Club 'Feast' feeds Blenheim economy

Almost 10,000 campers flocked to Oxfordshire’s Blenheim Palace for The Camping and Caravanning Club’s recent National Feast of Lanterns (NFOL), which also brought thousands of pounds to the local economy.

The annual NFOL is a highlight of many Club members’ summer holidays, and this year the stunning World Heritage Site played host to the rally (August 20 to 24).

Reports from businesses in the surrounding village of Woodstock showed that NFOL guests spent thousands on food, drink and entertainment within the local area whilst they enjoyed a weekend of entertainment, live music, family activities and camping in the Palace’s spectacular grounds.

A short walk from the main NFOL grounds, local pub and restaurant, the Duke of Marlborough, saw a large increase in business from Club campers over the weekend concerned.

Keith Woodwell, Deputy Manager of the Duke of Marlborough said: “The Club’s recent event was extremely beneficial to us. We saw about a 20 to 30 per cent increase in business.

“They were also a nice bunch to have around the pub; they seemed to be having a lot of fun!”

In addition to the money generated for local businesses, Club members at this year’s event have so far raised just under £2,200 for the Hertfordshire Air Ambulance, the charity chosen by Chairman of the NFOL’s Organising Committee, Phil Masters.

He added: “It was a great privilege to welcome so many of our members to Blenheim Palace. After four years of hard work behind the scenes it was very rewarding for all the volunteers to know the event went off without any major problems and was considered a great success on every level.

“Our thanks go to those volunteers on the working party who assisted in preparing the site for the event and to the staff at Blenheim Palace for all their hard work and assistance in ensuring its success.”

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Editorial Notes:

  1. The Camping and Caravanning Club is 108-years-old and is the largest and oldest Club in the world for all forms of camping. It has 109 award-winning sites throughout the UK and, through a partnership with the Forestry Commission, Forest Holidays now runs a further 21 Camping and Caravanning and six Cabin Sites.
  2. New to Camping was launched on Monday, May 18, 2009 and incorporates all forms of outdoor holidays.
  3. National awards include:
  • Which Motorcaravan Site of the Year Runner-Up – Little Trethvas Farm CS
  • Practical Caravan 2009 Top 100 Parks Regional Winner (Scotland) – Lauder Club Site
  • Practical Caravan 2009 Top 100 Parks Regional Winner (north-east) – Bellingham Club Site
  • MMM 2009 Camping & Caravanning Site of the Year – Thetford Forest Club Site
  • Caravan Magazine Wow Factor Award 2008 – Milarrochy Bay Club Site
  • Loo of the Year 2008, Delamont Country Park Club Site – Winner Holiday Parks category in Northern Ireland
  • David Bellamy Conservation Award 2008 Gold Award – Charmouth, Glencoe and Trewan Hall Club Sites
  • The Maison de la France Tour Operator Awards for Best Camping/Mobile Home Operator 2008 - Carefree Travel Service
  • Which Motorcaravan Site of the Year Runner-Up 2008 – Windermere Club Site
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