Leading tourism businesses from across the North East were celebrating last night as winners of the North East England Tourism Awards were announced.
BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter Alfie Joey hosted the awards and entertained guests throughout the evening at Newcastle Civic Centre.
After a record year for the awards, with nearly 150 applications, winners on the night included Lord Crewe Arms who walked away with two gold awards and The Alnwick Garden who won the hotly contested Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Award.
The full list of Gold winners:
Hotel of the Year – Langley Castle Hotel
Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year – Lord Crewe Arms
Bed and Breakfast of the Year – Brunswick House and St. Cuthbert’s House
Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year – St. Oswald’s Farm
Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year – Doe Park Caravan Site
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – The Auckland Project – Mining Art Gallery
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – The Alnwick Garden
Guided Tour of the Year – Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours
Dog Friendly Business of the Year – Lord Crewe Arms
Tourism Pub of the Year – Barrasford Arms
Taste of England Award – Blackfriars Restaurant
Sustainable Tourism Award – Laverock Law Cottages and Shepherds Hut
Inclusive Tourism Award – Sage Gateshead
Business Tourism Award – Event Durham, Durham University
Visitor Information Provider of the Year – Durham Pointers
The awards play a key role in celebrating and showcasing the range of quality tourism businesses that visitors to the North East encounter. The tourism sector continues to be the fourth largest in the region, highlighting the importance of the businesses working in the sector to the wider economy.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and those who contribute to the success of the North East tourism sector. This year we received a record number of applications and all the categories were tightly contested.
“From our thriving city centres through to our beautiful coastline and stunning countryside, the tourism sector in the North East continues to flourish and grow. Next year, among other events, we will welcome the World Transplant Games and European Professional Club Rugby Finals to the region which will have a major impact on the region and the tourism industry.”
Newcastle College and Bidfood continued their support for the awards as event sponsors for 2018.
Lisa Hamilton-Murray, assistant principal at Newcastle College, said: “It has been a delight for Newcastle College to sponsor the North East Tourism Awards once again. The success stories showcased at the event show just how much the North East has to offer to visitors, as well as those who live and work here, and how the sector is helping to drive our region forward.
“We are lucky enough to work in partnership with many of those celebrated at the awards, offering our students the chance to experience working in some of the best businesses in the region and these awards are a great opportunity for us to support and celebrate the industry alongside them.”
Speaking about the awards, Susan Justice, Head of Business Development at Bidfood, said: “We are delighted to have sponsored the North East England Tourism Awards for the second year running. There are so many brilliant hospitality and tourism businesses across the North East, and these awards are a fantastic way to see those worthy businesses recognised for all their hard work.
“This year, we sponsored the ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ category, which commended those organisations that have truly gone above and beyond to deliver the best possible experience to people visiting the North East.”
In 2019 the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence will celebrate 30 years of the awards and success in English tourism and winners from the North East England Tourism Awards will be highlighted as part of the celebrations.
The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative in partnership with the North East Tourism Alliance.
The North East Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The founding members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, and The North East Hotels Association. The North East England Tourism Awards are also supported by South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.
Full list of winners:
Hotel of the Year
Gold – Langley Castle Hotel
Silver – Seaham Hall
Bronze – Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa
Bronze – Gisborough Hall Hotel
Highly commended – Headlam Hall Country Hotel & Spa
Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year
Gold – Lord Crewe Arms
Silver – William De Percy
Bronze – Barrasford Arms
Bed and Breakfast of the Year
Gold – Brunswick House
Gold – St. Cuthbert’s House
Bronze – Layside Bed & Breakfast
Highly commended – Budle Hall
Highly commended – Moor End Guest House
Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year
Gold – St. Oswald’s Farm
Silver – Woodside Lodge
Bronze – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd.
Highly commended – Brown Rigg Lodges and Guest Rooms
Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year
Gold – Doe Park Caravan Site
Bronze – North Shire
Bronze – The Paddock Touring Park Wolsingham
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Gold – The Auckland Project – Mining Art Gallery
Silver – South Tynedale Railway
Silver – Wynyard Garden
Bronze – Hauxley Wildlife Discovery Centre
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Gold – The Alnwick Garden
Silver – Beamish, The Living Museum of the North
Bronze – Whitehouse Farm Centre
Highly commended – Alnwick Castle
Guided Tour of the Year
Gold – Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours
Silver – Lundgren Tours Ltd.
Bronze – Behind the Books @ the Lit & Phil
Highly commended – Chillingham Wild Cattle Association (CWCA)
Dog Friendly Business of the Year
Gold – Lord Crewe Arms
Silver – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd.
Bronze – South Tynedale Railway
Highly commended – The Lindisfarne Inn
Tourism Pub of the Year
Gold – Barrasford Arms
Silver – Lord Crewe Arms
Bronze – The Lindisfarne Inn
Bronze – The Twice Brewed
Taste of England Award
Gold – Blackfriars Restaurant
Silver – The Potted Lobster
Bronze – Block & Bottle
Bronze – Lord Crewe Arms
Sustainable Tourism Award
Gold – Laverock Law Cottages and Shepherds Hut
Silver – St. Cuthbert’s House
Inclusive Tourism Award
Gold – Sage Gateshead
Silver – Go North East
Bronze – The Commissioners Quay Inn
Highly commended – The Hog’s Head Inn
Business Tourism Award
Gold – Event Durham, Durham University
Silver – Sage Gateshead
Bronze – Civic Centre Banqueting Suites, Newcastle Civic Centre, Newcastle City Council
Visitor Information Provider of the Year
Gold – Durham Pointers
Silver – Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre