15 July 2020

Challaborough Beach

South Hams District Council welcomes visitors and holidaymakers back to our beautiful District, but asks them to please take care.

As the country slowly returns to normal, holidaymakers and visitors are beginning to return to the South Hams.

The tourism sector is crucial to the South Hams economy, with tourists spending £123 million on average in the area each year.

As always, tourists and visitors are welcome to the area, but things aren't quite back to normal yet.

Visitors should be aware that social distancing is still in place. Many attractions have reduced the number of people that can visit at any one time, as well as introducing other practices like timed entries, one-way systems, hand sanitising stations and much more.

The Council is hoping visitors will have a wonderful time in their beautiful District, and ask them after they've had a day trip to please take litter back to their accommodation to throw away if there aren't any available bins.

Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council, said: "I'm looking forward to seeing visitors back in the area; it seemed very quiet without them! I'd like to thank those who have visited and taken extra precautions while here as well, it is much appreciated.

"I know that some residents will be nervous as numbers increase, but as long as everyone follows the government guidance and stays respectful of one another, there shouldn't be an issue.

"Please pay attention to social distance markers at attractions, and follow the instructions that businesses ask you to. They are trying to keep you safe, so please be patient and understanding."

All over the South Hams, tourist-based businesses are beginning to reopen, and all are working hard to put processes in place to keep holidaymakers and residents safe.

Steve Richards, Chief Executive of Parkdean Resorts, who operate Challaborough Bay Park near Bigbury, said: "We are ready and waiting to warmly welcome holidaymakers who want to enjoy a well-deserved break whilst seeking fresh air, open spaces and safe, beautiful locations, like Challaborough in the South Hams. Our team has worked hard to ensure that whilst social distancing and health and safety measures are followed, our holidaymakers' experience will be the best yet.

"Parkdean have put in place a number of stringent safety and hygiene processes, so that we can reopen safely, and continue to support both our guests and the local economy."

Spiros Spozitos, Park Manager at Woodlands Family Theme Park, said: "We recently opened Woodlands Family Theme Park and Woodlands Camping and Caravan Park under the government's guidance with some restrictions in place on the number of guests who are able to visit the park each day. This helps us ensure our guests have the best possible experience and social distancing can be maintained. We have also enhanced our cleaning procedures and have placed hand sanitisers conveniently placed throughout the park. 

"We are working hard on enhanced cleaning procedures on our rides that are implemented after each and every use and we have created socially distanced queue systems for our rides and attractions. The response from our guests has been very positive and encouraging. We look forward to creating safe family memories for all our guests this summer season." 

Alex McEwen, General Manager of Thurlestone Hotel, said: "We're delighted to be welcoming guests back to our family-owned hotel this summer. We've been working hard to make sure that we can operate as safely as possible for all our guests and staff. All rooms will be deep cleaned and fully sanitised before guests check in, and all guests will be given personal hand sanitiser, surface sanitiser and paper wipes to use in their rooms. We have sanitising stations throughout the hotel, and masks available at reception for anyone who needs them. Our aim is to continue to provide the high level of service and a special brand of hospitality that our valued guests expect and deserve, as we have for over 120 years."

Cllr Pearce continued: "There are guidance notes for visitors and accommodation owners on our website, explaining what to do if you become ill while visiting the area. I'd ask everyone planning a trip to familiarise themselves with these.

"Most of all, remember to clean your hands regularly, wear a mask if you're indoors or a confined space, be considerate of our residents and enjoy your trip!"