Durham Tourism Superstar
Durham Tourism Superstar

Durham Tourism Superstar

The Durham Tourism Superstar initiative, run in conjunction with the Northern Echo and now in its 5th year, recognises the people working in the county’s tourism industry who go above and beyond to ensure visitors have an incredible experience.

The first Durham Tourism Superstar was announced in 2014 at Visit County Durham’s annual garden party, and the winner, Matthew Henderson (Engagement & Participation Assistant at Beamish Museum) went on to be crowned VisitEngland’s national Tourism Superstar.  The 2015 Durham Tourism Superstar, Lillian Groves (Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral), also received the national accolade. And Emily Hope, the county’s reigning Durham Tourism Superstar, has just been announced as VisitEngland’s national Tourism Superstar for 2019. Durham’s hat-trick of national success showcases how incredible Durham’s visitor welcome truly is. 
2016’s Durham Tourism Superstar winner Alan Anderson from Auckland Castle, and Richard Darlington from Hall Hill Farm (2017) both made the shortlist for VisitEngland’s national Superstar award. 

To recognise that some of the superstars that make a visit memorable may have four legs rather than two, animals (with an appropriate handler) can now be entered into the competition and be in with a chance of being named Durham Tourism Superstar 2019.

A selection of some fo the previous Durham Tourism Superstar Winner

Durham Tourism Superstars: (From left to right) Matthew Henderson, Richard Darlington, Lilian Groves, Alan Anderson, Emily Hope​


Durham Tourism Superstar 2019 winner announced

Durham Tourism SuperstarBrian Harvey from Ushaw: Historic House, Chapels & Gardens has been announced as the 2019 Durham Tourism Superstar by Visit County Durham. 


The results of the public vote were revealed yesterday as part of Visit County Durham’s annual Summer Garden Party celebrations at Hallgarth Manor. 


90-year-old Volunteer Gardener Brian has had an affiliation with Ushaw for over 80 years, first stepping foot into the estate as an 11-year-old school boy. The Durham Tourism Superstar winner is now part of the historic attraction’s volunteer programme, interacting and entertaining visitors by bringing Ushaw’s gardens and grounds to life. 


Brian said: “It is a great honour for me to win Durham Tourism Superstar and represent Ushaw.  I’m delighted to win this award and spread the word about Durham’s best kept secret. I think that all of the staff and volunteers who have transformed Ushaw into a tourist attraction are all superstars”.
Ivor Stolliday, chairman of Visit County Durham, said: “It’s a privilege to announce Brian as the winner of Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. The awards continue to recognise the incredible individuals who make Durham such a fantastic place to visit. Brian and all of the finalists are wonderful ambassadors for our county”. 


Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, said: “We’d like to congratulate Brian on being crowned Durham Tourism Superstar 2019. His passion is admirable and the fact he’s dedicated 80 years of his life to showcasing Ushaw is remarkable. It’s people like Brian who really make Durham shine”. 


Brian will now be nominated by Visit County Durham for the national Tourism Superstar 2019 shortlist, organised by VisitEngland. 


Last year’s winner, Emily Hope from Beamish, The Living Museum of the North was crowned national Tourism Superstar 2019 in association with VisitEngland and The Daily Mirror. 


If you have any queries relating to Durham Tourism Superstar please contact:
Lucy Wearne lucy.wearne@visitcountydurham.org or by telephone on 03000 261225