Caravan and Glamping Season Begins | HPA | Blog

HPA Caravan & Glamping Season Begins

Caravan and camping season is upon us again this spring. Whilst winter weather restricts tourism in the industry, we can use this opportunity to look ahead, working on designs and planning applications for the revitalisation of glamping, camping and caravanning parks, ready for the spring/summer season.

What we do

Over the past 40 years HPA have assisted in the development of over 50 sites for the Caravan and Motorhome Club, across the UK. We have acquired a national reputation and a vast, specialist experience in this sector, having worked on new build sites as well as site refurbishments. The Caravan and Motorhome Club (formerly known as the Caravan Club) was the first major client that HPA gained when the practice began back in 1979.

Our involvement on projects ranges from inception to completion, including the design of site layouts, assisting in planning applications and providing site development project management. We explore how to develop and benefit those sites for the future.

As part of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, we can use industry data to predict trends and commercial logistics of sites and can help owners realise their sites full potential. The British Holiday & Home Parks Association is a private industry representative body for parks, caravans, glamping, and all types of self-catering accommodation.

Increase in sector

The national lockdown years of 2020-2021 saw an increase within glamping, camping, caravanning and outdoors tourism trades. The realm of Camping and Caravanning rapidly increased, thanks to the rise of the Staycation, where seasonal pitches are like having ‘homes away from home’. Site owners have had to adapt their business models to accommodate an increase in enquiries and consumer requirements. A rise in the numbers of caravans has led to an additional need for more spaces and we have assisted clients in creating more efficient site layouts.


Sustainability is at the forefront of most people’s mind, more so now than ever before. Caravan and camping sites, despite appearances, are energy hungry developments that must work hard for short periods of time. We have worked with site owners to create buildings that have less demands on energy or are supplied by renewables. We’ve also worked with owners to look at how sites can be more ecologically diverse; creating spaces for wildflower meadows is a great addition to any site, supporting the biodiversity of the area and providing a vital habitat for local insects and pollinators.

Caravan & Camping Club

HPA have been enlisted to work on projects for the Caravan and Camping Club in Cumbria and Cornwall, including the refurbishment of the Kendal Caravan and Camping Club Site on the edge of the Lake District National Park. Works involved the construction of replacement site buildings, redesign of the site layout and the creation of a new WC. The new layout was designed to work carefully and sensitively around the Thirlmere Aqueduct water pipes, which run through the centre. All construction was intended to be highly energy efficient.

Morris Leisure

HPA have a longstanding relationship with Morris Leisure. We worked to produce unrivalled facilities at a 54-pitch touring caravan site in Llanberis, Snowdonia. Additionally, we were involved in the development of the 5-star caravan site on the edge of popular honeypot Ludlow. The riverside location is laid out for 115 touring pitches and 36 static pitches. Of Morris Leisure’s 5 sites, 4 are included in the Top 100 Sites Guide. HPA continue to collaborate with Morris Leisure improving their sites and looking into feasibilities.

Donkey Creek Farm

HPA were pleased to have designed the site upgrade at Donkey Creek Farm, close to the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. The enhancements transformed Donkey Creek Farm from a 12-pitch campsite to a luxury 5* touring caravan park, complete with 75 pitches, 4 glamping pods and a range of brand-new facilities. The refurbishment plan included a new reception (including a shop), toilet block, laundrette, and wardens’ accommodation.

The design of the site needed to consider strict planning conditions associated with building close to the BAE runway, along with several important wildlife considerations that come with working in such an outstanding rural location. The spectacular new washrooms became a highlight of the project; where visitors can enjoy large showers, private family bathrooms, underfloor heating, and full disabled access within the new larch-clad building. These new facilities are so impressive that they were awarded a top Platinum accolade in the ‘Loo of the Year’ awards, making them one of the best in the country.

Our involvement extended from initial concept proposals to design site layouts and the creation of additional amenity buildings. We applied our knowledge and experience in this sector to obtain planning permission for the addition of seasonal and off-season storage pitches. The project ran from planning permission approval in Autumn of 2019, with construction beginning in June 2020 and completion in 2021, ready for the increased number during the busy summer season.

Camping in the Forest

In 2020 we were also delighted to have worked with Camping in the Forest to develop Sherwood Pines, a site that is accessible, sustainable, and maintains the integrity of the legendary Sherwood Forest.

Camping in the Forest is a partnership site between the Camping and Caravanning Club and Forestry England. It has 15 sites across England and Scotland and its goal is to deliver a unique and inclusive roster of campsites where visitors can sleep amongst the trees, creating a truly memorable experience.

Our brief was to design the site layout and buildings for a 200-pitch touring caravan and camping site at Sherwood Pines Forest Park. This included the provision of glamping pods, hardstanding, and grass pitches. In addition to an amenity building, reception building, staff facilities, maintenance/storage compound and WCs and shower pods.

The HPA team visited the Sherwood Pines plot and thoughtfully put a proposal together that made sure our pitch designs would be sensitive to the trees in the forest and be ecologically sound. Prior to HPAs involvement, planning permission for the project had been refused, due to the ecological challenges and visual impacts on the site’s surroundings. Therefore, it was important for the team to understand the existing trees, their characters, spans and needs so we were able to design responsibly within the site’s existing clearings. Smaller areas, each with their own character were created within the site, visually screened from the immediate entrance. The new buildings have been carefully designed so that they fit in with the look and feel of the existing on-site Visitor Centre. This has softened the visual impact of the development and allows visitors to experience the beauty of the existing forest without compromise.

For accessibility, we made sure that the reception desk was partially lowered for wheelchair users, all door furniture and plug sockets are at accessible heights, and 1010 mm door frames were used for all rooms in the on-site buildings. Two accessible WCs and shower rooms have been built into the amenity building and all the buildings are single-story with a level access threshold. We also installed solar panels on the amenity block for water and space heating.

This project is testament to our ability to develop relationships with arboriculturally and ecological specialists, to ambitiously create sustainable places with a positive legacy.

Skelwith Fold

Skelwith Fold is a well-established caravan park within the Lake District National Park, that provides 150-touring pitches and 320-static caravan pitches. The site provides low density caravan spacing, which is well screened by extensive woodland and the natural topography of the land. Skelwith Fold has a national reputation for preserving a high-quality rural landscape, winning many accolades, including the David Bellamy Gold Award for Conservation for the last 22 years.

Whilst the site has a good existing infrastructure and servicing, HPA were asked to assist in the addition of camping and amenities buildings, whilst maintaining the high-quality environment.

Glamping Pods were added to diversify what is offered to customers. Hideaway Huts and Safaris Tents were designed and planned for quieter secluded areas outside the original limits of the caravan park, to create privacy between the units. Additional office space was created, alongside and internal staff meeting area, manager’s area, and dedicated delivery/store. These were clad in slate, to reduce visual impact. A covered timber store (to provide storage for felled trees on site) was built from Larch grown on site and designed to be low lying and sustainable.

See more of HPA’s Leisure & Hotel work:

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