July heatwave provides bookings boost for Suffolk holiday ventures
- Credit: Archant
The July heatwave has provided a bookings boost for Suffolk holiday businesses, which are basking in the unexpected weather bonus.
Some of the county’s farmers, who have diversified into tourism ventures, say they have seen an uplift, and believe the sunshine is boosting demand.
Andrew Bryce of the Suffolk Escape at Northlands Farm, Hintlesham, near Ipswich, whose Sheepyard Barn accommodation took the Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year at VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence 2018, said the hot weather also appeared to be changing holidaymakers’ attitudes longer term towards UK destinations.
“The heatwave is having a positive impact here. We generally get booked up in advance. However, our last remaining slots are going fast since the heatwave arrived,” said Andrew, who set up his holiday business on his small family farm as a diversification.
“We have also noticed an increase in bookings for next summer too as the market appears to be accepting that global warming is we hear to stay. This, combined with the additional time to get through airports and the increase in the quality offered in UK self catering properties, has all helped to increase the ‘staycation’ market here in the UK.”
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The farm diversification business was launched by Andrew and wife, Sarah, six years ago. It includes four log cabins set around a lake and the Sheepyard Barn, a conversion which sleeps up to 12 people, all with private hot tubs and wood burning stoves.
James and Emma Strachan, of Birds and Bees campsite at Rendham, near Framlingham, which was launched last year, said business is booming with the family’s ice cream diversification, Suffolk Meadow, also benefiting from the hot weather.
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“The weather has been amazing for the campsite and the ice cream,” said James. “Of course, on the campsite it’s hard to tell if we would have been this busy as it’s only our second season and the five star reviews keep coming which is lovely. All our weekends are full up and weekdays filling up too. I guess the last minute enquiries have been up because of the weather.
“We’ve had to put a few extra rules in about camp fires, but everyone has been very understanding and compliant with these safety measures.”