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VisitEngland reveals Winners of Awards for Excellence 2015

The winners of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2015 were revealed at its annual ceremony, held last night at the spectacular Sage Gateshead.

Celebrating excellence across the tourism industry, 17 winners including Best Small Hotel, Tourism Pub of the Year, Best Visitor Attraction and Tourism Event of the Year were announced.

Two special awards celebrating individual excellence; Outstanding Contribution to Tourism and Tourism Superstar (run by VisitEngland in partnership with the Daily Mirror) were amongst the winners. ‘The Chefs of England’ were awarded the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Tourism award. England has a growing reputation for quality food being served across the country; enticing visitors from both home and abroad. With such a huge choice of fantastic restaurants, pubs and hotels offering high calibre food, the award honoured the impact good food has on English tourism. Accepting the award on behalf of ‘The Chefs of England’ was Hrishikesh Desai, winner of Chefs on Trial, the popular BBC2 TV series featuring hotel expert Alex Polizzi. Hrishikesh beat off stiff competition to be crowned Executive Head Chef at The Gilpin Hotel & Lake House, an exclusive country house hotel in the Lake District.

Recognised for winning Tourism Superstar 2015 earlier this year, Matthew Henderson from Beamish Museum in County Durham accepted his award on the evening. Receiving 36% of the total votes cast, Matthew was presented with his accolade by Nigel Thompson, Daily Mirror’s Travel Editor. Over 21,400 votes were generated in total for this award - a record since the competition started in 2012. The Tourism Superstar recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry; who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have a priceless experience.

Other award winners announced at the ceremony included;
· Treetop Trek Ltd, Windermere, Cumbria - Best Tourism Experience
· Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Telford, Shropshire - Large Visitor Attraction
· Hotel Maiyango, Leicester - Taste of England
· Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges, Winkleigh, Devon - Sustainable Tourism
· Woodland Grange Conference & Meeting Venue, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire - Business Tourism
· Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire - Access for All Tourism Award

This year 75 finalists; 15 Gold winners, 15 Silver winners, 15 bronze winners and 30 highly commended were selected from a total of 345 entries, representing tourism businesses across England. Winners were chosen by a panel of tourism industry experts and chaired by VisitEngland Board Member and Chief Executive of the Blenheim Estate in Oxfordshire, John Hoy.

VisitEngland Chairman, Lady Cobham CBE, said: “The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence - this year hosted at the wonderful Sage Gateshead - celebrate the very best in English tourism. It is the highest accolade and recognises the true champions of our industry, as well as the top quality visitor experiences we are fortunate to have on offer in England. The competition is of an increasingly high standard and so I offer my sincere congratulations to all our winners on this tremendous achievement, particularly the Gold Award winners for their exemplary contribution to tourism in this country.”

2015 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence - Gold Winners
Tourism Event of the Year
Bournemouth Air Festival 2014

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
Bosinver Farm Cottages, St Austell, Cornwall

Visitor Information Provider of the Year
City of London Information Centre, London

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Telford, Shropshire

Small Hotel of the Year
Brockencote Hall Hotel, Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire

Business Tourism Award
Woodland Grange Conference & Meeting Venue, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Taste of England Award
Hotel Maiyango, Leicester, Leicestershire

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year
Poston Mill Park, Hereford, Herefordshire

Tourism Pub of the Year
The Freemasons at Wiswell, Clitheroe, Lancashire

Tourism Experience of the Year
Treetop Trek Ltd, Windermere, Cumbria

Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year
Colton House, Colton, Staffordshire

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
The World of James Herriot Ltd, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Large Hotel of the Year
Matfen Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa, Matfen, Newcastle upon Tyne

Sustainable Tourism Award
Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges, Winkleigh, Devon

Access for All Tourism Award
Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire

Tourism Superstar special award
Matthew Henderson from Beamish Museum in County Durham

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism 2015
The Chefs of England

Last updated September 2015