The Visit England Awards for Excellence 2017

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions
aerial view of Waddesdon Manor

Waddesdon Manor. Image © National Trust

The winners in the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2017  were announced yesterday.

Visit England says, “The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence are different to other quality standards as they recognise and celebrate excellence across customer service and the quality of the experience.” The claim, though, is undermined by not actually naming any of them  “customer service” awards and so the plaques and shield that winners display will not be realised by the public that they are customer service awards.

Readers will know that this omission is a sore point for Just about Travel as we strongly believe that customer service can make or break a holiday and by not visibly recognising it, many tourist awards are failing in supporting a feature that holidaymakers feel strongly about.

You’ll also know that like the Thistle Awards in Scotland, the Visit England Awards are a culmination of regional awards, the winners of those went on to compete in these. Here is a quick summary of the consumer oriented ones.

Eden Project

the Eden Project in Cornwall

The award for large and small attraction of the year went to Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire and Monkey Haven on the Isle of Wight respectively. Gloucester Tourist Information Centre was judged to be the Visitor Information Provider of the Year and Thames Rockets in London was voted Family Friendly Attraction of the Year.

The Eden Project in Cornwall collected the Inclusive Tourism Award whilst Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant in Northumberland was the winner in the sustainable tourism category. Shiverpool in Liverpool won the award as Guided Tour of the Year

Switching to the accommodation awards, Northcote in the Lancashire village of Langho picked up the top award in the hotel category. Trethem Mill Touring Park in Cornwall is Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year and another Cornwall based company, Bosinver Farm Cottages, was Family Friendly Accommodation of the Year. The Glazebrook House Hotel became Boutique/Guest Accommodation of the Year whilst St. Cuthbert’s House in Northumberland was voted Bed and Breakfast of the Year.  The Dandelion Hideaway was Glamping Provider of the Year. Blakelow Farm Holiday Cottages in Derbyshire was Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year and Letheringham Water Mill Cottages was the winner in the Dog Friendly Business of the Year category.

In the food and drink categories, the Countess of York at the National Railway Museum was judged to be the winner of the Afternoon Tea of the Year and Chester Zoo was the Family Friendly Food & Drink Business of the Year. The Art School Restaurant in Liverpool was the winner in the Taste of England category and The Anchor Inn in the Devon town of Bridport was Tourism Pub of the Year.

Finally, Duane Dibartolomeo of the Grosvenor Fish Bar in Norwich completed the haul of consumer awards by collecting the Tourism Superstar Award.

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