We won Tourism Awards, again!
For a second year in a row we were awarded Gold for ‘Accessible and Inclusive tourism’ In the Devon Tourism Awards.
Then total shock….We went on to be awarded a Bronze Joint with Stone Hedge! for ‘Accessible and Inclusive Tourism’ at the Regional South West Tourism Awards.
Wow… we are a multi award winning glamping site….
We are a very small, family run glamping site on the edge of Ashill nr Uffculme Devon. We built our site up from an empty field with a stable block five years ago, to the rural retreat it is today. With 2 safari lodges, a bell tent or two and a shepherd hut. We established our business in summer 2016 and continue to develop our offering each year. We love seeing our returning guests who become friends and meeting new families, helping them discover this corner of Devon, supporting other local businesses around us as they explore.
In 2020, during the first lockdown we entered the Devon tourism awards, mainly as a way of getting some feedback to help improve our business in such difficult times. We never imagined that we would win anything. Well the summer rolled on and we had a zoom interview with a judge while juggling home school and making lots of changes to keep our site covid safe, it was a very busy time and we heard nothing more for ages - then finally in early 2021 the finalists were announced and we were stunned to hear that we had made it through to the finals. We excitedly joined in with a zoom meeting, to meet the other finalists and sponsors, which was great fun. We heard about other tourism business in Devon and how they had coped with the changes needed due to covid-19 to keep everyone safe.
Then came the big event - not a glitzy dinner as it would normally have been, but a time slot on zoom with the other finalists. Some might have found this a disappointment, but for us it worked well with school runs and not being fans of crowds or formal dinners. We logged in with our hamper of goodies, from the sponsors, at hand.
We were finalists in two categories first the ‘glamping business of the year’. We were totally over the moon to be awarded a bronze in this category which is a massive achievement as Devon has so many glamping businesses, with such variety it was very exciting, even more so to have shared this award with our near neighbours Blackdown yurts.
Then it moved to the other category we were finalists for ‘Accessible and inclusive tourism’. This category is very important to us as an autistic family we have always tried to run our businesses in a hidden disabilities friendly way and we hold a number of awards for being autistic friendly, dementia friendly and we are part of the sunflower lanyard scheme for hidden disabilities. So we were totally blown away to have these efforts recognised with a Gold in the Devon tourism awards.
Then a few weeks later, while we were still enjoying the glow from the Devon tourism awards wins, we heard that we were through to the finals of the South West Tourism Awards in these two categories, totals shock! So another zoom awards day and we were amazed to achieve a highly commended in ‘glamping business of the year’ and a Bronze in ‘accessible and inclusive tourism‘ this time out of all the counties in the South West- (Somerset, Cornwall, Devon and Dorset).
In 2021 as the season began, we brought in a number of improvements to our little site, with a new logo and new animal information signs that include BSL, images and clear text on a yellow back ground for those who find it tricky to see or read (designed by the very talented www.andytuohy.co.uk ). Our sensory play room was also redesigned, providing a more calming space.
With these improvements we thought it might be worth applying to the Devon tourism awards again, this time with an in person visit from a judge. We were totally blown away to be awarded a Gold again for ‘Accessible and Inclusive Tourism’ in Devon. Then total shock….We went on to be awarded a Bronze Joint with Stone Hedge! for ‘Accessible and Inclusive Tourism’ at the Regional South West Tourism Awards.
This time we have enjoyed some of those glitzy awards events, making good use of a new suit. We owe a massive thank you to The Devon and South West Tourism Awards team for providing an Autistic friendly experience.
For 2022 we have teamed up with Spectrum Holidays (www.spectrum-holidays.com) to create an even more Autistic Friendly offering. By booking a holiday with us through Spectrum Holidays your family will benefit from our sunflower pack and their special sensory box and extra pre-arrival support. They also accept family fund holiday vouchers.
We are looking forward to an exciting and busy 2022 season ahead providing family holidays in rural Devon. We would like to thank all those how have supported us as over the years as our little site has blossomed.