Norfolk park chief crowned “holiday hero” at tourism awards

Awards spotlight beckons for Paul Searle and (from left) Joanne Searle, Eleanor Searle and Paul’s wife Vicky

TWO TOP distinctions saw Searles Leisure Resort of Hunstanton go under the spotlight at this year’s Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards.

At the glittering annual celebration of the region’s tourism businesses, the park was named as overall winner of the Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year award.

But judges still had another accolade tor Paul Searle.

In front of VIP guests from across the two counties, Paul received the Outstanding Contribution Award for his longstanding services tourism industry.

Sponsored by holiday bookings giant Hoseasons, the award celebrates Paul’s tireless efforts tor not just at his own park, but across East Anglia.

Lodges with private hot tubs are one of the luxury staying options at the park

Searles is one of Norfolk’s largest and most popular holiday centres which Paul manages in partnership with his brother Andrew and sister Joanna.

Paul said he was “absolutely thrilled” when the Outstanding Contribution award was announced at Kesgrave Hall in Suffolk by ceremony host David Whiteley from BBC’s Inside Out.

“Our family has been running Searles for over sixty years, and we are immensely proud of the value we bring to the local economy and employment,” he said.

“That’s also true of the many high quality tors.

“A lot of these, like ours, are long-established family businesses and have never been afraid tourism market.

“But we are also aware that our success couldn’t be achieved with the support of our loyal, hard-working staff, so they must share the credit for our two honours in these awards,” added Paul.

Searles was founded in 1954 by Paul’s grandfather, Geoffrey, and began life as a modest toes.

Successive generations of the Searle family have put their own stamp on the park’s character, and added to the range of facilities, attractions and accommodation options.

Today, Searles provides more than 500 privately owned and rented caravan holiday homes and lodges, as well as 300-plus touring pitches plus luxury timber camping pods.

The park employs around 200 people, plus an addition 50 staff at its Heacham Manor hotel which was converted by Searles from a listed Elizabethan building.

Not that Searles is any stranger to protect the natural world.

Paul is married to Vicky, and the couple have two children. Paul’s sporting interests include hockey, in which he has competed at senior regional league level, as well as cricket and golf.

There is more information about Searles Leisure Resort at