Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Hot weather brings boost in business

11:40 17 July 2013

Visitors packed onto Woolacombe Beach yesterday afternoon (Tues).

Visitors packed onto Woolacombe Beach yesterday afternoon (Tues).


North Devon’s tourism industry sizzles as temperatures soar ahead of the school holidays - and the outlook is good for the rest of the month.

"Early indications from food and drink and retail outlets suggest that the sunshine is having a positive effect on takings too, with takings up as much as 12 per cent on the same period last year."

Laura Holt, North Devon +

THE recent hot weather has shone a ray of sunshine on North Devon’s tourism industry as visitor numbers soar alongside the temperatures.

Forecasters at the Met Office have promised another sunny weekend with highs of 24 degrees predicted tomorrow (Thurs) and 26 degrees on Friday.

Holidays parks in the area have reported an influx of bookings over the last week.

John Fowler Holidays in Ilfracombe said bookings had doubled with the good weather and it had to take extra staff on to man the bookings lines.

"It is just the boost that we all need to cheer us up, bring the country out of its negativity and lethargy and come and visit the UK’s most beautiful region."

Rick Turner, The BIG Sheep

Steve Willis, of Croyde Bay Holiday Resort, said the call volumes had been up around 10 per cent on last year and Farm and Cottage Holidays reported a 20 per cent increase in bookings and a 68 per cent increase of web visits from overseas.

Kevin Darvill, director of sales and marketing at Woolacombe Bay Holiday Park said the sunny weather had definitely helped with last minute bookings.

He said: “Over the past two weeks we have seen a ten-fold increase in bookings for last minute stays - also remembering that in the previous two years it was still raining - with camping seeing big increases too.”

“What seems to be happening is potential holidaymakers are keeping an eye on the 10 day forecasts online and seem inclined to book once the weather forecast is warm, dry and sunny.”

People enjoying the sea at Woolacombe beach yesterday (Tues) afternoon.People enjoying the sea at Woolacombe beach yesterday (Tues) afternoon.

Laura Holt, from North Devon +, said visitor traffic to, which advertises the region as a holiday destination, had surged during the first two weeks of July.

“Early indications from food and drink and retail outlets suggest that the sunshine is having a positive effect on takings too, with takings up as much as 12 per cent on the same period last year,” she said.

Alistair Poll, owner of Surfing Croyde Bay, said a decent summer is the hope the region needs after a quiet few years.

He said: “It’s been great to see a vibrant mix of locals and holiday makers in the village, as many of the holiday makers come back for the same weeks year after year, and the last two years they have had to suffer rain.

“Last week the profits were up on this time last year and long may it continue.”

Blue Groove café in Croyde said it had taken on extra staff earlier than usual this year to cope with the increase in demand.

Robert Yendell, of Blue Groove, added: “People are happy because of the weather and when they’re happy they spend money.”

For some, the weather has meant thinking outside of the box to adapt their businesses.

Gemma McQuillan, of the North Devon Surf School in Westward Ho!, said the high pressure had brought an influx of people and sunshine – but no waves.

The school had to think quickly to overcome the problem without losing trade and last week bought a whole fleet of 12 stand up paddle boards.

“The surf school has had a lot of people wanting to get into the water so we quickly had to find a way to adapt,” said Gemma.

“It’s been so nice to see so many people about and it’s definitely been a lot busier than this time last year with the amazing weather.”

Now businesses are just hoping the ‘liquid gold’ sunshine will continue, said BIG Sheep director Rick Turner.

“It is just the boost that we all need to cheer us up, bring the country out of its negativity and lethargy and come and visit the UK’s most beautiful region,” he said.

“The BIG Sheep has seen a massive increase of ice cream sales and the outside rides and attractions such as the splash zone which have been installed in the past few years are proving to be a massive hit.

“With the improvement of weather at this key booking time, just before the start of the school summer holiday period, it could not have been timed better for our industry and with the Met Office predicting the weather to continue hot and sunny for the foreseeable future we should all enjoy a really bumper season – bring it on.”

The long-term outlook for the UK’s summer indicates a continuation of the dry and warm weather through to the end of the month.

Related articles


Other News Stories

Lorraine Cleverdon and Chris Taylor from  Highbullen Hotel (pictured with host Judi Spiers and guest speaker Peter Gorton) pick up one of two awards on the night. Picture: Nick Williams

Gold, silver and bronze at glittering evening for local hotels, restaurants and attractions.

Read more
An artist's impression of how the food and retail area at Anchorwood Bank will look

Developers have submitted a planning application for the food and retail area of the Anchorwood Bank development.

Read more
Crowds will gather for the Bideford light switch on this Sunday

Don’t miss the big switch on this Sunday on the quay

Read more

Efforts are underway to save the memories of local veterans before they are lost forever.

Read more

Open evening at Appledore Fire Station on Thursday, December 3.

Read more
Torridge MP Geoffrey Cox is joined by pupils from Holsworthy Community College and Shebbear College as he presents the first stage of his Parliamentary Petition on rural roads to 10 Downing Sreet. Picture: Submitted

Government urged to do more to improve the condition of rural roads

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Volunteers at Grosvenor Church with just some of the Christmas shoeboxes

Thousands donate boxes for needy children around the world

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Go North Devon staff and volunteers collecting for the SOS Appeal. Picture: Tony Freeman

Appeal to North Devon companies to help preserve ring and ride plus shopmobility services

Read more
Saturday, November 28, 2015
Was this artwork created by a celebrity? Place your bid in the Children's Hospice SW charity online auction

Children’s Hospice South West hosts secret online charity auction

Read more
Friday, November 27, 2015
Libby Ross of Devon and Severn IFCA tags a blonde ray in Bideford Bay. Picture: Steph Davies

Fishermen join tagging scheme to prove ray stocks are abundant off the North Devon coast

Read more

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas in North Devon

Christmas Magazine

Click here for your ultimate guide to
Christmas in North Devon

Local Weather



max temp: 12°C

min temp: 11°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Search for a job in Devon

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications