VisitEngland announces Awards for Excellence finalists

VisitEngland announces Awards for Excellence finalists

VisitEngland, the national tourist board has announced the finalists for the Awards for Excellence 2016, the most prestigious awards in English Tourism.

Working in collaboration with destinations and businesses throughout England, the Awards pay tribute to businesses and individuals who champion best practice and exhibit excellence in customer service. The winners will be announced at the Award ceremony on Tuesday 8 March at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool.

With 16 categories ranging from Access for All to Visitor Information Provider of the Year and 2016’s debut Dog Friendly Business of the Year Award, applications were received from a variety of businesses including hotels, B&Bs, glamping operators, restaurants, food and drink producers, pubs, museums, festivals, conference centres and even motorway service areas.

“Awards for Excellence finalists exemplify outstanding tourism talent and distinguished businesses throughout England,” said Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland. “Our Awards highlight exceptional commitment to quality care, service and English tourism as a whole. The Awards not only honour the great and the good in tourism and hospitality, but raise the profile of England and celebrate the importance of the industry’s contribution to local and national economies.”

Sally Balcombe goes on to say, “we received some truly impressive applications this year and shortlisting 80 finalists has been a tough feat, involving a team of mystery shoppers and even two dogs testing dog-friendly businesses. There’s absolutely no doubt those chosen are representative of the best in the industry who place delivering an unforgettable experience to visitors in England at the heart of their business operations. Working collaboratively, we are inspiring and motivating businesses to provide the highest standards.”

Judged by industry leaders, all finalists will receive either a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence winners will be announced at an Awards ceremony, which is being held for the very first time this year during English Tourism Week. The Awards ceremony will also include the official presentation of the VisitEngland and Daily Mirror’s Tourism Superstar 2016 Award for the nation’s publically voted unsung tourism hero.

To find out more and book tickets visit

Visit Blackpool

2016 Finalists

Below are the finalists in each category for this year’s awards (listed alphabetically)

Access for All (sponsored by Barclays


Attenborough Arts Centre

University of Leicester, Leicester


Calvert Trust Exmoor

Barnstable, Devon


Hampton Court Palace



Hoe Grange Holidays

Matlock, Derbyshire


The Roman Baths




Bed & Breakfast/ Guest Accommodation (sponsored by Quality in Tourism  


Low Mill Guesthouse

Leyburn, North Yorkshire


Molland Manor House

Sandwich, Kent


Pebble House

Mevagissey, Cornwall


St Cuthbert's House

Seahouses, Northumberland


Trevose Harbour House

St Ives, Cornwall



Business Tourism

Crewe Hall

Crewe, Cheshire


Dartington Hall

Totnes, Devon


Highbullen Hotel Golf & Country Club

Umberleigh, Devon


Seaham Hall Hotel & Spa

Nr Seaham, County Durham


Stoke by Nayland Hotel, Golf & Spa and Country Lodges

Colchester, Essex



Dog Friendly Business (sponsored by Pets Pyjamas


Higher Wiscombe

Colyton, Devon


Old Swan & Minster Mill

Lovell, Oxfordshire


Poston Mill Park

Peterchurch, Golden Valley, Hertfordshire


Sun Inn

Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria




Talbot Hotel

Malton, North Yorkshire



Holiday Park/ Holiday Village


Castlerigg Hall Caravan & Camping Park

Keswick, Cumbria


Darwin Forest Country Park

Matlock, Derbyshire


Padstow Touring Park

Padstow, Cornwall


Poston Mill Park

Peterchurch, Golden Valley, Hertfordshire


Woodovis Park

Tavistock, Devon



Large Hotel


Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

New Forest, Hampshire


Peckforton Castle Hotel

Tarporley, Cheshire


Rockliffe Hall

Darlington, County Durham


Salcombe Harbour Hotel & Spa

Salcombe, Devon


South Lodge

Horsham, West Sussex



Large Visitor Attraction


Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Beamish, County Durham


Brunel's ss Great Britain

Great Western Dockyard, Bristol


Chester Zoo

Upton-by-Chester, Chester


Salisbury Cathedral

Salisbury, Wiltshire


The Whitworth

The University of Manchester, Manchester



Self Catering Holiday Provider (sponsored by


The Dandelion Hideaway

Nuneaton, Leicestershire


The Dovecote Barns York

Kelfield, York


Treworgey Cottages

Looe, Cornwall


Whalesborough Cottages & Spa

Bude, Cornwall


Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

Bishop Wilton, York



Small Hotel


Cross Lane House

Minehead, Somerset

Hell Bay Hotel

Bryher, Isles of Scilly


Kentisbury Grange

Barnstable, Devon


Tudor Farmhouse

Clearwell, Gloucestershire


Yorebridge House

Bainbridge, North Yorkshire



Small Visitor Attraction


Bombay Sapphire Distillery

Whitechurch, Hampshire


Emma Bridgewater Factory and Shop

Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent


The Crystal

Royal Victoria Docks, London


Wheal Martyn

St. Austell, Cornwall


Yorkshire Trike Tours

Horsforth, Leeds



Sustainable Tourism


Browsholme Hall and Tithe Barn

Clitheroe, Lancashire

Colton House

Nr Rugley, Staffordshire




Hoe Grange Holidays

Matlock, Derbyshire



Saltash, Cornwall


St Cuthbert's House

Seahouses, Northumberland



Taste of England


Eckington Manor

Eckington, Worcestershire


La Locanda Ristorante Italiano

Clitheroe, Lancashire


Martineau Guest House

Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear


The Dining Room

Rock, Cornwall


The Guardhouse Café

Brixham, Devon



Tourism Event


Durham University - Magna Carta Exhibition



IWM North - From Street to Trench Exhibition

Trafford Park, Manchester


Liverpool City Council - Memories of August 1914




Visit Eastbourne – Airbourne



York Racecourse - Juddmonte International




Tourism Experience


Canterbury Historic River Tours

Canterbury, Kent


King Richard III Partnership



Livingstone Lodge Overnight Safari Experience

Ashford, Kent


Morecambe Bay Partnership - Bay Cycle Way

Morecambe, Lancashire


River Cottage HQ

Axminster, Devon



Tourism Pub (sponsored by Free to Book


The Cartford Inn

Preston, Lancashire


The Fleece Inn

Bretforton, Worcestershire


The Rising Sun

Truro, Cornwall


The Shibden Mill Inn

Halifax, West Yorkshire



The Swan

Bampton, Devon



Visitor Information Provider


Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre

Chesterfield, Derbyshire


Eastbourne Tourist Information Centre

Eastbourne, East Sussex


Gloucester Tourist Information Centre

Gloucester, Gloucestershire


Thanet Visitor Information Service

Margate, Kent


The Welcome People




For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Jenia Jeroh, Corporate Communications Manager on T: 020 7578 1482|M: 07583 103881|E: | W:


Notes to editor:

About VisitEngland

  • VisitEngland’s focus is on the development and delivery of the new Discover England fund for product development to ensure that bookable regional product is being sold in international markets. This activity will also benefit the domestic industry by building engagement and partnerships between and across regions and developing product that will be attractive to both domestic and international markets.
  • Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on
  • Tourism in England is worth £106 billion, and supports 2.6 million jobs.

For corporate information see and for consumer information see

About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016

  • The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2016 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination.
  • the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence are firmly established as representing the highest accolade in English tourism
  • The categories for the 2016 awards include: Access for All Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast Award, Business Tourism Award, Dog Friendly Business of the Year, Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourism Event of the Year, Tourism Experience of the Year, Tourism Pub of the Year, Visitor Information Provider of the Year.
  • In addition to the 16 categories are the additional Awards of Tourism Superstar and Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.  The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award will be announced on the night.  Previous winners of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool, The National Trust, the English Garden, 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Makers, The Travel Agent and last year The Chefs of England.

About English Tourism Week 

English Tourism Week is led by the national tourist board, VisitEngland, and is an industry-wide initiative designed to shine a light on the importance of tourism in England. The industry as whole is worth £106billion to the UK economy and supports 2.6 million jobs. Hundreds of tourism organisations and businesses will be putting on events to celebrate English Tourism Week this year. For more information about English Tourism Week which takes place between 5 – 13 March 2016, see

About Tourism Superstar

The initiative provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate for free in a national campaign which guarantees national media coverage.  The campaign champions careers in tourism (for people of all ages) and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.  It importantly acknowledges that the industry is a people-facing, people-focused industry. For more information and to cast a vote, visit


Published: 04, February, 2015

< Back to earlier Press Releases

© Copyright Visit County Durham. All Rights Reserved.

Registered office: Visit County Durham, 1st Floor, 3-4 Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WA