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SW Tops Country in National Awards


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.

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.

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.”


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 

Countryside Mobility South West
Exeter, Devon 

Business Tourism Award

Arundell Arms Hotel
Lifton, Devon

Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year

Gwel an Mor Resort
Redruth, Cornwall 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Trebah Garden
Falmouth, Cornwall 

Large Hotel of the Year

Ellenborough Park
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire 

Small Hotel of the Year

Hell Bay Hotel
Bryher, Isles of Scilly 

The Old Rectory Hotel
Martinhoe, Devon 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

National Trust Coleridge Cottage
Bridgwater, Somerset 

Sustainable Tourism Award

Little White Alice
Redruth, Cornwall 

Taste of England Award

River Cottage Canteen & Deli Plymouth
Plymouth, Devon 

Tourism Experience of the Year

Calvert Trust Exmoor
Barnstaple, Devon 

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

English Riviera Tourism Company (ERTC)

Gloucester Tourist Information Centre
Gloucester, Gloucestershire 

Tourism Pub of the Year

Pandora Inn
Falmouth, Cornwall 

Tourism Superstar

Dickon Allen from Montacute House
Montacute, Somerset