Photograph by Martin Parr
Several years ago we predicted a return the old fashioned UK based holidays of our childhood (we didn’t write the Womens Room then, so you'll have to trust us on this one!) In fact we felt so strongly about it that we went ahead and bought a caravan by the sea. Put aside your preconceived ideas of row upon row of souless metal boxes on wheels and naff evening entertainment. We are talking two bedroomed mobile home with a deck overlooking the sea, steps to the beach and a private garden featuring its very own tree house. Ok the decor is hideous and the beds were a little uncomfortable, but nothing a few crochet throws and a new mattress didn’t sort out. We have enjoyed five years of blissful summers doing all the things we can't do in London. Walking in the woods, cycling for miles, BBQing on the beach, skinny dipping (the kids not me) and simply doing not very much at all.
We love holidays in the UK and it seems other people do too. Despite the recession, the holiday camp operator Pontins seem to be flourishing. They announced this week that bookings this year are up by 30% and that key periods such as Easer and Summer are nearly sold out. They also said that they have plans to create 2,000 new jobs, as it seems many people are not planning to travel abroad because of the weakening pound.
Having once spent a weekend at a children’s chess competition at Pontins, Middleagedad described it as a cross between Prisoner Cell Block H and Carry on Camping, so we are not sure it's for us. But if you have fond memories of 1970's holiday camps in the UK, take a look at photographer John Hindes book Our True Intent Is All for Your Delight: It features pictures taken during his time as staff photographer at a Butlins holiday camp during the seventies. It's a wonderful mix of kitsch ballrooms and bars and heart-warming nostalgic images of the Great British public on holiday.
We will be spending a lot of time at 'the van' this year and will also be looking out for any great UK camp sites, caravan parks and cheaper hotels we think you might like. Let us know if you have any favourites. Or maybe we could arrange some Womens Room house swaps! Anyone up for two weeks in a eclectic terraced house in North London?