Bryony SymesSee other News articles filed in ‘Sites and touring’ written by Bryony Symes
It was time to raise a glass to some of the UK's best campsites earlier this week, at The Caravan Club's annual awards.
The winners were revealed in the prestigious Member's Dining Room in Westminster Palace on Monday 14 November. Member of Parliament for Southend West, Sir David Amess and Chairman of The Caravan Club, Grenville Chamberlain, welcomed selected guests to the annual Parliamentary Reception.
Guests gathered for the CL of the Year Awards and Sites in Bloom Awards, and the Right Honourable Nicholas Soames, MP for Mid Sussex, joined in the congratulations. As guest speaker, he said "I am pleased and proud to have The Caravan Club as constituents; the services they provide are extraordinary."
The Caravan Club's extensive network of sites also includes around 2500 Certificated Locations which are privately-owned, members only and can take five caravans or motorhomes. They can be anywhere from on a farm in peaceful countryside to close to city and town centres. Often, CLs are a great opportunity to 'get away from it all' for a peaceful and relaxing break or just a one-night stay. They are often underestimated, but can provide the perfect location for you as well as offering top-notch facilities.
These awards acknowledge the skill and dedication of the site owners, who don't always get the recognition they deserve.
The winners of CL of the Year 2016 are Sharon and Dean Philpin, owners of Woody Kiln Farm in Pembrokeshire, South Wales. Their win is particularly impressive because they have only been running the CL for a year, alongside their regular jobs! Grenville Chamberlain recognised this, saying "for such a young site to win is an even greater achievement".
Vikki and Graham of Port Arthur Farm scooped second place for their CL in North Yorkshire, near Knaresborough. Third place went to Hillcroft, a CL that has been recognised in these awards four times, showing that they maintain high standards. Owners Anne and Bruce's efforts consistently see members leaving after a happy, relaxed break.
Also being celebrated at the Parliamentary reception were the Sites in Bloom Awards, which were introduced by the late Alan Payne OBE to recognise the creative skills needed to make a site welcoming and colourful. There are two categories in these awards: multi-couple and single-couple. And they can be awarded to any site in The Caravan Club's network.
Scarborough West Ayton Caravan Club Site's beautiful floral displays and landscaping won it top gong in the multi-couple category. There are also two runners up with great displays, and this year they are Coed-Y-Llwyn and Malvern Hills Club sites.
In the single-couple category, Garlieston Caravan Club Site's peaceful gardens won the site first place. They beat Steamer Quay and High Onn to this accolade, who came in as runners up.
All of the sites mentioned in the awards know exactly what a weary caravanner needs, and the importance of welcoming with bright, cheerful displays. These are just a few of hundreds of great sites in the UK so get out there in your tourer and try them for yourselves.
Long-serving Chairman of The Caravan Club, Grenville Chamberlain, spoke of the coming year as "a time of change". The Club is gearing up to celebrate 110 years since it was founded, and we can expect the number of staycations to go up next year. Have you planned yours?