History of The Orchards Holiday Park

Here at The Orchards, we’re proud to say that the holiday park has been a family owned and run business since its very humble beginnings in 1955, and Martin Morris whose parents Ollie and Mildred began the park remembers why they bought it.

‘My mum and dad became the owners of the Orchards in March 1955. They hadn’t really planned to buy it and it happened quite by chance when properties including the Orchards were all due to be auctioned off. My dad was tasked with going to the auction to buy Chapel Cottage which he succeeded in doing but Orchard farm itself failed to make the reserve price which was £1100. After a chat with the auctioneer my dad made the sudden decision to pay the reserve price for the farm and start a caravan site. My mum always told me that this uncharacteristic rashness was down to the fact that I had only just been born a couple of days previously and he was in a state of euphoria because they’d finally had a child after 15 years of marriage!’

From a fairly primitive start in the fifties and into the sixties, by 1963 there were static vans, proper toilet and shower blocks and an amenity building with washing machine, storage rooms and the all important TV room with a 23 inch black and white TV which served the entire population of guests. Guests could also rent radios for their holiday, have their luggage sent ahead so they could come on public transport too.

In 1968 second owner Malcolm Peplow bought the park from Ollie and Mildred and set about modernising it further. Malcolm says, ‘Having resigned my army commission and having no qualifications to my name, together with my then wife, Lis and three children, we purchased The Orchards Holiday Caravan and Camping Park and took up residence in the flat over the centre block. In fact, I wasn’t released from the Army until March 1969 a few weeks before the Park opened for the summer season and I commuted from Aldershot every weekend (I was probably the only ever serving army officer to hold an Off Licence to sell liquor).’

The 1970s saw a huge period of improvement for the Park and an outdoor swimming pool was built, water and electricity facilities were upgraded, and a shop and new toilet block added. These improvements continued through to the eighties and nineties when the indoor pool was built in 1996 and the season was therefore extended for families to enjoy the facilities.

Of course, The Orchards is continually being upgraded with our Facilities Centre being just one of the many improvements in recent years and we are looking forward to offering guests the opportunity to buy their own holiday home this year. We are still very much a family run business, with some of our staff having been at the park for decades including our General Manager Karen who began as a receptionist in 1986, Maintenance Manager Stefan who began as a pool attendant in 2008 and Gemma our Office Manager who also began as a receptionist with us in 2005 and we now have Michael Jordan taking our family forward into the future.

Tripp Loso
Tripp Loso
2021-06-23
Really top notch holiday park Location. The campsite is situated towards the west of the island, about a 10-minute drive to the Needles or 5 minutes to Yarmouth. You can get to anywhere on the island in about 40 minutes max. The campsite looks over a valley and has nice views. Facilities I do not think I have seen a better facility block than the one here. The showers (6 I believe) are basin/shower combos which was nice, and good size especially if you have young ones in with you. The main block houses the men & women’s and a further washing block has 12 washing up stations with a fantastic view! there are washing machines, driers and ironing boards and irons. Shops There is a main shop for basics, a takeaway shop for food, and a horsebox cocktail bar in the evening. Sainsburys in Newport is only a 20-minute drive away for anything else. Even though the shop was closed the staff in the takeaway shop got me some milk and told me to pay in the shop the next day. Cannot fault the staff here, exceptional service. The pitches We camped, there are many hard stands for motorhomes & Caravans and grass pitches for tents all in the main fields. Most of these are EHU. The grass is very well kept, mostly flat, might be a slight gradient here and there. We asked to be pitched next to friends and we were all together on a run of 4 grass pitches. All pitched are large and well sign posted. Overall The booking process was easy. When a ferry was cancelled and we got bumped onto a later one, the office rebooked us onto the Southampton ferry (thanks Gemma !). Great communication throughout. I cannot recommend this campsite enough. If you are going to the IoW stay here, you will not be disappointed.
Lucy T
Lucy T
2021-06-04
Fab week away in a beautiful setting. Just returned from a week away, we stayed in the house this time with family. There was 8 of us and lots of space for us with a lovely enclosed garden. The children loved the garden and watching the Robin's, we even found a nest with eggs in. The facilities in the house was very good and there was a huge BBQ in the garden to use. We were able to book swimming everyday, we swam in the outdoor pool and the indoor pool. It was very well managed and never felt unsafe. We ate a few times at the take away and had a few cocktails from the funky bar set up in an old horse trailer. Staff were very friendly and helpful. The setting is beautiful and it is the perfect location to explore the island. We had such a lovely time and can't wait to return in the summer.
Emily D
Emily D
2021-06-01
Beautiful friendly chilled weekend! The perfect location for a family camping holiday in the van! Our kids (5 and 7) loved the pool, the park and the playing field. The staff were helpful and friendly. The view from the pitches is beautiful and we had plenty of space around us. The facilities are modern, clean and spacious! So impressed with how the pool booking system is managed, the mobile bar and the take away service make the facilities as normal as possible whilst managing Covid restrictions. There is a great little walk along to Shalfleet from the field at the bottom with The New Inn at the end. Plenty of beaches to explore too! We wish we could have stayed longer and will definitely be back!
Alan C
Alan C
2021-05-23
A lovely short break in stunning location We felt very safe with the precautions that you have put in place. The caravan was clean, comfortable and well equipped. Reception staff helpful and friendly. We used the Island buses, cafes and shops and thought the Isle of Wight had worked very hard to make everyone safe and encourage visitors. We are very much looking forward to a longer stay in September.
Ylesley
Ylesley
2020-11-14
Great weekend break - lovely central location to visit the Isle of Wight Stayed on a serviced pitch in our touring caravan. EHU, waste & clean water supplies all conveniently placed. Toilet, shower, dish washing area & laundry facilities were plentiful & spotless (although we used our own due to Covid). Touring area of the site well laid out with gravel hard standings as well as grass pitches. Plenty of space & well maintained. We met up with friends who were staying in static caravans - one a disabled and one ordinary. The disabled caravan had been thoughtfully adapted and the friend staying in it said that it ticked all the boxes for her. Both caravans were very clean and well equipped.
Jayne0481
Jayne0481
2020-11-12
A Welcome Break Despite the wet weather and it being the busy half term holidays we had a good time. We booked late and could only get a Russett which we understood to be an older van. It was very clean and well maintained and we found it warm and cosy. We enjoyed exploring the IOW which was a little restricted because of COVID. We were told which facilities were closed at the site when we booked but I doubt we would have used the pool anyway! We ate from the take away every evening which was fab and very good value. A great mini break before lockdown 2 started and we will definitely be coming back next year. We would recommend if you are looking for a good value for money getaway.