The Museum of East Dorset in Wimborne has won the ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ gold trophy at the 10th Dorset Tourism Awards. Staff and Trustees from the museum joined a host of prestigious businesses and charitable organisations on 26th January for an award ceremony in the incredible setting of the Tank Museum. Successful businesses in the Dorset Awards will now be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in March.
Staff at the newly-furbished museum applied to enter the Dorset Tourism Awards last spring to get an objective report and business feedback, and to benchmark the museum against other organisations in the sector. On 25th October, Quality in Tourism, an independent accreditation service and headline sponsor of the 2022 – 23 Dorset Tourism Awards, sent one of its assessors in the guise of a ‘mystery shopper’ to visit the museum and see what makes it tick. That day, there were 90 children enjoying a fun-packed day of Little Explorer activities, as well as regular visitors exploring the museum and relaxing in the Garden Tea Room. Obviously, the assessor really enjoyed the experience.
The Museum of East Dorset is located in a Grade II* listed historic house opposite the Minster Church, right in the heart of Wimborne. Families and all ages and abilities can explore the themed exhibitions and collections and discover more about the stories of Wimborne Minster and the surrounding areas of East Dorset. There are seasonal trails, crafts and fun hands-on activities in every gallery. The Garden Tea Room looks out onto a beautiful walled garden – a true hidden gem. The shop has souvenirs and gifts handmade by local artisans, as well as a huge selection of quality second-hand books.
Museum Director, Chezzie Hollow, is absolutely thrilled to receive the award: “Here at the Museum of East Dorset, there really is something for everyone to enjoy. The Gold award proves that we are not just a fantastic local museum; we are an award-winning museum with a great future.”
Sara Marshall, Chair of the Priest’s House Museum Trust which runs the museum, said: “We were delighted to receive the ‘Small Visitor Attraction of the Year’ award despite strong competition from Dorset Heavy Horse Farm and Nothe Fort. We look forward to welcoming you to the museum.”