Our favourite Canvas memories from the last 50 years


1975Canvas Holidays was created by a family for families. In the 50 years since we’ve been in business we’ve seen many changes. Our accommodation which started as basic ready-made tent packages, has expanded to include mobile homes, quaint wooden lodges and Safari tents – for those who prefer their camping experience with that bit of home comfort.

One thing that never changes is the happy memories made by the thousands of families who continue to use Canvas for their yearly holiday. Our couriers are as much to thank for that, some of whom have been with Canvas for several years and continue to give many hours of dedicated service making sure campers have everything they need to have a great time.

It’s always a pleasure to hear about our customers’ holiday memories. As such we’ve picked out a handful of our favourites over the last 50 years.

The Canvas Experience – written by Olliewpc

“This story starts with a six-year-old boy, in the 80s waking early on a summer’s morning. The excitement of knowing that the family holiday starts now. Memories of sitting in the back of the car making our way down to Dover, with the anticipation of knowing new experiences are about to start.

“Year after year, as that little boy and his sister grew up, different campsites were visited, different friends were made, different tastes and smells were experienced. Memories made of learning to swim, canoe, build camps, climb trees, staying up late, sail and speak local languages.

“As the years went on, that little boy grew up, now he has progressed to the front seat of the car, with a different brother and sister sitting behind him. Watching them learn to swim, canoe, make new friends, learn languages, climb trees, go to kids club and so much more.

“As that man gets older there is only one thing that doesn’t – the Canvas experience. The Canvas experience that allows families to enjoy their precious time together.”


Canvas Memories – written by MHargreaves

“The photos that decorate our house tell the story of our children’s childhoods. Amongst them are the stories of summer holidays in the sun and October holidays in Duinrell.

“When the children were small we played hopscotch on the beach at St Aubin-sur-Mer and ‘restaurants’ in the caravan. Trips to Festyland amusement park and boules in our enclosed garden helped our holiday at Village La Vallée go swimmingly. At Ca’ Savio, Venice, we discovered ‘mini disco’ for the first time and learned how to swim, going from pool to pool every day.

“The next year, overlooking Lake Garda – our best ever holiday – my wife and I developed a taste for Prosecco and garlic bread to fill the time while our two were in the fantastic kids’ club. Boat trips and walks by the lakes were magnificent, as was swimming in the infinity pool wondering at the scenery. The view from our caravan, so good, is now printed on a canvas and hanging in our kitchen. Our children cried as we left and we knew how they felt.

“We still have our Duinrell trip to come this year of course. We will be travelling with friends and their children, also Canvas regulars and fans.

“We still have space on our wall for more photos so it doesn’t really matter where we go next, as we know we will love it, it will be great and above all, memorable.”


1980-1990 ten years of family holidays – written by Dickie

“Every summer the five of us would pile into the family Volvo and leave Edinburgh in early July as soon as the schools broke up. The format was always the same, one week in one site and another week in another.

“Dad would take extra time off so we could drive there. There were strict rules about the driving. We had to only drive for four hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. Lunch was an hour picnic with a patisserie, stopping for a swim at 4pm every day on the road. I can recall swimming in the Loire, much to the amusement of the locals at Pouilly.

“The tents were brilliant, insect proof and they even had a fridge. I can still remember the smell of them vividly; canvas, sun, breadcrumbs, sun tan cream!

“Before cheap flights it was very expensive to fly and a family of five or more ruled out most package holidays. Thanks to Canvas Holidays my sisters and I had a rich childhood of amazing holidays, without Canvas we would not have had those holidays because they would have been out of our budget.

“Looking back now I see my late father must have scrimped and saved to make sure we could go. A strict budget was stuck to but we as kids were never made aware of this.

“Travelling was brilliant fun but at times very hot! The basic Volvo 240 Estate had no air-con of course and as the three of us got bigger we crammed into the back seat. No iPad in those days, we played games, a favourite was to see if you could colour in a map of all the French regions by the number plates you saw.

“As we now book our first Canvas Holiday with our kids, aged six and nine, I look back on how things have changed. We will fly rather than drive and we are in an air conditioned cabin in Catalonia. No tent, no baking hot nights – but the adventure is still there.”


These are just a selection of great stories shared by Canvas holidaymakers over the years. Do you have happy family memories of your Canvas adventures? If so, we’re delighted to announce that we’ve been nominated for four accolades at the British Travel Awards once again this year and would love to have your vote.

If you’d like to vote for us, you can do so by clicking this link.

And if you have a Canvas experience you’d like to share, please do so on our Facebook page.

Categories: Travel

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