The owner of a popular five-star, adults-only trailer park near Boston says he was shocked to recently win a tourism award because he hasn’t done anything he usually does for his guests. Long Acres Touring Park in Station Road, Old Leake has received a ROSE Award for Outstanding Service from VisitEngland, the country’s official tourist board.
It is one of the five Lincolnshire holiday rentals and 100 nationally announced winners of the ‘Outstanding’ award. Long Acres has previously received a 5-star rating for quality in tourism and was named AA Small Campsite of the Year in 2016.
The 3 acre site, surrounded by mature trees, has 40 gravel pitches for caravans and motorhomes and a cabin. Tents are also welcome. Facilities include power points, free WiFi, a shower and toilet block, laundry and a dog walking area.
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Owner John Plant, 62, who runs the business with his wife Tracey, also 62, said: “The ROSE award was a shock because we weren’t really doing something that we do all the time. People love it for the quiet and you come in after a hard week’s work – you can see the stress on them – and over time you relax when you’re here.
“It’s an adult-only site and we have a lot of teachers on summer vacation or grandparents just before they have grandchildren in the summer and appreciate the quiet.”
Originally from Leicestershire, Mr Plant worked in IT in Buckinghamshire before buying Touring Park, which had been established four years earlier, 10 years ago. He said most guests are from the East Midlands, but there are also many guests from across the country.
Mr Plant said: “Just recently we had guests from Australia who have relatives here. Before Covid we get visitors from Australia and New Zealand as well as Holland and Germany and I think we will start seeing people again. We get people coming from Wales who have never seen such big skies and flat countryside because of the mountains in Wales.
“Our guests enjoy visiting the RSPB nature reserves, walking and cycling, and visiting the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby. We get a lot of bookings from people who are new to caravaning.”
Fiona Riddell, 59, a retired curatorial assistant, and husband Billy, 62, a retired police officer, from Peterhead, Scotland, booked for seven nights and even brought their cat. Ms Riddell said: “My husband’s uncle lives in Coningsby and we visit him. We have been living caravans for three years and this is our first time here. It’s so beautiful and calm.
“We spent days in Spalding – the Sue Ryder bookshop was really great – and in Louth where we tried plum bread which we discovered didn’t contain any plums but was very tasty.” Mr Riddell said: “I like the quiet of the place really.”
Mr Plant said some guests are staying at the park over Christmas. He said: “We get some decorating their caravans and there are others who have lost a family member at this time of year and don’t want anything to do with Christmas. They don’t want turkey, they just want a steak.”
So where do holiday park owners go on holiday? Mr Plant said: “We have a caravan but the problem is the lack of time to get away. The cabin is open all year round and although the park is closed from January 1st to March 1st there is still work to be done to maintain the site.”