Resort owners urge common sense from summer tourists

The owners of Somerset’s holiday parks and resorts have urged holidaymakers to use their common sense and act respectfully over the summer.

With restrictions remaining in place on international travel, more and more people are choosing to holiday in the UK this summer, with Somerset and the wider West Country proving again to be a popular destination.

Large numbers of holiday venues have now reopened, with some sites having to turn people away as large numbers head for the coast to make the most of the sun and hot temperatures.

And with the last round of national restrictions still expected to be eased on June 21, business owners have urged caution for those travelling to the region, asking them to continue obeying government guidance and show respect.

Phil Weaver has run the Sparkhayes camp site in Porlock in the heart of Exmoor for the last 27 years.

Since the site re-opened in mid-April, he has been turning people away – and has urged the public to be sensible over the summer.

He said: “By now the public should be using its own common sense about what it can and cannot do.

“It’s all very well putting the onus on the publicans and everybody who’s in hospitality to make sure people behave – but this has been around for a year now. The general public shouldn’t have to be cattle-prodded.

“So far, every weekend since the weather warmed up a bit, I’ve been turning people away.

“Everybody’s on edge – lockdown hasn’t brought up the best in some people. I’ve had the phone slammed down on me a couple of times when I said we’re not talking any more on a given night.”

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While some sites have been turning people away, others are already fully booked up, either by holidaymakers or people returning to their second homes.

Julie Montgomery manages the Beeches Holiday Park near Blue Anchor Bay, not far from the coastal town of Watchet.

During the three national lockdowns, a large number of individuals chose to self-isolate there, with the park containing a large number of privately owned static caravans.

She said: “A large number of caravans were occupied during lockdown. People felt safe, and we had restrictions in place to keep non-residents out.

Resort owners urge common sense from summer tourists

“We’ve had people from Norfolk, Warwickshire, Stoke-on-Trent and Cardiff, along with a lot of people along the M5 corridor.”

With the restrictions now lifting, the caravans on site which can be hired are now fully booked until the first week in October.

Ms Montgomery said additional measures remained in place on-site on top of government guidelines – including restrictions on how many people can use the communal laundrette at any one time.

She said: “We’ve had hand sanitiser and blue towels installed there so people can clean down the machines before and after use.

“The two-metre social distancing is easy to do in the park. There’s a lot of community spirit here.

“Moving forward, there is caution with this final lifting – people are still wearing masks and they will continue doing so until the government says otherwise.”

In Minehead, Butlins has implemented a number of safety measures since re-opening on May 17 to keep both day visitors and those staying on site safe, including app ordering in the restaurants and more regular cleaning of rooms.

Somerset West and Taunton Council approved plans in early-February to allow a new temporary venue on site for the next three years, allowing visitors to socially distance during the programme of entertainment.

Resort owners urge common sense from summer tourists
View from the northern end of the Butlins new venue site

A spokesman for Butlins said: “The safety and well-being of our guests and team has always been, and will remain, our biggest priority.

“We’ve changed the way we do a few things, introducing a series of new and increased measures across every touch point of our breaks, as well as reducing the guest capacity on resort to ensure you have plenty of space to practise social distancing.”

Numerous holiday camps in and around Burnham-on-Sea have published exhaustive guidelines for visitors online.

At the Lakeside Holiday Park on Westfield Road, “exceptionally high” levels of cleaning are in place, with caravans being thoroughly cleaned before each new arrival and limits on the number of people allowed to fish at any one time.

Resort owners urge common sense from summer tourists

A spokesman said: “We ask that people appropriate precautions when visiting, including using the sanitising gel provided by the entrance door of reception.

“We ask our guests to leave the windows open on a latch or top windows for ventilation as they depart their holiday caravan.”

To take account of the anticipated rise in holidaymakers, Sedgemoor District Council has installed additional public toilets in Berrow and Burnham-on-Sea.

The toilets have been installed at Burnham-on-Sea’s Pavilion on the Esplanade and at the cafe near the Berrow Beach entrance, with further sites being explored in Brean.

At Northam Farm on Church Road in Brean, facilities like the bars and takeaways are being restricted to guests only, with those staying on-site having to present a ‘bar cafe pass’ before they can order.

A spokesman added: “We ask that you do not invite friends who are not staying on Northam Farm to join you. Please respect the social distancing measures we have put in place.

“As things improve and hopefully the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control, these procedures will be reviewed.

“We ask that you show respect and patience to all our staff, especially those who may be undertaking different roles at this time.

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“Thank you for your co-operation. Let’s all stay safe and get through this.”

Comments: 1

  1. Domaine de Léveno

    Camping Domaine de Léveno is located just outside the pleasant walled town of Guérande where salt extraction is an important source of income. According to experts, this 'fleur de sel de Guérande' is the best salt available. Moreover, the campsite is only 5 kilometers from the most famous beach in the south of Brittany: la Baule. Advice: do not show the pictures of the pool of Domaine de Léveno to your children because then it is a foregone case they want to go to this summer. The water park is truly a children's paradise with its winding slides, a water playground and a wave pool.

    Water, water, water Children pay attention! Boredom is impossible in the water park. The first day you will hardly know what to choose. First try all the slides? Did you know that one slide even passes under a 'city wall'? Do you think you manage to stay in the waves of the wave pool? Have you already seen the water playground? See if you can catch the rays! Of course you can also relax with the river flow ... What are you going to do today? Jump on one of the inflatables, do crafts, pet animals at the petting zoo, play football or do you get your parents to go to the beach? Your parents will entertain themselves anyway because apart from swimming and lazing on the side they can play tennis or chat with other parents at the bar. And in the evening, of course, you all together eat in the restaurant and watch an evening performance. You can go to bed later in the holidays.

    South Brittany, Pays de la Loire or Vendée? Officially, Domaine de Léveno is located in the Vendée, part of the Pays de la Loire, the beach of La Baule is back in South Brittany, and so it's the best of the 3! To begin with, you must of course explore Guérande. The walled part of this town is popular with tourists and not for nothing! On the square there is a covered market every day and on Saturday there is a large market for a nice stroll around. Tip: buy a souvenir from fleur de sel de Guérande. It is sold in all kinds of beautiful packaging, but also the sweets and caramel (with salt) are delicious and fun as gifts. If you fancy a day trip to a beautiful city, drive to Nantes the hometown of Jules Verne. The atmosphere of his books can be found in 'Les Machines de l'île', unforgettable!

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  2. Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro

    Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro, in Le Marche, offers you a tremendous amount of water fun for the entire family! The park offers an aqua park of 2.5 hectares with slides, a Grand Canyon River, hydromassage, a lagoon, children's play equipment and, of course, a completely separate children's pool that is also suitable for the very youngest children. The park also has a variety of sports facilities and restaurants. The park lies in tranquil surroundings with a great deal of nature. You can, for example, go mountain biking or visit one of the many beautiful cities, such as Sirolo. This holiday park in Le Marche is ideal for families with children and nature and culture lovers! 

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    Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro holiday park facilities
    Do you and your children love swimming? If so, this holiday park will be a paradise for you! The facilities include:
    • An enormous 2.5 ha aqua park
    • A separate children's pool

    Alongside all this water fun, the holiday park offers much more enjoyment as well. For example:
    • Fitness, cycle hire and horse riding
    • Children's amusement programme
    • Children's playground

    Have you worked up an appetite after all these activities or excursions? If so, the holiday park offers you a choice from no less than places for a meal. You can visit one of the 3 restaurants, order an Italian pizza at the pizzeria or collect a snack from one of the 2 snack bars.

    Your stay at Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro
    The holiday park's most conspicuous characteristic is its combination of tranquillity and the enormous aqua park laid out in the hills. You stay in a comfortable bungalow during your holiday. The bungalows' facilities include a private patio with garden furniture - a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors. The bungalows are also equipped with air-conditioning, a welcome facility on hot summer nights. Barbecues can be loaned from reception. Click the 'view the bungalow' tab for more information.

    Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro holiday park's surroundings
    The holiday park is located in the Le Marche region, known as ‘The undiscovered Tuscany’, a region that has yet to be inundated by tourists. The green hills, sunflower fields, cypresses and olive trees confirm you are in Italy! The surroundings are tranquil and you have every opportunity to enjoy the region's beauty. You can rent a mountain bike and explore the landscape on a sporty two-wheeler. The closest town is Cingoli, just 8 km from the park, where you can visit the local market. Other interesting destinations for an excursion include Appignano, Jesi, Montecassiano, Recanati and Loreto. And how about a visit to the lively town of Sirolo and sea port town of Ancona on the Adriatic coast? A 55 km drive brings you to the coast and the beaches awaiting your arrival.

    Come to Centro Vacanze Verde Azzurro for a holiday pac...
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