Savills: 10 ideas to test the UK leisure and rural tourism market


From wilderness wellness to micro-weddings, innovative farmers and landowners across the country have found ways to meet the demand for UK-based vacations, experiences and events.

It was a market that was growing even before the pandemic and most agree that it will continue to grow thereafter. The key to lasting success will be to come up with initiatives that don’t expire once international travel is easy on the way back. Starting small is often a great way to test the waters, so here are 10 ideas to think about if you’re planning to branch out in the New Year.

1.Campsites Drinking water should be provided and we recommend that you provide a decent toilet block. Pitchup.com is the most popular booking site and takes a 15% commission.

2.Walk the dog Fencing a field (1.8m high is often required by users), providing all-season parking and a website for online reservations. Charges range from £ 5 to £ 15 per hour. You will need a change-of-use permit, but since no permanent development takes place, most planners are in favor. Liability insurance is essential but inexpensive.

3.Farm vending machines These have no locate costs, few staff requirements, and can operate 24 hours a day. This can be a good way to test the market before opening a full-fledged farm shop.

4.Outdoor water slides The 110m long slides require suitable terrain, sufficient parking and, of course, a water supply. You will need trained staff (although participants are asked to sign a waiver) as well as liability insurance.

5.Electric bicycle rental Users must be at least 14 years old to operate on public roads, but this does not apply if you are off-road. You could generate additional income by renting helmets, saddlebags and locks. Owners will need storage space, a workshop and will need to request a refundable deposit.

6.Ice cream Ideal for dairy farmers in the main tourist and coastal areas. Keep an eye on the weather forecast to gauge demand and market the product on social media. Food hygiene training is essential.

seven.Coworking spaces Old farm buildings converted into shared workspaces will require a building permit.

8.Micro weddings Intimate places and Instagrammable settings are all the rage. Besides the cost of converting and equipping barns and outbuildings, in England and Wales you will need a license for civil ceremonies (cost is around £ 1,800).

9.Selfies This is a niche market, but if any movies or TV shows have been shot in iconic locations, some landowners charge people to come and take pictures for social media.

ten.Branded camping Some property owners partner with glamping franchises that will help establish and market the site in exchange for a percentage of the proceeds.

More information

Contact Simon Foster or Adam Davies

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