The summer months are popular for UK staycations, with Britons in their masses flocking to campsites, caravan and holiday parks across the country. No more so has that been true than this year, but just because the warmer months are coming to an end doesn’t mean the season of vacations must end with it.
In fact, the autumn and winter months could pose staycation opportunities that simply can’t be had in the peak summer season.
Simon Craddock is the owner of Bainland Country Park, a unique luxury lodge offering nestled in the country surroundings of Lincolnshire.
He knows too well the boom the UK’s domestic holiday industry felt this summer once lockdown regulations were loosened.
The park certainly reaped the rewards of a nation eager to holiday at home, receiving so many bookings they didn’t even have to advertise this year.
Despite this, Bainland Country Park’s owner remains an advocate of year-round staycations.
For Mr Craddock, there are a number of draws to those later stays, particularly amid this year’s influx in demand.
He says this year availability is perhaps the driving force.
“You couldn’t get in any of the better places since reopening at the beginning of July,” Mr Craddock told Express.co.uk.
“September is the first time we have had any late availability and most of that has gone.
“It is still a chance to get away from the current madness, close the door on the world and sit in a hot tub with a glass of wine and enjoy the autumn sun.”
Even once the autumn months have faded into winter, Bainland Country Park has a number of draws.
“Most of our winter customers are older with perhaps kids who have flown the nest,” said Mr Craddock.
“They aren’t looking for sunshine, but places to go.”
He added: “Sometimes it is nicer to go in a hot tub when it’s colder, in the summer we have to remind customers that having the tubs is not a great idea.”
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Holidaymakers might also get the opportunity to indulge in some unique experiences such as stargazing thanks to darker winter skies or even seal watching at Donna Nook, near to Bainland’s Woodhall Spa.
Furthermore, in the autumn and winter, parks are much more likely to offer the peace and tranquillity which many travellers are after.
There are notably “less kids” and the parks are “less manic” according to the owner.
“It is a more authentic experience as the area is quieter.”
Of course, there are some financial draws to a post-summer holiday too.
“The prices are lower as we approach Christmas,” the expert points out.
“The industry is supply and demand.
“We have to charge high rates when the demand is there as winter has usually been seen as a break-even or loss part of the year.
“September is a great month as you still have the weather so it offers the best value for money for the weather.
“For the best deals, November and early December are the bargain months. Christmas and New Year have become very popular over the last 10 years.
“At Bainland you would have to book two or more years in advance.”
Though Christmas and New Year are often a time for seasonal escapes, Mr Craddock also suggests that a staycation could be a perfect way to kick start a new year.
“January is also an excellent month to come away, lots of availability and not as cold as you might think,” he said.
“It’s less depressing sat drinking in a hot tub watch January fly by than from an office window.”
It is this kind of thinking which is why Bainland Park is one of the less common holiday parks to stay open year-round.
“We have always pushed the autumn and winter months as the old business case of six weeks season plus school holidays is not sustainable,” explained Mr Craddock.
“Seasonal work is unfair on employees and results in poor quality customer service.
“We have always pushed the park into becoming a 12 months business. You can always find people willing to come for a short break, especially since they get so many days annual leave.”
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