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50 years at top Devon touring site


From one field at a farm to a sprawling complex for touring motorhomes and caravans

It was exactly 50 years ago that brothers Redvers and Denzil Rice set up a limited company in their own names. The initial business was farming, but within ten years Stowford had set itself up as a touring park, taking full advantage of a Devon Council Structure Plan that had identified a need for a Touring, Caravan and Camping Park in the area. It was Winston Rice, Redvers’ son, who was the driving force behind Stowford becoming the multiple award-winning touring site that it is today. The first task was widening of the approach road to the farm, so that motorhomes and caravans could make the approach easily. It wasn’t until 1978 that the actual touring park opened with one field, an amenities block and a holiday shop. A take-away and The Old Stable Bar soon followed and the site was up and running. A scant three years later, two more fields were opened up and later in the 80s work started on an indoor swimming pool.

This was only a taste of what was to come, as the next round of expansion in 1996 saw the addition of a further 70 acres of woodland with the inclusion of over three and half miles of walkways for the campers. Another touring field was added in 2002 complete with winter-proof amenities block, and the entire site stayed open all year for the first time. Now things were really moving and the Stowford Caravan Centre retail outlet was added in 2004 and work started on Stowford Farm Country Lodges in 2005. Sales arrived in the form of Stowford South Wales, selling new and used motorhomes and caravans from 2011 and in 2014, Stowford even began production of its own VW campervan conversions.

Today, Stowford Farm hosts restaurants, bars, an indoor swimming pool, take-aways, shops and even an NCC-approved workshop.

Field 3 was added at a later dateWinston Rice today still oversees the operation and said: “I never dreamed, when we set out on this amazing journey, that Stowford Farm Meadows would develop into what it’s become today. It’s been hard work, but always enjoyable, and the fact that we’ve given so many happy camping and caravanning memories to hundreds of thousands of people is what really makes it all worthwhile. To be in business and still thriving after 50 years is an almighty achievement.”

For more information, call 01271 882476 or visit stowford.co.uk.

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18/03/2015 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

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