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Make time for Stoneleigh!

june blogWe’ve all got such busy lives these days. Even for those fortunate folk on park home sites who are lucky enough to be retired or semi-retired, there often never seems to be enough hours in the day to fit everything in.

So we’re all suckers for time-saving solutions, in whatever guises we find them. There can be no better way to save time, while keeping well informed, than to attend June’s upcoming World of Park & Leisure Homes Show, which takes place at Stoneleigh Park, in Warwickshire, from 8 to 11 June. If a ‘one-stop shop’ for existing and prospective park home owners existed, then the Stoneleigh Show would be it! This year’s event, which we’re dedicating more than 60 glorious pages of your issue to, promises to be bigger and better than ever! There’ll be a bumper crop of park homes and luxury lodges on display at the leafy Midlands showground, which is as near as you’re going to get to seeing these beautiful models in their ‘natural habitat’. The big plus point being that no park - no matter how impressive - will ever be able to show you that many new homes in one place.

But it isn’t just homes you’ll get to learn about. No, Stoneleigh will give you free and unfettered access to all the leading UK park operators, along with the industry’s premier suppliers and services. Don’t forget to drop in on the friendly Park Home & Holiday Caravan team at the show either! We’ll be out in force at our usual stand right by the show’s entrance. The first reader to buy me a nice cup of black coffee gets a free, signed copy of this issue!

To raise your excitement levels even further - if you dare! - turn to page 117 and let your World of Park & Leisure Homes Show journey begin with our easy-to-use showguide.

Away from the fervour and hubbub of Stoneleigh though, we’ve got lots more to celebrate from the world of park homes this June!

We’re off to Gloucestershire and Bedfordshire to profile a brace of exciting parks from the Turners Parks Group and the Charles Simpson Organisation respectively (turn to page 14). On the legal front, we’ve got another absorbing issue under the microscope from the Leasehold Advisory Service’s expert team of solicitors.

One not to miss!
Enjoy the issue

june cover125AlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 June 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our great reader offer of 6 FREE ‘Sweet Aperitif’ Tomato Plants worth £9.58 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!

Free to learn new things!

May BlogOne of the many great things about the park home lifestyle is the freedom it can afford. By downsizing and getting access to that all-important extra equity, many park home converts are able to retire, or scale back their hours, and spend more time on the important things in life like family, holidays and relaxation.

While all of those things make our lives special, there should always be scope to better the mind, body and spirit. With spring now upon us, it’s the ideal time to take up a new hobby or make time for an old, perhaps long-neglected, favourite.

It’s in that spirit that - on top of some fantastic park profiles, home reviews, legal help and home improvement tips - we’re bringing you lots of fascinating lifestyle features in your all-action May issue!

First up, we’ve got a new feature and a new writer to shout about! The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds’ Jenny Shelton has joined the PH&HC team. Each month expert twitcher Jenny will offer great advice and top tips for attracting more garden birds to your plot, as well as recommending great products and kit to help with the job. Turn to page 24 for your first installment!

After you’ve scrubbed out the bird table and stocked up on nyjer seeds, I expect you’ll want a break? No such luck, I’m afraid! Next, we’re turning the spotlight on exercise, examining just how you can keep in trim, stimulate the old grey matter and maybe even get a little spiritual in the process. From yoga and tai chi to massage and meditation, we reveal how partaking of a little moderate exercise can help you to enjoy your park home retirement years to the maximum (see page 51).

It’s not just the body that needs the occasional workout though... The muscle of the mind also needs a bit of a cerebral flexing once in a while too! If you’re a puzzler, you’ll love our new Sudoku teasers (see page 86). Addled by early mornings spent changing a toddler’s nappy and midnight sessions supping strong real ale, I’ll confess that these brain-training grids have me stumped but I’m sure our erudite readership will make short work of them! As if that wasn’t enough, our intrepid cartoon park homers, Ted and Tilly, are also busy solving more DIY and garden-related conundrums for you this month (see page 86). This Tingdene Homes’ sponsored strip is meant to provide inspiration, as well as advice, for those enjoying this wonderful lifestyle. Enjoy!

May coverAlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 May 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our great reader offer of 48 FREE English Lavenders worth £32 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!

The perfect start!

april blog‘We’re absolute beginners,’ crooned the late, great David Bowie on one of his most popular and arresting hit songs. While the androgynous artist may not have had park homes on his mind when he penned these lyrics, he was right about one thing: when it comes to learning about something new, nothing’s easy.

Dipping a maiden toe into the previously uncharted waters of mobile home living can, therefore, be both exciting and daunting. Let’s face it: when you’re out of your comfort zone, you can sometimes need a bit of a helping hand. That’s why we’re refreshing and rebooting our popular Beginners’ Guide to Park Home Living for 2017. Our comprehensive 32-page guide, kindly sponsored once more by Tingdene Parks, boasts an Aladdin’s Cave of essential information for the uninitiated... as well as plenty of pointers, real life stories and advice for those who already live the dream on a UK park site. Turn to page 47 and let the fun begin. You never know, your ‘golden years’ may be just about to begin!

For those after help and advice on day-to-day park home matters, don’t fret - we’ve got that well and truly covered, too!

We’ve got a fantastic piece on dewinterizing your park home and getting it ready for the spring and summer months ahead. Now that the worst excesses of cold appear to have disappeared, we’re all probably safe to turn off, or at least turn down, the thermostats on our central heating systems, and plan for kinder, more clement seasons. (If you were unsure, or wavering, Npower and British Gas’s proposed fuel bill hikes have probably made the final decision for you anyway!) Turn to page 79 for all our expert tips!

Many park home residents’ minds also start to turn to their annual pitch fee increases at this time of year, too. With Retail Prices Index (RPI) figures on something of an alarming rise, there’s never been a better time to ensure you fully understand how these increases are calculated and when they can be applied. The Leasehold Advisory Service’s specialist park homes team lend their time and expertise to this specialist issue on page 107.

Finally, we’ve also brought you lots more new homes to inspect and great parks to explore. Enjoy this cracker of an issue!

AprilcoverAlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 April 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our great reader offer of 9 FREE Hardy Fuchsias worth £20 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!

Easy as ABC at the NEC!

march-blogAhead of the hotly anticipated Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show, which takes place at Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre (NEC), from 21 to 26 February, we’ve got a very special March issue that will whet your appetite for all things show-related!

As well as an indispensible show preview that details everything you’ll ever need to know to help you prepare for this bacchanalian mid-winter orgy of outdoor living, we also offer you a fun run-through of all the best homes, parks and related specialist suppliers and services at the event (turn to page 42). What could be better than that?

Among the parks featured in our show special, we turn the spotlight on luminaries like Sunningdale and Peaklands parks, both in Derbyshire. These stunning parks occupy enviable locations very close to the NEC. They both boast representatives at the show and both have fabulous new homes for sale. Why not pop along to the event and find out more?

You could even visit both sites, along with the scores of other park options with a presence at the NEC, while you’re there!

Away from the bright lights and delights of Birmingham’s finest indoor exhibition arena, look out for park stories on blue riband sites in Cumbria, Gloucestershire, Cheshire and Cambridgeshire (from page 10).

We’ve also got a fascinating company profile on David Light Park Homes - a long established and well respected park operator that has been making a concerted expansion effort in recent months. The company is now one of the UK’s largest residential park home owners with a whopping 34 sites in its burgeoning portfolio. Find out the secrets to the company’s success on page 26!

If you want brand new homes, along with information on the best places to find them sited, look no further than your March issue either. This month, we run the rule over the Wessex Cranborne, Homeseeker Seascape and Pathfinder’s fantastic new show-stopper, the Stockholm (from page 28).

We’ve also stuffed our issue with legal help, as we know how much you value it. Don’t miss Neil Miller’s top ten tips for buying a home (page 86), or LEASE’s advice on utility charging (page 91).

march coverAlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 March 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our reader offer of 35 FREE snowdrops worth £21 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!

North country exploits

feb-blogThere are a couple of really exciting shows that take place at this time of year: the Caravan and Motorhome Show, from Manchester’s Event City, which will be happening as you read this magazine; and February’s Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show at the SECC. It’s with these hotly-anticipated events very much in mind that we’ve curated an issue that’s full of northern soul...

We’ve scoured the north of England and Scotland for the region’s premier residential and holiday park options for your delectation. I hope you’ll agree that we’ve managed to unearth some real pearlers! Whether you’re looking for a picturesque park in the heart of the Lake District, a community site close to the M6 and its major cities, or a relaxing country retreat north of the border, your February edition has the answers. Turn to page 26 to begin your intrepid expedition!

But it’s not just those who’re after the north country that we’re catering for... We’ve also brought you two superb sites in the often underrated county of Shropshire. Did you know that Shropshire is England’s least densely populated county? If you’re after an escape from the rat race and the worst excesses of the ‘modern’ world, our duo of park choices are sure to get your juices flowing (see page 10).

Finally, let’s not forget the magical homes that make the UK’s parks such enticing places. This month we take you on a tour of three select models from Pathfinder, Stately-Albion and relative newcomers, Sovereign. We also get the lowdown on fellow newboys, Red Rose.

Turn to page 60, put the kettle on and enjoy a cuppa while you’re perusing our reviews and profiles and imagine yourself relaxing in one of these super spaces!
There’s plenty there to quicken the pulse and get the heart racing so, to temper all that excitement, we’ve also got some great legal help and advice to ensure you’re correctly clued up.

The Leasehold Advisory Service’s Antony Tregenna explains exactly how to go about forming a Qualifying Residents’ Association - there’s more to it than you might think - and then outlines how you can get your association formally recognised by your site owner (see page 98). Fascinating stuff!

Enjoy the issue!

Feb-coveAlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 February 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our reader offer of a FREE Potato Growing Kit worth a whopping £23 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!

In with the new...

january blogThe dawning of a new year often brings renewed hope and anticipation for the forthcoming 12 months. I know it’s just an arbitrarily defined date but there’s something about starting anew that galvanizes us into tackling new projects, trying new things or simply addressing long-standing problems. Instead of making hard-to-achieve New Year’s Resolutions that founder within the first few months of 2017, turn to page 51 and read our all-new Suppliers and Services Directory instead! Our comprehensive directory is bigger and better than ever and lists experienced, trustworthy and reliable specialists in many a park home field. These include refurbishment companies, decking and verandah fitters, insurance providers, part-exchange firms and many more.

So, if you spent the lion’s share of 2016 procrastinating over whether to get your park home’s exterior reclad, pondering the best way to replace your ailing garden shed or simply umming and ahhing over who to choose to redecorate your living room - stop right there! Our directory has all the answers you’ll ever need!

But it’s not just our homes and gardens that need maintaining, protecting, updating or overhauling. No, we have to think about bank balances sometimes, too. If you are contemplating living la dolce vita on one of the UK’s premier parks, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge than now. Our special feature examines the landscape of post-Brexit vote Britain and, intriugingly, concludes that park living could see you on the side of the victors. Turn to page 99 to find out why, and how you could benefit.  

As well as this, we visit two award-winning parks and get the lowdown from some fantastic people on what it is that makes a park’s social scene special.

Teena Ettridge scooped our inaugural Park Warden of the Year award for her sterling endeavours on Takeley Park, in Hertfordshire (see page 24). Teena tells us all about how she helps the park’s social club committee have more fun, on and off the site! We also travel to Staffordshire to meet big-hearted Peter Blakeway, chairman of Lower Lodge Park’s residents’ association (see page 10). He, too, has won a new PH&HC award: Resident of the Year 2016. This modest and unassuming chap doesn’t think it, but he’s a real park champion and we reveal how inside.

Enjoy the issue!

JanCoverAlexAlex Melvin




Alex Melvin, Editor

 January 2017 - buy it here

PS: Don’t miss our reader offer of 20 FREE Perennials worth a whopping £35 plus a great magazine subscription offer if you subscribe for 12 months!