Best of British – Martin’s Bar and Restaurant
This week Highlands End Holiday Park and the newly branded ‘Martin’s Bar & Restaurant’ has been featured in the Best of British Touring Caravan Sites Newsletter.
If you would like to read the review, click here Best of British
a busy february and a great special offer
On the 22nd January I attended the Bridport and District Tourism Association, social evening at Haddon House in West Bay. The annual social is always a great opportunity for meeting with other members, and allows the chance to share experiences within the local tourism industry. Stephen Banks a local photographer who works for Watershed PR received the annual award for ‘Contribution to Tourism’ presented by Scott Condliffe the Chairman of the association. Stephen is an inspiration to the young business minded in the area, and for this I am pleased he was recognised and received the award.
The BDTA is always looking for new members who are willing to join the committee and support the local tourism industry. If you are interested in finding out more about the association you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week I attended the BH&HPA Conference in Cardiff for two days, with Speakers and presentations on tourism and holiday trends, marketing, accommodation and many aspects relating to the management of holiday parks.
Next week (17-22 February) we are looking forward to the ‘2015 Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show’ at the NEC in Birmingham. All of our holiday home sales team will be attending the show, and representing WDLH on the My Dorset Parks, Willerby and ABI stands. If you’re attending the show at the NEC and would like to discuss owning a holiday home at WDLH, you can make an appointment to meet one of our team by calling 01308 426917.
On the 7th & 8th February our team organised a Holiday Home Open Weekend and we had a great response, meeting with many potential and current holiday home owners. The holiday home show ground at Highlands End seems to be working very well and is proving to be a great opportunity for customers to view Caravan Holiday Homes.
On the 6th February we opened the Touring Area at Highlands End Holiday Park. This is the first time we will have opened the touring area so early in the year, and already we have welcomed a number of visitors taking advantage of the February sunshine. We are currently running a great special offer; if you book for 7 nights in February a Hard Standing Serviced Touring Pitch, it will cost only £99 for 2 people; If you would like to find out more call 01308 426947.
The Cowshed Café at Highlands End Holiday Park is now open and we are stocking even more local produce in the Shop. The staff are very excited about the new Panini machine which is being tested at the moment. I am sure our visitors will enjoy sitting in the Cowshed Café with a cappuccino and a hot panini, whilst soaking up the views of Eype Downs and the Jurassic Coast.
In preparation for the 2015 season, we are advertising a number of job vacancies. More details can be seen on our website www.wdlh.co.uk/jobs
This week I have a meeting with the Tourism Council working group and on Thursday day a meeting in Paris with the management committee of the European Association – so a busy few days ahead ……….
Highlands End Leisure Club fundraising for CRUK
Last Friday 19th December was the Grand Draw for the Christmas Raffle at Highlands End Leisure Club. For well over a month the Leisure Club team have been encouraging the leisure club members, staff, friends, family and general passers-by to join in with the raffle and help to raise money for Cancer Research UK. The total amount raised has not yet been confirmed but we know it is well over £300.
I would like to thank all the team in the leisure club for coming up with the great idea and supplying prizes, as well as the head office for making contributions. Penny Yarnold who gives swimming lessons in the leisure club kindly donated six, half hour private swimming lessons and other leisure club team members baked cakes and made chutney. West Dorset Leisure Holidays donated a Sunday Lunch voucher to be used in the Highlands End Bar and Restaurant, along with other great prizes including champagne, wine and chocolates.
The Christmas Cracker Giveaway that we are running from our WDLH facebook page is still generating lots of interest. Over the final few days of the giveaway the prizes will include a family leisure Club pass for Highlands End, a selection of local produce including Palmers Beer and Lyme Bay Wine and 3 nights stay in a Camping Pod… we have been giving away prizes everyday in the run up to Christmas and finish on Christmas Eve.
The Apartments, Bungalows and Lodges have now all been decorated for Christmas and we look forward to welcoming our guests over the Christmas and New Year period. If you’re thinking about taking a last minute winter holiday our bookings office is still open and our luxury accommodation is open all year round.
The hype for the ITV television series ‘Broadchurch’ is increasing by the day, with the second series starting on the 5th January. We have both of our WDLH webcams in perfect position for anyone that would like to see ‘Broadchurch’ in real life (really known as West Bay, Eype and the Jurassic Coast). You can see the sun set and rise over ‘Broadchurch’ and the stunning coastline. We have also just launched our very own Broachurch web page on our website, where you will be able to keep up to date with photos and much more.
Christmas festivities and the release date of Broadchurch
The late night shopping last Wednesday evening (3 December) in Bridport was a great evening, with lots of market stalls selling crafts and Christmas novelties. The town was packed and the reindeers outside Amsafe in West Street were a huge attraction. The Christmas tree festival in the Bridport United Church is now open until 14th December and has 60 Christmas trees on display; each tree has been individually decorated by schools, local businesses and associations. It is free to go and look at the Christmas trees and I would really recommend it for getting you in the Christmas spirit.
We are now on the 11th day of our Facebook competition the ‘Christmas Cracker Giveaway’ we have been handing out some great prizes. Today the prize is £50 off a Kayak Tour at Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, kindly donated by Jurassic Coast Activities. Tomorrow we have 4 free tickets to the Dinosaur Museum in Dorchester and on the 13thwe are giving away a stunning calendar of Colmers Hill, with pictures taken by Doug Chalk. Our giveaways are going to be carrying on until the 24th December but the prizes are top secret at the moment!
We have just heard on the local news this morning that the release date for the next series of the ITV series ‘Broadchurch’ is being announced today. If you keep an eye on our WDLH social media we will make the announcement as soon as we know. I am sure there will be a lot of people waiting in anticipation as much as we are.
The Bar team at WDLH are all very busy with Christmas functions and the Maintenance team are well underway with winter work on the parks. All of the team at WDLH are getting ready for Highlands Touring to open on the 6th February 2015 and we look forward to an exciting year ahead.
Winter sunset from Highlands End Holiday Park
Christmas Cracker Giveaway
In the run up to Christmas we have decided to do a WDLH ‘Christmas Cracker Giveaway’.
All you need to do is each day from 1st December until Christmas day, keep an eye on our Facebook page and each day we will release a new prize.
How to enter is explained on our facebook page
Today the prize is **4 FREE tickets for a tour of Palmers Brewery**
The prize for tomorrow is currently top secret but remember to look on our Facebook tomorrow – its a good one!
BEST OF BRITISH AT HIGHLANDS END
This picture is our insert in the newly published 2015 Best of British UK holiday parks guide for Highlands End, one of our 5 star holiday parks in Dorset. I think the main banner picture is an excellent example of just what our Jurassic Coast line has to offer and shows our local cliffs looking at their best on a summer’s day at West Bay. The cliff picture also ties in very nicely with the next series of the ITV programme ‘Broadchurch’ that will be released early next year. The producers of ‘Broadchurch’ have used these cliffs for their television adverts and they have become a very popular tourist attraction.
Last Sunday 23rd November we hosted the Eypes Makers Market in the Bar and Restaurant here at Highlands End Holiday Park. It was a great success with lots of people all popping in to by their Christmas Wreaths and other locally crafted goods.
Highlands End touring area will close this Sunday and reopen for touring on the 6th February 2015. Our winter accommodation at Highlands End will remain open right the way through including Christmas and New Year. The Lodges, Bungalows and Apartments have already had some winter bookings for Christmas and New Year but we hope to get more – I can’t personally think of a much better choice than to open your presents on Christmas day, overlooking the Jurassic Coast from one of the warm and cosy winter lodges.
We still have some availability in the Highlands Restaurant for Christmas lunches and our popular Christmas Party nights. If you would like to book a date for your partner or work colleagues you can find out more by contacting our reception on 01308 426912 or email email@example.com Our last Christmas party will be Saturday 20th December.
Fundraising and Community events
This October the team at West Dorset Leisure Holidays has been making an extra effort to raise money for Cancer Research. In early October we hosted two ‘Caravan Holiday Home Owners Evenings’ and on both nights we had a raffle and auction with donated prizes, the two events raised £495.30.
The team at WDLH also wanted to be involved in the Breast Cancer Campaign, ‘Wear it Pink’ day last Friday. We have now tallied up all the funds raised on this day and between the staff and customers we managed to raise £124.96. I would like to say an extra thank you to Ben’s Mum for baking some delicious pink fairy cakes that we were able to sell and to Penny, our Pool Attendant for all her extra efforts.
Last Sunday (26th October) was the Winniford Water Voles Trail. The rain held off and there was a good turnout of nature enthusiasts, visitors and local families. The group sang songs and had a story read to them by Martin Maudsley, a professional storyteller. The trail started from the Anchor Inn in Seatown, opposite our Golden Cap Holiday Park and the group walked along the river bank looking for voles and any signs of vole trails. Unfortunately no voles came forward for an interview! But it was good fun and very interesting. The volunteers have been doing an excellent job in preserving the area and it is great to see how much effort is being made to protect the intriguing Winniford voles.
Tomorrow night (Saturday 1st November) at Bridport Leisure Centre, the ‘Bridport Round Table’ will be putting on their annual Fireworks Display. The fireworks will start at 8pm but I would recommend getting there early with your family, as they have a BBQ and mini fun fayre for the children. It is also a great opportunity to meet the volunteers of the Round Table and find out just how much they do to support our local community.
‘Wear it Pink’ for Breast Cancer Awareness
Today the team at West Dorset Leisure Holidays has been supporting the ‘Wear it Pink day,’ in order to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness. The WDLH team have been selling pink cakes and we have had a couple of team games. I am unsure of how much we have raised so far as the fundraising isn’t over yet! But I will announce this in the next blog. If you would like to come to any of the holiday park receptions or if you’re visiting the Highlands bar or swimming pool you are very welcome to leave a donation.
Winniford Water Voles
On Sunday 26th October Dorest Wildlife Trust and experts from BASC, are inviting families and people with an interest in the Winniford water voles and riverside walks, to come along and follow the Riverside Trails wildlife walk.
The walk will be starting at The Anchor Inn which is opposite Golden Cap Holiday Park, from 3:30pm. It will be a very interesting trail with entertaining ‘Tales from the Riverbank’ by professional storyteller Martin Maudsley.
You do need to book and if you would like further information please contact Nick Gray 01300 321329 / 07824 438974. We look forward to seeing you all there; I know the team from Golden Cap Holiday Park are looking forward to it!
Also we have now published the 2015 prices for all the holiday parks and these can be found by clicking on this link ‘Our 2015 Holiday’.
Gold – David Bellamy Conservation Award
We received some excellent news this week! David Bellamy has awarded all five of our holiday parks with the ‘Gold – David Bellamy Conservation Award 2014/15 accolade’. This award to all of our holiday parks is a great achievement and we will continue to improve, encourage and educate on the importance of sustaining the environment, encouraging wildlife, reducing the use of energy, minimising waste and supporting the local community.
The British Holiday Home Parks Association has provided further information about the award:
The David Bellamy Conservation Award Scheme is one of the longest running green tourism awards in the UK. The idea of the scheme was first sown when David Bellamy gave a talk to members of the camping, caravanning and holiday home park industry in which he gave the audience members a challenge to be part of the environmental solution and not part of the problem. David was then invited to visit many parks and was amazed at the wide range of work that the most forward-thinking owners were doing for the environment. David was so impressed that a partnership was formed between the Conservation Foundation (the environmental organisation that David co-founded to help businesses get involved in conservation) and the British Holiday & Home Parks Association to set up an award scheme.
The scheme started with a pilot programme in 1996 and the first awards were made in 1997. As is the case today, assessors for the scheme were drawn from local wildlife trusts and other local conservation bodies. The idea behind the awards has also remained the same since those early days: to celebrate what the best parks are doing for the British countryside and to encourage others to follow their lead. “One of the first comments David made about the scheme remains true today: “My dream is to upgrade all caravan parks up to some sort of conservation status so that they can educate the visiting public and help them respect and care for the countryside.”
In the years since it was set up, the David Bellamy Conservation Awards scheme has grown in scope and stature and has even inspired similar award schemes abroad – most notable the Gumnut award scheme in Australia which plays a similar role in that country’s camping and caravanning world. The scheme has developed organically, but saw a major revision of its judging criteria in 2007/8. This was done to acknowledge the increasing importance of sustainability issues such as energy saving on both the industry, public and governmental agendas. With more and more businesses realising that being green is something that is well worth doing, the future of the scheme looks set to be as exciting and innovative as its past.
Further details about the award can also be seen by clicking on this link ‘David Bellamy’