Gold awards for Northumberland tourism businesses

Lindsay Murray and host Alfie Joey present The Boutique Guest Accomodation of the Year Gold Award to Newton Hall. Picture by North News & Pictures
Lindsay Murray and host Alfie Joey present The Boutique Guest Accomodation of the Year Gold Award to Newton Hall. Picture by North News & Pictures

Tourism businesses from Northumberland dominated the regional industry awards last night, with an array of winners.

Nominees from the county clinched seven golds across 15 categories at the North East England Tourism Awards, held at The Boiler Shop in partnership with Crowne Plaza Newcastle in the Stephenson Quarter, and hosted by BBC Radio Newcastle breakfast show presenter Alfie Joey.

Susan Justice, from Bidfood, and host Alfie Joey present The Tourism Pub of the Year Gold Award to The Apple Inn. Picture by North News & Pictures

Susan Justice, from Bidfood, and host Alfie Joey present The Tourism Pub of the Year Gold Award to The Apple Inn. Picture by North News & Pictures

Numerous other businesses from The Secret Kingdom earned silver, bronze and high-commended accolades.

It comes in the wake of the inaugural Northumberland Tourism Awards earlier this year, launched in April by Northeast Press’ four county titles in association with Northumberland Tourism.

And four of the winners from the Northumberland awards went on to take gold in the North East competition.

The county’s overall and hotel of the year winner, Battlesteads, in Wark, took the North East hotel of the year title.

Steve Brumbill, from Fishers Laundry, and host Alfie Joey present The Hotel of the Year Gold Award to Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant. Picture by North News & Pictures

Steve Brumbill, from Fishers Laundry, and host Alfie Joey present The Hotel of the Year Gold Award to Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant. Picture by North News & Pictures

The winner of the Northumberland self-catering holiday provider of the year, Brunton House and Cottages, took gold in the same category at the North East awards.

Newton Hall, at Newton-by-the-Sea, was named as the North East winner in the boutique guest accommodation of the year category, having taken the county prize earlier in the year.

And Laverock Law Cottages, in Lowick, clinched the sustainable tourism award at both North East and county level.

Other golds last night went to St Cuthbert’s House, in North Sunderland, in the bed and breakfast of the year section; Seahouses’ Seafield Caravan Park took top spot in the holiday park/holiday village of the year category; and The Apple Inn, at Lucker (highly commended in the county awards) was named North East tourism pub of the year.

Susan Wear, from Port of Tyne, and host Alfie Joey present The Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year Gold Award to Brunton House and Cottages. Picture by North News & Pictures

Susan Wear, from Port of Tyne, and host Alfie Joey present The Self Catering Holiday Provider of the Year Gold Award to Brunton House and Cottages. Picture by North News & Pictures

All winners now have the chance to enter the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2018.

Mains Cottages, in Beadnell, earned silver at last night’s awards in the dog-friendly business of the year, having won the title at the Northumberland awards.

The Old Manse B&B, in Chatton, which clinched the bed and breakfast of the year at county level, was highly commended in the North East awards.

The Aln Valley Railway, in Alnwick, was highly commended in the small visitor attraction of the year for the North East, following its victory in the same category in the county awards.

Graham Perry, from Northumbrian Water, and host Alfie Joey present The Sustainable Tourism Gold Award to Laverock Law Cottages. Picture by North News & Pictures

Graham Perry, from Northumbrian Water, and host Alfie Joey present The Sustainable Tourism Gold Award to Laverock Law Cottages. Picture by North News & Pictures

Meanwhile, the county’s large visitor attraction winner, The Alnwick Garden, secured bronze at the North East ceremony.

It was the same story for The Potted Lobster, in Bambugh, which took bronze at last night’s awards, having been named Northumberland’s taste-award winner.

Others from the county to be recognised included Percy Arms, Chatton; The Joiners Arms, Newton-by-the-Sea; Barrasford Arms, Hexham; Mill House B&B, Guyzance; Bellshill Tower, south of Belford; Kielder Waterside; Ord House Country Park, near Berwick; Kirkley Hall, Ponteland; Bide-a-Wee Cottage, near Morpeth; and Kielder Water and Forest Park.

In total, 30 of the 53 nominees for the North East awards were from Northumberland.

FULL LIST OF WINNERS

Hotel of the Year

Ben and Roger Crosby, from Crosby's, and host Alfie Joey present The Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year Gold Award to Seafield Caravan Park. Picture by North News & Pictures

Ben and Roger Crosby, from Crosby's, and host Alfie Joey present The Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year Gold Award to Seafield Caravan Park. Picture by North News & Pictures

Gold - Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

Silver – Crowne Plaza Newcastle - Stephenson Quarter

Bronze - Seaham Hall

Highly commended - Hotel du Vin

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year

Gold - Newton Hall

Silver – The Percy Arms, Chatton

Bronze – The Joiners Arms

Highly commended - Barrasford Arms

Bed and Breakfast of the Year

Gold - St Cuthbert’s House

Silver – Mill House B&B

Bronze – West Longridge Manor B&B

Highly commended - The Old Manse B&B

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year

Gold - Brunton House and Cottages

Silver – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd

Bronze – Renner Farming - Bellshill Tower

Highly commended - West Wood Yurts

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year

Gold - Seafield Caravan Park

Silver – Kielder Waterside

Bronze – Ord House Country Park

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold - South Tynedale Railway

Silver – Hall Hill Farm

Bronze – Kirkley Hall

Highly commended - The Aln Valley Railway Trust

Highly commended - Bide-a-Wee Cottage Garden and Nursery

Highly commended - Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold - Beamish, The Living Museum of the North

Silver – Kielder Water & Forest Park (KWFP)

Bronze – The Alnwick Garden

Guided Tour of the Year

Gold - BBC Tours

Silver – Wild Dog Outdoors

Bronze – Victoria Tunnel

Highly commended - Behind the Books @ the Lit & Phil

Dog Friendly Business of the Year

Gold - South Tynedale Railway

Silver – Mains Cottages, Northumberland Self Catering Cottages Ltd

Bronze – Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant

Tourism Pub of the Year

Gold - The Apple Inn

Silver – The Botanist

Bronze – Barrasford Arms

Taste of England Award

Gold - Block and Bottle

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

Bronze – The Potted Lobster

Highly commended - Barrasford Arms

Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold - Laverock Law Cottages

Silver – St Cuthbert’s House

Inclusive Tourism Award

Gold - Seven Stories, The National Centre for Children’s Books

Silver – Sage Gateshead

Business Tourism Award

Gold - Event Durham, Durham University

Silver – Sage Gateshead

Bronze – Newcastle City Council, Hospitality Services

Highly commended - Seaham Hall

Visitor Information Provider of the Year

Gold - Durham Pointers

Bronze – South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre

Highly commended - Hartlepool Borough Council - Hartlepool Railway Station & Coast Project

The awards play a key role in showcasing the range of high quality tourism businesses and experiences on offer to visitors across the North East.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “Huge congratulations to all of the winners. It’s been another brilliant year for entries and we received a high standard of entrants across all categories.

“The tourism sector in the North East of England continues to thrive, from our buzzing city centres to our beautiful coastline and varied countryside. Next year promises to be another exciting one for the region as we welcome the Great Exhibition of the North which will have a major impact on our visitor, and wider, economy.”

Northumbrian Water supported the awards for the sixth consecutive year, joined by Newcastle College and Bidfood as event sponsors for 2017.

David Hall, head of leisure, strategy and transformation at Northumbrian Water, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of the North East England Tourism Awards for the sixth year in a row and celebrate the very best the North East has to offer those visiting, living and working in the region.

“From unique coastlines and vibrant city cultures through to spectacular countryside and our very own breathtaking Kielder Waterside, the region has something to offer everyone. Congratulations to all the winners and those shortlisted.”

Tony Lewin, principal at Newcastle College, said: “Many of our students from Newcastle College go on to play key roles in the North East tourism industry, so it’s great to be able to support the awards. Thanks to our fantastic partnerships within the region our students have experienced working at some amazing hotels, restaurants and attractions - many of them on show tonight. We’re also very proud that a number of our talented students have worked with NewcastleGateshead Initiative to help make this year’s event a success.”

Susan Justice, head of business development at Bidfood, added: “Firstly, well done to all of tonight’s winners. The North East has a wide variety of great tourism and hospitality businesses and we should be extremely proud of what we have to offer. We are thrilled to support the North East England Tourism Awards and celebrate those organisations that go the extra mile for visitors to the region.”

The North East England Tourism Awards are organised and delivered by NewcastleGateshead Initiative and NGI Solutions in partnership with the Northern Tourism Alliance.

The Northern Tourism Alliance is a collaboration of the region’s tourism bodies who work together on projects that will benefit the tourism industry across the region. The members of the alliance are NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Northumberland Tourism, Visit County Durham, The North East Hotels Association, South Tyneside Council and North Tyneside Council.

Coun Veronica Dunn and host Alfie Joey present The Bed and Breakfast of the Year Gold Award to St Cuthbert's House. Picture by North News & Pictures

Coun Veronica Dunn and host Alfie Joey present The Bed and Breakfast of the Year Gold Award to St Cuthbert's House. Picture by North News & Pictures