Family and staff at Oakdown Caravan and Camping Park in East Devon are celebrating after being crowned as Holiday Park of the Year in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards.
Members of the Franks family, owners of Oakdown, stepped into the spotlight at November’s finals to receive the congratulations of judges for their achievement.
The sparkling awards ceremony was held at the Plymouth Guildhall, and hosted by top travel journalist Simon Calder and intrepid arctic explorer Ann Daniels.
Oakdown, based near Sidmouth, trumped scores of other eligible parks throughout Devon to take the top gold accolade for parks offering a truly exceptional experience for guests.
Owned by the Franks family for almost 45 years, Oakdown Holiday Park provides luxury caravan holiday homes to rent and to buy, plus glamping accommodation and touring pitches.
Its many honours include both national and regional tourism awards, and the top gold David Bellamy Conservation Award for the park’s raft of environmental initiatives.
Guests enjoy facilities such as a highly rated cafe specialising in locally sourced food, and the 9-hole Oak Mead Golf Course with superb views over the surrounding countryside.
Alastair Franks said that everyone was delighted with the award which had come at the end of a very busy and successful season for the park:
“This year has seen the introduction of shepherds huts and premier pods, plus a brand new reception area, and a redesigned coffee shop and restaurant,” he said.
“To win gold in these awards is an incredible result for us, and we’re thrilled to be a winner against some seriously tough competition.
“An important element of these awards is the quality of hospitality provided to guests, and a large share of the credit for this much go to our hard-working staff team,” added Alastair.
Alastair runs the park with his wife Andrianna, and it was his parents Doreen and Roger who first started the park in the 1970s with just a single caravan.
Oakdown’s award was made following a detailed assessment of the business, and a “mystery shopper” visit by award judges.
There is more information about the park at www.oakdown.co.uk
Also celebrated in the 2017 Devon Tourism Awards were silver winners Cofton Holidays in Dawlish (www.coftonholidays.co.uk), bronze winners Ladram Bay Holiday Park in Budleigh Salterton (www.ladrambay.co.uk) and highly commended Whitehill Country Park in Paignton (www.whitehill-park.co.uk). The holiday park category was sponsored by Stephens Scown solicitors (www.stephens-scown.co.uk)
Image caption: Park at its peak: pictured at the awards ceremony are (from left) Stephens Scown solicitor Richard Baker, Oakdown park owners Alastair and Andrianna Franks, and travel journalist Simon Calder