Glamping cash injection for Norfolk holiday firm

PUBLISHED: 10:23 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 14:20 21 February 2014

Kelling Heath operations manager, Mark Durrant.

Kelling Heath operations manager, Mark Durrant. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A Norfolk leisure company is pitching its holiday parks at the glamping market by investing £1.2m in luxury lodges.

Blue Sky Leisure is scaling up Kelling Heath Holiday Park and Woodhill Park in East Runton while committing a further £300,000 to improving its gym and swimming pool facilities.

The demand for up-market camping holidays, or glamping, has strengthened since the recession as people search for a cheap break that offers a lavish experience, an industry analyst said.

• North Norfolk caravan parks boosted by investment pledge

• Video: Record number of entries as EDP Business Awards winners are unveiled

It comes as 38pc of Norfolk firms were predicted to increase the amount of money they spend on improving their offer last year, according to the Larking Gowen Tourism Survey.

Mark Durrant, operations manager at Kelling Heath Holiday Park, said: “There has certainly been a big boom in the luxury market. People still want to experience the outdoors with all the home comforts that glamping or a woodland lodge offer.

“This also caters for busy families – they just want to pitch up and have everything provided for them so they can get straight into their holiday.”

Blue Sky Leisure – winner of the EDP’s Business of the Year Award 2013 – said the plans, which will cost £1.5m in total, are set to increase the capacity of Kelling Heath Holiday Park by 10pc.

Bases for twenty new luxury lodges will be built by the spring, while part of a two-year refurbishment of Kelling’s health and fitness club will be finished this month.

Chris Scargill, tourism and leisure partner at chartered accountants Larking Gowen, said holidaymakers are willing to pay a higher price for camping, but demand a high-value experience.

“When the recession started there was a big trend in UK camping holidays because people were looking to cut costs,” he said.

“And now that we are out of the recession two things are happening. The resurgence of camping has continued, but there are greater demands from the consumer. They want the luxury as well as the outdoor activities, which is an area where investment will lead to growth. People have higher expectations for their spend. Therefore, it is essential that businesses invest in higher-spec facilities because people are willing to pay a premium for it.”

Do you have a business story? Contact Ben Woods on 01603 772426 or email

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter


For many the most thrilling part of starting a business comes in the early days, buoyed by those first sales when you might be running your fledgling enterprise from the kitchen table.

A global boom in the use of smart meters is set to fuel the growth of a pioneering East Anglian engineering company after it struck a major production deal with a leading Indian manufacturer.

Green 100


Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition


Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor


Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor


Business Most Read


Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented