Every issue features live-in road tests of all the latest models and reviews of parks throughout Scotland and the North of England by respected industry insiders – plus the latest news and what’s on guides. Whether deciding on which caravan or motorhome to buy, looking for the ideal park to visit or browsing for new gear to enhance the touring experience, Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes is the perfect companion for travels throughout Scotland and the North of England.
Parkreview Happy days at Holgates Holgates Group celebrated 60 years of running caravan parks in 2016 and, as Andy Jenkinson finds, the family-run business is still going strong Holgate is a name that’s well known in caravanning circles. Over the years, the business has grown from one park to six. Catering for tents, holiday homes, motorhomes and tourers, the group’s main park is the one that established the brand over 60 years ago at Cove Road, Silverdale, amid the Arnside & Silverdale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the Lancashire coast. The Holgates were caravan manufacturers just before the Second World War. After the conflict, Billy Holgate found a field on a hillside overlooking Morecambe Bay. With his wife Pictures Andy Jenkinson Right: Silverdale has developed beyond recognition since the 1950s Clockwise from top left: Our Swift Chamonix lodge wasareal home from home; holiday homes have spacious plots and views; facilities blocks are kept immaculate by the staff 66 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes winter 2017 Miriam, the couple began to develop the hillside into a caravan park. In the late 1960s, caravan production had stopped and the park was established, and by the late 80s other parks were purchased and the portfolio extended. Pitches and putts The flagship park is still run by the Holgate family, with a very hands-on approach. We stopped for a weekend in one of the holiday homes for hire, a Swift Chamonix lodge. The Swift was clean and the park itself had everything you could need for a fantastic break. A bowling alley had recently opened, while www.scottishcaravansandmotorhomes.co.uk
available five minutes from the park entrance. Or you can venture out to nearby Silverdale or to the Victorian seaside village of Arnside. Picture Courtesy of Holgates other facilities include a gym, sauna, kids’ play area, restaurant, an excellent swimming pool and a pitch-and-putt green. The park has also recently invested in planting hedging around each of the touring pitches, all of which come with their own tap. The Silverdale park is on different gradients, and that means some pitches, including the tents, have exceptional views across the bay over to the lakes. The park is well run, and a team work all week to keep it that way. For those who want to explore the area, plenty of walks along the shore and into woodland are Holgates Holiday Parks Various locations to the west of the Lake District Telephone 01524 701508 Website holgates.co.uk All in the family Michael Holgate runs all six parks, but could easily be mistaken for an employee: he’s often seen doing various jobs and never afraid of getting his hands dirty. The Holgate family are spread around the other parks, which are each unique to their location. Silverdale is well run and full of folk who’ve used it for many years. It’s hard to believe that, from a shed with a caravan, the park is now a five-star setup. This has only happened with the dedication of the staff, who are a friendly bunch. Meals and real ales are sold in the park’s restaurant, and if you want a pub in Silverdale village, Holgates own one too! You can walk to it from the park if you like a good stroll. This is a park we’ve used for testing tourers and motorhomes for 20 years, and one that we simply love going back to. With the Yorkshire Dales and the lakes, plus Blackpool, all an hour’s drive away, plus the M6 about eight miles away, it’s situated ideally in a part of the country that can’t fail to impress. winter 2017 Scottish Caravans & Motorhomes 67
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