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Published on Friday, April 24, 2020

Visit York Tourism Awards Winners Announced

Fourteen of York's top tourism businesses celebrated a win in the first ever virtual Visit York Tourism Awards last night (Thursday 23rd April). Winners were announced on the Visit York social media channels and via a special live broadcast on Minster FM, compered by breakfast show hosts Ben Fry and Laura Castle.


The awards, sponsored by LNER, celebrate the very best of York's shops, pubs, hotels, restaurants, attractions and more - rewarding quality, innovation and customer service. Across many of the categories the winners will also have the honour of going forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence which are also being held virtually later in the year.


New categories introduced for this year included 'Event of the Year' which was scooped by York Maze Hallowscream, the 'Taste of York Award' won by Roots York, and 'Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award' which was picked up on the night by the JORVIK Group of Attractions.


Other winners for the night included The Grand, York who were crowned 'Large Hotel of the Year', Grays Court Hotel for 'Small Hotel of the Year' and Castle Howard for 'Large Visitor Attraction of the Year'. The title of 'Pub of the Year' went to The Drovers Arm Country Pub & Restaurant and 'Shop of the Year' to York Gin. A full list of winners can be found here.


The awards went ahead with the support of 14 local and national businesses who sponsored the event and announced the winners on air during the broadcast.


Sean Bullick, Managing Director at Make It York said, "We are immensely proud of all the hard work that has gone on in York's tourism industry over the last year and these awards are a way to really recognise the businesses and individuals who ensure visitors get the very best experiences in the city. Now, more than ever, it's important for us to come together and celebrate the achievements of the industry - and so we were delighted to be able to put together this virtual awards 'ceremony' with the help of Minster FM to ensure businesses still get the recognition they deserve. A huge well done to all finalists - and congratulations and good luck to all our winners who will now be going forward to the VisitEngland Excellence awards later in the year."


Suzanne Donnelly, Commercial Director, LNER, said:  " LNER  are very proud to continue our support for these awards which really showcase all the brilliant work that has taken place in York's tourism industry over the last twelve months. A huge well done to all the finalists and congratulations to tonight's winners for their wonderful achievements."  


Bridget Meynell, Managing Director of Minster FM said, "Minster FM was delighted to be able to utilise our platforms to ensure a 'virtual' award ceremony happened in these unprecedented times. The live show was even more accessible, as everyone in the city and beyond had the chance to celebrate with the York tourism businesses that work so hard to make our beautiful city so welcoming. We are all looking forward to continuing to support them to do so in the future. "




Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2020:


B&B and Guest House of the Year - sponsored by
Winner: Woodlands Farm Thimbleby
Finalists: No.21 York

Business Events Venue of the Year - sponsored by Sparq

Winner: The Grand, York
York Barbican
York Racecourse

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year - sponsored by Minster FM
Winner: Vale of Pickering Caravan Park
Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges
York Holiday & Cycle Stop

Experience of the Year - sponsored by LNER
Winner: The Bloody Tour of York
Highly Commended: The Cookery School at The Grand, York
Castle Howard
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Event of the Year* - sponsored by LNER
Winner: York Maze Hallowscream
Highly Commended: York Minster - The Northern Lights
JORVIK Viking Festival

International Tourism Award - sponsored by City Cruises York
Winner: The Grand, York
Finalists: OE Media

Large Hotel of the Year - sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Grand, York
Grantley Hall
Hotel Indigo York
The Principal Hotel

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year - sponsored by Fowlers of York
Winner: Castle Howard
JORVIK Viking Centre
National Railway Museum

New Tourism Business of the Year - sponsored by Minster FM
Winner: Grantley Hall
Northwood Trail, England's Fairy Sanctuary
OE Media
Yorkshire Appetite Food Tours

Pub of the Year - sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd
Winner: The Drovers Arm Restaurant & Country Pub
House of Trembling Madness (Lendal)
The Ackhorne
The Botanist York

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year - sponsored by HomeAway

Winner: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges
Serenity Inn the City
The Enchantment Chamber

Shop of the Year* - sponsored by York BID

Winner: York Gin
Highly Commended: Bluebird Bakery
The Balloon Tree Farmshop & Café
The Shop That Must Not Be Named

Small Hotel of the Year - sponsored by Yorkshire Laundry Services

Winner: Grays Court Hotel

Dean Court Hotel
‎ The Parisi Hotel


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year - sponsored by York Pass

Winner: Energi Trampoline Park
Barley Hall
Locked in Games York
Mother Shipton's Cave
York Army Museum

Taste of York Award - sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: Roots, York
Highly Commended: The Whippet Inn
Plush Café
The Star Inn The City
The York Roast Co

Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award - sponsored by Yorkshire Gas & Power

Winner: JORVIK Group of Attractions

Tourism Champion of the Year*

Winner: Ben Fry

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.


Make It York

Make It York's purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings - nationally and internationally - as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company's remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, festivals and events, business support and inward investment.


Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York's aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.


Key tourism facts:

8.4 million visitors annually, £765 million total visitor spend, supporting 24,000 jobs

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