Prize Winners stay at Highlands End
We were very happy to welcome the prize winners of a competition in the KCK (Netherlands) magazine.
M Ebert and his partner arrived in their ‘Freedom’ caravan on 28 July and stayed with his for two nights and enjoyed exploring West Dorset.
Their prize included a number of free nights on Best of British Holiday Parks and Touring Caravan Sites and they are making their way along the south coast. I am sure they will have a very memorable holiday in the UK.
West Bay Harbour
Our little boat is in the harbour.
My friend’s boat is beyond repair so we have decided to share our boat with him for a few weeks and this gives us the chance to experience having a mooring in West Bay Harbour which is very near the parks.
I was very excited about this until I realised that the boat is moored in the middle of the harbour and you have to use a small unstable craft about the size of a large washing up bowl to get to the boat!!
I now need a volunteer – my son – to get the boat for me and bring it alongside the more civilised pontoon so that I can walk to the boat.
I am not sure if this boating hobby is for me; but I very happy enjoying the harbourside on a beautiful summer evening and can understand why our guests fall in love with West Bay.
Olympics – one year from today
Lots of talk this week about the Olympics next year and the legacy for tourism with Dorset and Weymouth being seen around the world. Hopefully, Dorset will be seen as an excellent holiday destination and from 2013 onwards we will have an increase in first time visitors.
All the Dorset local authorities are enthusiastic about the opportunity for the future of tourism and the contribution to the economy.
You then have to ask why do the planning departments within the same authorities make it so difficult for tourism business to develop facilities to match modern expectations.
At the recent opening of a new indoor leisure pool on a local family owned park, the Managing Partner remarked in his speech that it took over ten years to take the project from an idea to opening in West Dorset; whereas a similar project on the Somerset Coast also opened this month and it took two years for the same process. We all wish to protect our wonderful area but we have to move with the times.
Perhaps with this new found enthusiasm for the importance of tourism, local planners may find the spirit to have a greater understanding and give some encouragement to the industry…………………
You may have heard of Treasure Trails a network of over 800 locations in the UK including Dorset.
There are a number of trails in Dorset already and we have invested in two new trails for Highlands End and Golden Cap. The trails are based on the parks and take our visitors around the local area.
The Highlands End and Eype Village trail is fun for all the family and familes are taken down through the village so that they can rest at the New Inn and/or the Hotel on the way back to the park. The trail is already proving to be popular and several correct answers have been submited to the organisers and they could qualify for the prize draw – all very exciting.
I mentioned in the blog earlier this month that I tested the Seatown and Chideock trail and the final versions will be on sale on the parks shortly. This one is a spy trail and if you have the right answers you find the passcode to enter the prize draw.
Together with the other trails that we have for sale in the shops our visitors now have a range of opportunities for all ages. In addition to being a pleasant walk the children will love looking for the clues and filling in the answers.
www.mydorsetpark.co.uk – new website for holiday parks
‘View from Bridport’ published the development of a new website for Dorset last week – www.mydorsetpark.co.uk the website has been developed by our local association to market all Dorset parks.
We were concerned about the public sector cuts which support marketing with the closure of South West Tourism and the dependence on local authorities.
We believe that the majority of our visitors search for Dorset when looking for a holiday in our area and hopefully this website will help visitors find a suitable holiday park. All our parks feature on the website
Walking Guides have arrived….
Our guides have arrived for the peak season and we now have 6 very informative leaflets on walks from Highlands End and Golden Cap. You will remember that I mentioned the information boards and walking guides on 4 July.
The leaflets give important information on the level of difficulty, distance and possible length of time. Ideal for the professional rambler and the occasional walker.
Most of the walks either start, pass or finish near a pub or cafe so that you can rest and enjoy some local refreshments. We are very excited about the new permissive footpath from Eype which links with paths to Bridport and West Bay.
Remember if you are really keen you can look on the South West Coast Path website to find walks around the South West.
This evening I have been out testing our latest idea – a Treasure Trial around Seatown and Chideock which has been designed for us. It is due to be printed later this week………….
I will give you an update later – I am resting now after the walk and the stop in the George Inn, Chideock; which if you follow the trial is about halfway.
New videos and Old Dinosaur
We have added a number of videos to our website to cover Golden Cap Caravans for hire , the Apartments at Highlands End and the Bar and Restaurant .
The short videos give a lot more information about our parks and our hire accommodation and are the next stage of refreshing our website. Please click and look
RENOWNED natural history film-maker Sir David Attenborough visited Dorset County Museum a few days ago to unveil an historic fossil discovered in Lyme Bay. The giant jaws of a pliosaur, a huge marine reptile that roamed the seas 155million years ago, has gone on display.
Looking for fossils is a fascinating pastime along our coastline – come and see if you find an old fossil……
High levels of customer satisfaction..
Overall very pleased with the feedback from our customers for the month of June. We participate in the ‘Rate this Park’ feedback system which is available to the 2000+ parks who are members of the BH&HPA. The national average for satisfaction was 95% and we scored 98% and 99% at Highlands End and Golden Cap respectively.
I know it is impossible to please everyone all the time but all the team were pleased with the overall results for June. The most interesting part for us is the comments which bring problems rapidly to our attention – some we can resolve immediately others could take a little longer and some are beyond our control.
Below is an extract of the feedback on Golden Cap during June. Feedback in blue with my comments in black
It would have been useful to be able to buy large scale maps of the local footpaths, although they are signposted well, it would give more opportunity to plan ahead – During July – see previous blog – we are launching a number of maps of nice walks from Golden Cap and Highlands End together with information boards – we are responding to the feedback over the last few years that walking is one of the most popular activities for our visitors.
one way system ‘in and out’ to avoid the problems of two way traffic along seahill lane – This is out of our control and the lane is the only access road to the park
it would be so useful if the shop opened a little earlier – we are reviewing our opening hours
no everything is just fine, lovely holiday. – great comment
apart from very dirty carpet all good. – our maintenance team are checking every caravan
club house – we have often thought that a bar and restaurant would help the park; however we image the planning would be so difficult………..but it would help with the problems with the traffic
Our footpath boards have arrived today and they are the first phase of the project to improve footpath information from Highlands End and Golden Cap. We are doing a number of different projects with the Jurassic Coast Trust (our visitors are asked to make a voluntary donation with each booking) to enhance the visitor experience of our coastline.
The boards show 6 popular walks from the two parks and each walk has a separate informative leaflet to show the route and points of interest.
With research showing that walking is one of main reason why visitors stay in West Dorset it should prove to be a popular. It also matches our strategy of encouraging vistors to walk instead of using their cars.
The project is with the South West Coast Path Team supported by Dorset Countryside, National Trust and Natural England and others including the Jurassic Coast Trust who are helping with the funding
Now we need to find a place for the boards which cannot not be seen from the footpath or the road to ensure that we don’t have to go through the expensive and prolonged procedure of having to apply for planning permission for an advertsing board!!!!
Catch up…..the last 14 days
Sorry I have been very busy over the last 2 weeks and overlooked to update the blog – now I have to think about what has happened!!
Firstly I must complete the story about the 40th anniversary – Peter and the team baked a superb cake and we had a very enjoyable evening with the old tractor and fire engine outside the bar. The tractor was a real attraction for the older guests and in particular Vanessa’s parents who can recall driving the Massey Ferguson around the park.
Chris, Ben and Robert who have done for much work on the tractor and showed such enthusiasm to get it finished were presented with a scaled model.
When looking at how the park has changed over the 40 years it is a reminder how we all forget the impact of change on our lives and we look back at old photographs and find it impossible to understand how we used to cope with such basic toilet and shower facilities, smaller Caravans and tents, no main services connected to the Holiday Homes, no Bar, Pool, Sauna and NO mobile phones of WiFi – those were the days…………
More to follow………….hopefully later today.