Carnfunnock Country Park has been recognised with a four-star rating under this year’s Tourism Northern Ireland’s Visitor Attraction Quality Grading Scheme.
Welcoming around 200,000 visitors each year, Carnfunnock is now one of Northern Ireland’s best known country parks and Larne town’s best known tourist attraction.
Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council said: “We are committed to ensuring visitors have a great day out at Carnfunnock and want them to have the best possible experience.
“This rating again recognises the high level of visitor experience and customer service that visitors can expect.”
The Visitor Attraction scheme, which was introduced to Northern Ireland in 2012, is designed to give visitors a clear idea of the standards of service, cleanliness, comfort and food they can expect during their visit to an attraction.
This latest accolade followed Carnfunnock being subject to a ‘mystery visitor’ check in July 2016 with very positive feedback as well as the four-star status award.
Just some of the positive comments within this year’s report included:
- Grounds and gardens continue to be well maintained with walkways cut back providing easy access;
- The walled gardens are beautiful and staff obviously take pride in the presentation and appearance;
- There are a range of high quality interpretive panels, all in excellent condition which showcase the various flowers, fauna and artefacts on display;
- Parklands café is an excellent addition to the overall experience. The park and coastal views from the terrace are superb;
- The park and associated elements offer a range of walks and activities to engage a variety of ages and interests.
The prestigious grading comes just a year after Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s country-park-by-the-sea tourist attraction won a prestigious visitor award.
Last July, it came out tops in the 2015 Ni4 Kids magazine ‘Family Visitor Attraction of the Year (Large)’ category.
To achieve that, Carnfunnock Country Park triumphed against some very big names for the category title with the Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre and Belfast’s W5 also in the final running.
The facility was also awarded its first ‘Green Flag’ Award in July. This is the national standard for parks and green spaces in the UK that recognises excellence in the management of public spaces, and was awarded in association with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.