Pontins Pakefield - A brief history

The camp got its start in the 1920s when Howard Barrett, owner of Pakefield Hall, set up a campsite in the grounds of his extensive house. By the 1930s most of the tents had been replaced with wooden chalets and it was named Pakefield Hall Holiday Camp.

An old 1830s decommissioned lighthouse, along with its attached keepers cottage, was converted into a bar.

It was later acquired by Leslie Dean and his business partner George Harrison and they traded as Howdon Camps Ltd

It was sold to Pontins in 1957 and became the 10th camp in their growing empire. This wasn’t the first time that Leslie Dean had sold one of his camps to Fred Pontin having previously sold him both Brean Sands and Osmington Bay.

In 1959 a new swimming pool was built and throughout the 1960s most of the old wooden chalets were replaced by 475 new brick apartments, although a small number did survive and were still being used well into the 1980s.

The lighthouse became a darkroom for the resident camp photographer who lived in the adjoining cottage. By the 1970s it was home to a member of the resident Pontins band. In 1977 the camp did away with waitresses and switched to a buffet style ‘help yourself’ food system.

Now one of only two camps remaining in the Pontins empire, Pakefield still retains a lot of its yesteryear charm and it's a peaceful, attractive site complete with original 1960s chalets. It’s still a full-board camp with all meals being taken in the large communal dining room. Nowadays it’s an adults only site with most visitors being of the older generation

Pakefield Hall still survives next door as a private residence. The lighthouse was restored in the 2000s.


Click here to see our Pontins Pakefield photos. All available to buy as posters and canvas prints with free delivery anywhere in the world

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