Nostalgia in the New Forest as park guests go off-grid!

Celebrated as Shamba’s 50,000th guests, Daniel and Kate (second from left) are welcomed by the park team

CAMPING GUESTS at a New Forest touring park, Shamba Holidays, went back in time this summer – and voted it an experience to remember, for all the right reasons!

And there was an unforgettable visit too for the couple who became the park’s 50,000th customers.

The time-travelling took place when the Ringwood park found itself deluged with bookings, and had to open an overflow field which could accommodate an extra 100 tents.

Wild camping on the park was a hit with Shamba’s guests this summer

The field offers a “wild camping” experience, which means that none of the pitches have electricity.

“We hoped nobody would be disappointed, but the feedback we got from many was that this was one of their best-ever trips!” said Shamba’s owner Andrew Gray.

“Some older guests said there was a great spirit of camaraderie which brought back many happy memories of their early camping days with friends and family.

“Given the increase in numbers, we did hire in some luxury portable toilet facilities to ensure that certain aspect of the past stayed where they were!” added Andrew.

He said that the “posh loos” also helped to ensure that Shamba kept its reputation for first-class facilities after winning a major trophy earlier this year.

The park’s washrooms were named in spring as top diamond winners in the Loo of the Year awards, bringing a chain of honour to the family-run business.

There was also another milestone this summer when the park welcomed its 50,000th customer since launching its online booking system fifteen years ago.

Kate and Daniel Rowett from Portsmouth arrived at Shamba in September in their motorhome, little realising that they were to become VIP guests during their stay.

Posh loos were brought in to ensure that guests could go in comfort

The couple, who were making their first ever visit to the park, were presented by Andrew with a bunch of flowers, a bottle of bubbly, and a commemorative card.

Open all year round, the seven acre touring park has been in Andrew’s family for over 20 years. Its facilities include a 40-foot swimming pool, clubhouse, and a cafe-restaurant.

“This has been a topsy-turvy year for the holiday parks industry, but since re-opening in July we’ve been rushed off our feet with holiday guests,” said Andrew.

“We would normally see a dramatic slowing down at the end of summer, but bookings are still pouring in both for the autumn and winter months.

“I think people have found that a break in the countryside is just the pick-up they need in these frustrating times, and are determined to keep coming back for more,” he said.

Shamba is a member of the Best of British group, a consortium of independent parks providing some of the highest quality standards and levels of hospitality in the UK.

There is more information about the park at www.shambaholidays.co.uk

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