Poole Farm takes overal honours at CL of the Year 2014

26/11/2014

Carrs Hill Certificated Location in Stirling and Brunette Cottage Certificated Location in Shropshire, also win awards.

Poole Farm Certificated Location (CL), in Launceston, Devon has been awarded first-place in The Caravan Club’s CL of the Year Awards 2014, voted for by The Caravan Club’s one million members and presented at the House of Commons.  Owners David Hunter and Diana Smith received their award from The Rt Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport, during The Club’s annual Parliamentary Reception on Tuesday, 25 November.

Certificated Locations are privately-owned, maximum five-van sites found across the UK, many in idyllic and remote locations on farms, country estates and beside inns, which can provide a valuable, additional income stream for local communities.  These awards are presented at the House of Commons in recognition of the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act (1960) which enables The Caravan Club to grant certificates to landowners to operate CLs.

Located on the Devon/Cornwall border, adjacent to the River Tamar and set proudly within rolling countryside, Poole Farm CL offers easy access to Dartmoor National Park, Bodmin Moor and the North Cornwall Heritage Coast and just across the border is the beautiful historic market town of Launceston, known as ‘the gateway to Cornwall’.

The site is an adult-only caravan site for those looking for a place to relax in peace and tranquillity. It does however welcome dogs, with an extremely popular dog walk adjacent to the site, which sees a winding path leading through an orchard and wild flower paddock, perfect for early morning strolls.

The site also boasts ‘The Hut’, originally built as a summer house it has now been fitted with a modern shower and WC and displays caravan-related cartoons and artwork on the walls. Each of the five pitches also has its own bird feeding station, with past visitors leaving comments about the many unusual birds they have seen.

David and Diana say, “Before buying Poole Farm we had a motorhome called ‘Winnie’ and we loved visiting The Caravan Club’s CLs, dreaming of one day owning and running our own! So when the opportunity arose we designed it to our own tastes and preferences, thankfully our visitors seem to share these with us.”

They continue, “Over the three seasons that we have been open we have welcomed comments and suggestions, many of which we have implemented, it is so rewarding to receive positive comments and see returning visitors, many of whom have become friends.”

In second place, Carrs Hill CL has been owned by Grant and Gillian Turnbull for ten years. With twelve acres of original farmland, the Turnbulls live in a self-built house with their young children, Moray and Connie, and dog Twiggy.  After seeing an article in The Caravan Club’s Magazine in 2009 they decided to open a CL and received their Certificate from The Club in 2010.

Of their CL the Turnbulls say, “Since 2010 the CL has blossomed beyond belief.  We believe we provide a quiet, well presented CL that offers more than the minimal requirements, such as hardstanding pitches, individual water taps, toilets, shower, wifi and an information room – all of which are very much appreciated by our visitors and very well received.”

The CL is situated adjacent to the Scheduled Ancient Monument known as Carr’s Hill Fort.  In the springtime bluebells cover the ground surrounding the fort and you can walk to the top to get magnificent views, which stretch to Ben Lomond and Ben Ledi in the west and over to Schiehallion and the Ochil Hills to the north.  The panorama is completed with views over the Forth Estuary to Fife, the Forth Road Bridge and Edinburgh in the east.

Grant Turnbull continues, “Both Gillian and I love meeting visitors, we try to personally meet as many on arrival as we can and we enjoy chatting to them and hearing of their travels.  Gillian and I grew up with caravanning holidays; I spent many summers touring the Scottish Highlands with my grandparents in a Thomson Glen, as did Gillian with her parents, brother and sister in a Sprite Major.  My parents had a small caravan park in the Scottish Borders which they started from scratch as well.”

Taking the honors of third place is Brunette Cottage Caravan Park CL in Ty Broughton, Shropshire. Paul and Helen Clarke built and opened Brunette Cottage Caravan Park in 2012 after living in the local area all their lives.

The site is ideally situated in a quiet rural location near to the Shropshire/North Wales border and has access to many country walks and cycle rides, yet is only a short distance from the main road network providing quick access to large parts of Shropshire, Cheshire and North Wales.  All pitches have their own water and electric hook-up and the site has new shower and WC facilities.

Of being CL owners, the Clarkes say, “We enjoy meeting and welcoming a diverse range of visitors to our site and sharing the beautiful views and countryside with them.  Our local knowledge ensures their stay meets their needs and interests too.

The site is especially good for dog owners as there are many great walks close-by and the site itself has a special dog walking area which has been tested and approved by our own canine friends, Bobby and Heidi.”

Caravan Club Chairman, Grenville Chamberlain, commented, “Access to The Caravan Club’s CL network is a huge benefit of membership and each and every CL is a gem in the jewelled crown of the overall sites network.  This year’s winners yet again fly the flag and set a great example with commitment to providing Club members with more choice and exceptional places to stay and enjoy their caravanning.  All of the 2500 CLs on the network make a massive contribution in boosting local tourism economies.”

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