THREE of Wiltshire’s leading holiday parks have reopened their gates to visitors after the Government eased Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions on Monday for some sectors of the leisure and tourism industry.

Fairwood Lakes Holiday Park and Haulfryn Group’s Brokerswood Country Park, both near Westbury, and Center Parcs’ Longleat Forest attraction near Warminster all reopened to visitors.

When tourists return to Fairwood Lakes Holiday Park near Dilton Marsh, they will find some changes have been made to improve the guest experience.

The family-run business has used the pandemic closure as an opportunity to invest in maximising the existing space with additional features to benefit families now craving safe, care-free and fun days out after the long winter lockdown.

Following Monday’s reopening, Fairwood Lakes is now taking bookings for guests staying in self-catering lodges, camping pitches, and day visitors with annual membership.

Fairwood Lakes owner, Crispin Thomas said: “The arrival of the pandemic and Brexit have significantly changed the climate for ‘staycations’, with more and more people looking for holidays and local day trips on home soil.

“We regularly hear from holidaymakers who are seeking a more peaceful getaway experience rather than a holiday park associated with a ‘honeypot’ attraction, such as beach resorts.

“As a family-run holiday park with young children of our own, we understand how families have struggled over the past year to enjoy fun days out in a safe environment that doesn’t feel overcrowded.

“With this in mind, we have personally invested in new additions to the park to continue raising the quality of experience guests can look forward to.

“The new annual membership system for day visitors will give every guest the peace of mind they deserve to enjoy family-friendly activities without having to travel far, and without sharing the space with hoards of holidaymakers.

“It also offers our members a year of free events and discounts to reward their loyalty and support towards our local tourism business.”

Fairwood Lakes is now offering guests a greater variety of outdoor play facilities alongside its existing indoor soft play, nature trail and lakeside walks.

New areas include mini golf, woodland play, nature trail, an extended outdoor play area, a seasonal splash tunnel and newly created under-cover patio area.

To help manage day visitors and avoid crowding, Fairwood Lakes has introduced a new annual membership system which allows locals to enjoy the benefits of repeat visits to the holiday park without having to travel too far afield.

Fairwood Lakes also unveiled its new lodge, a restored showman’s wagon for four guests with its own private lakeside setting.

With lockdown restrictions for England lifted, the Haulfryn Group announced the reopening of its eight holiday parks across Cornwall, Devon, Wiltshire, Surrey and Cheshire, including Brokerswood near Southwick, Westbury.

David John, Group Operations Director of Haulfryn Group Ltd, said, “The safety of our guests, holiday homeowners, team members and local communities remains of paramount importance.

“As a result, we have implemented important changes across all of our parks and we continue to review all of our practices, ensuring that we are operating in-line with government guidance.

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming everyone back to enjoy some of the most beautiful locations across England safely.

“We know that many local businesses and local jobs are dependent on the tourism trade and, after a difficult year for the industry, we are looking forward to re-opening our parks with the necessary measures in place to keep everyone safe.

“We are also encouraging all visitors to read the latest guidance on the government website and remind our holiday homeowners not to visit our parks if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus.”

During the first lockdown, many leisure and tourism operators swiftly implemented a comprehensive range of measures for the safety of all visitors, staff and local communities at their holiday parks.

Mr John said that contactless check-ins, cashless payments, social-distancing measures and enhanced cleaning processes are now standard across Haulfryn’s entire park portfolio.

Additional measures including remote booking systems have also been implemented throughout Haulfryn’s on-site restaurants, gyms, activity sessions and spa treatments which will continue once these facilities are able to open.

Center Parcs also reopened its UK villages and welcomed guests back on Monday but said that some facilities such as the Subtropical Swimming Paradise at Longleat Forest would not be reopened until May 17.

The Nottingham-based company has offered discounts to visitors who had booked the pool.

The company added: “Guests due to visit on breaks April 12 to May 16 should already have received an email from us to outline what to expect on these breaks.

“As things stand, we hope to be able to open the Subtropical Swimming Paradise from May 17, as well as our restaurants, Aqua Sana Spa and many more activities, but we’re aware that this is subject to government changes as they progress through the various stages of their roadmap.

“We will be keeping a close eye on government updates and our plan is to communicate as much detail as possible for breaks May 17 around four weeks before arrival.”