What your annual ground rent covers

What Your Ground Rent Covers

Annual Ground Rent (Plot Fee)

The annual fee paid to the park owner is to cover the many costs incurred in order to keep the park and its facilities safely maintained for the benefit of park home owners and visitors. This includes not only the provision of water and mains drainage to each plot but also the maintenance of the grounds, roads, communal lighting and fire and security equipment – all at the required standards.

Facilities provided by the parks vary – your annual plot fee also includes the cost to maintain all of the outdoor and indoor leisure facilities. Outdoor facilities can include a swimming pool (some with a lifeguard during peak season), a jacuzzi, sports pitches for football, tennis, badminton, basketball, petanque and table tennis and most parks also have an outdoor play area for children. Indoor facilities can include a gym, club house, laundrette, play room or library.

All parks will have a reception area – the need for more staff will depend on whether or not the park has a bar, restaurant, take away or shop (many have all of these). Some parks also provide evening entertainment and run a Kid’s Club during the summer months. Most parks will also have the benefit of permanent staff so that you can visit your home at any time of the year.

There will be no local council tax to be paid on your home and many parks allow home owners to sublet – an opportunity to offset the additional income against part or all of the cost of the annual plot fee.

Summary of typical services included (vary for each park)

Facilities

  • swimming pool

  • sports courts / leisure facilities

  • children’s play area

  • entertainment

  • reception service

Site maintenance

  • outdoor lighting

  • roads and access maintenance

Services

  • refuse collection

  • site security

Utilities

  • connection to drainage/sewerage

  • connection to water supply (Generally metered for usage so you only pay for what you use)

  • connection to electricity (Generally metered for usage so you only pay for what you use)

Things to do in Crete this February

Things to do in Crete over a rocky ocean image

There’s no doubt some winter sun is a great way of recharging your batteries. And what better place to enjoy a break or even to think about relocating abroad than Crete? This stunningly beautiful island in the Eastern Mediterranean is a land of myths and legends with miles of white sandy beaches and breathtaking mountain scenery. Said to be the birthplace of Zeus and home to the fabled Minotaur, there’s so much to see and do throughout the year you’ll never want to leave!

Why you need to be in Crete in February

If you want to explore this beautiful island in peace, then February is the perfect time to rent holiday homes or static caravans as a base while you get out and about as many parks remain open all year round. Out of season you’ll pay much less for your accommodation and avoid the crowds for a truly personalised experience. You’ll experience all the sights and sounds of Crete without the crowds for truly relaxing days.

You may need to pack a rain jacket and you could experience some truly incredible thunderstorms over the island, but a few days of wet weather are a small price to pay for the experience of absolute peace and tranquillity. And with high temperatures up to 16 C, you’ll enjoy some sunny afternoons lazing on the gorgeous beaches! If you love wave sports, then the winter is the best time to catch some surf at Falassarna where the waves can hit three metres and more.

Enjoy unique experiences

February is a wonderful time to explore the hinterland of this magical island, and there’s some superb hiking and cycling country to explore. It’s worth hiking into the hills to see the amazing displays of wildflowers and enjoy the intoxicating scent of the wild narcissus. Temperatures are ideal for exploring the ancient trails or even enjoying some winter sports as the magnificent Cretan mountains sparkle with snow throughout the winter.

If you want to experience the unique Cretan way of life then February is the ideal time to do it. Enjoy the sights and sounds of a traditional olive harvest. Visit a rakokazana to enjoy the new season’s raki or enjoy the competition between the many bars and cafes to create the best hot chocolate! If you love birding then you’ll fall in love with the dawn chorus as the almond trees come alive with the song of blue tits, chaffinches and goldfinches.

Unmissable attractions

No visit to Crete is complete without a visit to the historical and cultural treasures of this dazzling island. Knossos is the most famous Minoan site and is the home of the palace of King Minos and rumoured site of the Minotaur’s labyrinth. A little further away are the impressive sites of Phaistos and Agía Triáda where discoveries dating from Neolithic to Roman times have been found. Enjoy it all without the crowds and heat.

Best of all is the Mardi Gras parade in Rethymnon, an unmissable procession of incredible carnival floats to celebrate the end of Lent and the arrival of Easter. This is Crete at its very best and the sights, sounds, smells and incredible food are simply unmissable. To see the real Crete book holiday lodges now and soak up the atmosphere!

Bargain loving Brits – Featuring Saydo Park

Saydo Park - Mollina

Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun is back tomorrow (Thursday 31st January) on Channel 5 at 8pm!

This series will feature Saydo Park and Caravans in the Sun’s representative at Saydo Park – Bambi Dhami.

Bambi came to Mainland Spain to view Saydo Park, and immediately fell in love with the park and life style. Bambi then made the move in September 2016 and spent a year settling in before started work with Caravans in the Sun.

A POPULAR series charting the lives of Britons who swapped high UK price for a new, cheaper life on the Costa del Sol is back for its fourth season.

It’s on every Thursday at 8pm for six episodes of shining a spotlight on the many expatriates who choose Spain to pursue a low-cost lifestyle.

#Bargainlovingbrits #channel5 #bargain

There’s more to Pisa than the leaning tower! Top tourist attractions to see.

pisa

Are you dreaming of spending the miserable winter months in romantic and vibrant Italy? It’s the ideal time to see everything that this beautiful country has to offer, without the crowds. And whether you rent a holiday home or mobile home with low ground rent, there’s so much to see you may want to move in all year round.

Another advantage of off-season Italy is the opportunity to really explore some of its iconic places. Take Pisa – there’s so much more to this beautiful town and area than just the tower. So whether you visit in winter or at any other time of year, here are the unmissable attractions that aren’t the fairytale leaning tower!

Explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta

In fact, the famous leaning tower is really the bell tower of the beautiful Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta. This visually stunning basilica is built from the local white marble and has a fairytale facade with unmissable bronze doors. The Porta di San Ranieri is embellished with scenes from the life of Christ and is just unmissable.

Standing a little further away is the baptistry with its distinctive red-tiled onion dome which stands on a series of pillars and columns. Inside, the acoustics are extraordinary and the font with its portraits of the saints is a must see.

Enjoy the world-class museums

You might be considering the off season in Spain or Portugal but Pisa is incredibly easy to get to and lies at the heart of the incredible region of Tuscany. Packed with cultural treasures, the Cathedral Museum and the National Museum are both world class. You’ll instantly recognise the bust of Julius Caesar as the most common depiction of the Roman emperor.

The National Museum may not quite beat the Louvre in Paris, France but it has some exquisite illuminated manuscripts dating back to the 12th century. And both museums have astounding views over the town and the leaning tower.

See the real Pisa

At night Pisa is all about the many beautiful palazzos and the riverside walk to the south of town. Grab a gelato and join the crowds taking in sights like the old arsenal at the Torre Guelfa and the Piazza dei Cavalieri, home to Italy’s top university.

You won’t want to miss the best restaurants, either. Seafood is often the dish of the day thanks to Pisa’s coastal roots. That means spanking fresh seafood like oysters and crustaceans. For something more earthy, this region also boasts some wonderful game dishes.

Caravans flock here in the summer and no wonder – the banks of the Arno river become one big outdoor party with microbrewery beers, cocktails and a fabulous aperitivo buffet, while DJs spin banging tunes and bars stay open until 3am. Not your scene? Then opt for a trip to the walled town of Lucca or the majesty of Florence. Or escape to the coast at Viareggio to enjoy some of Italy’s very best beaches.

Head to Italy

Don’t follow the crowds to Portugal and France. Head for Italy in any season and there’s so much to explore, especially when you look beyond the tourist attractions to the real Italy. There’s so much more to Pisa than the leaning tower and any time is the best time to enjoy it!

Where to spend winter in Italy

Rapallo Luguria Italy

What could be more romantic than spending winter in Italy? Once the tourists have gone home, you can pick your ideal holiday home or long stay mobile home with a low ground rent. Caravans will find plenty of good quality campsites with year-round pitches. The weather may be better in Spain or Portugal, but they can’t match the stunning architectural treasures of Rome. And it might be nice in Nice, but Livorno can match anything that France has to offer.

There’s so much to love about off-season Italy – the winter sports, the festivals and carnivals, the lack of crowds and the time to linger over its treasures – but where are the best places to stay?

Make the most of Tuscany
For most travellers, Tuscany is synonymous with Italy, but the best way to discover the real heart of this beautiful region is during the winter. The landscape turns a lush green and the rolling hills are host to wild boar and deer. It’s a stunning place to relax and enjoy trips to world-famous vineyards where you’ll have time to linger or to take long lunches of local winter delicacies.

The weather is cool and often damp, so pack a brolly and some wellies. But the opportunity to spend time exploring such jewels as Pisa and Florence without the crowds is well worth braving the occasional shower. For a taste of medieval Italy, Sienna, with its UNESCO world heritage status, is absolutely unmissable.

Winter on the coast
With over 9,000 km of coastline, Italy has plenty of beautiful places to spend the winter at the beach, from the stunning Amalfi coast with the scent of lemons in the air to the Italian Riviera on the Ligurian coast, stretching between the south of France and Tuscany.

Here beautiful and lively seaside towns make the perfect backdrop for a winter stay. Explore the fortresses, canals and Medici port of Livorno before relaxing with an aperitivo and watching the incredible sunset. Lucca is picture postcard perfect with its red roofs and pedestrianised alleyways packed with charming cafes and the most delicious food. Viareggio has golden sandy beaches, a wonderful seafront promenade and hosts one of the most incredible carnivals in Italy in February. Truly a magical spot to avoid the winter blues!

The Eternal City
Rome is a perpetual favourite with travellers and the opportunity to explore without crowds is not to be missed. Overwinter in Rome and enjoy Christmas celebrations in the Vatican City, the Colosseum without crowds and some of the best January sales shopping in the world, where you can snag a designer bargain or two. Rome puts on a different face in winter, with crisp blue skies and plenty of winter sunshine. It’s the ideal time to explore one of the world’s greatest cities without the queues and to feast on the winter bounty in some of the world’s best restaurants!

Why you need to spend winter in Italy
Cheaper, less crowded but still as lively, winter in Italy is a wonderful time of year to explore without the tourists. So why not book an affordable holiday home or look for a mobile home with low ground rent and enjoy living in Italy like a local – who knows, you may never want to leave!

Take a look at the mobile homes we have available in Toscan, Italy – https://bit.ly/2RrX6rn

Try these storage tips to maximise space in your mobile home

CITS Homes 3

Is space an issue? If you have a holiday home in Spain or France or even a mobile home in Italy or Portugal, the answer is likely to be no. But when it comes to caravans, the ability to maximise the available space becomes more of an issue – especially if you’re planning a family holiday around Europe!

If you’re already wondering exactly how you’ll fit everything into your mobile home, then here’s how to stow away the essentials and still have room for a few of life’s luxuries.

Plan to pack

If you have a tendency to overpack, getting serious about list making could be the way forward. Remember that you’re not going to the back end of beyond and that most campsites have an onsite shop and are located within easy reach of local facilities so you don’t need to pack everything but the kitchen sink! Make a list of essentials and then whittle it down.

Hang it up

Hooks and hanging racks are invaluable when you’re trying to save space. Hooks can be used to hang literally anything, from cooking essentials to clothes and food. Invest in hanging shoe racks and stuff the pockets with everything from tins to toothpaste and don’t forget to use the ceiling space to hang anything from brooms and mops to wardrobes.

Tackle unused space

Installing shelves at head height is a smart way to use up space that would otherwise go unused. Make sure you buy nesting, stacking and collapsible bowls, cooking utensils and storage boxes so you always maximise space when things are stored away. Don’t forget to make the most of the backs of doors – they’re ideal for hanging coat hooks or shoe bags to tidy away and clutter.

Take a look around your caravan and you’ll be sure to find extra storage space you hadn’t thought of before. Under the bed is always a great place to start!

Organise your kitchen

Most of the equipment you’ll be taking is for day to day living, so getting your kitchen organised makes sense. Try installing a pegboard to hold useful but hard to store items like tin openers and corkscrews and install a fruit hammock overhead for storing your fresh fruit and vegetable securely when you’re on the road.

An over-door bin may need emptying more often, but it’ll be hidden out of sight without taking up too much precious storage space. A magnetic strip holder is the perfect place to store your kitchen knives so they’re always within arms reach – just make sure you store them out of the reach of toddlers!

Liberate your living space

If you’re touring through Spain and Portugal during the summer the chances are you won’t be inside your mobile home all that much. But when bad weather forces you inside it pays to be prepared. Install a folding table for mealtimes and board games when the rain hits, and make sure you have everything securely stowed in storage cubes – either keep all coats, boots or jumpers together or give each member of the family their own cube to keep tidy.

If you still need extra space, think about investing in an awning. That way you’ll create more sheltered outside space so you can enjoy some luxurious living room.

Video Tour – 2019 Willerby Avonmore

Take a look at the stunning Willerby Avonmore available in various sizes and locations.
Prices starting from £34,995.00
The Avonmore is premium without the price tag. Combining distinctive decor, select elements of the Simply Better Build feature set and a great deluxe pack, the Avonmore represents fantastic value for money.
 
France, Brittany – https://bit.ly/2STgmu2
France, Saint Valery – https://bit.ly/2QCDaBy
Spain, Costa De La Luz – https://bit.ly/2PEZMwd
Spain, Costa Del Sol – https://bit.ly/2PJeZfs
More locations available, contact our team to find out more on UK Freephone: 0800 644 4546

Portuguese traditions to experience this Christmas

christmas beach

Looking for last minute inspiration for your Christmas holidays? Or do you already have a holiday home in Portugal or Spain? If you’re used to a traditional English Christmas then the way they do things in Portugal couldn’t be more different. So if you’re looking for a way to experience the holidays from a fresh perspective, why not book a mobile home in Portugal and experience Christmas with a difference?

It’s all about Christmas Eve

Like other countries in Europe including France and Italy, the big celebration takes place on Christmas Eve. That’s when Portuguese families gather around the tree and the traditional creche to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

A strongly Catholic country, Portugal puts Jesus firmly at the heart of the celebrations and children believe he delivers their presents – though they’re delivered by Pai Natal (Father Christmas) and left in shoes rather than stockings. Everyone goes to the Midnight Mass and you may find there’s a huge bonfire around which to gather and wish your neighbours “Feliz Natal”.

Enjoy the Consoada

When you’re tucking into your turkey in the UK, the Portuguese will already have feasted on their Christmas dinner. The traditional dish is salt cod boiled with potatoes and cabbage, but many families follow this with delicacies like shellfish and game.

Then it’s time for dessert! Like the famous Provencal tradition of the 13 desserts, the Portuguese love to lay a table with dried fruit and nuts, Bolo-rei or King Cake, similar to an Italian Panettone; Filhoses, a deep fried sweet pastry sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and the most popular of all, Rabanadas, a delicious type of French toast.

But just like in the UK, the day after the feast is all about the leftovers. In Portugal they’re known as roupas velhas or old clothes, but the dish of salt cod, potato and greens is far more tasty than it sounds.

Stunning nativities

Of course, this stunning Iberian country is wonderful at all times of year, but at Christmas, it has a special sparkle. Everywhere there are nativities – in fact, the town of São Paio de Oleiros held the largest mobile nativity scene in the world, thus entering the Guinness Book of Records in 2012. You can follow the Route of the Nativities right down the coast and enjoy the efforts of thousands of volunteers. Why not buy a nativity as a souvenir and introduce it as part of your Christmas festivities in the UK or your holiday home?

Create new traditions

The Portuguese love to create the same sparkle and glitter as we do in the UK with festive light displays. Christmas carols are also extremely popular. But if you want to create some new traditions, a holiday home in the sun could be just the place to put a sunny spin on the festivities.

There’s so much to explore, and with winter temperatures rarely dropping below 10 degrees, why not join the Portuguese locals on the beaches of Nazare or Peniche where the surf is some of the best in the world? There are plenty of sites for caravans and mobile homes from which to explore the beauties of Portugal – perhaps a Boxing Day trip to Porto to taste its classic fortified wines will become your new Christmas tradition?

Things that every holiday maker must do in Italy

Holiday exploring

If you think you’ve been to Italy, think again. Whether you’re popping across the border from your mobile home in France or looking for a holiday home in this beautiful country, Italy never disappoints. But there’s so much more to see than the big hitting tourist hotspots like Rome, Venice and Florence.

Head for hidden Puglia
Right down in the heel of the country, this stunning region has so much to explore. Gothic cathedrals sit side by side with neolithic tombs, and the coastline is breathtaking. Architectural gems like Ostuni, the White City, and Lecce, with its brilliant baroque architecture, plus Alberobello with its circular houses known as trulli, are all well worth a visit. Head for Puglia in the spring or autumn to avoid the intense heat of summer, and don’t miss gorgeous port towns like Otranto and Gallipoli.

Feast in Emilia-Romagna
All foodies will want to make a beeline for Bologna, the capital of the region that is a food lover’s dream. From the delicious hams of Parma to the balsamic vinegar of Modena, by way of outstanding wines, Parmesan cheese and iconic pasta dishes, Emilia-Romagna has it all. There are plenty of food festivals celebrating everything this region has to offer, but don’t miss Bologna – the oldest university city in Italy, with its buzzing nightlife and a cool vibe – and the Sentiero Delle Foreste Sacre in the Apennines, where St Francis would walk and meditate.

Explore the great outdoors in the Majella National Park
Europe’s largest protected natural wilderness is a place of stunning wildflowers, breathtaking mountain landscapes and endless hospitality. The cuisine is as big-hearted as the welcome, but there are 500 km of walking trails to exercise it off. Rich in ancient history and alive with flora and fauna, this is the ideal place to escape from the crowds and relax.

Strike out for the islands
From volcanic mud baths in the Aeolian islands to mountain biking in Sardinia, Italy’s islands should be high on your must-visit list. From the show-stopping sight of active volcano Stromboli to the ancient Roman roads and unspoiled landscapes of cork and ilex forests, there’s plenty to enjoy when you go offshore.

March into le Marche
If you’ve ‘done’ Tuscany but love the vibe, head for the undiscovered le Marche, one of Italy’s great secrets. Feast on the local speciality of strozzapreti – priest strangler – noodles, washed down with fragrant white wine, and explore the UNESCO world heritage site of Urbino. This magnificent hill top walled city is the match of anywhere in the country. Head to the tiny village of Acqualagna in October for the truffle fair, and taste the peerless white truffles on everything from pasta to risotto.

Whether you want to spoil yourself with a short break or you’re looking for your dream holiday home, Italy is the ideal destination. Luxury caravans are the affordable way to enjoy more of the unspoiled countryside of Italy, Spain or Portugal because you’re in the heart of the country, where hotel-based holidaymakers rarely venture. So whether you want to trek the fearsome iron ways across the Dolomites, enjoy the tranquil splendour of the Italian lakes or chill out on some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world, your mobile home makes the ideal base.

Try these dishes whilst travelling in your Tuscan caravan

Toscana Cover Image

One of the great pleasures of owning a caravan in Tuscany is the opportunity to enjoy some of Italy’s best food. These unmissable dishes are top of any foodie’s must eat wishlist. And while some of them might make you squirm – cow’s stomach sandwich, anyone? – most of them will leave you coming back for more.

Go on a truffle hunt

Every visitor to Tuscany has the enchanting village of San Miniato on their To Do List. But the advantage of visiting a region out of season is getting to do the things the locals do – and in October, that means truffle hunting. Shave nuggets of this culinary marvel over pasta or an omelette – and don’t miss the annual truffle hunting festival.

Enjoy an aperitivi in Florence
The Italians love the ritual of pre-dinner drinks, so don’t miss the evening passeggeri at 7pm in the heart of Florence’s old city. Enjoy an appetiser buffet of Tuscan classics like Crostini Toscani with chicken liver pate and panzanella, a bread, tomato and onion salad dressed with good olive oil.

Then for dinner, try the iconic bistecca alla fiorentina – a chargrilled T-bone steak from the local Chianina cattle. Each thick steak weighs in at around 2 kgs and comes cooked black and blue – don’t ask for it well done or you’ll be turned out of the restaurant!

Feast on local pasta
The Tuscans have a way of conjuring flavour from just about anything. Soups like pomodoro (tomatoes, bread and basil) and vegetable-packed ribollita with its beans and cabbage are classics, while the region has a wide range of different and unique pasta dishes.

Owning a caravan in Tuscany means dining out on specialities like pappardelle al cinghiale, thick cut noodles with a luscious wild boar sauce, or pici from Siena, a hand-rolled pasta made simply from flour and water. This ancient form of pasta dates back to the Etruscans and is most often served with cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper) or all’aglione, with tomatoes, olive oil and garlic.

The sweet stuff
Tuscany has its fair share of sweet stuff and you shouldn’t leave Siena without sampling a slice of panforte, a rich and delicious confection of honey, candied peel, dried fruit and nuts spiced with black pepper. Tuscany is also known for its cantucci, hard almond biscuits served with a glass of the luscious Tuscan dessert wine known as Vin Santo.

Also unmissable is a slice of castagnaccio, a naturally gluten-free cake made from chestnut flour, olive oil, pine nuts and rosemary. Delicious warm or cold, it’s also beautifully partnered by a glass of golden Vin Santo.

A rich glass of red
Owning a caravan in Tuscany means you can explore the local specialities without having to venture too far from home – which makes a nice glass of Chianti all the more welcoming. This rich ruby red wine is like the lifeblood of Tuscany. Look out for Brunello, one of Italy’s truly great wines, as well as the celebrated Montepulciano.

The food and wine of Tuscany have shaped its landscape and heritage in a way that can only be truly appreciated by spending quality time there. Owning a caravan in Tuscany lets you appreciate everything this rich and delicious cuisine has to offer.