North Norfolk holiday venues brace for self-catering and glamping boom
- Credit: Supplied by the Eiders
Demand for glamping, camping and self-catering holidays in north Norfolk is outstripping hotels and bed and breakfasts, tourist operators stay.
The pandemic has spurred on an existing trend away from accommodation where holidaymakers share the same space inside which had already been growing in recent years.
Richard Graveling, from The Grove in Cromer, who is a customer of Eviivo, which has hotel rooms as well as self-catering cottages and glamping yurts, said: "We're finding that things get booked up in a really distinct order. First to go is always the glamping accommodation - it's already booked for the whole summer.
"The self-catering isn't far behind, and then the hotel accommodation fills up later. We've seen this year after year and it isn't specific to Covid at all."
Mr Graveling said many people felt more comfortable staying somewhere they did not share space with other guests. He said glamping and self-catering also tended to be cheaper and more flexible. He added: "Hotel bookings are often more spur-of-the-moment."
Simon and Odele Stevens moved from Huntingdon to run The Eiders bed and breakfast in West Runton earlier this year.
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Having seen the trend, they are now in the process of converting the building to self-contained "studios" with their own kitchen facilities, rather than having a shared dining area as is typical at a B&B.
Mrs Stevens said: "Everyone we've spoken to who has self-catering in north Norfolk is really seeing an upsurge in bookings - whereas as a B&B we hadn't had many enquiries. I think self-catering tends to appeal more to the younger generation as well."
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Camping is another option for holidaymakers who want to easily adhere to social distancing while enjoying the great outdoors.
Breck Farm camp site, near Bodham, saw its busiest summer season ever last year after the first lockdown was lifted.
Becky Hart, who runs the site with brother Will Amies and their family, said she expected things to be no less busy in 2021.
"We're definitely up on where we would normally be in a non-Covid year," she said. "Our busiest weekends are already full - although we are keeping a few pitches blocked off. If the restrictions are lifted further we can open them up, but we're being a bit cautious.
"Hopefully when coronavirus is over we'll retain a few of those newer visitors, who come here an an add-on holiday in addition to going overseas."