With an estimated 365,000 caravan holiday homes spread across more than 6,000-holiday parks in the UK, choosing the perfect location for your static caravan can be overwhelming. You need to think about park size, location, and popularity, and you need to consider onsite facilities, local attractions, and accessibility to make sure it is right for your family. And this is before you even start looking at caravan holiday homes.
To help you make the right decision, we’ve compiled this useful guide to choosing a caravan holiday park in Great Britain, based on our experiences in the industry and customer feedback that we have received over the years. Are you looking for a beachside getaway? A rural retreat? Let’s find out.
First Things First – Location
Before you start looking at static caravan parks in the UK, you should choose a location. It can be anywhere you like, but the closer it is to home, the more likely you will use it for weekend getaways, last-minute breaks and you will get the most out of your investment.
Experience tells us that most caravan owners prefer to invest in a holiday park within 1 to 3 hours driving distance from their home, but of course, there are no rules. If you live in the Midlands and you dream of owning a holiday home on the Cornish coast, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have it, especially if you intend to take long stay holidays during school holidays or because retirement allows, but you should bear travelling times and petrol expenses in mind.
Which Caravan Holiday Park Is Right For You?
Now you have decided on a location for your static caravan, you can start looking at holiday parks in that region, but before you do so, you should consider the following:
Busy vs Quiet: Are you looking for a family-focused holiday park with multiple facilities to keep the children entertained, or would you prefer something quiet and peaceful with limited amenities? They both have their advantages, but it’s all about deciding what is right for your family.
Large vs Small: UK caravan parks come in all shapes and sizes, and the one you choose will have an impact on your holiday experience. Larger parks in popular locations offer a wide selection of on-site facilities, bars, restaurants, and activities, making them well-suited to families. As we all know the weather in the UK can be “changeable” and parks with great facilities such as indoor pool complexes mean everyone stays entertained. It is also interesting that many owners say that having good facilities also means they can relax and stay on the park for longer periods rather than having to leave to go shopping or visit the pub!
Larger parks with facilities can tend to feel busy especially in peak travel periods.
Smaller caravan parks with low or no facilities tend to have a more homely and community feel, however, you may need to drive to the nearest town to buy what you need or to entertain the family.
Beachside vs Rural: You may have narrowed this down when choosing the location for your static caravan, but you’ll find both beachside and rural holiday parks in many regions of the UK. If your idea of the perfect holiday includes hiking in the woods, kayaking in lakes, and enjoying the great outdoors, an inland caravan park surrounded by forests and natural beauty could be the perfect choice for you. If, on the other hand, you love to feel sand between your toes, walking along windswept coastlines, and enjoying afternoon tea in seaside villages, a park within walking distance of the beach should be your number #1 choice.
It is worth considering in many UK locations you will have easy access to rural countryside and beaches within a short drive so you get the best of both worlds!
Eco-Friendly Caravan Parks: By choosing to buy a static caravan in the UK you may well be reducing your carbon footprint by reducing the number of flights you take per year. If you care about the environment and remain committed to reducing your carbon footprint, you should consider an eco-friendly caravan park that combines ecological, environmental, and conservation-based activities with responsible recycling practices.
Dotted throughout the UK, these parks offer eco-focused caravans with low-energy lightbulbs, improved insulation to reduce energy consumption, and dual-flush toilets to save water. As a static caravan owner, you are already reducing your emissions by not flying to overseas destinations; an eco-friendly caravan will make your family holidays even more environmentally-friendly.
Disabled Static Caravans: Most parks offer disabled caravans and wheelchair-adapted caravans, although you may have to purchase a new model to get the modifications you need. The location of your pitch will play an essential role in accessibility, so consider this carefully when you go to visit the holiday parks on your shortlist. Can you park right outside your caravan? Is there a wheelchair-friendly ramp?
Pet-Friendly Caravans: We’re animal-lovers here in the United Kingdom. According to Statista, 41 per cent of UK households own a pet in 2020, with 23% of us owning dogs and a further 16% owning cats and, if you are one of them, chances are, you are looking for a pet-friendly caravan park. You’ll be pleased to know that there are hundreds of them across the country, so you can take your four-legged friends with you wherever you go, but not all parks accept pets, so check this before adding them to your shortlist.
12-Month Caravan Parks: Most UK holiday parks close between 1- and 4-months during winter for essential maintenance and repairs, and during this time, overnight stays are not allowed. However, some caravan parks operate all-year-round and, if you would like a holiday home that you can visit throughout the seasons, you should look for those that open 12-months of the year. Bear in mind, that you cannot live on a holiday park full-time, and that you will need a caravan with double-glazing and central heating if you intend to use it in winter.
Top Tips For Viewing Static Caravan Holiday Parks
By now you should have a clear indication of the type of holiday park that you are looking for, and you can set up visits with those on your shortlist. We recommend contacting the park directly to arrange this so that someone is available to show you around and explain the options available.
Here are our top tips for viewing static caravan holiday parks:
• Make a shortlist of parks of interest
• Research online!
• Make an appointment before you go
• Before you drive into the park, explore the surrounding areas for attractions, services, etc.
• On arrival, check parking facilities and general accessibility
• During your site inspection, check if the park clean and well-maintained
• Ask to see all onsite facilities
• Ask about accessibility to local beaches and attractions
• Look at different pitch locations throughout the park to decide which one is right for you
• If possible, try to speak to current owners for impartial feedback
• Ask for a complete breakdown of site fees, running costs etc.
• Visit the park multiple times, if possible, at different times of the day