FOR FIVE-STAR camping, head to West Sussex and a site where each of the 27 pitches is fully serviced. It won the hearts of survey respondents for Practical Caravan’s Top 100 Sites Guide, who voted it ‘best of the best’ for 2020. That was because of the impeccable service and top-notch facilities, which include individual shower suites.
The site is on the edge of the South Downs National Park, a 15-minute drive from Chichester and a 10-minute drive from the pretty village of Bosham and Chichester Harbour.
Within one mile, you will find farm shops, supermarkets, an award-winning pub and good public transport links.
During the lockdown, owners Guy and Tracey Hodgkin hit on the idea of en-suite pitch pods, useful when the washroom facilities had to remain closed; it’s gone down well with campervan owners with no on-board facilities.
Other measures include the installation of hand sanitisers, a shielding screen in reception, signage throughout the park and fogging (sprayed disinfection) in the communal areas and lodges.
Another initiative has been the mobile catering unit for Friday and Saturday nights. Notso Events – famed for its festival catering including katsu curry, Asian tapas, and fish and chips – has proved a great weekend addition during the summer, and the hope is that it will continue into autumn.
The site has been fully booked through August and September for its pitches and four safari lodges, with strong demand through to the end of October. It will remain open for the rest of the year and is taking bookings for the autumn and winter and for 2021.
Guy and Tracey say that guests have responded well to the new regime. “It is now the new normal to wash and sanitise their hands numerous times a day. They keep their distance in the social areas without a problem, and have kept to the strict rules in place regarding outside visitors, who are not allowed onto the park or pitch area, only in the outside social coffee and bar area.”
They also see some of these measures continuing when the threat of Covid-19 diminishes. “Hand sanitising is the future and it doesn’t hurt for more people to be aware of personal hygiene. Masks are probably the future at large gatherings: it will help stop the spread of many viruses.”
As for the future, the couple say, “We continue to monitor the situation. We will keep for the foreseeable future our strict cleaning regime, and fogging all lodges, facilities buildings and all social areas. We spray all bollards when guests leave, we have sprays in our social areas to clean all furniture, we use only disposable glasses, cups and so on. This is the future.”
- Ratham Estate, West Ashling, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 8DL