Northumberland venues lift seven top accolades at North East Tourism Awards

Winners at the annual North East Tourism Awards have been announced at a virtual online event.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 2:00 pm
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 3:26 pm

At a difficult time for the industry, the quality and diversity of businesses from across the region was celebrated for their amazing contribution to the North East tourism offer.

Sage Gateshead and Tynedale-based Falconry Days were both double winners, with Maldron Hotel Newcastle taking home the New Tourism Business Award - one of three new categories introduced for the 2020 awards alongside Experience of the Year and the International Tourism Award.

Northumberland fared particularly well with seven gold award winners out of 15 categories.

Northumberland venues lifted more than half of top accolades at North East Tourism Awards

Coun Cath Homer, cabinet member for culture, arts, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council said: “We know that it is a worrying time for our tourism industry and for all those businesses that add to our county’s success.

“However it is these businesses and their continued passion and commitment who will help us to economic recovery once current restrictions are eased.

“As a council we are doing all we can to support businesses, particularly in the tourism industry through these difficult times by continuing to show why Northumberland is a destination of choice, and when the time is right, visitors will be welcomed back to our great county with open arms.”

Sarah Green, chief executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which organises the awards, said: “A huge congratulations to this year’s winners and all those who continue to contribute so much to the North East tourism sector.

Sage Gateshead, business events venue of the year and winner of the accessible and inclusive tourism award.

“Covid-19 is having a devastating impact on the sector but these awards demonstrate the quality of the North East Tourism offer and gives us confidence that once the current situation eases the region will be in a strong place to benefit from a predicted upturn in domestic and day tourism.

“Along with our colleagues in tourism organisations across the North East, we will continue to invest in marketing, with a strong digital and media presence, to ensure that tourists are aware of our fantastic region and have us front of mind when planning for future visits.”

The North East England Tourism Awards were once again sponsored by Newcastle College and Bidfood.

The format of the awards was tweaked this year so that they now align more closely with the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and reflect innovations across the industry.

Eligible winners of the North East England Tourism Awards will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Each of the shortlisted businesses went through a thorough judging process, focused on experiencing their offer first-hand. As well as being evaluated by a judging panel made up of industry experts, planned visits by judges or 'mystery shoppers' helped to inform the final decisions.

NewcastleGateshead Initiative has worked alongside Northern Tourism Alliance members and other partners to deliver the awards in 2020.

Full list of winners:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

Gold – Sage Gateshead

Silver – Go North East

Bronze – South Tynedale Railway

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Gold – St Cuthbert’s House

Silver – Millstone House Bed and Breakfast

Bronze – Market Cross Guest House

Highly commended – Layside Bed and Breakfast

Highly commended – St Valery Boutique and Breakfast

Business Events Venue of the Year

Gold – Sage Gateshead

Silver – Newcastle City Council Civic Centre Banqueting

Bronze – Event Durham, Durham University

Highly commended – The Biscuit Factory

Highly commended – Northumbria University – Venues at Northumbria University

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Gold - Seafield Caravan Park

Silver – Hesleyside Huts

Bronze – Westfield House Farm Shepherd’s Huts

Highly commended - Herding Hill Farm Touring, Camping and Glamping Site

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – South Tynedale Railway

Silver – Battlesteads

Bronze – Sage Gateshead

Highly commended – Westfield House Farm

Highly commended – St Cuthbert’s House

Experience of the Year

Gold – CBK’s Adventure Co.

Silver – Footsteps in Northumberland

Bronze – The Alnwick Garden

Highly commended – Falconry Days

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold – Matfen Hall Hotel, Gold and Spa

Silver – Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa

Bronze – The Vermont Hotel

Highly commended – Doxford Hall Hotel

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold – Seaham Hall

Silver – Walwick Hall

Bronze – Lord Crewe Arms

Highly commended – Battlesteads

Highly commended – Wynyard Hall

International Tourism Award

Gold – Falconry Days

Silver – Event Durham, Durham University

New Tourism Business Award

Gold – Maldron Hotel Newcastle

Silver – The Amble Inn

Bronze – Shepherds Retreats Ltd

Highly commended – STACK Newcastle

Highly commended – Spanish City

Pub of the Year

Gold – The Apple Inn

Silver – The Angel of Corbridge

Bronze – Twice Brewed Inn

Highly commended – The Botanist Newcastle

Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year

Gold – St Oswald’s Farm

Silver – Main Cottages

Bronze – Brunton House and Cottages

Highly commended – Vindomora Country Lodges

Taste of North East England Award

Gold – Dobson and Parnell

Silver – Restaurant Hjem

Bronze – Battlesteads

Highly commended – Barrasford Arms

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

Silver – The Alnwick Garden

Bronze – Bamburgh Castle

Highly commended – Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Highly commended – Great North Museum: Hancock

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Falconry Days

Silver – Newham Grange Farm

Bronze – Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums – Arbeia South Shields’ Roman Fort

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