Hearing the rustle of autumn leaves underfoot on a woodland walk, or sitting round a roaring fire in a cosy pub are some of the pleasures park home owners are looking forward to now councils are allowing resorts to stay open for longer.
More than a third of holiday home parks have to close in October, but the Government has asked local authorities to fast-track applications to extend the season to compensate for the losses they suffered during lockdown.
Although traditionally summer destinations, most parks are geared up for all weathers with indoor pools, spas, restaurants and gyms, and many owners say they prefer the cooler and less busy autumn and winter seasons.
Peaceful: Lakeside lodges at Haulfryn’s Delamere Park, which is open in the winter, too
Dianne Jackson and her husband Peter bought a £250,000 two-bedroom lodge with a deck and hot tub overlooking the lake at Haulfryn’s Delamere Park in Cheshire last November, so have already experienced winter there.
‘We live just ten miles away so visited as much as we could before lockdown and after,’ says retired childcare expert Dianne, 65. ‘We even spent Christmas there.’
She says their haven is magical and packed with wow factor, adding: ‘The views of the lake are amazing whatever the season. We love watching the mist at sunrise and seeing the colours of the woodland change from purple in winter to green in summer.’
The couple, who have two children and three grandchildren, bought at Delamere because it is open 12 months of the year. All of Haulfryn’s resorts are open year round.
Among many other parks, Haulfryn owns Brokerswood set in 80 acres of Wiltshire woodland, where lodges cost from £89,000, and Edgeley Country Park in Surrey, which has an indoor pool, sauna, gym and tennis court.
‘Owners of parks that open yearround say the trend towards taking breaks throughout the four seasons has been gathering pace for some time,’ says Ros Pritchard of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association.
Sandgreen Caravan Park, which has its own private beach, and Barnsoul Caravan Park, set in 80 acres of woodland, are both in Dumfries & Galloway, which is Scotland’s warmest region. Soon they will open 12 months a year.
‘Up until now, both parks closed in mid-January and didn’t re-open until March,’ says manager Elspeth Sutton. ‘We asked families if they would like to take breaks all year round, and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
‘Our local authorities said they have no objections, so we’ll be delivering the good news when our applications are accepted.’
Coast View, near Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, is open year-round and is ideal for winter visits as it has a heated pool, restaurant, spa and gym, and is within striking distance of Dartmoor, Exeter and the South Devon coast.
‘Devon lays on a spectacular autumn,’ says managing director Josh Donald.
‘Many owners visit regularly to see the firework display of changing colours in the countryside.’
Even though a holiday park can be open all year, only sites with a residential licence allow full-time occupancy.