Double Gold for National Park Centre as Online Shop Launched

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Lynmouth Pavilion Exmoor National Park Centre is celebrating having scooped a prestigious Gold award in the South West Tourism Awards, just weeks after winning Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards as Visitor information Service of the Year.

Feedback from the judges highlighted the diverse information service provided in a central location, highlighting the use of visitor feedback to improve services. The passion of the team was acknowledged along with the understanding of the difference team members can make to a high quality service.

Whilst the Centres had to close their doors for much of last year due to the Covid pandemic, all three National Park Centres at Lynmouth, Dunster and Dulverton are now open again from 10am until 5pm, 7 days a week. They offer expert advice alongside a range of displays, exhibits, resources and merchandise, to bring the story of Exmoor to life and inspire and inform people about the National Park.

During lockdown staff took the opportunity to update information, research new opportunities and develop an online shop (shop.exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk) helping people to better plan-ahead for their next visit, especially for those new to the National Park. The online shop provides a range of resources from maps, guidebooks and reference books, as well as souvenirs. To celebrate the awards and the launch of the online shop, anyone using the code CELEBRATE10 at checkout can claim a special 10% discount until the 21 May.

Also available from National Park Centres and the online shop are the new Exmoor Explorer walking guides launched earlier this week. This new collection of ten easy walks aim to introduce people to some of the most inspiring places within the National Park.

Dave Wilde, who co-manages the Centre, said: “This is the first time we’ve entered the awards and we did so to simply learn as much as we could. Having previously been thrilled to win Gold in the Devon Tourism Awards, we didn’t even dream of proceeding into the regional awards and coming away with a Gold award there too. It is great to have finally reopened the doors and to see people once again enjoying all that Exmoor has to offer. The team here is committed to continuing to serve our visitors, communities and businesses alike as we move forward with the pandemic.”

Rebecca Jackson who co-manages the Centre alongside Dave, continued: “We love nothing more than to speak with visitors face-to-face and fill them with ideas and inspiration about visiting Exmoor, but we’re aware things are currently a little different. The online shop is therefore an added bonus allowing us to equip people ahead of their visits to Exmoor, or to simply deliver a little something from Exmoor to their home. We have plans to widen the product range over the coming months and look forward to running this alongside our award-winning service.”

Dan James, Rural Enterprise Manager for Exmoor National Park, said: “With lockdown easing and the forecast of a bumper year for visitors to Exmoor, visitor information is more important than ever to help manage the situation responsibly and safely. I am so incredibly proud of the teams at our three National Park Centres, who have risen to the challenge and, even in lockdown, continued to innovate to provide the very best service they can.

"This latest award highlights the commitment, passion and professionalism of both our Lynmouth team specifically and indeed of all our National Park Centre staff, helping to inspire and inform all users of the National Park. Our Centre staff are often referred to as ‘Exmoor experts’ and they are keen to help everyone make the most of their Exmoor experience.”

There were over 400 entries to the regional tourism awards, sponsored by South West Water, which this year were held online due to the pandemic. On behalf of award organisers, Services4Tourism Nell Barrington said: “I have been really humbled to hear stories from these amazing tourism and hospitality businesses about how they have overcome adversity in these terrible times. It has been great to be able to celebrate their success today and I hope they have a fantastic season. Congratulations to them all.”

Published: 23 April 2021

T: 01398 323665
E: info@exmoor-nationalpark.gov.uk