'People call this a home from home' - Caravan park and campsite near Fakenham named best in the region
PUBLISHED: 08:35 16 November 2016 | UPDATED: 08:35 16 November 2016
Campsite - it is a word which for many will dredge up memories, whether fond or loathed, of family breaks and school trips, battles to put up a tent in the rain, beans over the fire and almost-clean shower blocks.
A focus on nature
The AA title is one of two accolades the park has scooped this month.
Earlier this week, the team found out they had been awarded a Gold David Bellamy Conservation Award for 2016/17 – a scheme which praises parks protecting and enhancing Britain’s natural environment.
An inspector highlighted the site’s biodiversity of birdlife and the team’s disability-friendly approach and focus on recycling.
The assessor said: “Year after year the Old Brick Kilns gets better and better. It’s known for the incredible biodiversity of its birdlife and creates unbeatable habitats in which birds can nest.
“It’s clear that the park’s customers really appreciate the wildlife that surrounds them.”
The scheme also awarded The Old Brick Kilns a Honey Bee Friendly park badge, for its work protecting Britain’s bees, which has included planting wildflowers.
But continued investment has transformed today’s campsites and caravan parks into something entirely more luxurious - with many boasting on-site eateries, state-of-the-art bathrooms and dozens of activities to add to the traditional game of cards.
And a 13-acre park just miles from the north Norfolk coast has now been crowned one of the best in the country - triumphing in the AA Caravan and Camping Awards 2017.
The Old Brick Kilns in Barney, near Fakenham, won the campsite of the year in Heart of England category, having been selected from more than 860 entries across the national competition.
Secluded and tree-lined, the park, which is owned by Kate Dyas and David Moore, is set on three levels and has 60 all-weather hard-standing pitches.
Mr Moore described the AA win as a “great honour”, and said since taking over the pair had invested in modernising the site’s facilities, including its on-site shop and restaurant Barney’s, to cater for its increasingly discerning customers.
“The site was very well run before, there’s no doubt about it, but we have made changes to areas like the restaurant to make it more modern,” he said. “We have upgraded the toilet blocks because modern facilities are what people expect now. Visitors want luxury when they go away so we are always trying to develop what we have.”
In recent months, he said more people from Norfolk were visiting the park, whether to stay or eat at Barney’s, which he said was a point of pride.
“People often call this a home from home,” he said, “and feel like part of the family here.”
And the site’s ideal location has certainly bolstered trade - Barney sits just miles from major attractions including the coast, Sandringham and Thursford.
The award winners will now appear in the AA Caravan and Camping Guide 2017.
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