A digital detox the holiday park way featuring retro accommodation with a 21st-century twist revokes memories of holidays of the 1970s
Away Resorts, one of the top operators of UK holiday parks, are pioneering a brand new trend this summer by launching their vintage ‘shabby chic’ caravan breaks at the Isle of Wight’s Whitecliff Bay Holiday Park.
One of the first UK holiday park operators to venture into accommodation of the vintage kind, Away Resorts has just acquired 3 caravans which were hugely popular models back in the 70’s, Cosalt Abbey ‘vans from ’71, ’74 and ’76. They have been fully refurbished to give them that Cath Kidston, shabby chic, look.
These are the latest additions to Canvas Village, the area of the park given over to ‘glamping’ where 15 luxury bell tents are situated, and they are aiming to tap into the current trend for all things nostalgic by giving people the chance to relive holidays from days gone by.
The team at Whitecliff Bay is hopeful that the Vintage Caravans will appeal to guests who love all things retro.
The refurbishments include flooring that’s black and white retro tiles, furniture upholstered in crimson and lime-coloured fabrics from Romo furnishings. The curtains and cushions are Cath Kidston English rose, and there’s vintage Bush radios (no TVs), free-standing lamps and old English country fayre bunting.
The outside of the caravans are painted in bramear green, which is a vintage-styled minty colour.
Prices start at £130 for four nights in a two-berth Vintage Caravan.
The Canvas Village is the perfect setting for this new experience as it is already home to some vintage-inspired Bell Tents that are stylishly furnished in a English country flair kind of way.
They have all been given quirky names and have candle lanterns, fairy lights and bunting outside. The tents are fully equipped with double futon sofa beds, two single beds (ready made), quilts, pillows, bed linen. TV, fridge, double gas burner, kitchenware, electric lights, 240v plug socket.
The Bell Tents, which are are based on the original war-time models, sleep four while the Canvas Cottage sleeps up to eight.
This area also has the Magic Loungeabout, an covered area in the Canvas Village, which has bean bags and hay bales to relax on and a bar made out of apple crates, along with free wifi, and is the perfect place for people to chill in the evening.
Managing director Carl Castledine says that the operator leads the way when it comes to offering new holiday experiences. “First, there was the Canvas Village, then there was Wild Camping and now we are pioneering the Vintage Caravan experience.
“The great British holiday is going from strength to strength and we have found that our guests are keen to introduce a bit of their childhood holiday experiences to their children, hence these three types of vintage holiday experiences that we offer.
“And the ever-popular Cath Kidston furnishings bring the accommodation bang up to date.”
The Vintage Caravans are not the only things that are new at Whitecliff Bay this year. There’s also:
An all new production for the much-loved Away Resorts pre-school characters Bear in the Woods and his friends Lucy and Scratch with a brand-new character called Lucy’s Teddy.
An hour-long ‘Play Live on Stage’ production based on the format for Saturday morning TV programmes with ‘presenters’, game shows, dancing/singing competitions and a mini version of Bear in the Woods. This will take place at 7pm and is aimed at all the family.
However, a toddler-friendly version of ‘Play Live on Stage’ will take place between 4pm and 5pm just before toddler tea time with the new character Lucy’s Teddy will have her own adventures. This ensures the younger children don’t miss out on the entertainment.
This new entertainment additions will complement the existing packed programme of activities, which include:
My Active scheme for three-year-olds and upwards, which features activities such as pool snorkelling, abseiling, archery, kayaking, flying remote control helicopters, water walkerz, walking trails, cheerleading school, geocoaching (high-tech treasure hunting game using GPS devices), archery and body zorbing. There is also Cheerleading School and football coaching
My Play activities which include Junior Geo (kids can pan for gold, make their own fossils, they also get sand-pouring souvenirs, dig for dinosaurs and a membership pack), Crack Pots (painting pottery, puppets, faces and hands) and Science Bugs (children can try out a collection of experiments and nature discoveries).
The ever-popular Midnight Screen Outdoor cinema
Along with all that there is to do at Whitecliff Bay, the jewel in the park’s crown is its own secluded beach.