When David Taylor and his wife Maureen bought a home at Sandhills Holiday Park in Dorset two years ago, they had no idea they would be buying another just a year later.
The couple, both aged 66, visit most weekends, making the one and-a-half-hour drive from their home in Wiltshire.
‘It’s close enough for day trips and weekends with the family,’ says Mr Taylor.
A shore investment: Beverley Park in Devon is close to several Blue Flag beaches
They have direct access to the sandy Mudeford Quay, but are also a three-minute ferry ride from Bournemouth’s Blue Flag beaches of Fisherman’s Walk and Southbourne.
‘It was a bonus to know we were near Blue Flag beaches,’ adds Mr Taylor, who has three grandchildren aged two, nine and 11.
The couple’s first home cost £220,000, but when another with a sea view and beach access came up for sale, they upgraded, paying £400,000.
The couple are now selling their original two-bedroom home for £260,000.
Sandhills has a bar, heated pool, small gym and clubhouse.
Site fees are £10,000 a year.
‘All we pay for otherwise is gas and electricity,’ says Mr Taylor.
‘The place is secure and well maintained, and modern lodges are robust and weatherproof so don’t need a lot of maintenance.’
A Blue Flag is the internationally recognised gold standard for beaches denoting they have met strict criteria regarding cleanliness, water quality, facilities such as cafes and toilets, safety services and visitor information.
Of the 199 Blue Flag beaches in the British Isles, five are in Dorset and nine along the Kent coast.
Keat Farm Close offers detached homes with a garage in Herne Bay (a pre-owned two-bedroom lodge is for sale at £180,000) and Applegarth Park and Rowan Tree Park, both featuring single and twin unit homes near Whitstable, are not far from the Blue Flag St Mildred’s Bay in Westgate-on-Sea.
Award-winning Beverley Holidays has three park homes along the English Riviera in Devon, where Blue Flag beaches include Meadfoot and Oddicombe in Torquay, and Breakwater Beach in Brixham.
The largest park, Beverley Park, is packed with family facilities, while Beverley Bay has fewer on-site extras, and Beverley View is aimed at those seeking tranquillity.
The family-run business celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, and director Claire Flower says the area’s Blue Flag beaches have been a big draw for visitors and buyers.
‘The Blue Flag symbol is an assurance that you are unlikely to bring anything back from your holidays other than happy memories and a stick of rock,’ she says.
Holiday homes on the park start from £22,995 with annual pitch fees from £3,686.
- Confirm how many years your holiday home can occupy the pitch (ten to 20 years is common)
- Meet other holiday home owners to hear their views on the park
- Establish how many months you can use your home for, and the security arrangements
- Check the home’s heating, double glazing and insulation
- Does the price include decking?
- Study the contract to see how annual pitch fee increases are calculated