Life at Durdle Door Holiday Park: Our Owner’s Perspective15 Dec 2019
Durdle Door Holiday Park is a little piece of paradise just waiting to be discovered. We pride ourselves on our peaceful Park, friendly staff and happy holidaymakers, in an unrivalled location on the Jurassic coast. But often when it comes down to choosing somewhere to have a holiday home at Durdle Door, it’s less about the place, and more about the people. Our owners come from all walks of life, with a common interest: an escape from the ordinary, and a home from home.
Our ready-made community of likeminded people is welcoming, sociable, quiet yet fun. Our owners love to get involved in our events, reminisce about last year’s Owners’ party, and pop to the on-site Bar & Restaurant to catch up after a few weeks away. We’ve spotted our owners sharing sundowners on their deck together, and walking their dogs together. Here await the new best friends you have been missing!
With all that said, we thought it would be great to find out a little bit more about what drew them all together for a second life at Durdle Door.
- How long have you been an owner at Durdle Door Holiday Park?
Owner 1: We have owned a Holiday Home at Durdle Door since 2007 and this is our third Holiday Home here. We have stayed on the same plot since we first came, as we love facing the trees. Our Holiday Home truly is our second home as we love Durdle Door and Dorset.
Owner 2: My parents purchased their first Holiday Home at Durdle Door in 1969, a BK23 Popular, for the grand sum of £650 (my dad never threw anything away and we found the brochure with the price written on it, after he died). It’s been continuous since then. When mum died in 2000, I became joint owner with my dad. When my dad died last year, my wife and I took over ownership.
Owner 3: I purchased my first pre-loved Holiday Home in July 2017 as my sister and brother-in-law already owned a Holiday Home. When visiting them over a few weekends I realised what a great life it was to have your own place by the sea. I then bought a second Holiday Home in May 2018 to sublet, and upgraded my original Holiday Home to a new one in June 2018, moving to a plot overlooking Weymouth Bay and Portland.
Owner 4: We have now been on the site for 7 years. We were very fortunate to be able to move to a sea view pitch at the beginning of 2017. We purchased our very first Holiday Home in 1978 on the Norfolk Broads, and have owned homes since then both in the South of France and for 20 odd years in Swanage. But the children and the grandchildren think that Durdle Door sits at the top of the list. Roll on March 1st!
- How often do you come down?/ How long do you stay? E.g. The whole season? Every weekend?
Owner 1: We come down when we can. Usually about every third week, sometimes less, and stay for 1 week to 10 days. We visit a few pubs that are dog friendly, so it’s nice that the Man O’ War welcomes dogs. We don’t go in daily, but treat ourselves now and then.
Owner 2: When mum and dad had the Holiday Home, I came down every weekend and school holidays. Dad went back for work and left mum and I every school holiday. I used to work in the on-site shop, serving ice creams and drinks. Mum and dad came down regularly. I came down as often as I could, especially after getting married and having children of my own. Now, semi-retired, we try to get down every other weekend and the occasional full weeks.
Owner 3: I try to come down most weekends especially since cutting my working week down to 4 days and having a 3 day weekend. I also come down for longer during Bank Holidays and using some of my annual leave to stay longer, as we have now developed such a lovely circle of friends within the park.
Owner 4: As we only live 50 miles from Durdle Door, we try to come down as frequently as possible. Being retired has its positives! Although I must be honest, the children tend to be “in situ” through most of the school holidays. Being great cricket fans, we even commute between Dorset and Taunton for some of the home matches. One big plus over the past 12 months has been the Man O’ War Bar & Restaurant, it certainly means less need to go offsite looking for meals!
- Why did you choose Durdle Door for your holiday home?
Owner 1: We visited first by renting on Durdle Door hire fleet. We then decided it was the place for us, as it was quiet, no clubs, pools, etc, very peaceful and extremely dog friendly. That’s a must for us, as the dog is part of the family.
Owner 2: Mum, dad and I had a holiday in a family friend’s Holiday Home at Durdle Door. Mum and dad loved it so much they bought their own Holiday Home there the following year. It was done as a surprise for me.
Owner 3: Mainly due to visiting my sister and brother-in-law although I did holiday in the Weymouth area several times when both my boys were younger and visited Lulworth and Durdle Door. It wasn’t until visiting later in life that I fully appreciated what a beautiful coastline and county that Dorset was and now I just can’t get enough! The park and its staff are wonderful, it’s peaceful and well maintained and we are made to feel so welcome that we are part of the local community.
Owner 4: It was in March 2013 that we decided to purchase another Holiday Home. In honesty, we travelled to both Ridge/Arne and into Swanage looking at 3 or 4 other sites. When we eventually arrived at Durdle Door at about 3.30pm, it was already getting a little dark. We met Carole and Jackie, who gave us a map and the keys to 5 Holiday Homes. It was great because we looked on our own, no pressure. The first one we went in, a Swift Moselle, we fell in love with, and within 30 minutes we had agreed to purchase it, without bothering to look at any of the other 4. Both Carole and Jackie were absolutely bemused, but that’s us: See it, like it, Buy it! We moved in on Sunday 21st April, and we have never looked back. What is it about the Site? It’s the actual situation, the staff, the facilities, we are not ones for swimming pools and amusement arcades, nor are our children. Everyone on site is there for a similar reason. You can be as friendly as you wish. If you have a problem, you will always find someone to help you, be it staff or your neighbours.
- What advice would you give to a prospective new owner?
Owner 1: Firstly, stay for a week or two in a rented Holiday Home. Choose your Holiday Home wisely, as until you live in one, you suddenly may find, for example, there’s not enough room in the bedroom, or you prefer a certain type of furniture layout. Take your time and don’t rush, it’s a commitment, and one you want to enjoy for a long time. The owners we have met are lovely people. We don’t always go and socialize in the Man O’ War, as we love staying in our Holiday Home and visiting friends in the area also. But when we do visit the Man O’ War since it was refurbished, it’s been great.
Owner 2: Durdle Door is a quiet site with very friendly staff and other owners alike. It’s dog friendly too. If you want a peaceful holiday with lots of lovely walks and all that Dorset has to offer, Durdle Door is for you.
Owner 3: Ensure you pick the best caravan to suit your needs as well as your pocket and to pick your plot carefully thinking about trying to gain as much of the surrounding beauty that you can see from your caravan and its decking. There is nothing better than enjoying a nice sunny day relaxing outside listening to the birds singing with all of this fantastic scenery right on your doorstep. Think of the 15-year life of your new caravan as an investment in your lifestyle….There’s nothing better!
Owner 4: Go at it with your eyes open. It is an investment – in your leisure time, not a capital one. Always remember that. But the enjoyment you will get from being on site cannot be underestimated. So, as my uncle used to say, “You can’t take it with you”, and “You’re a long time dead”, mind you, I only had his word for that! We have certainly been made more than welcome, some owners have been on site for more than 30-40 years, I think that says it all. When we moved to the “front” as we call it, my wife’s cousin couldn’t get down here fast enough to buy the van we were vacating. Again, that says it all.