Devon wins best UK destination in Group Leisure and Travel awards

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 October 2019

Representing Devon at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards. Picture: Devon's Top Attractions

Representing Devon at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards. Picture: Devon's Top Attractions

Devon's Top Attractions

Devon has been voted the best place in the UK for group trips and holidays - beating London, Liverpool and the Isle of Wight.

The Stuart Line Cruises boat near the dramatic red Jurassic cliffs. Picture: Stuart Line CruisesThe Stuart Line Cruises boat near the dramatic red Jurassic cliffs. Picture: Stuart Line Cruises

he prize for 'best UK destination 2019' was presented at the Group Leisure and Travel Awards on Wednesday, October 9.

The awards are run by the national magazine, Group Leisure and Travel, aimed at people who organise outings and holidays.

Its readers include major sports and social clubs, National Trust groups, women's institutes and groups from the U3A, Rotary and Round Table, as well as informal groupings of friends, large families and like-minded people who travel together.

Anne Blackham from Devon's Top Attractions said the local visitor trade has been campaigning for the last four years to make the county a top destination for group travel.

World of Country Life. Attraction manager, James Turner, with The Majestic Charabanc which appeared in the BBC drama, Downton Abbey. Ref exe 8203-08-15AW. Picture: Alex WaltonWorld of Country Life. Attraction manager, James Turner, with The Majestic Charabanc which appeared in the BBC drama, Downton Abbey. Ref exe 8203-08-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

She explained that all those involved have worked closely as a team to make life as easy as possible for the organisers and operators of club trips and holidays, going 'above and beyond' to offer the best group experiences.

Accommodation providers and visitor attractions have put together packages of accommodation and outings, and offered joint tickets for attractions so that groups can move smoothly from one to another.

"For example, they can go on a boat trip with Stuart Line Cruises, and then 10 minutes down the road they can go to the transport museum at World of Country Life and see the charabanc from Downton Abbey," she said.

"We package it together really nicely, with a cream tea."

The 'best UK destination' award and certificate. Picture: Devon's Top AttractionsThe 'best UK destination' award and certificate. Picture: Devon's Top Attractions

The Devon's Top Attractions team have also been inviting the group travel organisers on familiarisation visits, so that they can come and experience the area, accommodation and attractions for themselves before booking a trip.

The association has represented Devon and its attractions at travel trade shows, including group travel shows, throughout the year.

Dick Wood, the incoming chairman of Devon's Top Attractions, said: "We are proud and pleased to have received this prestigious accolade which is testament to the top-quality attractions, accommodation and destination options that Devon has to offer groups.

"We look forward to inspiring many more domestic and international groups to visit Devon and enjoy everything that our wonderful county has to offer."

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