Henley park ready to push boat out for anniversary splash
THE FAMILY OWNERS of a Henley-on-Thames holiday park say they are “over the moon” that they will be able to mark their 75th anniversary this year with their guests.
Swiss Farm, just a short stroll from the picturesque town famous for its Royal Regatta, confirms that everyone at the park is now looking forward to a summer of celebrations.
With earlier uncertainty about when parks could re-open, says the park’s MD Joseph Borlase, there were fears that their diamond year might have lacked the sparkle it deserved.
But now, he said, the five-star park near to the banks of the Thames will be buzzing from mid-April thanks to an avalanche of recent bookings.
“Swiss Farm first started welcoming visitors just after the end of the Second World War when the land was being farmed by my grandfather Harold.” said Joseph.
“Many of the guests came on the train from London, and they stayed in bell tents in one of the fields; the facilities were a bit limited, but visitors enjoyed a brief escape from the city.
“My father continued expanding the camping park alongside his farming business and set about landscaping and planting. Visitors will see his input in the hundreds of trees and miles of hedges he planted over his thirty years running the business.
“I took over from my father some twenty-plus years ago and began introducing a number of changes. With the support of my wife Erika and the fantastic park team, we have continued to grow in popularity.
“We now host guests from across the UK and overseas with a wide range of accommodation and facilities – and are very proud to hold a platinum five-star grading from the AA.
“It’s been a very challenging twelve months for all parks, but we’re so pleased that we’ll soon be providing the fresh-air holidays which people need and deserve,” added Joseph.
With its lake, surrounding woodlands, and tranquil setting in the Oxfordshire countryside, Joseph says the family has always been keen to manage the park along sustainable lines.
Today, visitors can choose between staying in a caravan holiday home or one of the park’s lakeside cedar glamping cabins or shepherd’s huts. There are pitches too for touring caravans, motorhomes and tents.
Facilities include a heated outdoor pool, bar and lounge, and a well-stocked farm shop plus a cafe serving locally sourced produce. The park has also introduced a new outdoor grill and wood-fired pizza kitchen that will serve guests in a new covered cafe garden.
“We are delighted to be welcoming guests back to help us mark our diamond year and are pleased that they will once again be supporting other local businesses.
“It’s wonderful to have been part of this community for so many decades,” said Joseph, whose park is often made available to support local charities and good causes.
There is more information about Swiss Farm – a member of the Best of British group of top-rated independent parks – on its website at www.swissfarmcamping.co.uk