Cream of tourism crop revealed with VisitEngland's latest Awards for Excellence @VisitEngland

VisitEngland has named the best Britain’s tourism industry has to offer, announcing the winners of its annual Awards for Excellence.The awards, which enter their 29th year, recognise businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire is among the winners this year, with the attraction picking up the Gold Award for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, beating Blenheim Place and the Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, which picked up Silver and Bronze Awards respectively.In the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, the Charterhouse in London was the Gold Award winner, with County Durham’s Hall Hill Farm winning Silver and the Screech Owl Sanctuary & Wildlife Park in Cornwall with Bronze.Brighton’s i360 also picked up a Gold Award, winning the category for Innovation in Tourism. The visitor attraction beat the Tyne & Wear area’s Go North East transport service, which won Silver, and the English Lake District China Forum, which was the Bronze winner.“These awards shine a spotlight on our fantastic tourism industry with the winners showcasing the quality, innovation and excellence on offer throughout the country,” said VisitEngland chief executive, Sally Balcombe.“From an outstanding boutique hotel in the Dales to a tour of York’s chocolate-making history, from pine holiday lodges on the sandy beaches of Cornwall to a quintessentially English country-pub in Hertfordshire, these winners provide outstanding and truly memorable visitor experiences.”Latest VisitEngland statistics show that in 2017 Britons took more than 47 million holidays in England, an increase of 6 per cent on the previous year. Staycationers also spent more than £11bn (US$15.3bn, €12.6bn) in 2017 – also a 6 per cent rise on 2016. Overall tourism contributes an estimated £106bn (US$148bn, €121.1bn) to the English economy.Below are the winners in each category for this year’s awards:Bed & Breakfast of the YearGOLD – Alkham Court Farmhouse, KentSILVER – The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon BRONZE – South Lodge Boutique B&B, BuckinghamshireBoutique Guest Accommodation of the YearGOLD – Yorebridge House, YorkshireSILVER – Hever Castle & Gardens, Kent BRONZE – Cary Arms & Spa “Inn on the Beach”, DevonBusiness Tourism AwardGOLD – Sage Gateshead, Tyne & WearSILVER – Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa, Cheshire BRONZE – Tewkesbury Park, GloucestershireDog Friendly Business of the YearGOLD – Wallops Wood Cottages, HampshireSILVER – Bulleigh Barton Manor, Devon BRONZE – Salad Days Beach Hut, SomersetGuided Tour of the YearGOLD – York’s Chocolate Story, YorkshireSILVER – World of Wedgwood, Staffordshire BRONZE – Cotswolds Distillery, WarwickshireHoliday Park / Holiday Village of the YearGOLD – Landal Gwel an Mor, CornwallSILVER – Seafield Caravan Park, Northumberland BRONZE – Polmanter Touring Park, CornwallHotel of the YearGOLD – Rudding Park, YorkshireSILVER – Lucknam Park, Wiltshire BRONZE – Seaham Hall, County DurhamInbound Tourism AwardGOLD – Beiwei 55°, London and Tyne & WearSILVER – The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath & North East Somerset BRONZE – The Grand Hotel & Spa, YorkshireInclusive Tourism AwardGOLD – The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath & North East SomersetSILVER – Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School, Cornwall BRONZE – Cottage in the Dales, YorkshireInnovation in Tourism AwardGOLD – British Airways i360, East SussexSILVER – Go North East, Tyne & Wear BRONZE – English Lake District China Forum, CumbriaLarge Visitor Attraction of the YearGOLD – National Memorial Arboretum, StaffordshireSILVER – Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire BRONZE – Moors Valley Country Park and Forest, DorsetNew Tourism Business AwardGOLD – Stasher, LondonSILVER – Ascent Trampoline Park, Lancashire BRONZE – Loose Reins, DorsetSelf Catering Holiday Provider of the YearGOLD – Sheepyard Barn at The Suffolk Escape, SuffolkSILVER – The Milkshed, Devon BRONZE – The Treehouse Hotel at Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve, KentSmall Visitor Attraction of the YearGOLD – the Charterhouse, LondonSILVER – Hall Hill Farm, County Durham BRONZE – Screech Owl Sanctuary & Wildlife Park, CornwallSustainable Tourism AwardGOLD – Laverock Law Cottages, NorthumberlandSILVER – Browsholme Hall, Lancashire BRONZE – Colton House, StaffordshireTaste of England AwardGOLD – Restaurant Hywel Jones by Lucknam Park, Wiltshire SILVER – Miller’s Fish and Chips, YorkshireBRONZE – Askham Hall, CumbriaTourism Pub of the YearGOLD – The Riverside at Aymestrey, Herefordshire SILVER – The Cartford Inn, LancashireBRONZE – The Bruce Arms West Tanfield, YorkshireVisitor Information Provider of the YearGOLD – York Visitor Information Centre, Yorkshire SILVER – Oxford Visitor Information Centre, OxfordshireBRONZE – Liverpool Tourist Information Centre, MerseysideTourism SuperstarJim O’Reilly, Red Funnel Ferries, Isle of WightTravel Article of the YearRichard Mellor, The Guardian Party in the Sea – Between the Isles of ScillyOutstanding Contribution to TourismHistoric Royal Palaces