Tourism businesses celebrated

BUSINESSES in north Northumberland were among the winners at the region’s tourism awards last night.

The North East England Tourism Awards 2011 took place at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland officially recognising the cream of the industry’s talent.

44 tourism businesses including accommodation providers and visitor attractions from right across the region from Haydon Bridge to Seaham, from Berwick to Guisborough were recognised at the awards.

Judged by a range of senior industry experts, nominees are required to demonstrate high standards of excellence in fields including customer service, training, accessibility and sustainability.

Geoff Hodgson, chairman of the North East Tourism Advisory Board said: “The quality of this year’s shortlisted finalists has shone through the judging process – their commitment to providing a first-class experience for their customers and constantly improving their business is what helps makes North East England such a great place to visit.

“The judging process has been difficult but has also provided a chance to see at first hand the wealth of talent and experience in the region’s visitor economy.”

Winners in a number of categories will automatically go on to represent North East England in the national Visit England Awards for Excellence in the spring.

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold – Rockliffe Hall Hotel, Golf Spa Resort, Hurworth on Tees, County Durham

Silver – Gisborough Hotel, North Yorkshire

Bronze – Linden Hall Golf and Country Club, Morpeth, Northumberland

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold – Doxford Hall Hotel, Chathill, Northumberland

Silver – Wynyard Hall Country House Hotel, Tees Valley

Bronze – Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa

Bed and Breakfast of the Year

Gold – Dowfold House Bed and Breakfast, Crook, County Durham

Silver – Old Vicarage, Tweedmouth, Northumberland

Bronze – Low Urpeth Farm Bed and Breakfast, Chester-le-Street, County Durham

Self Catering/Serviced Apartment

Gold – Cheviot Holiday Cottages, Ingram, Northumberland

Silver – Falstone Barns, Falstone, Northumberland

Bronze – Outchester Ducket, Belford, Northumberland

Bronze – Budle Falls, Belford, Northumberland

Caravan Holiday Park of the Year

Gold – Seafield Caravan Park, Seahouses, Northumberland

Small Visitor Attraction of Year

Gold – WWT Washington Wetland Centre, Tyne and Wear

Gold – Hall Hill Farm, Lanchester, County Durham

Silver – Durham University Botanic Garden

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Beamish Museum, County Durham

Silver – Roman Vindolanda Fort and Museum, Bardon Mill, Northumberland

Bronze – BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

Business Tourism Award

Gold – Sodexo Prestige at Newcastle United

Silver – Event Durham, Durham University

Bronze – Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne

Taste of North East England

Gold – Knitsley Farm Shop, Consett, County Durham

Silver – Wheelbirks Parlour, Stocksfield, Northumberland

Bronze – Oldfields Eating House, Durham

Outstanding Customer Service Award

Gold – William Salve - Linden Hall Golf & Country Club, Northumberland

Silver – Kelly Smith - Wynyard Hall Country House Hotel, Tees Valley

Silver – Kate Carnaby - Sodexo Prestige at Newcastle United

Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses, Northumberland

Silver – Killhope, The North of England Lead Mining Museum, County Durham

Bronze - Blackthorn Gate, Nunthorpe, Middlesbrough

Best Tourism Experience of the Year

Gold – The National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland

Silver – Go Ape! Matfen

Bronze – Surfing in North Tyneside

Tourism Event of the Year

Gold – Tall Ships Races – Hartlepool 2010

Silver – Extraordinary Measures, Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens, Northumberland

Bronze – Evolution Weekender 2010, NewcastleGateshead

Access for All Tourism Award

Gold – Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne

Silver – The Coach House Bed and Breakfast, Bardon Mill, Northumberland

Bronze – The Old Farmhouse, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland

Tourism Information Centre of Year

Gold – Stanhope Tourist Information Centre, County Durham

Silver – Once Brewed Tourist Information Centre, Northumberland

Silver – Rothbury Tourism Information Centre, Northumberland