Dorset park shimmers in silver at tourism awards

Silver success: Shamba's owners Anne Gray and her husband Martin (far right) are congratulated by judges

Silver success: Shamba’s owners Anne Gray and her husband Martin (far right) are congratulated by judges

Staff and the family owners of Shamba Holidays near the New Forest are celebrating after their business took a major honour in this month’s Dorset Tourism Awards.

The five-star caravan and camping park was named by judges as the winner of the silver award in the parks category of the closely-fought competition.

Shamba’s success was announced at a glittering awards ceremony held at The Lighthouse in Poole on 16 November, attended by hundreds of Dorset tourism businesses.

Stepping up to receive the accolade were Anne and Martin Gray whose family has owned the park, now managed by their son Andrew, for over 20 years.

There's year-round swimming whatever the weather at Shamba

There’s year-round swimming whatever the weather at Shamba

The business will now be fast-tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards next February, and could go on to compete in the national VisitEngland finals in April 2018.

Shamba’s new award, for which scores of Dorset parks were eligible, joins a raft of other accolades celebrating the family’s achievements.

They include a top five-pennant accolade from the AA, and the David Bellamy Conservation Award at its maximum gold level for Shamba’s many initiatives to protect the natural world.

The park was also flushed with success last summer when its swish amenity building was given a top platinum accolade by judges from the Loo of the Year awards.

However, Andrew Gray said that Shamba’s latest award from Dorset Tourism has a special significance for the business:

“These awards put a strong emphasis on the hospitality and quality of service provided for holiday guests, and these has always been high on our list of priorities,” he said.

“Our aim is to provide first-class surroundings for visitors, and to exceed expectations by creating a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere for people to enjoy their stays.

Touring guests enjoy tranquil rural surroundings on the park

Touring guests enjoy tranquil rural surroundings on the park

“This is often mentioned in our customer reviews, so naturally we are delighted that the Dorset Tourism judges were also impressed with what they have found here.

“A big share of the credit for this award must go to our team of staff who help us maintain our high standards, and do a great job of making our guests feel at home,” added Andrew

Open all year round, Shamba provides a wealth of facilities for families coming to enjoy Dorset’s countryside and beaches, including a 40-foot swimming pool with a retractable roof.

There’s also a modern clubhouse with professional entertainment in season, and a year-round activities for all ages – plus a bar, café-restaurant, shop, and relaxation areas.

Shamba is a member of the Best of British group, a consortium of independent parks providing some of the highest quality standards and levels of hospitality in the UK.

There is more information about the park at