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‘It’s gone from one extreme to the other’ - Campsites report sell-out August

PUBLISHED: 15:37 01 September 2020 | UPDATED: 12:18 02 September 2020

Canoeing from Banks Boats on the River Ant, the company has reported a busy August, with number of people looking to hire canoes increasing.  Picture: James Bass

Canoeing from Banks Boats on the River Ant, the company has reported a busy August, with number of people looking to hire canoes increasing. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2008

Campsite owners and tourism businesses have reported one of their busiest Augusts on record, with many saying they have had to turn customers away due to already being at capacity.

Canoeing from Banks Boats along the River Ant. 

Picture: James BassCanoeing from Banks Boats along the River Ant. Picture: James Bass

Amber Wykes, the owner of Amber’s Bell Tent Camping which has six locations in Norfolk and the Midlands said sites had been fully booked for the whole of August.

She said: “It’s been totally sold-out, we could have sold-out four times over, that’s across four sites in Norfolk and it’s the same story for all of the sites.”

Ms Wykes said while some of August’s bookings were rescheduled reservations from dates lost during lockdown, the majority were made in a three week period after restrictions were eased.

“I took 70pc of bookings for the whole season in about three weeks, I think people were just really excited to get away.

Amber's Bell Tent Camping has sites at Wiveton Hall, Mannington Hall and Hoveton in Norfolk. Picture: Amber WykesAmber's Bell Tent Camping has sites at Wiveton Hall, Mannington Hall and Hoveton in Norfolk. Picture: Amber Wykes

“Normally September is quiet, people are focussing on getting the kids back to school but I have had a lot of bookings for 2021.

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“This year we had lots of groups and people wanting to stay in their own bubbles on site. People are definitely still thinking in that way [for 2021],” she said.

Fiona Thomas, co-owner of Manor Farm Caravan and Camping Site in East Runton, also reported an extremely busy summer.

Amber Wykes, the owner of Amber's Bell Tent Camping which has seen a busy August and is already receiving bookings for summer 2021. Picture: Amber WykesAmber Wykes, the owner of Amber's Bell Tent Camping which has seen a busy August and is already receiving bookings for summer 2021. Picture: Amber Wykes

She said: “[Within] half-an-hour of Boris Johnson making the announcement campsites could open the phone calls and emails were non-stop.

“It’s gone from one extreme to the other, from despair to being so flat out we didn’t have time to think, it’s been really difficult and different.”

Meanwhile on the Norfolk Broads, Tony Urwin, co-owner of Banks Boats and Canoe Hire said the company had experienced a busy August, and had seen demand for the canoe hire side of the business boom.

He said: “In August everyone is usually fully booked before it happens but we have been booked further ahead [this year] and we have had to turn people down, the canoes have been no problem it’s the day boats which have been booked a week ahead.

“The canoe bookings have increased a lot because it’s first come first served and as long as it’s been good weather they have been able to get out.

“It’s been positive, it’s been really positive,” he said.


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