Award nod for top attractions

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A clutch of north Northumberland businesses and attractions have been nominated for region-wide tourism awards.

The North East Tourism Awards, run by marketing body the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, is the biggest event of its kind in the region, with entrants from across the North East – and north Northumberland businesses put in a strong showing, with nominations in a range of categories.

Kielder Water and Forest Park, which attracted almost 350,000 visitors this year, is shortlisted in the Tourism Experience category.

The 5.6mile-long lake, the UK’s largest man-made stretch of water, is surrounded by Kielder Forest, northern Europe’s biggest tree plantation.

It is also well-known as a site for star-gazing, boasting its own observatory, and this year has held more than 150 events for amateur astronomers.

Elisabeth Rowark, director of the park, said it was a ‘privilege’ to be nominated.

She said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted, especially as this is the first time we have entered the awards.

“We look forward to finding out who the winners are.”

Other north Northumberland nominees include two businesses in the village of Seahouses.

St Cuthbert’s House guest house in the village was nominated in the Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation category, while Seafield Caravan Park in Seahouses was recognised in the caravan park category.

Self-catering cottages The Gate Lodge, in the Northumberland National Park, and Alnwick’s Blacksmiths Cottage also received nominations.

There will be a ceremony on January 31 at The Sage, Gateshead, to present the awards. Winners will be entered into next year’s national VisitEngland Awards.