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VisitEngland goes virtual to reveal winners of 2020 Excellence Awards

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VisitEngland has revealed the winners of its annual Awards for Excellence, in a special ceremony that saw the event go virtual for the first time in its 31-year history.

Hosted by Julia Bradbury from The Outdoor Guide, 19 winners were recognised across the hospitality sector, in a range of categories from Large Hotel of the Year, Pub of the Year to Experience of the Year and Business Events Venue of the Year.

There were also silver and bronze prizes awarded for each category.

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In the specific hotel categories, winners included The Ned – Large Hotel of the Year, Grays Court – Small Hotel of the Year and The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon, which scooped the title of B&B and Guest House of the Year.

The winners were selected from hundreds of tourism businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums and conference centres.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely reminder of the determination, innovation and commitment of businesses across the country who have been working extremely hard to reopen, to welcome visitors back safely and to continue to provide a first-class experience.”

In addition to the winners across the 15 ‘core’ categories, there were four special awards this year. The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism was awarded to the business events industry in recognition of its work to support England’s Nightingale Hospitals.

The Tourism Superstar competition, run with the Daily Mirror, was this year won by Lorry Middleton from Hovertravel on the Isle of Wight, following a public vote earlier this year.

The Travel Content Award, which recognises the important contribution of the media in championing domestic tourism, was won by Rachel Dixon for her piece in The Guardian “Uncrowded Cornwall: fine food and walking on the Lizard.”

Visit County Durham was awarded the International Distribution Award in recognition of its commitment to increasing the international distribution of local tourism products, driving inbound tourism and also benefitting the domestic market.

During the virtual event VisitEngland also announced a new approach for the 2020-21 awards in recognition of businesses and individuals within the tourism industry who have demonstrated innovation, resilience and adaptation along with support for their local communities during the COVID-19 crisis.

See the the full list of winners below:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Gold: Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve, Dorset

Silver: Birmingham Hippodrome, West Midlands

Bronze: Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, Cornwall

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Gold: The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon

Silver: St Cuthbert’s House, Northumberland

Bronze: Haven Cottage, Cumbria

Business Events Venue of the Year

Gold: The Brewery, Greater London

Silver: College Court Conference Centre and Hotel, Leicestershire

Bronze: NTU Events and Conferencing, Nottinghamshire

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Gold: Landal Darwin Forest, Derbyshire

Silver: Swallowtail Hill, East Sussex

Bronze: Eye Kettleby Lakes, Leicestershire

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold: The Hive Café and Bakery, West Midlands

Silver: The Quiet Site, Cumbria

Bronze: Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire

Experience of the Year

Gold: Wild Wookey, Somerset

Silver: Ezekial Bone – Nottingham Robin Hood Town Tour, Nottinghamshire

Bronze: ZSL London Zoo Lodges, Greater London

International Tourism Award

Gold: International Bomber Command Centre, Lincolnshire

Silver: The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Somerset

Bronze: Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold: The Ned, Greater London

Silver: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire

Bronze: Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, Hampshire

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold: Old Royal Naval College, Greater London

Silver: The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Somerset

Bronze: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire

New Tourism Business Award

Gold: Vine + Country Tours, Kent & East Sussex

Silver: Hotham’s Gin School and Distillery, East Yorkshire

Bronze: The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Lancashire

Pub of the Year

Gold: The Baskerville, Oxfordshire

Silver: Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen, Dorset

Bronze: The Howard Arms, Warwickshire

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year

Gold: North Hayne Farm Cottages, Devon

Silver: Wallops Wood Cottages, Hampshire

Bronze: Broadgate Farm Cottages, East Yorkshire

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold: Grays Court, North Yorkshire

Silver: Cary Arms & Spa, Devon

Bronze: Seaham Hall, County Durham

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold: Gladstone Pottery Museum, Staffordshire

Silver: Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Somerset

Bronze: Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorset

Taste of England Award

Gold: The Dining Room – Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Wiltshire

Silver: John’s House, Leicestershire

Bronze: Restaurant Hjem, Northumberland

Tags : eventshotelsVisitEnglandwinners
Zoe Monk

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