VisitEngland announces Awards for Excellence finalists

VisitEngland has today announced the finalists for the Awards for Excellence 2017, the most prestigious awards in English tourism. 

The Awards, now in their 28th year, recognise and congratulate those businesses and individuals from across England who champion the very best practice and excellence in customer service. Winners will be announced at the Awards ceremony on Monday 24 April at the Hilton Waldorf, London.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The Awards shine a spotlight on an industry driven by the highest-calibre people and organisations who deliver unforgettable experiences for visitors, raising the profile of England as a world-class destination and driving the economic benefits of tourism across the regions.”

Competition this year was particularly fierce, and the 67 finalists were selected from almost 600 applications spread across 22 categories.

This year saw the highest number of applications ever submitted for the Awards, which range from Inclusive Tourism to Visitor Information Provider of the Year and three family friendly awards (Accommodation, Attraction and Food & Drink Business of the Year). Applications were received from businesses including hotels, B&Bs, glamping operators, restaurants, food and drink producers, pubs, museums, and conference centres.

VisitEngland has named 2017 the ‘Year of Literary Heroes’ in recognition of this year’s milestone literary events including the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s death, the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and 75 years of The Famous Five. 

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

2017 Finalists

Afternoon Tea of the Year

  • Countess of York, Yorkshire
  • The Chester Grosvenor, North West
  • The Grand Brighton, South East.

B&B of the Year

  • Dorset House, South West
  • Grassfield Hall, Yorkshire
  • St Cuthbert's House, North East.

Boutique/Guest Accommodation of the Year

  • Daisybank Cottage Boutique Bed and Breakfast, South East
  • Glazebrook House Hotel, South West
  • Grassington House, Yorkshire.

Business Tourism Award

  • Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa, North East
  • The Crystal by Siemens, London
  • Warwick Conferences, West Midlands.

Dog-Friendly Business of the Year

  • Letheringham Water Mill Holiday Cottages, East of England
  • The Lamppost Cafe, Yorkshire
  • The Oakley Court, South East.

Family-Friendly Accommodation of the Year

  • Bosinver Farm Cottages, South West
  • Darwin Forest Country Park, East Midlands
  • Mill Farm Eco Barn, East of England
  • The Olde House, South West.

Family-Friendly Attraction of the Year

  • Beamish, the Living Museum of the North, North East
  • Gallery Oldham, North West
  • Thames Rockets, London.

Family-Friendly Food & Drink Business of the Year

  • Chester Zoo, North West
  • The Rainforest Café, London.

Glamping Provider of the Year

  • Longlands, South West
  • Secret Meadows, East of England
  • The Dandelion Hideaway, East Midlands.

GREAT China Welcome of the Year 

  • Beiwei 55 Degrees Travel Ltd, North East
  • Blenheim Palace, South East
  • Lake District China Forum, North West
  • The Lowry Hotel, North West.

Guided Tour of the Year

  • Nottingham Robin Hood Town Tour, East Midlands
  • Shiverpool, North West
  • Vintage Adventure Tours, East Midlands.

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

  • Park Cliffe Camping & Caravan Estate, North West
  • Poston Mill Country Holiday Park, West Midlands
  • Tretherm Mill Touring Park, South West.

Hotel of the Year

  • Northcote, North West
  • The Manor House Hotel & Golf Club, South West
  • The Pheasant Hotel, Yorkshire.

Inclusive Tourism Award

  • Eden Project, South West
  • The Deep, Yorkshire
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London.

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

  • The Mary Rose Museum, South East
  • The Roman Baths & Pump Room, South West
  • Waddesdon Manor, South East.

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

  • Blakelow Farm Holiday Cottages, East Midlands
  • Smallshaw Farm Cottages, Yorkshire
  • The Waternook Estate, North West.

Self-Catering Property of the Year

  • Cottage in the Dales - The Byre, Yorkshire
  • Lendal Tower, Yorkshire
  • The Chestnuts, South East.

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

  • Burton Constable Hall & Grounds, Yorkshire
  • Monkey Haven, South East
  • Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, South West.

Sustainable Tourism Award

  • Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, North East
  • Blencathra Centre, North West
  • National Marine Aquarium, South West.

Taste of England Award

  • The Art School, North West
  • The Coach House by Michael Caines, South West
  • The Scarlet Restaurant, South West.

Tourism Pub of the Year

  • The Anchor Inn, South West
  • The Howard Arms, West Midlands
  • The Tankerville Arms, North East.

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

  • Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, South West
  • Oxford VIC / Experience Oxfordshire, South East
  • Rugby Visitor Centre, West Midlands.


Notes to editor

About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2017

  • The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2017 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination.
  • The categories for the 2017 awards include: Afternoon Tea of the Year, Bed and Breakfast of the Year, Boutique / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Business Tourism Award, GREAT China Welcome of the Year, Dog Friendly Business of the Year, Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year, Family Friendly Attraction of the Year, Family Friendly Food & Drink Business of the Year, Glamping Provider of the Year, Guided Tour of the Year, Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year, Hotel of the Year, Inclusive Tourism Award, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, Self-Catering Property of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourism Pub of the Year and Visitor Information Provider of the Year.
  • In addition to the 22 categories are the additional Awards for Tourism Superstar and Outstanding Contribution to Tourism.  The Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award will be announced at the awards ceremony.  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, Chefs of England and last year BBC’s Countryfile.
  • Tourism Superstar provides destination management organisations with the opportunity to participate in a national campaign. The campaign champions careers in tourism for people of all ages and promotes quality, customer service and excellence within England’s tourism industry.  It acknowledges that the industry is a people-facing, people-focused industry. For more information and to cast a vote, visit
  • Barclays has sponsored the Inclusive Tourism Award.  For more information go to
  • Family Traveller  has sponsored the Family Friendly Accommodation of the year Award, the Family Friendly Attraction of the Year Award and the Family Friendly Food and Drink Business of the Year Award.  For more information go to
  • PingPong Digital has sponsored the GREAT China Welcome of the Year Award.  For more information go to
  • Destination Britain is also sponsoring the GREAT China Welcome of the Year Award.  For more information go to