Campsite flourishing ahead of big week of arrivals

Camping weather is here at last – not that a few grey clouds will put off those looking to enjoy the great countryside in our region.

Dave and Tina Cope have been coming to the site for years and loved the fact that it was always developing
Dave and Tina Cope have been coming to the site for years and loved the fact that it was always developing

Hopley's Family Camping in Bewdley has been enjoying visitors once again, and has a bumper set of bookings ahead of a sunshine half term.

It has been able to reopen its gates to allow in campers, caravanners and people looking to get out in the open and away from it all.

Nicky Collins said she loved the site for where it was and the facilities it had

The camping, glamping and caravan sector was one of those able to reopen on April 12, albeit with restrictions on the use of facilities for single households or bubbles. This included the use of facilities for sleeping, catering, bathing and indoor lobbies.

Hopley's adapted its facilities and has welcomed guests to the campsite since then to use its 180 pitches for tents, as well as its caravan area and its stylish glamping tents.

Only now, however, with the weather finally turning warmer, can the big rush really begin.

The site is set to be full throughout the half-term holiday week

It has been especially busy in the run up to the school half-term holidays, with owner Justin Hopley saying the site was close to being fully booked for the week.

He said: "The phone has been ringing a lot and it started doing that once the announcement was made about campsites being able to reopen, with a steady stream of people coming in. It's been especially crazy in the last few weeks leading up to the half-term holidays, even though the weather hasn't been as helpful as you would have liked.

"I've been feeling excited about the next few weeks, with perhaps a little bit of apprehension and tension, but I think we'll be able to cope with it all."

Leo Hopley said the Rustic had had a lot of bookings and was excited for the weeks ahead

Mr Hopley said the team had worked hard to ensure it was Covid-safe for all its guests, including more heavy duty cleaning of the toilets and showers and using track and trace.

He said: "We've done a lot of work cleaning the showers because there will be more people using them next week and all guests will have to book a time slot, then clean them before the next people come in.

"I feel there's been a definite uptick in the number of people coming here as they are happy to get out and enjoy the country.

Owner Justin Hopley shows off one of the yurts on site. He said he was apprehensive, but also excited about the period coming up for the site

"We are in a great location with a wonderful view and we have Bewdley down the road, as well as the West Midlands Safari park, so we have a lot to offer people and thank them for coming back."

The campsite, which is on the banks of the River Severn, also boasts a farm shop with local produce, a cafe with top quality food and a new bar called the Rustic.

Leo Hopley managed the Rustic cafe and bar and said he felt the site was on the up after a difficult year. He said: "It's looking a lot busier now, even if the weather in the last few weeks hasn't helped, and I think people are just wanting to get out. The bookings are looking up in the Rustic as well and that's exciting as it shows how many people are going to be here over half-term.

"It's been an odd year with the site being closed for long periods, but we've worked hard to keep things going and we're reaping the rewards now, so it's going to be great."

The Rustic is a cafe and bar and a favourite location for many at the site

The poor weather in May had led to a few cancellations, but Mr Hopley said there had still been a number of people travelling across the region to spend time at the site.

One couple enjoying a week of camping were Dave and Tina Cope from Burntwood, who had set up their two tents for a week of relaxing away from home.

Mrs Cope said they were regulars at the site and had been looking forward to coming back.

The 52-year-old said: "We've been coming here for years and, as we were looking for something to do this week, we decided to book up for the week.

"We come here because of the Hopleys, who are lovely people, and the work they do here is wonderful, as it started as a hill, but there's something new every time we come here.

Hopley's Family Camping is set in a stunning location near the River Severn in Bewdley

"We love it because of where it is, near Bewdley, and the amazing pizzas they do, and the fact that it's so nice and chilled, so it's great to see it doing so well."

Another camper onsite was Nicky Collins from Brierley Hill, who was enjoying a break with her husband Gary.

The 49-year-old said she was suffering from long Covid, so found that relaxing on a campsite was a great way to help her convalescence.

She said: "It feels like home to me and the fact that it's only an hour and 20 minutes away means it's not a long journey.

"I'm currently off work after having Covid and I still can't do very much, so coming here allows me the chance to relax and get away from it all.

"I love this campsite as it's got everything you need in terms of food, drink and entertainment and the fact that we can sit by the fish pond and Gary can fish is great."

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