Well done to Duvall Park Homes, the picturesque park in Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, that’s just scooped our prestigious Park of the Year award!
We received a shedload of original and entertaining nominations from readers at parks up and down the UK for the latest edition of our competition, which has been running for almost 20 years.
It’s always fantastic to be able to reward a park that’s both well run and genuinely loved by its residents. Duvall Park Homes certainly ticks all the appropriate boxes on that score, as our in-depth report on the winning park and the trophy presentation on page 10 illustrates.
We had a terrific time celebrating the victory with the park’s owner, Libby Durrant, and the residents when we arrived on site with the good news in July.
Thanks should also go to competition sponsor, Towergate Insurance, who provided the generous prize of £1,000 to be split equally between the resident whose purple prose stood out most to us - Jane Stubbs - and the park’s owners (on the proviso the £500 is spent on the park’s residents).
Adam and Lauren from the Cheltenham-based insurer take up a great deal of their time visiting residents around the UK and sponsoring our award represents the apex of their work in this field. Long may it continue!
But, as we all know, there are lots of other great residential parks in the country. We profile a brace of superb East Anglian sites - Anchor Park, near Snettisham, in Norfolk (see page 18), and Shepherd’s Grove, near Bury St Edmunds, in Suffolk (see page 24). Anchor is a gorgeous park and the residents speak in glowing terms about life there.
Shepherd’s Grove, owned by the UK’s biggest residential operator, is another park in a top location. Backed, as it is, by Berkeleyparks, you’d be hard pushed to find better!
Aside from our annual Park of the Year prize, we’ve got a brilliant new competition you can enter. We’ve teamed up with Park Home Insulations to offer one one lucky reader the chance to win up to £6,000 worth of park home insulation products that could help cut your fuel bills by a staggering 65 per cent (see page 67).
Alex Melvin, Editor
PS: Don’t miss our reader offer of 100 FREE Cottage Garden Alliums worth £34 plus a magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!
The dust has now settled following this year’s hugely successful World of Park & Holiday Homes Show, at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire. The event, which takes place every June, is Europe’s biggest dedicated mobile homes show. As ever, the organisers, MPM Events, did a fantastic job bringing together our rich and wide-ranging industry.
This year’s event was the best attended ever; both in terms of exhibitors and show-goers. Well done to Pat and Jo Turner - you really are great hosts! If you’re a member of the trade who missed out on this year’s event, be sure to speak with Pat or Jo to secure your place for 2017. You can contact the Turners on 01789 491451. Don’t delay - we’re sure next season’s shindig will be even more successful (if that’s possible!). There were lots - 50 to be exact - of brilliant park homes and leisure lodges available to view at Stoneleigh Park. Our special review of the event (see page 28), takes you through the best of them. We’ve also got in-depth reviews of two show homes that really caught the eye: the Pathfinder Willow (see page 42) and the Omar Elveden (see page 48). I really loved both homes, for different reasons. I’d be really interested to learn what you think of them, and the other show-stoppers from Stoneleigh too. Why not drop me a line at the below email address and let me know your thoughts.
But it’s not just Stoneleigh that takes the cake in an exciting August issue. Don’t miss our lovely story featuring Marilyn and Derek Barton, who won an exterior cladding refurbishment on their park home worth almost £5,000 (see page 64). The unassuming couple, who entered the competition we ran last year with CNC Park Home Services, said they were ‘utterly gobsmacked’ to take the prize. Well done the Bartons! It just goes to show it’s well worth entering the many competition we regularly run in the issue! Finally, on a more sombre note, it is with great sadness that we report on the death of Colin Saunders, chairman of Saunders Park Homes Ltd (see page 78). Colin was undoubtedly one of the industry’s best known and loved figures - one of the ‘good guys’.On behalf of all the PH&HC team and those that knew him, I’d like to extend our sincerest condolences to his family at this difficult time.
Alex Melvin, Editor
PS: Don’t miss our reader offer of 36 FREE Pansy Plants, fertilizer and seed worth £25 plus a magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!
There’s no doubt about it, the looming EU referendum has caused some prospective property buyers to become a bit jittery. Despite plenty of passion, supported by statistics of dubious quality on both sides, nobody really knows whether we’ll be better off if we stick or twist (economically speaking that is).
With this cloud of uncertainty looming large, is it any wonder that those considering buying have become more cautious? I should know: the expected quick sale of my north London flat has still not materialised. I’ll be very happy when 23 June has been and gone, whether ‘Brexit’ happens or not!
However, amid this turbulent political and economic landscape, the picture in the park and holiday home world has been mercifully brighter.
As I write this, the industry has been gearing up for its big annual event, The World of Park and Holiday Homes Show, at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire. Just after this, there’s the hotly anticipated Royal Highland Show, just outside of Edinburgh. Business is booming in a way that the bricks-and-mortar market could only currently dream about. While the two are clearly linked, a cursory comparision of the mobile home and bricks-and-mortar sectors soon shows why the former is outperforming the latter. The key? Whether the market’s hot or cool, park and holiday homes represent great value, normally selling for tens of thousands of pounds less than equivalent brick-built detached bungalows in any given part of the UK. There are some astonishing bargains to be had - as our July issue focus on Scotland reveals (see page 58). We profile some of the best parks north of the border. There are great deals to be had on new show homes or pre-owned alternatives. We also explore some bargains in England too - Cambridgeshire, Berkshire and Sussex to be precise (from page 26)!
So, if you can live in your dream location for a fraction of the cost of bricks-and-mortar, it means you can probably afford to do a deal on your brick-built home, if you need to sell. (There are also some excellent part-exchange companies in our industry who can help speed things along for you too. In fact, we profile one on page 16.) Throw in the unique community lifestyle you’re buying into and it’s easy to see why our market’s still doing so well!
Alex Melvin, Editor
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, we’re just under a month away from the start of this year’s hotly anticipated World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, which kicks off at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, on 10 June.
There’s so much to look forward to at this year’s show, which is also Europe’s only dedicated mobile homes-based event. Fortunately for PH&HC readers, you’ll find a whopping 32-page Stoneleigh Show Guide inside your bumper June issue. Our unrivalled Guide is the show’s official preview magazine and, in collaboration with event organisers MGM and the industry, we’ve brought you our biggest ever Guide.
Inside, you can expect to find everything you’ll ever need to know about the homes, parks and specialist suppliers and services represented at the event, plus vital show information and a map to help you plan your visit.
The PH&HC team will, as usual, be out in force at Stoneleigh Park for the duration of the event. I’m really looking forward to meeting more of our readers than ever, as well as existing and prospective park and holiday home buyers.
As well as the chance to chew the fat with yours truly and the rest of the PH&HC club, you can also pop over and make the most of our first-ever legal help clinic, to be hosted by Manjit Rai, a legal advisor from The Leasehold Advisory’s park homes division on Friday, 9 June. For more details about this special event, turn to page XX. Phew! All this talk of Stoneleigh has left me hot under the collar with heady expectation!
Away from the excitement of the World of Park & Leisure Homes event, we’ve still got lots to get your pulses racing inside a great June issue.
We’re visiting a wealth of residential park home sites from a range of interesting English locations including Berkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Suffolk. On top of this, we turn the spotlight on the lovely Pathfinder and what a brilliant sight its exceptional range of homes provides.
Finally, look out for our intriguing feature on how to select your perfect park. There’s lots to take away and ponder... particularly ahead of Stoneleigh; the ideal place to meet the UK’s top park representatives!
Alex Melvin, Editor
This month we wind back the clock a quarter of a century to 1991: the year it all began for the Prestige group - now one of the industry’s biggest and best-known park and leisure home manufacturers, as well as boasting highly successful refurbishment and windows divisions.
It’s been quite a journey for the Prestige team over those 25 years. This period has taken in umpteen property market booms and busts, recessions and the dire worldwide economic meltdown of 2008. As well as this, we’ve also witnessed the rise of the internet, Google and social media, the fall of Communism, two Gulf Wars, 9/11 and much more.
Amid the chaos, Prestige has continued to thrive, raising industry standards along the way. Don’t miss our bumper 24-page tribute to this pioneering Northamptonshire-based company from page 63.
When it comes to successful manufacturers, it’s not just Prestige that deserves a hearty slap on the back though. We’ve also got full reviews of the Sovereign Heywood - a gorgeous new model we first alerted you to in April’s issue - and delightful holiday model, the Willerby Granada. See pages 36 and 118 to learn more.
There are so many fantastic parks dotted around the UK. It’s nothing but a pleasure to enjoy the opportunity to visit so many and get a window into the world of those who have opted into this wonderful way of life.
It makes it doubly special, then, to be able to announce this magazine’s annual Park of the Year, an award that’s been running for more than 15 years now with the assistance and generous sponsorship of insurance experts, Towergate.
Our 2015 champion is Swiss Farm, a lovely site next to a wide expanse of the River Thames in the quaint Oxfordshire town of Henley (see page 10).
We received a tonne of entries for 2015’s competition so, as ever, it was almost impossible to pick a clear winner. When you’re judging the crème de la crème of parks, it’s subjective and open to debate.
Our panel of judges was helped no end though by the purple prose of Keith and Linda Knight, whose nomination really caught our eye. They love the perfect location of their park, as well as the kind and warm-hearted residents and park management.Read more...