Self-catering couple's gold
JUST six years after starting work to create a complex of top quality holiday cottages, John and Ann Stocks have been crowned as the best self-catering provider in England.
The couple (pictured), who run Compton Pool Farm near Marldon, were presented with their Gold Award at the England Awards for Excellence in tourism ceremony in Leicester. The gold is the highest award VisitEngland gives.
The complex features 11 rural cottages converted from old farm buildings, with an indoor pool, tennis court and lake fishing on site. It specialises in providing family holidays all year round in luxurious accommodation, rated five-star gold by Quality in Tourism.
The Stocks are no strangers to awards success, having picked up silver awards twice before on a national level, and winning regional gold awards for their cottages and their innovative website on no fewer than seven occasions.
Ann said: "This is the icing on the cake and makes the six years' hard work even more worthwhile. Seeing our guests returning year after year gives us enormous pleasure, but being recognised by our industry for what we have achieved is truly special."
James Berresford, VisitEngland's chief executive, said: "This year we received a record of 392 applications of extremely high quality. It is a tremendous achievement for Compton Pool Farm to win a gold award. They have raised the bar for excellence."
The judges singled out Compton Pool Farm for 'providing personal service to the highest standard and the owners are passionate and committed to their business and the local tourism industry'.