What a week last week was! March and April are always busy for us, with lambing and calving in full swing sleep is definitely deprived and nutritious meals are a treat, it’s a grab and run time of year and we don’t leave the farm for weeks on end….I think that’s why we didn’t feel any difference in Lockdown 1, it was our normal spring routine without the kids going to school, which was great as we had extra hands on the farm!
Anyhow, I digress. Last Thursday we were thrilled to be part of the North East England Tourism Awards 2022, we were shortlisted in the category for the ‘Best New Tourism Business 2022’ which was exciting. The awards were held in the Banquetting Suite of the Civic Centre in the centre of Newcastle, a big night out indeed for us two.
After the initial shortlisting, we were visited by the judges earlier in the year, they visited our site and interviewed us about lots of elements in our business. A big relief was that our accommodation and site were judged to be ‘immaculate’, which is a common theme from guests too.
‘Sycamore Glamping Pods are a new tourism venture consisting of two high quality glamping pods in
Northumberland offering affordable breaks with outstanding views. Owners Mark and Debbie have taken great care in developing their offering and visitor welcome with the stand out pre-arrival feature being an easy to use and informative app allowing guests to pre-plan their stay as well as being able to use the app whilst enjoying their break. Despite having only been open just over a year they’ve already had guests return and book for a third visit testament to the quality accommodation and welcome they offer.’
After a busy day of ‘getting ahead of ourselves’ we scrubbed up, left the farm in the safe hands of our children who promised they could cope with the lambing sheep and had lots of back up numbers in case of emergencies – another positive from the lockdowns is that they have proven very responsible, capable and willing to help out on the farm.
We were greeted into the reception area with a glass of fizz and a chance to mingle with fellow shortlisted businesses, there really was a buzz in the air. After being directed to the banqueting hall we found our table, being sat with fellow farmers from Hallhill farm who was shortlisted for the Unsung Hero Award (worth a run out if you are staying with us); fellow glamping and cottage owners from Laverock Law who were shortlisted for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award; and the owners of Market Cross Guest House who were shortlisted for B&B and Guest House of the Year. We found the evening flew by and the conversation flew really easily, with lots of hints and tips being shared on everything from mucking out sheep pens to self-build treehouses!
Two gold awards, one silver award and a bronze award found their way to our table. We were delighted to be awarded the silver award in our category.
Next up is the National Awards! We qualify for this round which is super exciting, to think that we will be judged on a National level as part of Visit England’s awards for the Best New Tourism Business 2022 is just beyond our comprehension. Whatever happens at the National awards we are just so delighted to be considered at a regional level to be among the best new tourism businesses of 2022.