A LOCAL wheelchair-friendly holiday lodge has won big in the 2023/24 South West Tourism Excellence Awards.

Lower Laurel Farm's Mountain Lodge caters for those with acute allergies and who may struggle with their mobility.

The accommodation, which is situated on the western edge of the Mendips, was granted with the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, sponsored by Living Options.

Further information about the lodge can be found on the Lower Laurel Farm's website, which reads: "The two lodges are equipped with hoists, wet rooms, sunken floor mats, dual height hobs and sinks, sliding doors, light weight pans, easy grip utensils, no pour kettles and other features designed for those with disabilities.

"We know that some people have more specific requirements so in addition to the facilities mentioned above, Mountain Lodge lodge is tailored further to enable those with acute allergies to holiday in a safe environment, whilst Coastal Cottage is pet friendly, tailored to those with visual impairments."

The business also won silver in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Awards 2023/24, which qualified it to go forward in the Excellence Awards.

Speaking about how it feels to win the award, Jenny, the owner of Mountain Lodge, said: "Being recognised at the Bristol Bath and Somerset Tourism awards within the first year of operating was fantastic. 

"Seeing the quality and scale of the competition, I was flattered just be nominated but to win was such a nice surprise.

"When embarking on a journey that is such a huge personal and financial risk, I had not even considered winning an award but above all that the most important thing about the lodges are the families that we meet and get support from, throughout this journey.

"The community that Mountain Lodge serves and is part of is inspirational. I am humbled by their resilience and sheer determination to let nothing stand in their way each day.

"This award was really for them in the hope it will encourage others to become more accessible and inclusive."

The awards were created to recognise and celebrate those businesses which go above and beyond.

Other categories included Business Events Venue of the Year, Casual Dining Award, Dog Friendly Business of the Year and Experience of the Year, to name a few.