Toast to tarmac as Dorset park purges its potholes!

Driving up smoother arrivals: Andrew Gray (second from right) with members of the Shamba park team
Driving up smoother arrivals: Andrew Gray (second from right) with members of the Shamba park team

After a 12-year delay, it’s finally the end of the road for bumpy rides to one of Dorset’s most highly acclaimed caravan and camping parks.

Shamba Holidays can now promise guests a much smoother journey along its mile-long private drive after a major resurfacing project which cost £50,000.

But gaining the go-ahead to lay the tarmac has been a long and winding road for park owner Andrew Gray with more than a decade of lengthy negotiations.

Now, however, the park’s many regular guests are joining Andrew in a celebration that cars, to endure a bone-shaking arrival.

Shamba Holidays, which is located near Ringwood in the New Forest, has won a raft of awards for its high quality standards and care of the natural environment.

Gliding in: an end of bone-shaking arrivals at Shamba

But in recent years, says Andrew, the hundreds of glowing reviews received from customers were often sullied by one criticism: the state of the park’s drive.

Potholes and huge cracks meant that visito arrive in one piece:

“We have had every sympathy with people’s moans, but our hands were completely tied while we jumped through a succession of hoops,” said Andrew.

“Then, this autumn, we finally received the news we had been waiting for – that Shamba had been given the green light to go ahead with the resurfacing.

“Within days we’d organised a local contracto holidays anywhere in Dorset!” he said.

Open all year round, the long-established seven acre park has been in Andrew’s family for over 20 years. It was started by his uncle Tim, and then taken on by his parents Martin and Anne.

Over that time, the has family has invested much time and energy intouring guests, including a 40-foot swimming pool with a retractable roof.

There’s also a modern clubhouse with professional entertainment in season, and a year-round activities for all ages – plus a bar, café-restaurant, shop, and relaxation areas.

There's year-round swimming whatever the weather at Shamba
Shamba’s year-round pool opens through the four seasons

The family’s reward has been tor numbers from Britain and overseas, plus a series of regional and national awards.

They include a to protect the natural world.

The park was also flushed with success last summer when its swish amenity building was given a top platinum accolade by judges from the Loo of the Year awards.

And now, believes Andrew, Shamba’s new drive also deserves a chain of honour:

“It’s been a long haul, but we got there in the end – and guests are already telling us that our tarmac is the icing on the cake because now their holidays aren’t starting with a bump!” 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