Durham Tourism Superstar in the running for national award

Durham Tourism Superstar in the running for national award

The 87-year-old winner of the Durham Tourism Superstar 2015 award has been shortlisted for the national prize.

Lilian Groves, a volunteer senior tour guide at Durham Cathedral, is one of just 11 people across the country to have made the shortlist for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2016 award.


Former teacher Lilian, who also held the post of vice-principal at the College of St Hild and St Bede at Durham University prior to retiring, has volunteered at Durham Cathedral for the last 25 years.


She lives in Durham City and is one of the cathedral’s most experienced guides, regularly leading tours for members of the public as well as group visits.


Lilian conducts about a hundred tours a year and high-profile guests she has welcomed over the years have included Princess Anne, author PD James and actress Sheila Hancock.


She said: “I was delighted to win the Durham Tourism Superstar award and also to make the national shortlist because it promotes the cathedral and Durham City.”


Lilian added: “I feel extremely privileged to be a guide and I’m passionate about my work and it’s lovely to share this with visitors.


“The cathedral is a wonderful place to work. You are part of a team and the cathedral is home to me.”


Last year’s winner of the national competition was Matthew Henderson, engagement and participation team assistant at Beamish Museum, in Durham, who was also put forward by Visit County Durham after being named the 2014 Durham Tourism Superstar.


Michelle Gorman, managing director of Visit County Durham, added: “We’re thrilled that Lilian has made the shortlist for the national award. This is a real accolade and we’re delighted that Lilian’s passion and dedication to her work as a tour guide at the cathedral has been recognised. I would now urge everyone to vote for Lilian.”


The Tourism Superstar campaign, a tribute to tourism star players, was launched in 2012 as part of English Tourism Week (this year running from 5th – 13th March) and is supported by the Daily Mirror. 


The campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry, and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

CEO of VisitEngland, James Berresford, said: “Showcasing the passion and commitment of highly skilled individuals within the English tourism industry, is precisely why Tourism Superstar 2016 will be a success. This award recognises the people on the ground who meet and greet visitors on a daily basis, and whose consistent vision and dedication ensures that visitors to England have a memorable and fulfilling experience.”


The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week and will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence which is being held during English Tourism Week.


To vote for Lilian, visit: www.vote4Lilian.com from16th January.


Pictured: Lilian Groves, senior tour guide at Durham Cathedral, who has made the shortlist for the Tourism Superstar 2016 award.




Katharine Capocci T: 03000 261223


E: katharine.capocci@visitcountydurham.org


Notes to editors:

About Visit County Durham:

  •         Visit County Durham (VCD) is the Destination Management Organisation for County Durham working on behalf of businesses and public agencies. We came into being on 1 April 2006 and are a private, not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a board of ten directors including an executive director.
  •         The company’s main funder is Durham County Council. The private sector also contributes financially to our work in return for benefits and activities that meet their needs.
  •         Visit County Durham assists the county to fulfil its potential as one of North East England’s lead destinations, attracting visitors to the region from across the UK and from target overseas markets. Its objective is to ensure that the tourism sector performs to its maximum capacity and brings economic benefits to the county in the form of wealth and job creation. Its broad aims are to attract people to the area and to provide visitors with the best possible experience.

About VisitEngland:

  •         VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors. Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics. For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.

About Durham Cathedral:

  • Durham Cathedral is a Christian Church of the Anglican Communion, the shrine of St Cuthbert, the seat of the Bishop of Durham and a focus of pilgrimage and spirituality in North East England. It inhabits a treasured sacred space set in the natural and human landscape of the World Heritage Site. Its purpose is to worship God, share the gospel of Jesus Christ, welcome all who come, celebrate and pass on its rich Christian heritage and discover its place in God’s creation. www.durhamcathedral.co.uk

Published: 11, January, 2016

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