Holiday park looks back on 85 years in business

The Andrewshayes Holiday Park's pool

The Andrewshayes Holiday Park's pool - Credit: Andrewshayes Holiday Park

As the demand for staycations looks set to soar, Andrewshayes Holiday Park in East Devon is looking forward to welcoming visitors back to the park in the summer. 

This year, owners and staff of the family run business are celebrating for more than one reason.  2021 sees the caravan park mark an impressive 85 years in business and reach the finals of the Devon Tourism Awards. 

It was back in 1936 the Andrewshayes Farm was first granted a licence for campers under the Public Health Act. 

In those days, visitors were happy with the basic facilities offered alongside the dairy farm, conveniently located just off the main A35 trunk road near Axminster. 

In 1960 The Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act became law. It meant that in order to operate, caravan parks needed to have mains water, toilets and washing facilities and the new licence was also required for static holiday caravans.  The then young Harry and Stephanie Lawrence set about developing the business. 

The cows are sadly not a feature any more, but over the last 60 years the holiday park has gone from strength to strength. Weathering recessions, near crippling interest rates and now Covid -19, the park has grown into a successful and thriving business. In fact, the fourth generation of the Lawrence family are now helping out. 

This leads to the news this month that the park has reached the finals of the Devon Tourism Awards in the Holiday Park category. 

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The awards require entrants to complete a comprehensive application process and then independent judges mark all aspects of the business to come up with a shortlist of finalists. The finalists will have to wait until March to learn the outcome. 

“Although we have no idea yet when we will be allowed to open, we are really hoping that the many businesses and individuals that rely on tourism will not have to wait too long for the season to start,” said managing director Peter Lawrence. 

“2020 was a huge challenge in so many ways. We are really hoping that we can celebrate the park’s anniversary in style later this year.”  

Andrewshayes Holiday Park offers luxury self-catering holiday caravans for hire and sale, as well as pitches for touring and camping. Facilities include a swimming pool and clubhouse.