Dorset tourism businesses great and small were recognised at these prestigious annual awards with 260 finalists and sponsors gathering at Weymouth Pavilion at the beginning of February. The 11th Dorset Tourism Awards saw a return to pre-pandemic numbers as hospitality businesses of all kinds were rewarded for their excellence following a rigorous judging process.

Great British Life: Dr Kate Adie. Dr Kate Adie. (Image: Nick Williams)

The awards were preceded by an introduction by journalist Dr Kate Adie, who is the new President of the Dorset Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE). Kate, who has lived in Dorset for over 12 years, inspired guests with her observations of the county she calls home, highlighting her own experiences of memorable visitor welcomes even during tough times. She also acknowledged the importance of having a vibrant tourism industry for the local economy, as well as recognising and celebrating all those who work so hard to promote the county to residents and visitors who come here from far and wide.

Great British Life: Dorset Museum won several awards including Winner of Winners. Dorset Museum won several awards including Winner of Winners. (Image: Nick Williams)

During the evening, 65 winner trophies were presented including a Winner of Winners award to Dorset Museum & Gallery, the Unsung Hero award went to The Tank Museum’s Rosanna Dean, and Marsham Court Hotel in Bournemouth scooped up the Future of Hospitality Award.

Successful businesses in the Dorset Tourism Awards will now be fast tracked into the South West Tourism Excellence Awards in March and possibly into the national VisitEngland awards later in the year.

Find more details, and how to enter this year’s awards which open in April at


Dorset Tourism Awards 2023/24 Finalists and Winners


Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award sponsored by Bournemouth University Business School

Gold: Dorset Museum & Gallery, Dorchester

Silver: National Trust, Corfe and Purbeck Estate

Bronze: Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth & The Tank Museum, Bovington

B&B/Guesthouse of the Year sponsored by Goadsby

Gold: Alexander Lodge, Bournemouth

Silver: Barton Cottage Bed & Breakfast, Dorchester

Business Events Venue of the Year sponsored by NFU Mutual, Bournemouth

Gold: Lighthouse Poole

Silver: Dorset Museum & The Tank Museum

Bronze: Marsham Court Hotel

Café/Tearoom of the Year sponsored by Dorset Tea 

Great British Life: Upwey Wishing Well won Cafe/Tearoom of the Year. Upwey Wishing Well won Cafe/Tearoom of the Year. (Image: Nick Williams)

Gold: Upwey Wishing Well Tearooms

Silver: Compton Acres Cafe Tearooms

Bronze: Pause Cat Cafe, Bournemouth & The Story Pig, Sherborne

Camping & Caravanning Park of the Year sponsored by Anytime Booking

Gold: Wareham Forest Tourist Park

Silver: Norden Farm Campsite, Wareham & South Lytchett Manor Caravan & Camping Park

Bronze: Coppet Hill Camping & Glamping, Bridport

Commended: Burnbake Forest Lodges & Campsite, Corfe Castle

Casual Dining Award sponsored by Sunflower Social Media

Gold: MezeBag – Baraca Restaurant, Bournemouth

Silver: Lolas Restaurant, Bournemouth

Bronze: Poco Pizza, Lyme Regis

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by Saffery

Gold: Highlands End Holiday Park, Bridport

Silver: Pause Cat Cafe, Bournemouth

Bronze: Warmwell Holiday Park, Weymouth

Experience of the Year sponsored by Sunflower Social Media

Gold: Treetop Adventure Plus – Moors Valley Go Ape Ringwood

Silver: Durdle Door Cruise – Weymouth RIB Charter Weymouth

Bronze: Sea Train Adventure – City Cruises, Poole

Commended: Mellulah Therapy & Yoga Retreat, Blandford

Future of Hospitality Award sponsored by NFU Mutual 

Great British Life: Marsham Court winner of Future of Tourism.Marsham Court winner of Future of Tourism. (Image: Nick Williams)

Marsham Court Hotel, Bournemouth

Holiday Park of the Year sponsored by Tozers

Gold: Highlands End Holiday Park Bridport

Silver: Durdle Door Holiday Park

Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Guestline

Gold: Holiday Inn, Bournemouth

Silver: Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Bronze: The NICI, Bournemouth

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsored by Baboo Gelato

Gold: Dorset Museum

Silver: The Tank Museum

Bronze: Lighthouse Poole

Commended: The Oceanarium, Bournemouth

New Tourism Business Award sponsored by Visit Dorset

Gold: English Cottage Vacation, Shaftesbury

Silver: The Queen’s Arms, Corton Denham

Bronze: Rudge Farm Cottages, Bridport

Commended: Weymouth Land Train

Pub of the Year sponsored by Black Cow Vodka 

Great British Life: The Acorn Inn, Evershot won Pub of the Year. The Acorn Inn, Evershot won Pub of the Year. (Image: Nick Williams)

Gold: The Acorn Inn, Evershot

Silver: The Old Thatch Pub, Kitchen & Country Store, Wimborne

Bronze: The Queen’s Arms, Corton Denham

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Hall & Woodhouse

Gold: St Tropez Lounge, Poole

Silver: Restaurant Les Enfants Terribles, Weymouth

Bronze: The Jetty Restaurant, Christchurch &

Upper Deck Restaurant, Christchurch Harbour Hotel

Commended: The Oyster & Fish House, Lyme Regis

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year sponsored by

Gold: Bournemouth Beach Lodges

Silver: Rudge Farm Cottages, Bridport

Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Quality in Tourism

Gold: Summer Lodge Country House Hotel, Evershot

Silver: Kings Arms Hotel, Christchurch

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year sponsored by Resort Dorset

Gold: Nothe Fort, Weymouth

Silver: Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth

& Museum of East Dorset, Wimborne

Bronze: Shire Hall Museum, Dorchester

Commended: Compton Acres, Poole and Smugglers Cove Adventure Golf, Bournemouth

Tourism Event/Festival of the Year sponsored by Les Enfants Terribles 

Gold: Arts by the Sea Festival 2022. Bournemouth

Silver: Tankfest 2023, Bovington

Bronze: Swanage Regatta & Carnival 2023

Commended: Shire Hall Christmas Market 2022

Unsung Hero Award sponsored by Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Tourism 

Great British Life: Rosanna Dean won the Unsung Hero accolade. Rosanna Dean won the Unsung Hero accolade. (Image: Nick Williams)

Rosanna Dean of The Tank Museum

Visitor Information Service of the Year sponsored by Holidaymaker APP

Gold: Swanage Information Centre

Silver: Upton Park Visitor Welcome Centre, Poole

Wedding Venue of the Year sponsored by Touch Stay

Gold: Highcliffe Castle

Silver: The Italian Villa at Compton Acres

Bronze: Dorset Museum Weddings & Kings Arms Hotel, Christchurch

Winner of Winners sponsored by Dorset LEP

Dorset Museum