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VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016: winners

Treworgey Cottages

This year's VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016 ceremony took place on Tuesday 8 March at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, where the top honours were awarded to the businesses that have demonstrated exceptional customer service, and given their visitors an unforgettable English holiday experience.

Congratulations to all our winners!

Access for All

GOLD WINNER

Hoe Grange Holidays, Matlock, Derbyshire 

Hoe Grange is a traditional family-run farm on the edge of the Peak District National Park, and had four log cabins which cater for guests with a range of mobility needs and accessible-friendly features. Rated 4 star Gold, Hoe Grange demonstrates how quality need not be sacrificed for accessibility. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Calvert Trust Exmoor, Barnstaple, Devon

Located on the edge of Exmoor National Park, Calvert Trust Exmoor is an activity centre committed to providing exciting, challenging and enjoyable outdoor activities for people with physical, learning, behavioural and sensory disabilities. Its passionate and dedicated team of staff and volunteers help people overcome their fears and deliver life changing experiences. 

 

SILVER WINNER

The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath and North East Somerset

The Roman Baths and Temple were built nearly 2,000 years ago around Britain’s only hot springs. Opening to visitors in 1897, this unique historical attraction has an innovative suspended walkway which allows visitors on foot and visitors using wheelchairs to experience the ancient Temple Precinct together. The Baths represent an excellent example of how a heritage site can be truly accessible for all. 

 

BRONZE WINNER

Hampton Court Palace, Richmond, London

This Scheduled Ancient Monument helps everyone explore the story of how monarchs and people have shaped society in one of the greatest palaces ever built. Visitors with sensory impairment can enjoy British Sign Language interpreted tours, and there is a ‘We-Go’ powered wheelchair available with its own escort. With excellent Access guides, Hampton Court Palace ensures everyone gets the most from their visit.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester, Leicestershire

Attenborough Arts Centre is a pioneering arts venue with inclusivity at its core. It was established with the help of founding patron Lord Richard Attenborough, with the ambition for everyone to be involved in the arts, and now has a fantastic new gallery space showcasing live and visual arts.

 

Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation

GOLD WINNER

Trevose Harbour House, St Ives, Cornwall 

Trevose House is a top end B&B that offers exemplary comfort in artistic surroundings, lovely seaside decor throughout, large and airy rooms with sea views and delicious breakfasts.

 

 

SILVER WINNER

Low Mill Guesthouse, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

Situated in a beautiful village in the Yorkshire Dales, Low Mill is set in a converted mill, complete with functioning water wheel and mill workings, and oozes character and provides perfect hospitality to its guests. 

 

 

BRONZE WINNER

Pebble House Boutique Guest House, Mevagissey, Cornwall

Pebble House is the perfect place to escape from the kids, where guests are treated to a glass of bubbly on arrival and rooms with views to die for.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Molland Manor House B&B, Canterbury, Kent

A historic and beautifully restored home from home, Molland Manor is set in tranquil grounds close to such attractions as Wingham Wildlife Park and Deal Castle. 

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

St Cuthbert's House, Seahouses, Northumberland

St Cuthbert’s Guest House is situated in an elegant converted 19th century chapel just a short walk from Seahouses harbour and within easy reach of the spectacular Northumbrian coast.

 

Business Tourism

GOLD WINNER

Crewe Hall, Q Hotels, Crewe, Cheshire

Set in eight acres of parkland in a 400-year-old Jacobean mansion, Crewe Hall offers a mix of modern conference and meeting rooms in the state-of-the-art purpose built event centre with heritage conference and meeting rooms in the Old Hall. 

 

 

SILVER WINNER

Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa and Country Lodges, Nr. Colchester, Essex 

The Stoke by Nayland Hotel Golf & Spa is a family owned and run business, whose visitors will enjoy the peaceful location, fabulous grounds and the quality of the leisure facilities for relaxation. 

 

 

BRONZE WINNER

Dartington Hall, Totnes, Devon

Dartington Hall is a stunning country estate that provides first class meeting facilities, team-building activities, comfortable accommodation and a fine dining catering experience.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Seaham Hall, Seaham, County Durham

Seaham Hall in County Durham is set in 37 acres in a stunning cliff-top location and offers business customers a choice of meeting and conference spaces, all with air conditioning, natural light and stunning views. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club, Umberleigh, North Devon

Highbullen offers a wide choice of meeting and conference spaces accommodating up to 400 delegates in the superb new purpose-built Palazzo, along with 12 bedrooms in the Manor House and 25 Estate Rooms located in the grounds. 

Dog Friendly Business

GOLD WINNER

Higher Wiscombe, Colyton, Devon 

Higher Wiscombe sets the benchmark for others to aspire to when it comes to doggy holidays. The fully equipped cottages, with ensuite bedrooms throughout, are set in a lovely valley only a few miles from the glorious beaches of Beer, Sidmouth and Branscombe. Peaceful, luxurious, hospitality second to none and faultless green credentials; this is a heaven for hounds and humans too. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Poston Mill Park, Peterchurch, Herefordshire

Poston Mill Park offers a wide choice of accommodations from camping to self-catering units and provides an understated bit of doggy heaven. Pooch welcome packs are tailored to the owner’s requirements and you can even register for dog training classes during your stay. 

 

BRONZE WINNER

Old Swan & Minster Mill, Nr. Witney, Oxfordshire

The Old Swan and Minster Mill is a welcoming and laid back gastro pub and hotel with a number of dog friendly rooms and the added bonus that dogs can dine with their owners.  Or vice versa, as those lucky hounds have their own choice of dinner and breakfast, served with panache, including porridge if desired! All canine guests are issued with smart branded bandanas and canine etiquette and puppy training classes are available in the summer.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Sun Inn, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

Sun Inn is a very characterful boutique hotel in Kirkby Lonsdale combining 17th century character and charm with luxurious contemporary accommodation. Dogs receive a Pooch Pack on arrival and owners are made to feel at ease by the relaxed no frill, no fuss policy shown towards canine guests. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Talbot Hotel, Malton, North Yorkshire

Talbot Hotel lies within a fully restored Grade 2 listed historic building surrounded by attractive grounds. It is very dog friendly and the genuine enthusiasm of the staff towards dogs is impressive and helps put owners at ease. Dogs are also welcome to join owners for dinner. 

 

Holiday Park / Holiday Village

GOLD WINNER

Woodovis Park, Tavistock, Devon

Woodovis is a tranquil family owned park based within a woodland setting near the historic market town of Tavistock. The emphasis is on providing a high standard of accommodation and excellent park facilities, and the park includes a range of wet/inclement weather activities, such as under-cover boules, circus skills, story-telling and archery as well as water walking in the indoor swimming pool.

 

SILVER WINNER

Darwin Forest Country Park, Matlock, Derbyshire

Darwin Forest Country Park is an excellent holiday park set within 47 acres of woodland paradise, featuring 110 luxuriously furnished timber lodges built by the park’s sister company Pinelog and maintained to a very high standard. The premier Spa Lodges include outdoor hot tubs.

 

BRONZE WINNER

Poston Mill Park, Peterchurch, Herefordshire

Poston Mill Holiday Park is set in 25 acres of riverside farmland close to the cathedral city of Hereford, and promises peace and quiet, riverside walks and on site activities including a pitch and putt course, river fishing and a very popular pub and restaurant in a historic converted mill.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park, Keswick, Cumbria

Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park is a well-maintained, family owned site with superb views and glorious sunsets overlooking Derwentwater, and provides facilities for touring and static caravans, ‘pods’ and camping. There is an onsite restaurant, a well-stocked campers’ shop selling local products and, unusually, an art gallery complete with a coffee bar. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Padstow Touring Park, Padstow, Cornwall

Padstow Touring Park consists of 150 well-spaced and landscaped touring caravan and family camping pitches. Open all year, it provides the ideal base for touring this beautiful area of Cornwall.

 

Large Hotel

GOLD WINNER

Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, Darlington, County Durham

A hidden gem in the North East of England, Rockliffe Hall is a truly impressive 60 roomed 5-star luxury golf and spa hotel offering a wide choice of beautifully presented accommodation, including the traditional but stylish Old Hall rooms and the even more spacious contemporary New Hall rooms, as well as some self-catering options and family holiday homes. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa, New Forest, Hampshire

Celebrating its 50th year, Chewton Glen Hotel and Spa is a world renowned luxury resort that manages to be sumptuous and elegant, whilst retaining a friendly, relaxed atmosphere and where the staff are prepared to go that extra mile.

 

 

BRONZE WINNER

South Lodge, an Exclusive Hotel, Horsham, West Sussex

South Lodge Hotel is a magnificent country house hotel set in 93 acres of woodland and parkland.  Many of its rooms have wonderful views of the South Downs, and are kept to an exceptionally high standard. Unlike some large hotels, the staff are particularly well motivated, providing outstanding service. Special touches include anti-snoring pillows and self-decorate Christmas trees in the rooms. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Peckforton Castle, Chester, Cheshire

Housed in a truly magnificent Victorian castle set high up overlooking Cheshire, Peckforton Castle Hotel is everyone’s vision of ‘medieval’ grandeur. Labyrinthine corridors and stone spiral staircases link the individually styled rooms - you might find yourself housed in a turret with fantastic views of the castle’s wooded surroundings. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa, Salcombe, Devon

Described as ‘a luxurious coastal spa’, the Salcombe Harbour Hotel certainly takes full advantage of its superb location overlooking the water. Its balconies and terraces would seem particularly suited to wedding parties, birthday celebrations or a romantic weekend away. Staff will even scatter rose petals and arrange candles in the hotel’s cinema when a proposal is in the offing.  

 

Large Visitor Attraction

GOLD WINNER

The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Manchester

With over 55000 artworks and 20,000 textiles, The Whitworth is one of Britain’s greatest collections of modern art and historic fine art. This magnificent building houses ever-changing displays, brand new research and education facilities, book shop, gift shop, and a superbly appointed glass-walled restaurant with delightful views over the surrounding park and art garden. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Brunel's ss Great Britain, Bristol

One of the UK’s finest attractions, this multi award-winning restoration of the world famous SS Great Britain is set in the original dry dock where she was built,  and now combines a plethora of interactive displays, historic tableaux, costumed interpreters and a soon to be opened on-shore Brunel museum. Visitors can experience the sights, sounds and even smells of a sea voyage of yore and can even view the ship from ‘under water’.

 

BRONZE WINNER

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, Beamish, County Durham

At Beamish - The Living Museum of the North, you can touch, taste, hear, see and smell history whilst on an unforgettable journey into the past. All staff and volunteers at Beamish are dressed appropriately for their period, role and location within the museum. Not only does this make them easily identifiable, but it also adds to that unique experience which is ‘Beamish’.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Chester Zoo, Chester, Cheshire

Chester Zoo is an outstanding experience for visitors of all ages and abilities which remain at the forefront of innovative conservation. The zoo’s excellent animal welfare and conservation work is strongly communicated and an integral part of the attraction’s operation.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Described by Bill Bryson as ‘the single most beautiful structure in England’, Salisbury Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and a magnet for tourists from all over the world. It is also a living place of worship, an internationally renowned music venue and a centre for education and community outreach. It also houses the best preserved copy of the Magna Carta, which is currently displayed in an outstanding exhibition.

Self Catering Holiday Provider

GOLD WINNER

Treworgey Cottages, Nr. Looe, Cornwall

Treworgey Cottages is a beautiful complex of stylishly restored cottages with admirably green credentials set on a 150 acre farm overlooking the Looe River valley. The chocolate box cottages have been restored to enviably high standards whilst retaining their original charm. The cottages have log fires, beautiful bedrooms with excellent bathrooms, some with four-posters, well equipped kitchens and pretty private gardens. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges & Snug Huts, Bishop Wilton. York

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges offer a choice of comfortable, well-equipped self-catering lodges and two cosy shepherd’s huts in a truly peaceful rural setting. Relax in your hot tub, pop to the excellent village pub for a hearty lunch, go walking on the nearby Wolds Way or hire a bike, or just stay in, pour a glass of bubbly and watch the bird box cam on your TV.

 

BRONZE WINNER

Whalesborough Cottages & Spa, Bude, Cornwall

With bright, contemporary accommodation complete with wood burning stoves, under floor heating and lovely open plan kitchens, Whalesborough Cottages & Spa is a luxurious getaway near to the beach. Its bright, contemporary accommodation comes complete with free use of state of the art spa facilities, indoor and outdoor heated pools, dedicated children’s play areas, tennis courts and massage facilities. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Dandelion Hideaway, Market Bosworth, Leicestershire

The Dandelion Hideaway offers thoughtfully designed cosy canvas cottages in a rural paradise, complete with roll top baths, wood fired stoves and oil lamps. There is also a whole farm to explore, with baby animals galore, goat milking, egg collecting and pony grooming.  This is family glamping at its best. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Dovecote Barns, York, York, North Yorkshire

The Dovecote Barns offers spacious and spotless self -catering accommodation in barns converted to a very high standard with spectacular kitchens, individually styled ensuite bedrooms, squashy sofas and attentive and committed management. There are also fresh eggs from the on-site hens to welcome you, along with a basket of home-made bread and lovely jams. 

 

Small Hotel

GOLD WINNER

Yorebridge House, Bainbridge, North Yorkshire

This 5-star ‘restaurant with rooms’ offers contemporary luxury, amazing bedrooms, wonderful bathrooms and exemplary service in a relaxed atmosphere. Housed inside a historic Grade 2 listed former school and headmaster’s house, it is situated amongst breath-taking scenery in the heart of Wensleydale. Guests will enjoy features such as private outdoor hot tubs with selected rooms, outstanding cuisine, sumptuous public rooms and a welcome as warm as the log fire; this is a very special boutique hotel indeed.

SILVER WINNER

Cross Lane House Hotel & Restaurant, Allerford, Exmoor National Park, Somerset

Cross Lane House is a small country guesthouse with the impeccable service and eye for detail that would make it the envy of any grand establishment. The hosts go to extraordinary lengths to make guests enjoy their stay, even down to washing their cars’ windscreens before departure (unasked) and supplying goodie bags for the journey home. Customers’ comments invariably include the word ‘perfect’.

 

BRONZE WINNER

Hell Bay Hotel, Bryher, Isles of Scilly

Hell Bay Hotel is a stylish seaside retreat in what is simply the best location in the islands with outdoor pool, friendly, attentive staff and excellent mostly locally sourced food from their delightful rustic little eatery. The renowned The Crabshack, adjoining the hotel, is open during the summer season for guests to enjoy the local seafood.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Kentisbury Grange, Barnstaple, North Devon

Kentisbury Grange, situated on the edge of Exmoor National Park, is a superbly refurbished Victorian manor house featuring beautifully furnished bedrooms and superb ensuite bathrooms.  The Coach House by Michael Caines is a masterpiece of contemporary rustic design and serves beautifully presented innovative yet classic cuisine. In addition there are five two bed/two bath lodges set in the landscaped gardens which come with balcony hot tubs.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Tudor Farmhouse, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

This stylish and romantic retreat in the charming village of Clearwell boasts cosy rooms with fluffy towels and roll top baths. Tudor Farmhouse extends its warm hospitality to many returning guests who appreciate the winning combination of excellent service, beautifully presented food and a team that are prepared to go that extra mile.

 

Small Visitor Attraction

GOLD WINNER

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke, Hampshire

This innovative, welcoming and educative visitor attraction, set in a beautifully restored historic paper mill, formerly used to produce banknotes and now distills the famous Bombay Sapphire gin. In the state of the art Thomas Heatherwick glasshouses you are invited to taste and smell the botanicals used in the gin making process.  Your particular tastes are reflected in the personalised free cocktail served at the end of the tour!  A fascinating experience that is perfect for gin drinkers.

 

SILVER WINNER

Yorkshire Trike Tours, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Experience the Yorkshire Dales at its finest on the back of a Billy Connolly style motor trike. Enjoy a choice of thirty well designed routes that will really put you in touch with the landscape in a way that cannot be achieved in a closed vehicle, as well as carefully chosen refreshment stops, wet weather clothing and in-helmet commentary from knowledgeable driver/guides. This fun and unusual mode of transport will make for an unforgettable trip. 

BRONZE WINNER

The Crystal, London

The Crystal is a truly stunning and fully sustainable landmark building in the form of a glittering crystal housing the world’s largest exhibition on the future of cities. With innovative and thought provoking interactive displays spread over 10 zones, it appeals to all ages and is both educational and entertaining. 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Emma Bridgewater Factory, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire

Emma Bridgewater Factory provides its visitors with an enjoyable factory tour giving a fascinating insight into the manufacture of this very popular pottery range. It is a fantastic day out with the added opportunity of decorating your own piece of pottery which is then fired and posted to you.  What better idea for that special Christmas or wedding gift than a teapot or pudding basin painted by you! 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Wheal Martyn Museum, St. Austell, Cornwall

Wheal Martyn is the UK’s only china clay museum and country park where visitors can discover how Cornwall’s largest mining industry changed the world, and the amazing uses of china clay. As well as indoor and outdoor displays there are acres of the park to explore, including a children’s play area, Adventure Park and Cornwall’s largest working waterwheel. 

 

Sustainable Tourism

GOLD WINNER

Railholiday, St Germans, Cornwall

Railholiday is an inspiring example of a business deeply rooted in its local area. From the painstaking and beautiful renovation of the railway carriages using local skills and materials, through to providing guests with an experience that draws on, and contributes to, the distinctive qualities of the local area, the owners’ enthusiasm and care runs through every strand of the business. 

 

SILVER WINNER

Hoe Grange Holidays, Matlock, Derbyshire

Hoe Grange’s commitment to accessibility means that the rich experiences of the Peak District can be enjoyed by those normally excluded or restricted, while their willingness to share their experience as pioneers in sustainability means that many visitors since have been able to take part in Hoe Grange’s various activities.

 

BRONZE WINNER

St Cuthbert's House, Seahouses, Northumberland

St Cuthbert’s Guest House is situated in an elegant converted 19th century chapel just a short walk from Seahouses harbour and within easy reach of the spectacular Northumbrian coast. The owners are dedicated in encouraging guests to discover the best of what’s on their doorstep, making St Cuthbert’s House a welcomed asset to the local community.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Browsholme Hall and The Tithe Barn, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn is an excellent example of how a historic home can be ‘sustainable’ in the widest sense of the word. The family are keenly aware of their role as stewards of the property’s heritage, and have a proactive determination to communicate and reach out to guests and the community in an accessible way. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Colton House, Nr Rugley, Staffordshire

Colton House provides visitors with a real, distinctive and absorbing experience of the local area. They excel in communicating the property and area’s heritage as well as showcasing home-grown and local produce. They also act as key players within their local community and tourism sector, and demonstrate excellent energy management.

 

Taste of England

GOLD WINNER

Eckington Manor, Eckington, Worcestershire

Eckington Manor is run by a small friendly group who share a passion for food that is fresh, imaginative and absolutely delicious, and is committed to a ‘farm to fork’ policy. Eckington also provides 16 charming bedrooms and a superbly equipped cookery school. 

 

SILVER WINNER

The Dining Room, Rock, Cornwall

The Dining Room is a family-run fine dining restaurant in the beautiful coastal village of Rock, offering an efficient service in a relaxed and cosy atmosphere. Enjoy delicious offerings from home-made bread and butter to such delights as starters of scallops with smoked belly of pork, and mains including an outstanding confit of duck. Fish is sustainably sourced and local ingredients are used whenever possible.

 

BRONZE WINNER

La Locanda, Gisburn, Lancashire

La Locanda is a true Italian restaurant located in this rural Lancashire village.  The owners’ ethos is to produce the food one would find in a good restaurant in Italy but using Lancashire products wherever possible.  They spend time with local farmers, gamekeepers and producers to source the best quality products.  They understand seasonality and animal welfare and the menus are designed to take this into account.  Food is served with a real commitment to quality, with service and hospitality to match. 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Guardhouse Café, Brixham, South Devon

This super-friendly establishment sits in a stunning clifftop location and serves delicious ethically sourced fare in rustic surroundings. Particularly popular with dog walkers, it is jam-packed even in the most inclement weather. A veritable oasis serving delicious ethically sourced fare in rustic surroundings. Specialities include geopark themed dishes and their own blend of coffee. Regular customers have many a tale to tell of the proprietors’ kindness and hospitality.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Martineau Guest House, Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear

This is a good quality B&B just three minutes from the beach, where the proprietor has a real interest in cooking.  The chefs pride themselves on serving great food, and great emphasis is placed on using local ingredients.

 

Tourism Event

GOLD WINNER

Giant Spectacular: Memories of August 1914, Liverpool

Memories of August 1914 commemorated Liverpool’s remarkable contribution at the beginning of World War One, and delivered an unique experience featuring giant marionettes which attracted crowds in excess of 1,000,000 people.

 

 

SILVER WINNER

Imperial War Museum North - From Street to Trench, Manchester

From Street To Trench: A World War That Shaped A Region is the largest exhibition ever created by the Imperial War Museum North that explored the lives of people from the north west of England, and displayed more than 200 personal objects, films, sound recordings, photographs, artworks and letters. 

 

BRONZE WINNER

The Juddmonte International at York Racecourse, York, North Yorkshire

The Juddmonte International is York’s flagship and richest race, and offers a world class horseracing experience that attracts local, national and international visitors of all ages. Its commitment to excellence places customer service at the core of its delivery and strives to create treasured memories for people of all ages and backgrounds. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Durham University - Magna Carta Exhibition, Durham, County Durham

Durham University’s Magna Carta exhibition celebrated the 800th anniversary of the first issue of Magna Carta and was filled with stories of rebellion and citizen’s rights from 1215 to present day. 

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Airbourne is undoubtedly Eastbourne’s tourism highlight. Since its inception in 1993, the event has grown into a major annual event and developed into what is now the world’s largest, free seaside air show. Aircraft highlights in previous years have included the B1 Bomber, Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet and more recently the first display of the only remaining airworthy Lancasters in the world for 70 years.

Tourism Experience

GOLD WINNER

Livingstone Lodge Overnight Safari Experience at Port Lympne Reserve, Nr. Ashford, Kent

Livingstone Lodge is the UK’s first authentic overnight safari experience which has consistently wowed guests with a magical night under the stars in luxury tented accommodation, overlooking 100 acres of Kentish savannah – alive with African animals. 

 

 

SILVER WINNER

River Cottage HQ, Axminster, Devon

Set up in 2007 as a cookery school, event business and a new home for the TV show, River Cottage HQ offers regular dining experiences unlike any other, where visitors are met at the top of the hill by the River Cottage tractor and trailer, enjoy canapes in the barn then sit down to dinner at long tables. 

 

BRONZE WINNER

King Richard III Partnership, Leicester, Leicestershire

The discovery of the remains of King Richard III, subsequent DNA analysis and reburial were a unique set of events over the period September 2012 - March 2015. The highlight was the reburial in March 2015 when 35,000 people lined the route of the cortege and queues formed before dawn as 20,000 people paid their respects to the King’s coffin in Leicester Cathedral.  

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Canterbury Historic River Tours, Canterbury, Kent

The Canterbury Historic River Tour takes its visitors along the River Stour at a leisurely pace in one of their specially designed rowing boats. ‘Chauffeured’ by the trained and knowledgeable tour guides, visitors are treated to a history of the river and its stories. From an initial few thousand visitors, the company now boasts over 40,000 each season. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Bay Cycle Way, Morecambe Bay, Cumbria, Lancashire

The Bay Cycle Way is a new, family-friendly, long distance route, suitable for entry-level touring cyclists, and connects and signposts 81 miles of cycle routes across Morecambe Bay. The project was set up by the Morecambe Bay Partnership - a small charity that works to bring benefits to the communities, heritage and environment around the Bay. 

 

Tourism Pub

GOLD WINNER

The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcestershire

Owned and run by the National Trust, The Fleece Inn is a unique piece of Worcestershire’s heritage and is steeped in history, yet it remains a vibrant part of the community. Just a stone’s throw from the Cotswolds, this busy establishment provides many delights, including good food, local ales and traditional entertainment. 

 

SILVER WINNER

The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston, Lancashire

The Catford Inn is one of Lancashire’s best country pubs and boutique hotels set in a quaint 17th century coaching inn. Cosy nooks for eating, a lovely old bar area and genuinely hospitable staff all come together to create a convivial and welcoming atmosphere at the Cartford Inn.  

 

BRONZE WINNER

The Shibden Mill Inn, Halifax, Yorkshire

Nestled in a fold of West Yorkshire’s picturesque Shibden Valley, the 17th century Shibden Mill is a hidden gem with an established reputation for genuinely warm hospitality, excellent food and first class accommodation.  Nothing is too much trouble for the friendly staff whether serving tender steaks in the restaurant or drinks in the garden by the mill stream. 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Swan, Bampton, Devon

The Swan is the oldest pub in Bampton and was originally lodgings to accommodate the masons and other craftsmen who were hired to enlarge the church in 1450. Dining at the pub is a culinary experience. Dishes using fresh, local produce are prepared with a great deal of flair and imagination.

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Rising Sun, Truro, Cornwall

A charming little pub close to the centre of Truro, The Rising Sun has a growing and well-deserved reputation for great food.  The proprietors have a passion for food and this shines through, with excellent ingredients, vibrant colours and delicious flavours served in the comfortable and larger than expected restaurant area.  Make no mistake though, this is a proper pub with a well stocked bar at the front, featuring amongst other delights, a wide range of gins for your delectation.

 

Visitor Information Provider

GOLD WINNER

Thanet Visitor Information Service

This service has two volunteer run information centres in Broadstairs and Ramsgate with teams who are passionate about promoting Thanet, and offering a warm welcome to all visitors.

 

 

SILVER WINNER

Gloucester Tourist Information Centre

This incredibly friendly team are a fountain of knowledge and live and breathe the town they love, enabling them to passionately inspire visitors to the centre.

 

 

BRONZE WINNER

Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre

The enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff not only promotes Chesterfield but they also pride themselves on their knowledge of ‘hidden gems’ in the area.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre

This incredibly friendly team are a fountain of knowledge and live and breathe the town they love, enabling them to passionately inspire visitors to the centre.

 

 

HIGHLY COMMENDED

The Welcome People

The Welcome People provide a unique ‘street-based concierge’ service of highly trained bowler-hatted Ambassadors offering a warm welcome and information to visitors.  

 

 

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