The prestigious awards, now in their 29th year, recognise, congratulate and celebrate businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.
The 21 winners, announced on St George’s Day at an event hosted by Kirstie Allsopp at the Bath Assembly Rooms, range from Afternoon Tea of the Year to Tourism Pub of the Year, from Dog-Friendly Business of the Year to Visitor Information Provider of the Year. The winners were selected from hundreds of submissions including accommodation businesses, attractions, food establishments and guided tour operators, spanning the length and breadth of England from Cornwall to Yorkshire, from Kent to Suffolk, Somerset to Tyne & Wear.
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said:
“These awards shine a spotlight on our fantastic tourism industry, with the winners showcasing the quality, innovation and excellence on offer throughout the country.
“From an outstanding boutique hotel in the Dales to a guided tour of York’s chocolate-making history, from pine holiday lodges on the sandy beaches of Cornwall to a quintessentially English country-pub in Hertfordshire, these winners provide outstanding and truly memorable visitor experiences.”
In addition to the winners across 18 categories, there were three special awards: Outstanding Contribution to Tourism awarded to Historic Royal Palaces, Tourism Superstar winner Jim O’Reilly following a public vote and Travel Article of the Year awarded to journalist Richard Mellor.
Historic Royal Palaces received the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism in recognition of the powerful draw the royal palaces have on domestic and international visitors. VisitEngland’s Annual Attraction Survey found that in 2016 there was a seven percent increase in the number of visitors to historic houses and castles compared to the previous year.
The Tourism Superstar competition, run with the Daily Mirror, was this year won by Jim Reilly, a customer service adviser with Red Funnel Ferries. Nigel Thompson, the Daily Mirror’s Travel Editor, presented the accolade.
Richard Mellor is the winner of the Travel Article of the Year 2018 award for his piece in The Guardian titled Party in the Sea – Between the Isles of Scilly. This citation recognises the important contribution of the media in shaping domestic tourism.
Latest VisitEngland statistics show that in 2017 Brits took more than 47 million holidays in England, up six percent on the previous year. Brits spent more than £11 billion on domestic staycations in 2017, up six percent on 2016.
Tourism in England contributes £106 billion to the economy.
Below are the winners in each category for this year’s awards:
Bed & Breakfast of the Year
GOLD - Alkham Court Farmhouse, Kent
SILVER - The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon
BRONZE - South Lodge Boutique B&B, Buckinghamshire
Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year
GOLD - Yorebridge House, Yorkshire
SILVER - Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent
BRONZE - Cary Arms & Spa “Inn on the Beach”, Devon
Business Tourism Award
GOLD - Sage Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
SILVER - Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, Cheshire
BRONZE - Tewkesbury Park, Gloucestershire
Dog Friendly Business of the Year
GOLD - Wallops Wood Cottages, Hampshire
SILVER - Bulleigh Barton Manor, Devon
BRONZE - Salad Days Beach Hut, Somerset
Guided Tour of the Year
GOLD - York’s Chocolate Story, Yorkshire
SILVER - World of Wedgwood, Staffordshire
BRONZE - Cotswolds Distillery, Warwickshire
Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year
GOLD - Landal Gwel an Mor, Cornwall
SILVER - Seafield Caravan Park, Northumberland
BRONZE - Polmanter Touring Park, Cornwall
Hotel of the Year
GOLD - Rudding Park, Yorkshire
SILVER - Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
BRONZE - Seaham Hall, County Durham
Inbound Tourism Award
GOLD - Beiwei 55°, London and Tyne & Wear
SILVER - The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath & North East Somerset
BRONZE - The Grand Hotel & Spa, Yorkshire
Inclusive Tourism Award
GOLD - The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath & North East Somerset
SILVER - Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School, Cornwall
BRONZE - Cottage in the Dales, Yorkshire
Innovation in Tourism Award
GOLD - British Airways i360, East Sussex
SILVER - Go North East, Tyne & Wear
BRONZE - English Lake District China Forum, Cumbria
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
GOLD - National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire
SILVER - Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
BRONZE - Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, Dorset
New Tourism Business Award
GOLD – Stasher, London
SILVER - Ascent Trampoline Park, Lancashire
BRONZE - Loose Reins, Dorset
Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
GOLD - Sheepyard Barn at The Suffolk Escape, Suffolk
SILVER - The Milkshed, Devon
BRONZE - The Treehouse Hotel at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, Kent
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
GOLD - the Charterhouse, London
SILVER - Hall Hill Farm, County Durham
BRONZE - Screech Owl Sanctuary & Wildlife Park, Cornwall
Sustainable Tourism Award
GOLD - Laverock Law Cottages, Northumberland
SILVER - Browsholme Hall, Lancashire
BRONZE - Colton House, Staffordshire
Taste of England Award
GOLD - Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Wiltshire
SILVER - Miller’s Fish and Chips, Yorkshire
BRONZE - Askham Hall, Cumbria
Tourism Pub of the Year
GOLD - The Riverside at Aymestrey, Herefordshire
SILVER - The Cartford Inn, Lancashire
BRONZE - The Bruce Arms West Tanfield, Yorkshire
Visitor Information Provider of the Year
GOLD - York Visitor Information Centre, Yorkshire
SILVER - Oxford Visitor Information Centre, Oxfordshire
BRONZE - Liverpool Tourist Information Centre, Merseyside
Jim O’Reilly, Red Funnel Ferries, Isle of Wight
Travel Article of the Year
Richard Mellor, The Guardian
Party in the Sea - Between the Isles of Scilly
Outstanding Contribution to Tourism
Historic Royal Palaces
Notes to Editors:
About the Sponsors
Barclays - sponsor of the Inclusive Tourism Award, for the third consecutive year.
Barclays are committed to accessibility and aim to become the most accessible and inclusive organisation in the FTSE 100.
cottages.com – sponsor of the Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
cottages.com offers over 20,000 holiday homes in some of the UK, Ireland, France and Italy’s most amazing locations.
Hotels & More – sponsor of the Guided Tour of the Year
Hotels & More is a leading inbound tour operator for the UK and Ireland, offering a wide range of services for groups and individual travellers.
Shearings – sponsor of the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Shearings is the UK’s largest escorted tour company, offering a broad range of holidays and hotel breaks to more than 200 destinations across the UK, Europe & beyond.