Northumberland tourism businesses dominate regional awards shortlist

The Northumberland Tourism Award winners, nine of whom are shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards. 'Picture by Jane Coltman
The Northumberland Tourism Award winners, nine of whom are shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards. 'Picture by Jane Coltman

Tourism businesses from Northumberland dominate the shortlist for the regional industry awards, which was revealed this week.

The county has more nominations than the rest of the region put together for the North East England Tourism Awards, with businesses from Northumberland filling four categories entirely.

It comes in the wake of the inaugural Northumberland Tourism Awards earlier this year.

They were launched in April by Northeast Press’ four county titles, in association with destination management organisation Northumberland Tourism.

And when this year’s North East shortlist was announced on Tuesday, it was revealed that 30 of the 53 nominees are from Northumberland and, of those, nine were winners at our awards earlier this year.

Our overall and hotel of the year winner, Battlesteads, in Wark, is in the running in the North East for hotel of the year, small visitor attraction and dog-friendly business of the year, where it is joined by our winner, Mains Cottages in Beadnell.

Mains Cottages is up against another of our winners, Brunton House and Cottages, in the self-catering category as well as Bellshill Tower, south of Belford.

In the running for boutique guest accommodation of the year are The Percy Arms, Chatton; Newton Hall and the Joiner’s Arms (our winner), both Newton-by-the-Sea; and the Barrasford Arms in the west of the county.

Bed and breakfast of the year is also an all-Northumberland affair: Mill House, Guyzance; The Old Manse, Chatton (our winner); St Cuthbert’s House, Seahouses; West Longridge Manor, near Berwick.

St Cuthbert’s House is also up for the sustainable tourism award, alongside our winner, Laverock Law Cottages in Lowick.

The holiday park title will be a straight fight between our winner Kielder Waterside, Seafield Caravan Park, in Seahouses, and Ord House Country Park, near Berwick.

Northumberland’s small visitor attraction of the year, the Aln Valley Railway, is joined by Kirkley Hall, Bide-a-Wee Cottage, near Morpeth, and Battlesteads. Our large visitor attraction, The Alnwick Garden, will compete with Kielder Water and Forest Park.

Our taste award winner, The Potted Lobster, is another nominee, alongside the Barrasford Arms, which gets a third nod in tourism pub of the year, where it is joined by The Apple Inn at Lucker (highly commended at our awards).

Jude Leitch, director of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We have been working very hard to encourage businesses to enter as it’s really good publicity for them and even going through the judging process is very helpful. Obviously we like having winners too.

“A lot of businesses have gone through from the Northumberland Tourism Awards so we hope it means we have even more winners from Northumberland this year.”

All shortlisted applicants will also have the chance to enter the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2018.

Last year, the North East – and Northumberland – was well represented with five businesses picking up national awards. From the county, Battlesteads and St Cuthbert’s House both came away with gold, while The Tankerville Arms at Eglingham was a finalist.

The North East England Tourism Award winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday, November 16, in Newcastle.

Full shortlist

Hotel of the Year

· Seaham Hall

· Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

· Hotel Du Vin

· Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year

· The Percy Arms, Chatton

· Newton Hall

· Barrasford Arms

· The Joiners Arms

Bed and Breakfast of the Year

· Mill House B&B

· The Old Manse B&B

· St Cuthbert’s House

· West Longridge Manor Bed and Breakfast

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

· West Wood Yurts

· Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd

· Brunton House and Cottages

· Renner Farming - Bellshill Tower

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

· Seafield Caravan Park

· Kielder Waterside

· Ord House Country Park

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

· The Aln Valley Railway Trust

· South Tynedale Railway

· Kirkley Hall

· Bide-a-Wee Cottage Garden and Nursery

· Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

· Hall Hill Farm

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

· Kielder Water & Forest Park (KWFP)

· The Alnwick Garden

· Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Guided Tour of the Year

· Behind the Books @ the Lit & Phil

· BBC Tours

· Victoria Tunnel

· Wild Dog Outdoors

Dog Friendly Business of the Year

· Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd

· Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

· South Tynedale Railway

Tourism Pub of the Year

· The Botanist

· The Apple Inn

· Barrasford Arms

Taste of England Award

· The Potted Lobster

· Blackfriars Restaurant Banquet Hall, Cookery School, Parlour Bar and Tasting Room

· Barrasford Arms

· Block and Bottle

Sustainable Tourism Award

· Laverock Law Cottages

· St Cuthbert’s House

Inclusive Tourism Award

· Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books

· Sage Gateshead

Business Tourism Award

· Event Durham, Durham University

· Seaham Hall

· Newcastle City Council, Hospitality Services (Newcastle Civic Centre)

· Sage Gateshead

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

· Hartlepool Borough Council - Hartlepool Railway Station & Coast Project

· Durham Pointers

· South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre