of pre-owned stock on Golden Cap, Graston Copse and Sandyholme. Many of our customers ask when is a good time to become a Holiday Home Owner? The answer is obvious when you see something you like!

View the Sales List

Caravan Holiday Homes for Sale in Dorset

We anticipate having a few pitches on both Highlands End and Golden Cap becoming available this winter for top of the range holiday homes in locations with Sea and or Countryside views, so it is a good time to express an interest or request a part exchange valuation if you are already an owner.

If you have a tourer or motorhome a member of the Sales Team will happily obtain a valuation from our network of dealers. Increasing numbers of people with seasonal touring pitches along the Jurassic Coast are joining us year on year as Holiday Home Owners.

As the schools go back, the market traditionally heats up in September and demand normally  out strips supply,  so August is a really good time to see what is about and with prices for pre-owned models from only £5,500.00 they don’t  get much cheaper.

At Golden Cap, you could own a Holiday Home right by wonderful The Anchor Inn, which featured in the Daily Mail at the weekend as one of Britain’s most blissful country pubs! We highly recommend The Anchor to visitors at all our parks as one of the best places to eat in the local area, with a great view of Seatown Beach and the Jurassic coastline.

The Anchor Inn, Seatown

24
Jul

VIPs at Highlands End Holiday Park

Martin’s VIP alert!

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I was very pleased to call into the Martin’s Bar and Restaurant this morning, where the team had done a great job doing just over 50 breakfasts. I was also pleased to see a familiar face that I met a few years ago and heard of his story about cycling to Highlands End from Watford which would take him between 10 and 22 hours. I was informed today that they are here celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary at Highlands End Holiday Park! Cip and Dig Felton (as they are known on the park) and 4 generations of family are camping with us over the weekend and have returned many times over the years after celebrating their honeymoon at what was Highlands End Farm 50 years ago! A genuine Highlands End success story.

We wish them congratulations and a great weekend

Enjoy the champagne!

 

23
Jul

Happy Birthday Sydney!

So this week I have been taken over the by our dog – it seems that James from Marketing and Sydney have decided to promote a special offer! Happy Birthday Syd!

Woof! I’m Sydney and my family own the five holiday parks. Lots of people bring their doggies with them on holiday because we love the walks and beaches in Dorset. I’m very excited because this week it’s my 9th birthday and to celebrate we are running a special offer for my doggie friends.

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I love doggies so much, I suggested that it should be free to bring dogs with you to my parks in October and November 2015 if you are touring or camping! This offer applies to Golden Cap Holiday Park and Sandyholme Holiday Park throughout October and Highlands End Holiday Park throughout October and November.

I look forward to seeing you and enjoy your summer holidays, Sydney x

Visit our Special Offers page for more information

20
Jul

First Lodge for sale at Golden Cap in 20 years!

I apologise for the break over the last few weeks, the build up to the summer and a trip to France has really meant my Blog writing days seemed to have disappeared, anyhow plenty to catch up on now.

I was delighted when visiting Golden Cap at the weekend to see our first lodge for sale in 20+ years is now ready for sale. The 2015 Victory Evron Lodge sits in a unique secluded position on the park just 300 yards from Seatown Beach on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast. Being shown around it by Jasper our Sales Manager and Jen the Park Manager I could really feel they were proud to have brought this fantastic product to the park and to show us as a family what we can offer.

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The front of the Victory Evron Lodge

Vanessa was pleased to be shown inside the 2 bedroom Lodge and to see it is fully furnished with open-plan living, including a utility room, walk in wardrobe and bath!

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A manufacturer’s photo of the Lodge’s open-plan living

I was pleased to be joined by the marketing team and we were able to get some great pictures and footage of the Lodge to show its setting and location. Click here to view a video of the Lodge’s location and click here to view a virtual tour of the lodge from manufacturers Victory. I had a busy weekend with my photography hat on, which is becoming more and more enjoyable as we transformed a unit of accommodation to bring Christmas to WDLH early for a marketing campaign and our annual Christmas Card, but as I have not had time to sort through the pictures I will touch on that more next time.

Within sight and sound of Seatown Beach

Within sight and sound of Seatown Beach

For more information and images of the Lodge visit our website.