England’s best places to stay, its most mouthwatering eateries and its most enthralling visitor attractions have been named in the 2020 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.
The winners were selected from hundreds of tourism businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums and conference centres – and 19 winners were announced during a virtual awards event on Monday evening hosted by Julia Bradbury from ‘The Outdoor Guide’.
One of the most eagerly anticipated categories is always Pub of the Year – and this year the gold medal went to The Baskerville in Oxfordshire, with the Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen in Dorset snaring silver and The Howard Arms in Warwickshire taking third place.
The gold medal in the Pub of the Year category at the 2020 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence went to The Baskerville in Oxfordshire
The top podium spot for Large Hotel of the Year was occupied by The Ned, located in the heart of the City of London
Wiltshire’s Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, which claimed the silver medal in the Large Hotel of the Year category
If you’re looking for glamorous staycation options, then take note of the gong-winners in the accommodation categories.
The top podium spot for Large Hotel of the Year was occupied by The Ned in London, with Wiltshire’s Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa claiming the silver medal and Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa coming third.
Small Hotel of the Year was named as Gray’s Court in York with Cary Arms & Spa in Devon in second place followed by County Durham’s Seaham Hall in third.
The gold medal for B&B and Guest House of the Year was claimed by The 25 Boutique B&B in Devon, with St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses, Northumberland, scooping silver. The bronze award went to Haven Cottage in Ambleside, Cumbria.
The top award for Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year was snared by Landal Darwin Forest, Derbyshire, while the winner of Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year was named as North Hayne Farm Cottages, Devon.
In the Small Hotel of the Year category, Gray’s Court in York, pictured, was No1
Cary Arms and Spa in Devon, pictured, scooped the silver award in the Small Hotel of the Year category
The gold medal for B&B and Guest House of the Year was claimed by The 25 Boutique B&B in Devon, pictured
One of the rooms at St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses, Northumberland, which won the B&B and Guest House of the Year silver award
The top award for Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year was snared by Landal Darwin Forest, Derbyshire, pictured
Swallowtail Hill in East Sussex, pictured, was runner-up in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year category
And England’s most accomplished restaurant?
The Dining Room, a Michelin-starred restaurant at Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa in Wiltshire, was handed the Taste of England Award gold medal.
Second prize went to John’s House, a Michelin-starred restaurant in a 16th-century cottage in Leicester, with Scandinavian-inspired eatery Restaurant Hjem in Hexham, Northumberland, securing third place.
The Experience of the Year was named as Wild Wookey – a three hour ‘adrenaline-fuelled, high-octane, exhilarating adventure caving experience’ in Somerset.
The Dining Room, a Michelin-starred restaurant at Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa in Wiltshire, pictured, was handed the Taste of England Award gold medal
Wild Wookey, which is a three hour ‘adrenaline-fuelled, high-octane, exhilarating adventure caving experience’ in Somerset, was named Experience of the Year
The silver prize went to Ezekial Bone’s Nottingham Robin Hood Town Tour and the bronze medal was given to ZSL London Zoo Lodges – which allow guests to spend the night amid the enclosures.
Claiming the title of Large Visitor Attraction of the Year was London’s Old Royal Naval College, with Bath’s Roman Baths & Pump Room runner-up and the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, in Hertfordshire, grabbing the bronze award.
Top of the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year podium was the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Staffordshire, followed by the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Somerset in second place and Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorset, winning the bronze medal.
Meanwhile, the overall winner of the prestigious International Tourism Award was International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire.
Visit England said in a statement: ‘The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, now in its thirty-first year, celebrate and champion innovation, quality and best practice across the industry recognising businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.’
The title of Large Visitor Attraction of the Year at the awards was claimed by London’s Old Royal Naval College
Bath’s Roman Baths & Pump Room claimed the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year silver award. It also won a silver award in the International Tourism Award category
Top of the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year podium was the Gladstone Pottery Museum in Staffordshire
The winner of the prestigious International Tourism Award was the International Bomber Command Centre in Lincolnshire
Tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said: ‘Not only does our tourism industry offer incredible experiences to those who holiday here, it supports millions of jobs up and down the country. I’m delighted to see so many great establishments, from major Lincolnshire attractions to boutique Yorkshire hotels, being celebrated.
‘This important sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus and we have helped with an unprecedented package of measures including the job retention scheme, a year’s business rates holiday and most recently a £4billion reduction in VAT benefitting the sector.
‘I would like to congratulate all the winners and businesses around England who are doing an outstanding job in showcasing the best in tourism. I encourage everyone to get out, enjoy summer safely, and experience everything England has to offer.’
VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe added: ‘These prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have delivered excellence. From a world-class boutique B&B in Devon to adventure-packed experiences in Somerset, from an accessible country park and national nature reserve in Dorset to a bespoke English wine tour in Kent, our award winners provide stand-out experiences of the highest calibre.
‘Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely reminder of the determination, innovation and commitment of businesses across the country who have been working extremely hard to reopen, to welcome visitors back safely and to continue to provide a first-class experience.’