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For the mountain pass, see Les Pontins.
Pontins Holiday Parks
Private Limited Company
Industry Holiday / Leisure
Founded 1946; 71 years ago (1946)
Founder Fred Pontin
Headquarters St Helier, Jersey, CI (registered office)
Ainsdale, Southport, Merseyside (trading office)
Number of locations
6 holiday parks in UK
Key people
Alex Langsam
Products Family holiday parks
Number of employees
Website pontins.com

Pontins is the trading name of Britannia Jinky Jersey Ltd, a company operating holiday parks in the UK. The original Pontins company was founded in 1946 by Fred Pontin.

Pontins specialises in offering half-board and self-catering holidays featuring regular[clarification needed] entertainment at resorts, or "holiday parks", as they have branded them. Accommodation is usually in the form of chalets (which Pontins calls "apartments").


Fred Pontin opened his first holiday camp in 1946 on the site of a former U.S. army base (built during World War II), at Brean Sands near Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. He gradually expanded his empire to thirty sites,[1] although the corporation has contracted since.

Company history[edit]

Balloon car 707, seen with an all over advert for Pontin's, at the Pleasure Beach, 5 August 1990

In 1978 the company was sold to Coral for £56 million. In 1980, Coral (including Pontins) was taken over by Bass Brewing, who sold Pontins in 1987 to a management buyout team led by Trevor Hemmings[2] It was sold yet again in 1989, to Scottish & Newcastle.

Over the next ten years the company closed or sold off a number of sites. In a three-year programme in the mid-1990s, the remaining camps were modernised. By 2000, the company was operating only eight camps, and was sold back to Hemmings. In 2008, the company was sold to Ocean Parcs for £46 million.[3] Wall Park holiday centre was not included in the sale. In January 2009, Pontins announced the closure of its Hemsby holiday centre.[4] Pontins Blackpool in Squires Gate closed in October 2009[5] leaving five parks still trading under the Pontins brand.

Pontins headquarters were relocated to the Southport Holiday Park, at Ainsdale-on-Sea, close to the village of Ainsdale. From the original Hemmings buy-out until then the headquarters were located at Sagar House in the village of Eccleston, Lancashire.

In September 2009, Pontins announced a five-year multi-million investment plan for the remaining five parks. Refurbishment work completed in 2010 included a new half-board restaurant and ice skating rink at the Prestatyn Sands Holiday Park, and a new roller skating rink at the Brean Sands Holiday Park. Including proposals of re-building the Camber Sands and Southport Holiday Parks and doubling the capacity of the Pakefield Holiday Park.

In 2010, Pontins went to administration and in early 2011, the company was bought out of receivership by Alex Langsam (the owner of Britannia Hotels).

In 2014, the former Pontins resort at Sand Bay was purchased by the group and it thus became the sixth resort to be operated under the 'new Pontins' brand.

New Pontins[edit]

Following the buy-out by Britannia Hotels in 2011. The hotel group announced that they will pump £25-Million-Pound into improving the parks with new accommodation, activities and entertainment. This investment has being carried through to a 5 Year Project and is due to be completed in 2017. Bringing a complete new Pontins experience for 2017.

Financial realignment[edit]

In November 2010, Pontins announced that they had gone into administration. No jobs were lost and customers were still able to take the holidays they had booked. A company spokesman said that Pontins would continue to trade for the time being, and that it would be getting help to move the company out of administration.[6]

On 28 January 2011 Britannia Hotels Group bought Pontins Holidays. Alex Langsam, owner of Britannia Hotels, soon announced a £25 million investment programme, with the intention of refocusing Pontins as themed seaside destinations, taking inspiration from Disney theme parks.[1]

Pontins "Bluecoats"[edit]

Bluecoats are guest hosts and include some well-known entertainers. Past Bluecoats include TV personalities Brian Conley, Shane Richie, Helen Chamberlain, Bobby Davro, Lee Carroll, Mark Fez Harrison of " Magicians in love " Scott Bruton (X Factor finalist), and Bradley Walsh. Other personalities include dancer Lisa Scott-Lee, stand-up comedian Lee Mack, Choreographer Gemma Quinnell and opera singer Nyle Wolfe.

Current resorts[edit]

Sign at Pontin's holiday camp in Prestatyn.

Pontins currently owns and operates six "holiday parks" in the United Kingdom:


Pontins Southport is a holiday park located on Shore Road, Ainsdale, and was opened in 1969 by Fred Pontin at a cost of £2.5 million. The layout is similar to a village. It contains entertainment facilities, leisure facilities and on-site guest "apartments" in the form of 768 chalets. Apartments include a living area, kitchen and up to two bedrooms. Guests can choose either Self-Catering or Half-Board option. Pontins Southport hosts the annual Miss Southport contest.

The Pontins Bungalow in the park was renovated in 2013 and is set close to all the venues at the Pontins resort.

Sand Bay[edit]

The former Pontins site at Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset, had been sold in 1999 and subsequently closed by the owners in 2013. It was then purchased by Britannia Hotels in 2014 and brought back under the Pontin brand. It is now designated as an adult-only resort.

Brean Sands[edit]

The first Pontins holiday camp opening in 1946 on 7 acres of land. In early 60's, expanded and rebuilt to a self-catering holiday camp on around 25 acres of land. Situated close to Weston-super-Mare.


Rebuilt during the 60's and situated on the Suffolk coast, close to Lowestoft. Half-Board Holiday Camp, adult-only during term-time and family breaks in peak/holiday times.

Camber Sands[edit]

One of the biggest Self-Catering camps built by Pontins situated on the Sussex coast in the coastal hamlet of Camber. Opened in 1968.

Prestatyn Sands[edit]

A holiday camp situated in Prestatyn on the North Wales coast. Filming location for Holiday's on the Buses in 1972 and opened the same year. Currently, the only Pontins holiday park located out of Britain.

Former and closed resorts[edit]

This is a list of some former Pontins resorts in both Ireland and the United Kingdom that have either closed or been sold off:

  • Barton Hall, Torquay, Devon; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
  • Bay View, Brixham, Devon
  • Blackpool, Lancashire; (closed 2 October 2009); demolished and cleared, housing is currently being built on the site
  • Bracklesham Bay, Chichester, West Sussex
  • Broadreeds, Selsey, West Sussex
  • Buckleigh Place, Westward Ho!, Devon
  • Dolphin Holiday Village, Brixham, Devon
  • Homelea Holiday Camp, Brixham, Devon
  • Hemsby, Norfolk; (closed January 2009); now owned by Northern Trust; as of 2013 it is back on the market[7]
  • Jersey Holiday Village, Portelet Bay, Jersey
  • Little Canada, Wootton, Isle of Wight; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
  • Middleton Tower, Heysham, Lancashire; site now a retirement village (opened 2007)[8]
  • Osmington Bay, Weymouth, Dorset; now a PGL site (children's activity holidays) (formerly 3D Education)
  • Plemont Bay, Jersey
  • Riviera Chalet Hotel, Bowleaze Cove (near Preston), Weymouth, Dorset
  • Sands Hotel, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
  • Sandy Bay, Northumberland
  • Seacroft, Hemsby, Norfolk
  • South Devon, Paignton, Devon
  • South Downs, Bracklesham Bay, near Chichester
  • St Mary's Bay, Brixham, Devon; now a Park Holidays UK site
  • Torbay Chalet Hotel, Paignton, Devon
  • Tower Beach, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, North Wales
  • Trabolgan, County Cork, Ireland; currently operating as "Trabolgan Holiday Village"
  • Wick Ferry, Christchurch, Dorset
  • Wall Park, Brixham, Devon housing

In popular culture[edit]

  • The 1973 British film Holiday on the Buses was filmed at and set in the Prestatyn resort. A plaque was erected in 2004 at the main entrance gates (unchanged since the film) to note this event.[9] The same venue hosts professional snooker each year. Prestatyn Sands also hosts the finals for the annual Brass Band Festival[10] historically, the qualifying rounds were held in other Pontins centres.
  • The previous On The Buses film, Mutiny on the Buses (1972), depicted buses carrying adverts with the slogan "Go Pontinental", implying that Hammer Film Productions had already established a working relationship with Pontins with a view to shooting a future film at one of their resorts.
  • Carol Lee Scott (known as "Grotbags") performed cabaret throughout different Pontins sites in the 1960s and 70s.


  1. ^ a b "Pontins to get 'Disney' makeover". BBC News. BBC. 6 February 2011. Retrieved 7 February 2011. 
  2. ^ Note: Hemmings construction firm had originally built the holiday centre at Southport.
  3. ^ Pontin's bought by former boss; "The Guardian"; 27 March 2008; retrieved 27 March 2008.
  4. ^ Pontin's to close holiday centre; BBC News; 5 January 2009; retrieved 10 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Blackpool holiday camp to close". blackpoolgazette.co.uk. 
  6. ^ "Holiday camp firm Pontin's goes into administration". BBC News. BBC. 12 November 2010. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  7. ^ Property; Commercial Search UK.
  8. ^ "Middleton Village officially opened". The Visitor, Morecambe. 
  10. ^ Restaurants;

Further reading[edit]

  • The book Fred Pontin...the man and his business was written by Peter Willsher and is considered to be a comprehensive history of Sir Fred Pontin and the business he created after World War II.

External links[edit]

UK Family Holidays and Short Breaks | Pontins