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. 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. This is our 6th season and the business continues to develop 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.
Last summer in 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 neighbors 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 autism friendly, dementia friendly and we are part of the sunflower lanyard scheme for hidden disabilities scheme. 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).
This year as the season begins we have brought in a number of improvements to our little site, with 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. Our sensory play room has also been redesigned and is open again this year, providing a calming space if needed. This year, you may have noticed, we also have a brand new logo designed for us by one of our guests. We are now looking forward to another covid safe and family friendly season ahead in 2021.