One of Cornwall’s most picturesque holiday parks has entered its golden anniversary year with a gold award as the county’s top destination for camping and caravan holidays.
Polmanter Touring Park in St Ives was named this winter as the overall category winner in the Cornwall Tourism Awards by judges in the closely-fought contest.
Now the park, owned by the Osborne family for almost half a century, has also been confirmed as a finalist in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in February
This next stage of the competition comes at the start of a landmark year for Polmanter which first welcomed holiday guests back in in 1968.
It was then that dairy farmers John and Sheena Osborne began allowing campers to pitch up on one of their pastures with spectacular views along the Cornish coast.
Word about the breathtaking setting and friendly West Country welcome soon spread, and John and Sheena quickly found their holiday business rivalling the farm enterprise.
They took the decision to develop Polmanter as a prime destination for Cornwall lovers seeking a first-class setting for their stays, gradually adding new family-friendly facilities.
Today it still provides the same iconic views – but with features such as a heated outdoor pool, a luxurious spa, tennis court, play areas, and a shop with Cornish food and drink specialities.
Local produce, freshly prepared, is also a highlight on the menu of the park’s snug Stable Bar which occupies the farm’s former milking parlour.
Taking the lead now at Polmanter is Phil Osborne, one of John and Sheena’s four sons, and Phil’s wife Becki who combines the park with her role as a local family GP.
The couple, who have two young children, say their new Cornwall Tourism award as top caravan and camping park, is a fantastic curtain-raiser to their celebration year.
Polmanter took the same accolade in 2008, and this year also saw them scoop the prestigious gold AA five-pennant award for the quality of its facilities.
But according to Becki, feedback suggests that one of the main reasons for the park’s success is its relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff team:
“Almost all of our guests are either repeat visitors – sometimes the second or third generation of the same family – or coming as a result of a personal recommendation,” she said.
“We tend to attract people of all ages – and especially those with children – who enjoy traditional Cornish holidays, and who love exploring our amazing coast and countryside.
“We’ve tried to create an environment which is a match to these magnificent surroundings, and where everyone knows they can properly relax and rely on our help if needed.
“Our family and staff are greatly looking forward to Polmanter’s golden year, and I hope that our guests will be able to join in some of the events we have planned!” added Becki.
As well as competing in February’s South West Tourism Excellence finals, the park has also been nominated to represent the South West in the national VisitEngland finals this year.