Northumberland businesses steal the show at annual tourism gala

Held yesterday (THURS 29 Feb), the awards play a key role in celebrating and showcasing the range of quality tourism businesses that visitors to the North East experience and, every year, the range of entries from Northumberland businesses reflect the outstanding, award-winning services available. A total of 27 Northumberland businesses scooped awards, with a staggering number winning Gold across categories including the ‘Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award’ and 'Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award’.

An outstanding number also achieved Silver and Bronze in a range of categories, and Northumberland dominated some categories by taking all available awards, including ‘Pub of the Year’, ‘Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year’, and ‘Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year’.

The full list of Gold Northumberland winners is:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award - The Alnwick Garden

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year - Hadrian’s Wall Campsite  

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award - Northumberland Zoo  

Experience of the Year - Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours  

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year - Whitehouse Farm Centre  

New Tourism Business of the Year - The Hiddle Hut  

Pub of the Year - The Beresford Arms  

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year - Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages  

Unsung Hero - Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park Authority  

Duncan Wise, the Northumberland National Park's Visitor Development and Tourism Officer scooped the Unsung hero award for his tireless efforts to establish Northumberland as the country's leading Dark Skies reserve and his contribution to firmly establishing the park as a place to enjoy nature.  

The popular TV drama Vera and author Ann Cleeves, who wrote the book series, were awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award at the ceremony. Following the sad news of the passing of Dave Myers, one half of TV Cookery duo The Hairy Bikers, earlier in the day, the 400 guests at the ceremony raised a glass in his honour.   

Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said: “Once again Northumberland businesses have had fabulous results in the North East England Tourism Awards. Our businesses go the extra mile to ensure the highest quality of service, leaving visitors with memories that make them come back time and time again. It is fantastic to see businesses being recognised for this.

“On behalf of Visit Northumberland, I would like to congratulate all of those who received an accolade in the awards. The nominations across such a variety of categories reflect the diversity of the county's visitor economy offer. The depth and breadth of these products and experiences in turn strengthen our position when it comes to widening the North East of England's appeal to domestic and international visitors, essential for the region to achieve the growth objectives established as part of the North East Destination Development Partnership.”

Northumberland County Councillor, Jeff Watson, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Libraries, said: "We've got a rich and varied tourism industry in Northumberland and it's great to see so many businesses being recognised at this year's awards.  

"Our tourism sector is a credit to our county, it's down to the hard work and dedication of those working in our tourism industry that Northumberland is such a must-visit destination."  

Winners of the North East England Tourism Awards have the chance to progress through to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, giving visitor economy businesses the opportunity to compete on national stage and showcase their business among the best in the country.  The awards were once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood. A raffle was also held on the night with money raised going towards NE Youth.



Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

GOLD: The Alnwick Garden

SILVER: Northumberland National Park Authority

BRONZE: Spectrum Holidays

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Vindomora Country Lodges

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

GOLD: Hadrian’s Wall Campsite

SILVER: Vindomora Country Lodges

BRONZE: Woodland Chase Glamping

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

GOLD: Northumberland Zoo

SILVER: Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages

Experience of the Year

GOLD: Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours

BRONZE: Athey’s Moor Flying School

Large Hotel of the Year

SILVER: Matfen Hall

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

GOLD: Whitehouse Farm Centre

BRONZE: Northumberland Zoo

New Tourism Business of the Year

GOLD: The Hiddle Hut

Pub of the Year

GOLD: The Beresford Arms

SILVER: The Joiners Arms

BRONZE: Twice Brewed Inn

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year

GOLD: Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages

SILVER: Honeybee Cottage

BRONZE: Chesters Stables

Small Hotel of the Year

SILVER: Langley Castle Hotel

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

SILVER: Kielder Observatory

BRONZE: Falconry Days

Taste of North East England Award

SILVER: The Old Boathouse

BRONZE: The Lord Crewe

Unsung Hero

GOLD: Duncan Wise, Northumberland National Park Authority

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award

Vera: TV Series and Ann Cleeves, author of the Vera book series.

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