A major Norfolk holiday park which has just scooped a national activities award says another blow has been dealt to Norfolk’s image as a sleepy retreat for take-it-easy breaks.
Searles Leisure Resort in Hunstanton, North Norfolk, is the first in the county to be honoured with the new GolfMark accolade for its successful work in developing the game.
And according to managing director Paul Searle, the award adds further weight to his belief that Norfolk is now one of the UK’s most popular destinations for activity holidays.
In response to demand from guests, he says, Searles Leisure Resort is now buzzing with more all-action pursuits than at any other time in its 50-plus year history.
This spring, water zorbing joined jet-skis, indoor and outdoor pools, all-weather sports pitches, a gym, fishing, karts, tennis, archery and curling on the park’s ever-growing activity list.
“Once upon a time, a Norfolk seaside holiday meant little more than deckchairs on the beach, and a drive around our many beauty spots – but that’s now all changed,” said Paul.
“Many families today go on holiday to enjoy new experiences, and we’ve responded to this by making have-a-go activities a big part of what we offer.
“Over the past five years, we’ve invested more than £5 million in Searles, and a substantial chunk of this has been dedicated to enhancing and growing our leisure facilities.
“I think that younger families especially find that getting active is a fantastic way to unwind and de-stress in the shortest time, and that’s what holidays should be about!” added Paul.
Searles provides more than 500 privately owned and letting holiday homes, as well as 300-plus touring pitches, as well as luxury timber camping pods new for the 2016 season.
The park employs around 200 people, plus an addition 50 staff at its Heacham Manor hotel which adjoins the 18-hole golf course and, next to it, a 9-hole golf course and driving range.
Its new GolfMark seal of approval was awarded by England Golf, the governing body for amateur golf in England, and is the only award granted so far in Norfolk.
It celebrates Searles’ success in helping to encourage participation in the game by making it accessible and affordable to players of all ages and abilities.
Paul described the award as a “massive achievement”, and said that great credit must also go to the course staff, including its PGA professional, for the high level of service they provide.
There is more information about Searles Leisure Resort at www.searles.co.uk