Press Release

5-van site booking website now has 115+ sites showing availability


3 September 2021

CL Booking, the online enquiry service for 5-van campsites run by farmers & landowners launched in late June 2021 now has 115 sites across the UK listed (and growing) and has helped thousands of Caravan and Motorhome Club Members find pitches quickly and easily in the past few months.


These small sites are highly prized by discerning caravanners and motorhomers, but finding one with availability, especially with the current Staycation boom, has - until now - been difficult.

Typical comments from users

Steven Gibson - Brilliant, hopefully this will be the end of spending hours phoning around for availability


Avril Lazenby - This website was a great help in finding a pitch at very short notice due to family illness. Found a site and booked it within minutes. Thank you.


Simon Milner - Brilliant idea and I am sure it will gain many more owners on board. For people like myself the idea of going away for a couple of nights is very appealing but difficult to plan due to work commitments. To be able to see local CL's that have free pitches on a Friday lunchtime is ideal.


Members of the Caravan & Motorhome Club which has 2,200 of these sites (known as CLs) across the UK call these sites ‘Little Gems’ and value them for the space they offer and their connection to the rural environment and communities. But finding out if they have space, or the right facilities has been particularly frustrating recently with members having to call the sites often to find they are full.


Driven by this need and the huge demand to match campers looking for a pitch and site owners looking to advertise their availability a couple of site owners launched a facebook group in the first lockdown of 2020 called CL Booking. It quickly became the ‘go to’ resource and grew to 15,000 members.


In late 2020 a consortium of 20 CL site owners got together and commissioned Rupert Saunders of Pocket Apps to develop an online booking tool that would cover multiple sites. “We specialise in rapid development of websites and mobile apps” he said. “This was a good challenge for us as we needed to design a system that was easy to use but showed the availability on hundreds of campsites and allowed campers an easy way to make an enquiry to a site, knowing there were pitches for the dates they wanted. We were happy to invest tens of thousands of pounds into this fairly sophisticated service as we were convinced that we were meeting a need felt by thousands of caravan and motorhome owners.”


The CL Booking website and Mobile App, launched in June 2020 was the result. It now allows campers who are members of the Caravan & Motorhome Club to view hundreds of sites on an interactive map of the UK and see immediately which ones have space for the dates they want to get away.


CL Booking now has 115 CL sites listed and over 7,500 users registered to use it.


CL Booking mimics the functionality we have all started to expect from sites like AirBnB, meaning you’ll get all the information you, as a camper, need to know such as price, facilities and photos. Your details will also be held on the App, so when you go to make a booking enquiry to your chosen CL site, the site owner will see your club number, whether you own a caravan or motorhome, camper or trailer tent etc. They can then accept your booking and you’ll be put in touch with each other by email to confirm the booking and make payment where necessary.


For the 115 CL site owners that have listed so far, the app allows them to quickly and easily advertise their site to thousands of campers. “With Covid, many people have had to change their plans at the last minute which means late-cancellations are a real issue for us” said Ted Howard-Jones, owner of Cholsey Grange and the leader of the consortium of site owners behind CL Booking. “With the App, if I get a cancellation I can immediately update my site availability to thousands of members with just one click, so much easier than having to go onto Facebook and create a post, or just hope the phone will ring”

Sally Chicken, owner of a brand new CL called Redlands in Norfolk said - We’re coming up for the end of our first month as a new CL,. We were completely amazed and delighted to be almost full most of the month. CLBooking promoted us, 17 bookings came through them, we took 1 booking from a knock on the door from a passer by seeing our kerbside sign. We are well chuffed and cannot believe how many emails and general enquiries we have had. We are already almost fully booked for the first weekend in september,



The key difference between CL Booking and the plethora of other campsite listing sites out there is that it shows availability. We’re also ensuring that sites list themselves accurately with descriptions, features and photos and helping the user find a site that suits their needs with filters (such as CLs with Toilets or those who welcome dogs) . It is saving campers and site owners time by providing both parties with the information they need.


New CLs joining every week. We’re adding new CL sites to the website every week said Ted Howard-Jones, When owners realise that we not only list them on the website, but also provide a full package of support, marketing advice and promotion they quickly realise the benefits and see that their listing fee (just £12.50 a month at present) is quickly recouped.


BACKGROUND

Founded in 1907, the Caravan and Motorhome Club represents the interests of over one million caravanners, motorhomers and trailer tent owners across the UK. It has 2,200 Certificated Locations (CLs) in its network. CL sites are independently run, often by farmers, and are restricted to just 5 pitches. To book a CL site you need to be a member of the club with a valid club membership number.


CL Sites

Harvey Alexander, Director of Marketing and Membership Services at the Caravan and Motorhome Club says: “Our Certificated Location (CL) network is the jewel in the Club’s sites network crown. Our members love holidaying at Certificated Locations and many members cite the CL network as they reason they join the Club. The Caravan & Motorhome Club provides the certification (planning permission) for these small rural sites to operate, inspects them annually to ensure basic standards are met and advertises them in its directories, but encourages owners of the sites to manage them independently of the Club. The club operates online booking for its own club sites but does not get involved in the day-to-day running of the Certificated Locations provided they meet their rules and conditions regarding certification.


CL Booking

CL Booking was started as a facebook page and group by Ted Howard-Jones, owner of an award-winning CL site called Cholsey Grange in Buckinghamshire in 2020. Supported by 20 other CL owners who have contributed to the development costs, CL Booking has been designed to help all CL site owners who wish to be listed and Caravan & Motorhome Club Members find, view and book the CL site of their choice quickly and efficiently.


Press Contact

Ted Howard-Jones

07740-298-474

ted@countrysidemarketing.co.uk



Mobile App on both Apple and Android