A year of award celebrations at Exmoor’s Waterrow Touring Park has come to a golden conclusion for its family owners with the scooping of a major tourism honour.
The business, based in Wiveliscombe, has been named as the overall gold winner in the camping and caravanning category of the 2017 Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards.
Judges announced their decision at a glittering awards ceremony in November at Somerset County Cricket Club, attended by senior tourism figures from throughout the region.
Waterrow will now be fast-tracked into the finals of the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February – and could even compete in the national VisitEngland finals later next year.
November’s accolade crowns a year of prestigious award successes for Lynette and Jamie Cook who, with Jamie’s parents, are Waterrow’s owners.
The husband-and-wife team quit their successful careers in IT and customer services five years ago to take on the tranquil picture-postcard park on the fringes of Exmoor.
As keen caravanners themselves, the couple saw Waterrow as a chance to create the type of ideal surroundings which they sought out for their own holiday breaks.
They have put a special emphasis on caring for the park’s natural environment – and earlier this year were named as winners of the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its top gold level.
A raft of wildlife-friendly features at Waterrow help attract otters, deer, owls and many other bird species – plus butterflies and honey bees drawn to the pollen-rich wild flowers in the grounds.
The year continued to glisten for the family after they learned that the AA had awarded Waterrow its maximum gold five-pennant award for the quality of its facilities.
In addition, the park maintained its top five-star status with VisitEngland, and was presented with a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor for its consistently glowing reviews.
The abundance of awards, said Lynette, was very humbling for the family – but also a great spur to raising the bar even higher in the future:
“We are especially delighted that an important component of all these awards is how well customers are looked after, and the quality of hospitality and service that is provided,” she said.
“As caravanners ourselves, we know what a difference it can make when you stay on a park with an especially welcoming and friendly atmosphere.
“That’s what we’ve tried to maintain at Waterrow, as well as making the natural environment a perfect match to these beautiful surroundings,” added Lynette.