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TV presenter and actor among gold winners at regional tourism awards 

TV presenter and actor Robson Green picked up a special Outstanding Contribution to North East Tourism at 2023’s North East England Tourism Awards. 

The special award was introduced this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the North East awards and will honour an individual, organisation or business who has made a fundamental contribution to the success of the region’s tourism industry. 

Robson received the award in praise of his efforts to champion the region through his programmes, including his most recent, Weekend Escapes, which showcase the North East’s tourism offer nationally and internationally.  

Picking up the award he said:

“It’s an absolute privilege and honour to receive this award and I feel incredibly humbled and to be honest incredibly surprised. It really is a recognition of the talent I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked alongside, the majority of whom are from the North East of England. All I’ve done during my career is help to tell stories some of which showcase an area I’m really proud to call home and the fact that this has been recognised with this award gives me the inertia to do more!”. 

Winners on the night included Teesdale Cheesemakers Ltd, near Bishop Auckland, who picked up two Gold Awards for Taste of North East England and Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year. 

Business Events Venue of the Year made a return to this year’s awards ceremony with The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre picking up the top prize. Seaham Hall Hotel also retained its title as gold winner in the Small Hotel of the Year category.  

Gold Winners

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award – Life Science Centre 

B&B and Guest House of the Year – Market Cross Guest House 

Business Events Venue of the Year – The Sill, National Landscape Discovery Centre 

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Teesdale Cheesemakers Ltd 

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism – Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination 

Experience of the Year – The Escape Key  

Large Hotel of the Year – Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf & Spa Resort 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Bamburgh Castle  

New Tourism Business Award – Hillside Huts & Cabins  

Pub of the Year – The Apple Inn, Lucker 

Resilience and Innovation Award – Langley Castle Hotel  

Self-Catering Provider of the Year – Kidlandlee Holiday Cottages 

Small Hotel of the Year – Seaham Hall Hotel  

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours 

Taste of North East England – Teesdale Cheesemakers Ltd 

Unsung Hero Award – Mohamed Kamal, Spanish City  

The awards play a key role in celebrating and showcasing the range of quality tourism businesses that visitors to the North East experience. They are the culmination of a week-long focus on the tourism sector as part of English Tourism Week, a national initiative which aims to shines a light on this important sector and its impact on an area’s economy.     

Several of the regional winners will now go on to represent the region at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. The awards were once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood. Students from both Newcastle College and Gateshead College also supported the evening with photography, and hospitality service. 

Sarah Green, Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative (NGI) who deliver the awards, said:

“Firstly I wanted to say a massive congratulations to all of the winners tonight. It was amazing to celebrate the 20th birthday of the North East awards with such inspiring businesses and individuals who ensure our region gives visitors a warm welcome and special experiences. 

“We’ve doubled the visitor economy in the North East over the past twenty years but have set ourselves an ambitious target to double it again in the next ten years.  

“The North East being announced as the pilot area for the new structure of national tourism bodies and the visitor economy being referenced in the North East Devolution deal demonstrates the level of support for the North East tourism sector.  Our aim is to ensure this sector creates more jobs, supports people at all levels to develop skills, embraces net zero sustainability and provides greater experiences for all being recognised as an exemplar for accessibility and inclusivity.  To do this we need to continue to work with the private sector to enable further investment.” 

Lisa Hamilton-Murray, Deputy Principal, at Newcastle College, said:

“Newcastle College continues to be a proud supporter of the North East Tourism Awards and all of the wonderful tourism businesses in our region, especially in such an exciting year for the tourism sector. As always, the event was an excellent opportunity to celebrate our region and recognise those businesses that play such a vital part in supporting its growth.  

“It was also a fantastic opportunity for our students to gain real work experience and connect with employers, which is a core part of what we offer all of our students as we help to prepare them for their future career here in the North East.” 

Susan Justice, Head of Business Development North East at Bidfood, added:

“Following a wonderful night celebrating 20 years of the North East Tourism Awards and reflecting on 5 years of Bidfood being involved, it was fantastic to see that the North East’s leisure and tourism industry is still delivering at such a high level. The team at Bidfood Gateshead and I want to offer our congratulations again to all the winners and nominees”. 

Tourism businesses also donated prizes to a raffle to raise money for the charity, NE Youth, which aims to make a positive difference to the lives of young people in the region. 

Full List of Winners: 

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award 

GOLD: Life Science Centre 

SILVER: Sage Gateshead 

BRONZE: Sunderland Empire 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre  

B&B and Guest House of the Year 

GOLD: Market Cross Guest House 

SILVER: The Bosk 

BRONZE: Tynemouth 61 Guesthouse & Tea Room 

Business Events Venue of the Year 

GOLD: The Sill: National Landscape Discovery Centre 

SILVER: The Common Room 

BRONZE: Venues at Northumbria  

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year 

GOLD: Teesdale Cheesemakers 

SILVER: Hillside Huts & Cabins 

BRONZE: Hesleyside Huts 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Herding Hill Farm 

Ethical, Response and Sustainable Tourism 

GOLD: Dalton Park Outlet Shopping Destination 

SILVER: Kidlandlee 

BRONZE: Laverock Law Cottages 

Experience of the Year 

GOLD: The Escape Key 

SILVER: Valhalla Axe Throwing 

BRONZE: Falconry Days 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: La Chocolatrice 

Large Hotel of the Year 

GOLD: Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa 

SILVER: Doxford Hall Hotel & Aqueous Spa 

BRONZE: Newton Hall & Cabin Walk 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Alnwick Garden 

BRONZE: Whitehouse Farm 

SILVER: Beamish: The Living Museum of the North 

GOLD: Bamburgh Castle 

New Tourism Business Award 

GOLD: Hillside Huts & Cabins 

SILVER: The Greenhead Hotel 

BRONZE: Overland Adventures 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Schoolhouse Fenwick 

Pub of the Year 

GOLD: The Apple Inn, Lucker 

SILVER: The Greenhead Hotel 

BRONZE: The Joiners Arms 

Resilience and Innovation Award 

GOLD: Langley Castle Hotel 

SILVER: The Escape Key 

BRONZE: Valhalla Axe Throwing 


Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year 

GOLD: Kidlandlee 

SILVER: Till Fishing Holidays 

BRONZE: Vindomora Country Lodges 

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED: Breamish Valley Cottages & Mains Cottages/Shepherd’s Retreats 

Small Hotel of the Year  

GOLD: Seaham Hall Hotel  

SILVER: The Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland 

BROZE: The Lord Crewe, Bamburgh  

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Langley Castle  

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year 

GOLD: Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours 

SILVER: Tees Barrage International White Water Centre & Air Trail 

BRONZE: Newham Grange Farm 

HIGHLY COMMENDED: Stephenson Steam Railway 

Taste of North East England 

GOLD – Teesdale Cheesemakers Ltd 

SILVER – Seaham Hall Hotel   

BRONZE – Dobson & Parnell 

Unsung Hero Award  

GOLD – Mohamed Kamal, Spanish City 

SILVER – Caroline May, Seaham Hall Hotel 

BRONZE – Nick Rodgers, Project Escape 

JOINT HIGHLY COMMENDED – Samantha Brown, The County Restaurant and Sally Razack, Crowne Plaza Newcastle