There was a festival air at a Glastonbury holiday park this month after its family owners found they had struck gold in one of tourism’s most prestigious award schemes.
The Old Oaks Touring Park is now flying the coveted AA Gold Pennant which is given out by the Automobile Association to only a small elite of its highest rated parks.
It distinguishes the business, which lies just behind Glastonbury’s world-famous tor, as a UK champion of truly first-class standards for holiday guests.
But before it could be considered for the award, The Old Oaks had to undergo a rigorous inspection regime which scrutinised almost every aspect of its operation.
Guest facilities, services and levels of hospitality all went under the microscope – and, said the AA’s experts, each met the gold standard on every level.
In fact, the official quality rating for the business was 98% which, under the award’s scoring system, is the ultimate which any park can ever receive.
James and Tara White are the husband-and-wife management team at the Old Oaks Touring Park which has been in the same family’s ownership for over 30 years.
Based near the village of Wick, their five-star park – which is for adults only – has long been a favourite of campers, caravanners and motorhome owners visiting Somerset.
More recently, however, The Old Oaks has been introducing new ways for visitors to stay in its tranquil surroundings, including a number of innovative glamping options.
They include luxury shepherd’s huts with a raft of comforts including a shower room, kitchen facilities and a full-size double bed – with one even having its own hot tub.
Also built for pampering are the park’s new bijou cedar lodges which are equipped and furnished to the highest standards, plus glamping cabins with their own private decking and fire-pit.
The AA’s ultimate gold accolade, says Tara, has topped off an extremely successful summer season for The Old Oaks which saw it welcome guests from across the UK and overseas:
“What’s especially pleasing for us is that the AA’s award puts a big emphasis on the hospitality we provide, and credit for this must also go to our hard-working staff team,” said Tara.
“They are forever going to extra mile to make guests feel welcome, and to create the warm and friendly atmosphere which so many mention in their reviews of our park.
“Providing truly memorable experiences has always been our main aim, so we’re naturally delighted to see this highlighted by our award,” she added.
In its summary of the park, the AA said: “Where does a really top park go? Well, since last year The Old Oaks has got even better, and the attention to detail everywhere is excellent.
“Needless to say, all facilities were spotless as usual. Overall, The Old Oaks is very much the leading park in the country, and one where James and Tara are constantly raising the bar.”
The park is a member of the Best of British group of top-rated independent parks with the highest quality standards, and is described on its website at www.theoldoaks.co.uk