South West tops country again in National Tourism Awards

Pandora Water View

Pandora Water View - Credit: Archant

A stunning 16 of the Finalist places in this year’s national VisitEngland awards have been taken by tourism businesses from the South West, making it another record year for the region and reminding visitors of the quality available in England’s pre-eminent tourism destination

Calvert Trust Exmoor

Calvert Trust Exmoor - Credit: Archant

Old Rectory Hotel

Old Rectory Hotel - Credit: Archant

79 Finalists have just been announced for the Visit England awards, and with 16 of these from the South West there’s a clear message about the quality of The South West tourism experience.

The Visit England awards link with the South West Tourism Excellence Awards which held its regional awards ceremony in Plymouth on 30 January. This followed a rigorous selection process, including judging of nearly 350 entries from across the South West with many of them winning also in the Dorset Tourism Awards, Cornwall Tourism Awards and Devon Tourism Awards. Since January, the regional entries have been pitted against further entries from across the country, with 13 entries selected as Finalists representing the South West at the VisitEngland awards night in Cheltenham on 12th May. These are joined by 2 winners from the Cotswold Tourism Awards and 1 finalist in the ‘Tourism Superstar’ category to make the total of 16 from the region. All of them are guaranteed to receive a Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

Devon boasts 6 finalists, including Calvert Trust Exmoor who are up for 2 awards in the Tourism Experience category and the Access for All award. The Arundell Arms Hotel is a finalist in the Business Tourism category for the 2nd year running., alongside The Old Rectory amongst the Small Hotels, River Cottage Canteen in the Taste category and English Riviera Tourism Company, who are an award for Visitor Information Providers.

Cornwall has 4 finalists, with The Pandora Inn selected in the Tourism Pub category, alongside Gwel an Mor Resort in the Holiday Parks, Trebah Gardens making as a finalist in the competitive Large Attraction category and Little White Alice a contender for Sustainable Tourism.

National Trust Coleridge Cottage represents Somerset as a finalist in the Small Attraction category alongside Dickon Allen from Montacute House, nominated for the Tourism Superstar award.

The Isles of Scilly also achieved success, with Hell Bay Hotel making it through as a finalist in the Small Hotel category.

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A further finalist is Countryside Mobility South West in the Access for All category, recognised for their service across the whole South West region.

The list is completed by Gloucestershire’s Ellenborough Park Hotel and Gloucester Tourism Information Centre, making it to the final list yet again.

Chairman of the South West judging panel, Alistair Handyside, says: “This is a brilliant result for the South West, and is well deserved recognition of the ongoing investment made by our leading tourism businesses. Our congratulations to them all and we will be rooting for you on awards night on the 12th May.”

Robin Barker, from awards organisers Services for Tourism, comments: “Each year the standards in this competition get higher and higher, hence it is a testament to the industry that the South West again heads the ‘league table’ amongst English regions. We will have to wait until the 12th May to find out what accolade each has won, but they are all worthy ambassadors for the region and I wish them all my congratulations and best wishes.”


See below for list of finalists from the South West:

South West winners amongst 2014 Visit England Finalists

Below are the finalists in each category for this year’s awards (listed alphabetically).

Access for All Tourism Award:

Calvert Trust Exmoor

Barnstaple, Devon Mobility South West

Exeter, Devon

www.countrysidemobility.orgBusiness Tourism Award:

Arundell Arms Hotel

Lifton, Devon Park / Holiday Village of the Year:

Gwel an Mor Resort

Redruth, Cornwall

www.gwelanmor.comLarge Visitor Attraction of the Year:

Trebah Garden

Falmouth, Cornwall Hotel of the Year:

Ellenborough Park

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire

www.ellenboroughpark.comSmall Hotel of the Year:

Hell Bay Hotel

Bryher, Isles of Scilly Old Rectory Hotel

Martinhoe, Devon Visitor Attraction of the Year:

National Trust Coleridge Cottage

Bridgwater, Somerset Tourism Award:

Little White Alice

Redruth, Cornwall of England Award:

River Cottage Canteen & Deli Plymouth

Plymouth, Devon Experience of the Year:

Calvert Trust Exmoor

Barnstaple, Devon Information Provider of the Year:

English Riviera Tourism Company (ERTC)

Devon Tourist Information Centre

Gloucester, Gloucestershire Pub of the Year:

Pandora Inn

Falmouth, Cornwall

www.pandorainn.comTourism Superstar:

Dickon Allen from Montacute House

Montacute, Somerset

For more information about the awards please contact Robin Barker at or 07870 397438 Twitter @serv4tourism