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South West tops country for 3rd year running in National Awards

A stunning 19 of the Finalist places in this year's national VisitEngland awards have been taken by tourism businesses from the South West, making it the top region for the 3rd year running and reinforcing its position as the country’s top destination.

75 Finalists have just been announced for the Visit England awards, and with 25% 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 Weston super Mare on 12 February.  This followed a rigorous selection process, including judging of a record 425 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 finalists all invited to the VisitEngland awards night in Newcastle on 11th May, when they will learn whether they have won Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended Award.

Devon boasts 4 finalists, including Millbrook Cottages in North Devon, Gulworthy’s Horn of Plenty, Cofton Country Holidays and Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges.

Cornwall has 6 finalists, with The Pandora Inn selected in the Tourism Pub category for the 2nd year running, alongside Trethem Mill Touring Park, Bosinver Farm Cottages, The Lost Gardens of Heligan, Lower Barns Boutique B&B and Kernock Cottages.

After several years without a finalist, 2 Dorset entries have made it through, building on their success in the Dorset Tourism Awards.  They are Bournemouth Air Festival 2014 and the Green House Hotel.

The Isles of Scilly also achieved success, with Hell Bay Hotel making it through as a finalist for the 2nd year running.

There is also success for Bristol and Bath, with At Bristol Science Centre, the Bristol Hippodrome and The Roman Baths & Pump Room all selected as Finalists.

The list is completed by Gloucestershire’s Ellenborough Park Hotel, a finalist for the 2nd year running, The Cotswold Show and The Manor House Hotel.

Chairman of the South West judging panel, Alistair Handyside, says: “We are absolutely delighted that the South West has come out as the top region at the Visit England National Awards, to be held in Newcastle on Tyne on 11th May. Our nineteen finalist make up 25% of the total, once again showing that the South West continues to lead the field in offering the guest the best variety of quality tourism experience in England.”

Robin Barker from awards organisers Services for Tourism, who organise the awards, comments: “It has been an amazing 12 months, with record entries into the awards, record numbers of winners and outstanding feedback.  Winning more national awards than every other region puts the cap on it all and I offer my congratulations to all involved.  The 2015/16 awards will be launched in the next few weeks, and it will be great to build on this success.”

See below for list of finalists from the South West (listed alphabetically):

Tourism Event of the Year

Bournemouth Air Festival 2014

Bournemouth, Dorset



The Cotswold Show

Cirencester, Gloucestershire



Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Bosinver Farm Cottages

St Austell, Cornwall



Millbrook Cottages

High Bickington, Devon



Large Visitor Attraction of the Year    


The Lost Gardens of Heligan

St Austell, Cornwall



The Roman Baths & Pump Room

Bath, Somerset



Small Hotel of the Year

Hell Bay Hotel

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall



The Horn of Plenty          

Tavistock, Devon



Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Cofton Country Holidays

Dawlish, Devon



Trethem Mill Touring Park

Truro, Cornwall                                              



Tourism Pub of the Year

The Pandora Inn

Falmouth, Cornwall



Bed & Breakfast/Guest Accommodation of the Year

Lower Barns Boutique B&B

St Austell, Cornwall



Large Hotel of the Year

Ellenborough Park 

Cheltenham, Gloucestershire



The Manor House Hotel

Moreton-on-the-Marsh, Gloucestershire



Sustainable Tourism Award

At Bristol Science Centre




The Green House Hotel

Bournemouth, Dorset



Wheatland Farm Eco Lodges

Winkleigh, Devon



Access for All Tourism Award

The Bristol Hippodrome




Kernock Cottages

Saltash, Cornwall