MARTIN'S BLOG

The goings on at West Dorset Leisure Holidays
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.

29
May

Poll Dorset Sheep looking for further TV appearances

PollDorsetAs the farming side of our business continues to grow, we have recently introduced 36 Poll Dorset Sheep to our original flock. The Poll Dorset is a breed of sheep that was bred for its meat and the name refers to its hornless variation of the Horned Dorset Breed. Poll Dorset’s are an all-white, medium sized sheep and able to breed out of season and we are planning to lamb in January when the park is not open.

Our new ewes which we didn’t realise until we purchased them had been part of the flock which were featured in the recent filming of ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’ which has just been released in the cinemas. Far from the Madding Crowd, was the fourth novel written in 1874 by Thomas Hardy and who was originally from West Dorset.

The BBC have recently released this review about the film: Based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD is the story of independent, beautiful and headstrong Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who attracts three very different suitors: Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a sheep farmer, captivated by her wilful spirit; Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), a handsome and reckless sergeant; and William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), a prosperous and mature bachelor. This timeless story of Bathsheba’s choices and passions explores the nature of relationships and love – as well as the human ability to overcome hardships through resilience and perseverance.

Over the last few days our almost famous sheep have had their winter coats removed at Highlands End Holiday Park. There was a lot of noise but I am sure that they are a lot more comfortable in the lovely sunshine that we have been experiencing.

If there are any film producers reading this blog and are looking for some sheep to use in a feature film, our Poll Dorset’s are now looking very smart and are ready for their next auditions!

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1
May

Cupcakes and Drones

VanView    This week the West Dorset Leisure Holidays maintenance vehicles have had a makeover. The Team thought it would be a good idea to add a bit of colour and advertise some key attractions about the holiday parks.

The large VW Transporter is advertising   ‘Martin’s Bar & Restaurant’, and the smaller caddy vans we have enhanced with some of our best Jurassic Coast pictures and company contact details. I think that all the vans are now looking very eye catching and hopefully they will encourage our guests to make conversation with the maintenance team when they are working around the parks.

This Bank holiday weekend the caravan holiday home sales team are hosting a ‘Temptation Challenge’ for our holiday home owners. An email invitation was sent out in the week, inviting them to the Sales Office at Highlands End Holiday Park for a cup of tea and a very tempting cupcake. Jasper our Sales Manager has pulled a few strings and will be supplying some extra special cupcakes.

We look forward to welcoming the owners to the Temptation Weekend and the team will be very interested to show our existing owner’s the new holiday homes which are available.

This week we have been looking at the possibility of purchasing a Drone to enable us to have video of the parks – I am looking forward to a test flight next week and we have seen some very interesting videos taken already by local friends – click for a quick flight. I am thinking that we could also use the drone to check the lambs and save a trip across the fields!!

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24
Apr

Golden Cap Holiday Park – Lodge for sale

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Victory Evron

Last week we were celebrating the completion of the Golden Cap Holiday Park’s winter developments. A local contractor completed the tarmac surface of the roads and the landscaping is continuing around ten stunning new hire caravans; all with wrap around balconies which allow our visitors to enjoy the views.

There is currently a Lodge at Golden Cap Holiday Park for sale and this has been creating a lot of interest over the last few days. The lodge is located on the opposite side of the newly tarmacked road at Golden Cap and is called a ‘Victory Evron ’. At Golden Cap Holiday Park we have established a new sales ground and with the earlier installation of 6 new pitches for caravans for sale, we will be welcoming some new owners to the holiday park very soon.

April is proving to be a popular month for walking the south west coast path. The views along the Jurassic Coast from Golden Cap (The highest point on the south coast) and Thorncombe beacon have been breath taking. I have seen many dogs enjoying the walk with their owners, as they leave or return to the holiday Parks.

This week we have sited a number of new caravans which are now for sale at Graston Copse and Larkfield, two of the smaller holiday parks within West Dorset Leisure Holidays and located in the quaint village of Burton Bradstock.

On another note the WDLH team at Martin’s have been busy this week; our final installation of the Kitchen for 2015 is being fitted. Unfortunately the installation did mean that just for this week we have had a restricted menu, but we are now back up and running with a full menu for the weekend.

If you did want to arrange to come and view the new area at Golden Cap Holiday Park or speak to a member of our Sales team we would be very happy to organise this for you.

Call 01308 426917 or emails sales@wdlh.co.uk

 

9
Apr

A sunny and busy easter

Teacher Training Day 6

Local teachers attending a Jurassic Coast Trust course

We were very pleased that all our Easter arrivals were able to enjoy the sun last weekend; this included our spring lambs which were all born towards the end of last week with a total of 42. The new born lambs have now been released into the field overlooked by our Holiday Homes for hire and are beginning to enjoy running around together.

We have been very pleased with the positive feedback we are receiving from guests staying on the new gravel pitches at Highlands End. The grass seed is growing rapidly in the warmer weather and the pitches are starting to look smart for the peak season.

Martin’s Bar & Restaurant was very busy over the Easter weekend and we were fully booked on Easter Sunday. The kitchen is in its second stage of refurbishments and the catering team are looking forward to the new equipment.

I am very pleased to report that the Jurassic Coast Trust invited teachers from the local primary schools to come for a training session here at Highlands. The Trust wished to provide the teachers with more information about the geology of the Jurassic Coastline and for them to incorporate the Jurassic coast into their lessons. At West Dorset Leisure Holidays our visitors have risen over £40,000 for the Trust and were very pleased to see the money being put into the community.

Teachers Training Day

Teachers Training Day

This week the team have had the opportunity to update their First Aid qualifications including the defibrillators which we now have on Highlands End and Golden Cap. The defibrillators are essential life-saving equipment in these holiday areas.  Our team members are always very interested in the courses and recognised the importance of being prepared for a difficult situation.

Bridport and West Bay have been very busy over Easter and it makes a very positive feel to the town with people strolling around Bridport Market and West Bay.

1
Apr

Tourism Council and the Value of Tourism

Blog1As a member of the Tourism Council I have recognised further the value of tourism in the UK and the importance of our industry to the economy and employment. The Council recognises that the importance of the industry is not appreciated by many levels of government, businesses and in the community.

One of the working parties of the Council was asked to look at how communication could be improved and more awareness created about the sector which is taken for granted. However, many local plans do not fully adopt the visitor economy and it is interesting to see that under Employment the industry is frequently overlooked and a job in tourism is not considered to be a ‘proper job’.

Hospitality is a great industry and we need to raise the awareness of the importance of our sector and over the last 30 years we have made some progress but there is a long way to go. The working group has prepared the document below about the value of tourism in the UK and as you would expect I have added the Holiday Park industry to complete the picture!

Click here to view the document in pdf format BritishTourismInfoGraphicPlusHolidayParks

26
Mar

Shepherds View Lodge Opening Ceremony

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Friday 20th March was the opening ceremony of ‘Shepherds View Lodge Area’ here at Highlands End Holiday Park. The sun was shining after the eclipse and we welcomed over 30 guests to the ceremony. Oliver Letwin our MP cut the ribbon on the Lodge area and referred to the benefits of tourism to the local area.
We were graced with the company of local Councillors, the Bridport Mayor, representatives from the Local Tourism Associations, and Paula Skelton from Pinelog who we have worked with very closely in the design of the Lodges.
In 2012 the local planning department approved the lodge development and in 2013 the first Pinelog Lodge arrived at Highlands End.
In March 2015 we accepted delivery of our 6th Lodge ‘Merry Weather’. The Lodges have proved to be very popular and with a stunning view over West Bay also known as ‘Broadchurch’ from the ITV drama series; their popularity is growing from strength to strength.
The opening ceremony was a great success with an excellent buffet put on by our staff at the newly named ‘Martin’s Bar and Restaurant’. A lot of photos were taken by the local press and we look forward to spreading the ‘word’ about our new project.

If you click on the following link you will be able to read the write up from the Bridport News Business Journalist, David Bol about the Lodge Ceremony.