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.
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