Campsite Finder Online Blog

SPATEX 2017 – your loyalty means a lot

As a much-valued SPATEX visitor, who has in previous years visited the Exhibition on a Sunday, we would like to assure you that we will make your visit to the 2017 Show as smooth as possible.

As you will doubtless already know, SPATEX 2017 is moving to a mid-week slot (Tuesday January 31st to Thursday February 2nd) to bring it in line with the other European wet leisure Shows.

If you need office services such as printing or faxing or the use of a computer, the fully equipped SPATEX office is at your disposal. The office will be manned at all times so please just pop in and you will be assured of our attention. The kettle is, in any case, always on so feel free to pop in and rest your legs and have a chat!Spatex 2017

Celebrating 21-years of service to the Industry, makes 2017 a special year for SPATEX so this is a bumper edition with a few surprises.

Alongside all the traditional topics you would expect to find in the double seminar and workshop programme, we have thought out of the box and are planning some new titles. Here’s a taster

*         Legal advice – Specialist International Personal Injury lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, Simon O’Loughlin is giving a talk on what to do when things go legal including pursuing a civil case, proving negligence etc. (Wednesday, February 1st 12.30-13.00 in Arena 1)

*          Of particular interest to rugby fans, Wasps Rugby Club Deputy Chairman, Nick Eastwood is giving a talk on Tuesday January 31st at 2pm in Arena 2 on Increasing Your Profitability – maximising leisure facilities and building a brand: the Wasps story.

*         Natural swimming ponds – Following much interest in the national press, owner and managing director of Gartenart Swimming Ponds and board member of the British Association of Natural Swimming Pools, Tim Evans, has been invited to give an introductory talk on swimming ponds and natural swimming pools (Wednesday February 1st 12.30-13.30 in Arena 2)

Further details on these and the extensive programme of seminars and workshops can be found at  Attendees of the workshops receive CPD points and certificates of attendance.

Make sure you don’t miss out on the biggest wet leisure event of 2017 by registering now for free at

SPATEX 2017 Tuesday, January 31st to Thursday, February 2nd at the Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry. For further information, please contact Michele or Helen in the SPATEX office T: 01264


Scottish Parks welcome Tourism Minister at Annual Summit

Scottish tourism minister Fiona Hyslop MSP met with holiday park owners in Edinburgh this autumn (24 Nov) to hear how their industry is planning to maintain visitor momentum in 2017.

The minister was the chief guest speaker at the annual conference of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (Scotland) held at the city’s Our Dynamic Earth.

Owners and managers of many of Scotland’s 200-plus park businesses were meeting at the end of what was generally regarded as a highly successful year for their sector.

Fiona Hyslop, who is cabinet secretary for culture, tourism and external affairs, was welcomed to conference by Aberdeen park owner Colin Fraser who is chairman of BH&HPA (Scotland).

Fiona Hyslop at BHHPA Summit 05

Fiona Hyslop at BHHPA Summit, Edinburgh, 24/11/2016:
Fiona Hyslop MSP (third from left, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs) at the BHHPA (British Holiday & Home Parks Association) Scotland summit 2016 at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh. Pictured with (from left) Colin Fraser (chairman, BH&HPA Scotland), BH&HPA UK National Chairman Henry Wild, (Fiona Hyslop), Jeanette Wilson (BHHPA Scotland) and Ros Protchard (BH&HPA UK director general)
Free FIRST USE (ONLY) picture.
Photography from: Colin Hattersley Photography – – – 07974 957 388

Mr Fraser told the minister that an independent economic survey published last year found that Scottish holiday parks generate around £700m of visitor spending each year in Scotland.

This figure, he said, accounts for 8% of all the revenue produced by Scotland’s tourism economy, and allows the Scottish park sector to support more than 5,600 full-time equivalent jobs.

In her address to delegates, Fiona Hyslop said that the Scottish Government recognises the important role played by parks in producing visitor income and sustaining employment:

“The holiday homes sector is a unique but vital part of our tourism and hospitality industry. The sector provides important geographic spread, allowing visitors to see more of our country and, in doing so, to support our rural economies,” said Fiona Hyslop.

“The last VisitScotland accommodation survey shows that there were over three million bed nights from domestic visitors in camping and caravan parks, and 654,00 bed nights from overseas visitors.

“Those bed nights were right across Scotland, and spent within a wide range of accommodation types including holiday homes, touring and camping,” she added.

Fiona Hyslop was speaking at the start of the park conference’s busy day-long agenda which also included talks from a range of tourism and other industry specialists.

Delegates heard from VisitScotland senior tourism insight manager Chris Greenwood whose department has just completed a survey of how Scottish parks fared during the 2016 holiday season.

Although the results had yet to be fully analysed, said Mr Greenwood, they are likely to present an upbeat picture of an industry maintaining its popularity and continuing to develop.

Other speakers addressed a range of matters from consumer rights and employment law to how park businesses can increase still further the number of visitors from the UK and overseas.

Director general of BH&HPA, Ros Pritchard, outlined some of ways in which the association engages with politicians to help frame UK and EU laws and regulations affecting park businesses.

National BH&HPA chairman Henry Wild also gave his perspective as a holiday park owner on how the association helps its members develop their businesses and meet customer expectations.

Closing the conference, Colin Fraser said the industry was delighted with the support it receives from the Scottish Government, and thanked tourism minister Fiona Hyslop for her attendance.


Family’s Park Honoured in Lancashire Green Awards

One of Lancashire’s top three environmentally-friendly enterprises has been named as Moss Wood caravan park in the village of Cockerham near Lancaster.

The family-owned business came under the spotlight at this winter’s Lancashire Tourism Awards as it took honours in the sustainable tourism category of the keenly-fought contest.

Moss Wood Caravan Park AwardMoss Wood was the only holiday park to appear among the top three finalists of the awards for which thousands of businesses across the county were eligible.

The announcement was made at a glittering awards ceremony at Blackburn cathedral, and stepping up to receive the accolade was park owner Henry Wild.

Moss Wood was established by the Wild family over 40 years ago, and provides around 200 pitches for holiday homes, touring caravans and motorhomes.

Its many initiatives to protect the natural environment led to its being presented once again this year with the prestigious David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.

The world-famous botanist praised the raft of measures taken by the Wilds to safeguard the park’s thriving fauna and flora, and to minimise its carbon impact.

Highlighted by Professor Bellamy has been the planting of hundreds of native trees and shrubs in the grounds of Moss Wood, and the creation of many wildlife habitats.

It also has a spring-fed lake which acts as a magnet for birdlife, dragonflies and a host of other different aquatic species, and is stocked with fish from sustainable sources.

The park also harvests rainwater for plant irrigation, makes extensive use of recycling, and arranges wildlife events, such as bat walks, for holiday guests and local schoolchildren.

In 2016, Moss Wood also planted a 3000 square-foot wild flower wilderness with high nectar-bearing blooms which provide vital foraging for honey bees and butterflies.

Henry Wild said everyone was delighted that the park was now considered to be in the premier league of green tourism businesses in the county:

“Our family has lived and worked for many years in this beautiful part of Lancashire, and we’ve always tried to make the park a perfect fit to the natural environment,” said Henry.

“We also tend to attract holidaymakers who share our views on the importance of protecting wildlife, and they are very supportive of our conservation work.

“It’s fantastic to have been honoured in the Lancashire Tourism Awards, and I’m sure this will act as a spur to even more sustainable projects in the year ahead!” he added.

There is more information about Moss Wood Caravan Park at Bellamy Conservation Gold Award


Camper Calling Music Festival

Camper Jam add a new music festival to their portfolio, bringing leading acts to Ragley Hall this August named Camper Calling

If you love live music and camping, then Camper Calling is for you! This summer, our new three day family music festival will be taking place at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, with acts including ABC, The Magic Numbers, The Hoosiers, Toploader and Dodgy.
The show, which will take place from 26 th 28 th August 2016, has been devised by the team at Jazz Events. Shelley Bond, Events Director, said: “We’ll be taking over Ragley Hall for a weekend of amazing music from over 40 amazing bands, as well as introducing you to new talent on our freshly squeezed stage. Plus with family entertainment, lakeside watersports, adventure playgrounds, loads of activities and craft workshops and some seriously tasty street food & drink, you’ll be as busy or as chilled out as you choose!”
Headline acts on

Camper Calling

Tell Your Friends and Share

Friday 26th August include: The Magic Numbers, Dodgy, Willie and the Bandits and Mused.
On Saturday 27th August music lovers will be entertained by the likes of: ABC, The Hoosiers, Toploader, The Carnabys and the UK Foo Fighters.

On Sunday, the soundtrack to the day will be provided by: Undercover Hippy, Buffalo Brothers and Barbarella’s Bang Bang, amongst many others.
Following on from the success of the hugely popular Camper Jam, the family friendly event which is held in Weston Park, Camper Calling will offer a wide variety of entertainment, a variety of camping areas and plenty of opportunities to feast on fantastic street food. Brothers will also be serving up a wide array of flavoured ciders.
The organisers of Camper Calling have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the August bank holiday weekend is filled with a host of family friendly activities, from craft workshops to campfire tales, lake activities to children’s circus shows. There will be several live music stages, craft workshops, scrumptious street food, AüguztFest for the connoisseur of fine Beer with a live Oompah Band, a fun fair, and an array of
activities for visitors of all ages.
The main Lakeside stage will play host to over 20 bands over the course of the weekend, providing the perfect platform for rising stars of the music scene and established acts alike to provide unmissable entertainment.
The Jazz Events team pride themselves on creating a relaxed, welcoming environment at all of their shows and Shelley Bond commented: “We’re delighted to be introducing Camper Calling at Ragley Hall – it’s the perfect location for what promises to be a must visit family music festival, featuring fantastic bands, activities for all ages and so much great food – everything you need for the perfect summer weekend.” Early bird discounts are available for those who book their Camper Calling tickets in advance at: (or call: call 0 1244 881895) . *Camping at the show is available by prebooking only, there will not be camping tickets for sale on the day. Day visitor tickets are on sale now.



Glamping Holiday Competition

Go Glamping in Yorkshire
Would you like to set off on a cool Camping experience with your family of four?
This luxury holiday can be yours. We will be choosing one lucky person to take their family on a 2 day mid week break.
This is the perfect way to explore glamping.
The site has its very own orangery cafe, situated in 250 acre Camp on Hill Manor Estate.
Camp Katur offers a number of glamping structure as accommadation as a winner of this draw you can choose which structure you would prefer to sleep in.
All you need to do Is like our facebook page and write Cool Glamping. We will pick the winner from our page.
Facebook Like

Pets and Travel for Easter

Are you taking your pet away for your Easter Holiday?

If so here are some useful tips given by Pets at Home for a trouble free journey.

Trethem Mill Touring Park, Cornwall If you notice your dog drewling or aggitated whilst travelling it may be because your best friend is suffering with travel sickness.

Not all dogs are sick some just act anxious.

1. Always discus your option before travelling with your vet

2. Familiaritise your pet with the vehicle and the pet carrier by taking short trips preferably which end in a walk.

3.Pheromone collars and sprays can alleviate stress. Spray the carrier and the blankets. see Adaptil for dogs and Feliway for cats

4. Dont feed your animal before traveling.

5. Create a relaxing atmosphere in the vehicle and keep a windo open at all times.

Pixie and Beau relaxed whilst travelling

This how relaxed your dog should be whilst travelling

6. Plenty of water and plenty of stops to re-leave themselves if they are a dog.

7. Keep pet secure with seat belts etc, being buffeted around the car will not help the stress level of your pet

8. Possible medication may be its only option. Some pets for long journeys may need to sedated.


Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show bring in a record breaking visitor footfall

Caravan Camping and Motorhome Show record breaking news

  • 2,420* more visitors to the show than in 2014
  • Record sales for many exhibitors
  • Exciting new products launched, from glamping tents to campervans

The UK’s largest start-of-season holiday showcase, The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show, kicked the year off in style with nearly 87,000* people visiting Birmingham NEC across the six day event. This was a record for this show since NCC Events ran its first spring show at the NEC in 2012. TV’s Ben Fogle and Matt Baker opened the show, which had more than 350 exhibitors across five halls.

The show aims to bring new entrants into the leisure vehicle and camping market and this year it was strengthened by the new industry promotional campaign ‘Freedom to Go’ which is supported by both The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club. ‘Freedom to Go’ aims to inspire the public to experience a leisure vehicle holiday for themselves.

‘Freedom to Go’ was bought to life at the show in the form of an inspirational visitor feature encouraging newcomers to put themselves ‘in the picture’ of the many lifestyle options that owning a leisure vehicle can offer. Visitors could be photographed either in a winter inspired area, on a festival stage or at the beach in an oversized deckchair. Over 8,000 photographs were uploaded to the ‘Freedom to Go’ website for people to download after the show and web traffic to increased by over 30% during show time.

Saturday was the busiest day of the show, with just shy of 20,000* people through the doors and attendance was strong throughout, with each individual day seeing more visitors than in 2014.Camping and Caravan Club Seminar

Exhibitors reported strong trading across a range of products, with some selling out completely. Sales of Swift’s touring caravans and motorhomes were up on last year’s show. PJ Outdoors benefitted from at show activity 20% up on 2014, with inflatable air tents proving particularly popular. And in the holiday homes sector optimism was widespread, with Willerby having a five-year sales high at the 2015 show.

Interactive feature areas, including an assault course and cycle challenge, went down well with the crowds and the Experts’ Theatre featured a packed programme of sessions, from practical caravanning tips, to fashion advice from Kate Lawler, talks from celebrities including Sally Gunnell and cooking with Ben Tish all compered by adventurer Richard Harpham.

Plenty of new products debuted at the show too, including The Camping and Caravanning Club’s new Ready Camp glamping product, coachbuilt motorhomes from Benimar and Moto-Trek, campervans from Wild-Ax and Wellhouse Leisure and new caravans from manufacturers such as Lunar.

CCM 15-4932Andrew Whalley, Managing Director of NCC Events, said: “I am delighted that such a bumper audience attended The Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show 2015. It was the busiest ever since we began organising the event in 2012 and the atmosphere in the halls was electric. With double digit growth for 2014 new caravan sales and motorhome registrations, this increase in visitor numbers is reflective of how buoyant the market currently is.

“If you factor in the attendance at our Motorhome & Caravan Show 2014 then we have welcomed more than 180,000 people to our two events in the last five months and with interest in our sector, boosted by ‘Freedom to Go’, continuing to rise, it bodes well for the year ahead, roll on October!”

NCC Events’ second consumer exhibition, The Motorhome & Caravan Show 2015, will return from 13 – 18 October at the NEC and tickets go on sale in the spring.

Campsite Finder Online had their own stand which attracted visitors due to the quirky VW Campervan photo booth. It was fun for the kids and the parents.

Original Pioneer of Glamping, Feather Down, sets innovative 2015 trends

Original Pioneer of Glamping, Feather Down, sets innovative 2015 trends

The team behind the internationally acclaimed Feather Down Farm Days holidays is proud to introduce a number of glamping innovations to suit those looking to get back to nature on some of the UK’s loveliest working farms, without compromising on comfort or luxury.

Brand New Canvas Frills Lodges with en-suite bathroom

The Canvas Frills Lodge is yet another new innovation from Feather Down – a luxurious tent boasting even greater practicality while never compromising on allure, with an all-important en-suite bathroom. With a beautifully decorated wooden bathroom web-tent_evening_02interior, guests may now enjoy an instant hot shower (heated by gas), and in the right style. The breakfast of freshly laid eggs just collected by your children can now follow the shower, entirely in the comfort of your lovely 56m2 living space.

Brand new Canvas Lodge for small groups

For larger families and groups of friends, there is the Canvas Lodge for 10 people, currently available on Canfields Farm in West Sussex. Behind thick protective canvas keeping warmth in without shutting the sounds of nature out, turn-of-the-century farmhouse tent interiors evoke a time when daily life proceeded at nature’s pace. Balancing practicality and feeling, all of the spacious and cosy tents include proper beds with warm blankets and soft pillows, and flushing toilets.

Brand New Log Cabins on the farm

Featherdown FarmsThe company has just launched its brand new log cabin holidays. Available at Howbeck Lodge Farm in the Lake District National Park and at Warren Farm in the beautiful Mendip Hills near Cheddar Gorge, the rugged cabins will bring an extra sense of adventure to the family holiday, while providing all the warmth of hearth and home. Full of frontier flavour, the cabins feature rocking chairs on the veranda and turn-of-the-century farmhouse interiors.

These are now spread across the space of a mezzanine measuring 50m2. But don’t expect TV or wireless – the ethos of a Feather Down holiday is to get away from the stresses and distractions of modern living to reconnect with nature and the family.


or call 01420 80804


Oakdown Holiday Park serves up a “bray and breakfast” option

Oakdown Holiday Park in Weston, near Sidmouth, is offering holidaymakers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the world of Britain’s largest equine charity.

Guests staying at a top East Devon holiday park can this year enjoy a VIP donkey experience – guaranteed to raise smiles, and much-needed funds for a local sanctuary.

Oakdown Holiday Park in Weston, near Sidmouth, is offering holidaymakers a behind-the-scenes introduction to the world of Britain’s largest equine charity.

The Donkey Sanctuary, adjacent to the park, provides care for around 500 donkeys – many of which have been neglected, over-worked or abandoned.

In conjunction with the park, small groups will spend a hands-on morning helping the sanctuary team with a variety of tasks including grooming, walking, feeding and petting.

But it’s not all donkey work, for the VIP package also includes a slap-up farmhouse cooked breakfast with a special gift for younger donkey devotees.

Oakdown Holiday Park, owned by the Franks family for over 40 years, provides luxury caravan holiday homes to rent and buy, plus camping pods and touring pitches.

In 2015, Oakdown beat more than 900 other UK parks to take the overall title of AA Campsite of the Year, based on votes cast by guests – and it also holds many other accolades.

According to Alastair Franks, the new VIP donkey experience will provide a fascinating insight to a widely-celebrated charity dedicated to donkey welfare:

“Donkeys and mules are hardworking animals, and can also be very affectionate – but sadly, they are sometimes the victims of neglect and cruelty,” he said.

“But these animals, as our visitors will see, are now leading happy and fulfilled lives in the care of dedicated volunteers who provide all the treatment and attention they need.

“For children especially, this will prove a real eye-opener of a morning!” added Alastair.

The £38.00 per person cost of the experience, additional to the holiday cost, will include a donation to the charity. For more information about the park, visit