Sites in Bloom 2018 winners
The displays were evaluated using criteria including layout and creative use of space, variety, innovation, flair and colour coordination, with particular attention being paid to economy and low maintenance. The geographical location of the site is also taken into account by the judges and the fact that plant species are chosen to suit the local environment.
Located within walking distance of the village of Brockenhurst in the New Forest National Park, the recently-redeveloped Black Knowl site is one of the Caravan and Motorhome Club’s most popular. The Hampshire site took the prestigious Sites in Bloom award in the ‘multi-couple’ category (a set of site wardens and a set of assistant site wardens).
The site opens onto over 140 miles of walking tracks so visitors can easily explore the national park, whether on foot, cycle or horseback. For those with an interest in local history, The Lyndhurst Museum and Visitors' Centre will shed more than enough light on the rich and fascinating past of the forest.
Other nearby attractions include: The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where the Club has an exhibit and its archive, Exbury Gardens and The New Forest Reptile Centre. Plus, the site is located near the Georgian town of Lymington, the Isle of Wight and numerous beaches.
First place in the ‘single couple’ category (one set of site staff), the Englethwaite Hall site is a tranquil oasis scattered with rhododendrons from the garden of the former Old Hall. Located in the Eden Valley, the site is set against the backdrop of the High Stand Forest and is also a great place to spot red squirrels – the site even has its own viewing hide. Many visitors use the site as a stopover during the drive to Scotland on the M6, and the area is especially popular for walkers because of its convenient footpath access to uncrowded landscapes and scenic beauty - the Eden Valley riverside walk is a special treat.
For added activities such as a swimming pool, cinema, restaurants and pubs, the nearby town of Carlisle won't disappoint. The town can be reached by steam train, along a line which passes through scenic countryside and waterfalls; the Settle to Carlisle Railway runs right past the bottom of the site driveway. Carlisle Castle and the famous Hadrian's Wall are only a short drive away. Plus, the site is a perfect choice for those with dogs and is quiet during the school holidays, making it the ideal choice for those seeking a peaceful and relaxing holiday.
Scarborough West Ayton Club Site in North Yorkshire took second place in the ‘multi-couple’ category, whilst the Garlieston Club Site in Dumfries & Galloway was runner up in the ‘single couple’ category.
Harvey Alexander, Director of Marketing at the Caravan and Motorhome Club said: “All of the sites across our network have attractive grounds, thanks to the incredibly high standards and hard work of our dedicated staff, so the competition is tough. I would like to thank everyone who took part and wish congratulations to the winners and runners up.”
The Sites in Bloom Awards were introduced in 2003 by Caravan Club Life Member, the late Alan Payne OBE, who wished to recognise the creative and horticultural skills of site staff and volunteers, and to showcase their success in making their sites colourful and welcoming.