Benefits of Buying a Park Home - Finding Your Dream Home
Words by Val Chapman
If you’ve ever wondered what park home life is really like, let me take you on a little journey of exploration – if only on paper.
First, finding your dream home. In the course of making Park and Holiday Home Inspiration magazines, I visit a lot of parks and explore a lot of park homes – some on parks as show homes, some at exhibitions, some at manufacturers’ own showgrounds.
The most striking thing I bring home from those visits is the instant appeal of every park home I step inside. Because they’re complete with kitchens and bathrooms and décor and furnishings – even cushions and light fittings, you can instantly see exactly how that home looks as a place to make yourself at home.
No doubts, no imagination needed; it’s all there. And if that particular home doesn’t match your taste, you can soon find one that does. And it gets better. Because several manufacturers offer you the opportunity to specify your fixtures, fittings, colours – everything down to door handles.
I’ve been exploring the world of options on your behalf for this issue. And I’ve discovered that, if you really want to, you can think of a park home as a blank canvas, just as you would if you were to go for a newly built bricks and mortar home.
The key difference is that picking your options for a park home is a lot easier – you have the help and support of design experts from the manufacturing team. That’s rather better than having to trawl the internet and the entire home retail spectrum for ideas.
Or, you could just go with the interior design created by the manufacturer’s experts; take it from me, they’re all gorgeous, in differing styles and characters.
Several manufacturers have their own showgrounds. Among them are Tingdene, Omar, Wessex, Prestige Homeseeker and Willerby.
Arguably the best arena in which to find your dream home is a show, though; all the major manufacturers are there in one place – and one of the best annual events is right in the centre of the country, in the parkland setting of Stoneleigh in Warwickshire.
This park earned its fame as the home of the Royal Show, which was the pinnacle of the year for the farming industry, and a great day out whether or not you had any connections with agriculture. Bowler hats would be worn (yes, really!), elegant dresses were bought for the occasion and an air of sophistication prevailed.
The last Royal Show was in 2009 – but the air of sophistication is mirrored, now, by the stunning park homes on display at the World of Park and Leisure Homes Show (scheduled for 10-13 June 2021). Go there, if you can, and see for yourself. (You won’t see bowler hats, though!)
While you’re enjoying browsing from home to home in this delightful parkland setting, I’d recommend you keep in mind one of the most important benefits of park home living – aside from the beautiful homes, that is. Park home estates are home to people of a similar age, enjoying retirement or semi-retirement.
They’ve got time to talk to each other, time to make friends. That’s why park home estates have a welcoming sense of community that you don’t find in any other living environment. For many, it’s why to buy a park home! The community aspect is greater at some parks than others, as you’d expect. At some parks, residents organise outings. One example is in Cheshire; that’s Ashwood Park, near Northwich.
Residents of this park organise coach trips to the coast and to markets several times a year.
At Killarney Park, seven miles from Nottingham, there’s a clubhouse with a bar, a place to meet up with neighbours. Activities are arranged throughout the year.
Examples are arts and crafts classes, exercise clubs, pétanque, darts and birdwatching. In addition, supper evenings, lunch clubs and coffee mornings are held. Another park in the Killarney group, Willow Park, at Calverton, also in Nottinghamshire, has an allotment where residents can grow vegetables.
And in Berkshire, at Warfield Park just outside Bracknell, there’s a community centre, where residents organise activities and clubs. So, park home living has a lot of advantages!