Last week the Practical Motorhome team took a rather unusual trip, up to Leicestershire to visit the winner of this year’s Top 100 sites Guide, Eye Kettleby Lakes Holiday Park.

We needed to do the usual photoshoot for our magazine covers and van reviews, taking our long-term Bailey Advance 76-2T to put it through its paces. 

It was the perfect opportunity to find out just what it takes to run an award-winning holiday park; just what is involved in the day-to-day life of a campsite? 

We drove up to Leicestershire just before Storm Gareth hit, and although the storm’s gale force winds beating against the ‘vans walls were not particularly pleasant, wet and rainy photoshoots are part and parcel of touring in the UK. 

On this occasion, there were too many of us on the photoshoot to all stay in our motorhome and caravan, so some of us stayed in Eye Kettleby Lakes’ lodges, which were very welcome havens when the storm was in full force. 

One of the main reasons for the trip, though, was that none of us had any experience of running a campsite, so we were all very interested as we shadowed various members of staff as they went about their day-to-day duties, no matter what the storm decided to throw at them. 

I was shadowing the groundsmen, finding out about the many duties both inside and out. I tried everything from changing a lightbulb in one of the outdoor lights to strimming the grass verges and wielding a hedge cutter over the shrubs surrounding the pitches. Let’s just say that it’s a far cry from the shop work that paid my way through university, and my arm muscles were put to work! 

One of the most important things I learned, though, is how much the staff love their jobs; it’s a very uplifting atmosphere to work in, no matter what the weather is doing. It certainly made for a very memorable few days among the fishery lakes. 

As for the photoshoot, we weren’t quite blown away by the storm, and you can see the fruits of our labour in the June issue. Subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss out!