The Story of Wooda Farm Holidays begins nearly 100 years ago. Wooda has been owned and run by the Colwill family since then, with the holiday park itself being opened in 1975 for people to enjoy fantatsic farm holidays in Bude and its beautiful surrounding areas. Wooda was once a working farm, originally brought into the Colwill family by Samuel (known as Jim) and Bessie Colwill. Jim and Bessie ran a bed and breakfast at the farmhouse, whilst looking after 200 sheep and 50 dairy cows. The original milk churns can still be seen around the farm, and some of the hand tools are on display in the Courtyard Bar, which was originally the farm’s milking parlour.
The Early Years of Wooda Farm Holiday Park
Jim and Bessie had a son, Ken (William Kenneth), and daughter, Honor. Ken took over the farm from his parents, and alongside his wife Elizabeth, and continued to run the bed and breakfast from the farmhouse. They had 3 children, Susan, Graeme and Helen. Graeme helped his father on the farm, lambing down their 200 sheep, and looking after the cows.
In 1975 the Story of Wooda Farm Holidays truly starts to take shape, Ken recognised the potential of tourism in the area. He decided to convert an area of farmland into a small CL site for 5 touring caravans (now the children’s play area). From there, the park grew and grew. More farmland was converted for touring caravans and tents, with Graeme’s valuable input helping it along. Together they were still working the farm, so that it and the park were running alongside one another. Helen started a tea room in the ‘Linney’ for the visitors at Wooda, serving delicious home baked cream teas and cakes. The tea rooms progressed into a restaurant, the very popular Courtyard and Lodge Takeaway, which Helen and Gary are still running today. You must go and sample the delicious home cooked food, beers and wines when you visit Wooda! Helen and Gary with the help of their eldest daughter Emily, and son Charlie have also created The Loft Cocktail Bar & Coffee Lounge, situated in one of the converted barns on the farm. Another definite must when you’re staying with us.
Investing in the Future
The park continued to grow, with the introduction of holiday homes in 1980. Gradually Wooda built up, becoming more and more popular with a loyal band of customers.
We achieved our first 5-star grading in 1981, and have continued to do so every year to date. As a family, we love to reinvest and give our customers something new to see each year, whilst improving the enjoyment of future stays. We now have 55 holiday homes, 3 self-catering cottages, 9 modern eco lodges and over 200 pitches for touring and camping, amongst a whole host of activities and facilities for all the family to enjoy. We even have a vintage caravan here at Wooda which marked our 40th birthday, and is named Bessie after Bessie Colwill.
Sue Read (nee Colwill) is a very talented artist and has her own art studio in the Mill House here at Wooda, one of the farm’s converted barns. When you are here on holiday, be sure to go and see her beautiful paintings!
Graeme’s eldest daughter Charlotte has now returned to work within the business, so it’s in its third generation. Charlotte and Simon have two daughters, Elsie & Rose, so you never know, it might make it to four generations! We hope to continue running as a family business for many years to come.
Today, Wooda has evolved into much more than a local family-run business.
We are a business that is dedicated to giving back to the local area, protecting the environment and providing holidays that are sustainable and well as sensational. We support a number of local charities, including the RNLI, Talan’s Trust and Jay’s aim, and are dedicated to providing local people with local jobs. We are also committed to making Wooda as environmentally friendly as possible by; using our own ground water, solar panels, low energy lightbulbs, a number of water saving devices, composting all of our grass cuttings and sourcing our produce as locally as possible. And this isn’t the end, we are working on a number of other projects that will help to reduce our emissions further enabling us to provide our wonderful customers with a more sustainable future of holidaying in Cornwall.
Another aspect of holidays at Wooda Farm that we are committed to growing is enabling families to get outside and spend some quality time together, away from the screens that tend to dominate so much of modern life. Whether it’s nature trailing, surfing, hiking or a game of golf or tennis, there are so many ways we can all connect as families at Wooda on a more human level.
We love living and working at Wooda, and we really hope you enjoy your stay too!
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