Five tourism businesses from north Northumberland won gold at last night’s North East Tourism Awards 2015.
And it included a double victory for St Cuthbert’s House B&B, in Seahouses, which won Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year and the Sustainable Tourism Award.
There was more success for the seaside village as The Bamburgh Castle Inn took the Tourism Pub of the Year title, meaning Seahouses converted four nominations into three top awards.
Kielder had also managed four nominations when the shortlist was announced in October and ended up leaving with two golds; Kielder Observatory – Small Visitor Attraction of the Year and Northumbrian Water’s Leaplish Waterside Park – Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year.
North Northumberland’s final winner at the ceremony in Newcastle Civic Centre was Blacksmith’s Cottage, at Alnham, which won gold as Self-Catering Provider of the Year.
The event saw guests enjoy a hint of speakeasy glamour and culture with Le Sape Nocturne, a collective of eight of the region’s finest musicians, playing genre-bending music to kick off the night.
Later entertainment came in the form of BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter, Alfie Joey, who hosted the awards.
They were delivered in partnership with Northumbrian Water, Newcastle College, Newcastle Civic Centre and R&B Group.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Huge congratulations to all of this year’s winners.
“It has been another outstanding year for entries with a high standard of entrants across the board.
“International events, in particular the Rugby World Cup, have given a huge boost to the local tourism industry this year, not only in Newcastle as host city, but across the whole of the North East.
“Such events present a fantastic opportunity to profile the breadth of the region’s tourism offer from cultural city-breaks to family holidays.
“The region is home to two World Heritage Sites, world-class museums and galleries, breathtaking countryside and dramatic coastline, and it’s fantastic to see the continued success of local businesses which contribute skills, knowledge and outstanding experiences to the industry as a whole.”
The regional visitor economy is worth an estimated £3.9billion and employs more than 55,000 people in the North East, with an additional 730 jobs created over the last 12 months.
James Berresford, chief executive of VisitEngland, said: “Congratulations to all of this year’s award winners.
“I wish them the very best in competing for our VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2016.”
FULL LIST OF WINNERS
Tourism Pub of the Year: The Bamburgh Castle Inn, Seahouses – GOLD; The Angel of Corbridge – SILVER; The Staith House, North Shields – BRONZE; The Bridge Tavern, Newcastle – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Business Tourism Award: Event Durham, Durham University – GOLD; NUFC & Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events – BRONZE; Seaham Hall – BRONZE.
Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year: Leaplish Waterside Park- Northumbrian Water, Kielder – GOLD; Doe Park Caravan Site, County Durham – SILVER; Springhouse Country Park, Hexham – BRONZE.
Visitor Information Provider of the Year: Morpeth Tourist Information & Craft Centre – GOLD; Durham Pointers – SILVER; North Shields Tourist Information Centre – SILVER; Berwick upon Tweed Tourist Information Centre – BRONZE.
Access for All Tourism Award: NUFC & Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events – GOLD; Sage Gateshead & GOTH – GOLD; The Hog’s Head Inn, Alnwick – SILVER; Calvert Trust, Kielder – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Tourism Event of the Year: Festival of Thrift – GOLD; Magna Carta & the Changing Face of Revolt, Durham University – SILVER; Funfair, Sage Gateshead – BRONZE; Northumberland County Show – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year: Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books – GOLD; Beamish, The Living Museum of the North – GOLD; National Glass Centre – SILVER; Sage Gateshead – BRONZE.
Large Hotel of the Year: Rockliffe Hall – GOLD; Hotel Indigo Newcastle – SILVER; Village Urban Resort Newcastle – HIGHLY COMMENDED; Jurys Inn Newcastle – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Taste of England Award: Martineau Guest House, Tynemouth – GOLD; Northumberland Cheese Company – SILVER; The Orangery Restaurant at Rockliffe Hall – BRONZE; Zeera Indian Cuisine – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Self-Catering Provider of the Year: Blacksmith’s Cottage, Alnham – GOLD; Hesleyside Huts, Hexham – SILVER; Springhill Farm Holiday Accommodation, Seahouses – BRONZE; Calvert Trust, Kielder – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Small Hotel of the Year: Seaham Hall – GOLD; The Morritt Country House Hotel & Spa – GOLD; Newton Hall – SILVER; Doxford Hall Hotel & Spa – BRONZE.
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year: Kielder Observatory – GOLD; Auckland Castle – SILVER; WWT Washington Wetland Centre – BRONZE; Oriental Museum – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year: St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses – GOLD; Martineau Guest House, Tynemouth – BRONZE; The Old Manse, Chatton – BRONZE; The Old Post Office, Lanchester – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Sustainable Tourism Award: St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses – GOLD; Durham University – SILVER; Sage Gateshead – SILVER; Slate & Nature – HIGHLY COMMENDED.
Tourism Experience of the Year: Magna Carta & the Changing Face of Revolt, Durham University – GOLD; Hall Hill Farm – SILVER; Karting North East – BRONZE; The Cycle HUB – HIGHLY COMMENDED.