Lancs licking Cornwall in holiday stakes, says park
Lancashire is this year rivalling Cornwall as a holiday destination for some families, according to a major holiday park which has decided to bring forward its expansion plans.
Bay View in Bolton-le-Sands, near Lancaster, has announced it will now press ahead this year with developing additional new holiday homes on the park, originally earmarked for 2017.
Business owner Michael Holgate says there has been a large rise in “staycation” guests this year, including an increase in the volume of people who live in the Midlands.
Middle England visitors, said Michael, often choose the West Country for their holidays – but a recent analysis of guests’ postcodes reveals that many more are now heading north.
Deserving a large share of the credit, he says, is the promotional work undertaken this year by tourist board Visit Lancashire in highlighting the many attractions of the area.
Bay View provides pitches for motorhomes, touring caravans and tents, and has also introduced “glamping” pods to hire, along with luxury holiday caravans to rent.
There are also caravan holiday homes to buy – and this year, the park was given consent to develop another 19 units on top of the 120 already in place.
Originally, said Michael, the idea was to pace the development over a two-year period. However, demand from customers is now likely to see the majority sited and sold in 2016.
“It is proving a very buoyant year for us, and it’s definitely noticeable that there is a greater variety of regional accents among guests this year,” said Michael.
“Midlands families have always had the option to go south for their holidays, but I think Lancashire is successfully getting across the message that we’ve got much more to offer here.
“Our coast is just as lovely, the roads are less busy, our beer is better, and there’s much more to do inland than in Cornwall which, in my opinion, is just a bit of a let-down.
“Lancashire’s cream teas are a match for anything served up in in the West Country, and frankly I think our guests would prefer a tasty hot-pot to a Cornish pasty any day,” added Michael.
Twice winner of the Lancashire Park of the Year in 2013 and 2014, Bay View makes locally sourced foods a feature of the menu in its 100-seat restaurant and bar.
The new development of holiday homes will, like the rest of the park, enjoy spectacular views across the sands to Morecambe Bay and its celebrated sunsets.
Bay View is the Lancashire flagship of the Holgate family which is this year marking its sixtieth anniversary of operating award-winning holiday parks both in Lancs and Cumbria.
According to tourist board figures, said Michael, Bay View generates over £1.5m worth of visitor spending each year, most of benefitting other small businesses in the region.
More information about the park is available at www.holgates.co.uk.