Why buyers are making a beeline for rural Yorkshire holiday parks

Sales of lodges on Yorkshire's quiet, rural holiday parks have boomed and here's why

Holiday lodges at Swaleview Park, near Richmond

Our homes are now seen as assets that are expected to risein value but not all property investments bring financial gain. Some reward their owners in a different way by bringing joy and offering a better quality of life.

Holiday lodges, which generally depreciate in value the longer you keep them, fall into this category and sales on quiet, rural parks are rocketing as we look for a place to get away from it all.

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Wayside Holiday Park in the village of Wrelton, between Kirkbymoorside and Pickering, has seen a surge in sales since it re-opened on July 4, with owner Mark Goodson announcing the sale of five holiday properties worth £330,000 in total since lockdown was eased. He says: “The demand has been quite extraordinary. The interest in our park is a clear example that people don’t want to go abroad this year, and possibly not next year, because of fears about the coronavirus pandemic.

Visitors to Swaleview Park value peace and quiet and views over the river

“The idea of a staycation in the UK is now incredibly attractive for many, which is tremendous news for our embattled tourism industry.”

Wayside, which is on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, was founded by Mark’s father in 1975 and ticks many boxes for those wanting to escape to a tranquil rural retreat. Prices for its lakeside lodges start from £63,995.

Like many holiday parks, it is open eight months of the year, from March until the end of October, and cannot be your main residence. Site fees are from £3,000 a year with gas and electric bills extra. Lodges are on a 15-year licence and after that it can stay on site as long as it is in good order. There is also a clause stating that the property cannot be used by anyone else other than friends and family, a policy that creates a community.

Lynne and David Iveson bought a lodge with a 15-year lease at Wayside three years ago and believe it was worth every penny. “We live in a very busy place near Pontefract and wanted a bolthole somewhere peaceful and quiet where we could take our dog,” says Lynne.

The luxury lodges at Wauside Lakes at Wrelton, near Pickering

“We knew Wayside because my husband’s parents had a caravan on the site years ago and we liked that it is close to the moors, the coast and the steam railway. It costs £4,000 a year for the site fees and running costs and while the lodge is a depreciating asset, it has vastly improved our quality of life. We can use it every day for eight months if we like. It’s only an hour’s drive away and it’s our little bit of paradise.”

Over at Swaleview Park, near Richmond, owner Andrew Carter has also seen a big rise in interest in a business founded by his enterprising father, Joseph Frederick Clifford Carter, in 1936. From a family of Swaledale farmers, he spotted the potential in developing the area as a tourist destination and began hosting campers and caravanners.

While there is still a touring caravan site, a holiday park was obvious next step for the Carters who have created a beautifully kept, idyll with views over the River Swale Andrew describes the luxurious timber-style lodges as “a penthouse in the Dales”. They have a 25-year licence and start from £85,000 plus £3,140 a year site fees.

The park, which is open year-round, also has some new static caravans from £34,000 on a 15 year licence. “We don’t have a clubhouse with a pub and food because that can bring noise and trouble. We want the park to be a peaceful place and we also want to support local eateries,” says Andrew.

This is how getting away from it all looked in the 1930s at Swaleview Park when Andrew Carter's father spotted its potential as a holiday destination

Cathy Tabner, a Wakefield-based midwife, and her husband Tony, a GP, bought a lodge on a 25-year lease at Swale View in 2018 and have no regrets. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, underfloor heating and river views.

“We wanted somewhere we could use regularly and this is just over an hour’s drive away down the A1. We absolutely love it. It is rural, really well run and has beautiful grounds. I can finish a shift at the hospital on a Friday at 8pm and be at the lodge by 9.15pm. It is a very secure, peaceful, friendly and relaxing place and I sleep so well here. It is my little corner of heaven,” she says. Tony adds: “Everyone is there to get away and relax and that’s the mood of the place. It would be very different in a holiday cottage.”

The Tabners calculate that the lodge costs them £280 a month to run including site fees. “We were concerned that it is a depreciating asset but quality of life is what matters and that is what we have here,” says Cathy.

Most holiday park homes come with licence agreements of between 15 and 25 years and as their expiry dates draw closer, the value of the home reduces.

Anyone thinking of buying a lodge or other holiday park home should visit the site, check the communal areas to see if they are well kept and analyse terms and conditions carefully before they buy.

www.swaleviewpark.co.uk; www.waysidelakes.co.uk

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