Devon’s Top Attractions gathered for their annual meeting recently at Crealy Theme Park & Resort.

It was the ideal occasion to present some special awards for excellence to some of the top attractions. The awards recognise how these attractions continually go above and beyond to keep their facilities with outstanding quality standards and how they go the extra mile to look after their visitors.

This year there were awards in three different categories including ‘Devon Dog Friendly Attraction of the Year’, the ‘Devon Best Attraction Retail Shop of the Year’ and the ‘Devon Loo of the Year’. The winners and finalists of each category were as follows:

► The award for the Devon Dog friendly Attraction of the Year 2022 was won by Haldon Forest Park, recognised for having the best dog friendly experience for both the dogs and their owners with their facilities, accessibility and welcome. Finalists were River Dart Country Park and Canonteign Falls who were also highly commended.

Katy Harrison, Haldon Forest Park manager, said: ‘We are proud and delighted that Haldon Forest Park has been crowned DATA’s Dog Friendly Attraction of the Year.

‘We are always trying to improve our welcome for dogs and their humans, with plenty of off-lead space to explore, fresh drinking water and treats, dog-friendly cafe and outdoor dog parking, and long opening hours for essential dawn and dusk walkies.

‘We hope to install a self-service dog wash to keep dogs – and car upholstery – in top condition. As dog owners ourselves, we know that our four-legged friends are part of the family and can’t imagine making memories in the forest without them by our side.’

=The winner of the award for Devon’s Best Attraction Retail Shop of the Year 2022 went to Canonteign Falls who had the best range, choice, appropriateness, local sourcing, display and pricing. The three highly commended finalists were Buckfast Abbey, RAMM and Pennywell.

Amy Greenman, marketing director and CEO at Canonteign Falls, said: ‘We are thrilled to have been awarded Best Attraction Retail Shop 2022. We work hard at Canonteign to support smaller artisan businesses and boutique suppliers, stocking our shop with lovely gifts and products that our visitors will enjoy as well as locals who can pop in for a gift or card without heading into town! We are delighted to have been recognised for this!’

=The acclaimed Award for the best ‘Devon Loo of the Year 2022’ went to RHS Rosemoor in Torrington, whose facilities were recognised for their outstanding high quality, cleanliness, décor and signage. Finalists in this section were Pecorama and Powderham Castle who also have excellent facilities.

The awards first started in 2019 in order to further encourage and heighten quality standards at member attractions. This has now been expanded to include the other categories and there are more planned for the future.

Rick Turner, chairman of the Devon Association of Tourist Attractionsc said: ‘Huge congratulations to all the 2022 winners and finalists who have done a fantastic job providing outstanding facilities and exceptional visitor experiences. The awards’ objective is to raise awareness and encourage the highest possible standards within areas that can sometimes be overlooked and its important for us to recognise these areas of excellence.

To find more information and ideas for a quality Devon day out, check out the Devon’s Top Attractions website