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Enjoy England Awards for Excellence

Saturday, 16th April 2011

Embargoed until 23.00 Friday 15 April 2011

VisitEngland announces winners of The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011

The Royal Shakespeare Company wins Outstanding Contribution Award

The Royal Shakespeare Company has scooped the award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism at the 2011 Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, organised by VisitEngland and sponsored by The Caravan Club.

The RSC is one of the best known, and best loved theatre companies in the world and joins an exclusive group of English tourism champions.  Previous winners of this prestigious award include the Duchess of Northumberland, Manchester United FC, Michael Eavis, the driving force behind Glastonbury, The English Pub and last year’s winner, The National Trust.

This year the RSC celebrates 50 years since Sir Peter Hall first founded a permanent company on the banks of the Avon. This milestone year kicks off with an opening season described as a ‘combustible mix’ of Shakespeare, classical plays, new works and revivals from the RSC’s extraordinary back catalogue of commissions by some of the greatest names in British theatre.  The RSC recently reopened the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres after their redevelopment as part of a £112.8 million Transformation project, receiving outstanding media and audience acclaim.  The RSC’s home in Stratford attracts an estimated half a million visitors a year, and it is anticipated that following the transformation of its theatres the RSC will now contribute around £61 million per annum to the regional economy.

Forming an integral part of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, the Outstanding Contribution Award is the only one of the 17 awards presented at the Awards ceremony on 15 April 2011 at The Great Hall, The University of Birmingham. These prestigious awards, currently in their 22nd year, celebrate the very best the country has to offer. 

VisitEngland chairman Lady Cobham said: “The Royal Shakespeare Company has helped lead the way in how we think and feel about theatre and is a shining light in English Tourism.  We are thrilled to be able to recognise the theatrical joy this much loved and unique English theatre company gives to thousands of people every year.”

Sara Aspley, RSC Director of Commercial Services said:

“It means so much to receive this award.  We are passionate about encouraging audiences and visitors to experience our new theatres in Stratford.  In addition to seeing plays by Shakespeare and other writers, there’s now a whole host of other activities visitors can enjoy.  Theatre tours, a 36m viewing Tower with panoramic views across the Warwickshire countryside, events and exhibitions for the whole family, and a fantastic new Rooftop Restaurant are just some of the additional things now on offer.  Our forthcoming summer season has broken all box office records with advance sales on £4.2 million, and since we re-opened the theatres in November 2010, over 190,000 people have been through our doors.  We are delighted to play our part in attracting visitors to Stratford and the surrounding area, as well as helping to contribute to the economic prosperity of the region.”

Other awards announced at the prestigious ceremony in Birmingham, included the best bed and breakfast in England, best small hotel, taste of England, sustainable tourism and caravan holiday park of the year. The 54 gold and silver winners were selected from 126 regional winners submitted by regional tourist boards and were rigorously assessed by independent assessors and a team of judges to make it through to the national final.  The finalists were selected by a board of tourism industry experts including previous Small Visitor Attraction winner Victoria Emmanuel of the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and experienced travel journalists Alison Rice and Sally Shalam. In addition to the outstanding contribution award for RSC, Sophie Campbell was named journalist of the year for her unfailing commitment to writing inspiring and passionate articles about England over the past year.

One of the judges for the awards, Nikki Nichol, head of publicity and industry relations, The Caravan Club said: “This has been another fantastic year for The Caravan Club to support the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence. I am honoured to be a judge and it truly was a tricky decision to decide on the winners from so many strong candidates. The passion and commitment to excellence shown by all of the gold and silver winners is synonymous with The Club’s ethos and we look forward to another bumper summer of tourism in England”.

The only award determined by public vote is the Where Else but England award, which celebrates events and experiences that represent the unique quirkiness of England.  This year’s winner is the World Egg Throwing Championships, other entries included World Pooh Sticks Championships, The Great Knaresborough Bed Race, The World's Biggest Liar Competition, Interviews with the winner can be seen here: Facebook/WhereElseButEngland, twitter @wherebutengland and

The gold winners are:

Access for all Tourism AwardHoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire The Deep, Hull Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the YearNumber 43, Cumbria Best Tourism ExperienceCumbrian Heavy Horses, Cumbria

Business Tourism AwardHighgate House, Northamptonshire

Caravan Holiday ParkWoodclose Park, Cumbria

Large Hotel (Over 35 bedrooms)The Langham Hotel, London Large Visitor Attraction (Over 100,000 visitors)Chatsworth House, Derbyshire Outstanding Customer ServiceLucy McEnaney at Event Durham, Durham University, Durham Self Catering Holiday of the YearThe Dovecote Barns, Yorkshire Small Hotel of the Year (Under 50 Bedrooms)The Bay Tree Hotel, Oxfordshire

Small Visitor Attraction (Under 50,000)Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre, Kent

Sustainable Tourism AwardRED Hotels, Cornwall Taste of England AwardPorthminster Beach Café, Cornwall

Best Tourism EventRoyal Ascot, Berkshire Tourist Information ServiceMorecambe Visitor Information Centre, Lancashire Winchester Tourist Information Centre, Hampshire

Journalist of the YearSophie Campbell, Dover Castle, Daily Telegraph

Travel Article of the YearHarland Miller, Greetings from Margate. BA Highlife 

Outstanding ContributionRoyal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Upon Avon

Where Else But EnglandWorld Egg Throwing Championships

For further information on the awards, please visit

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:


The gold winners by region are:

North of England

Access for all Tourism AwardThe Deep, Hull, Yorkshire


The Deep is a spectacular visitor attraction, which tells the story of the world’s oceans through interactive exhibits, aquaria and live presentations.  The centre was designed to cater for the widest possible range of visitors; Tactile guides and sensory tours are available to pre-book, alongside Braille introductions and audio guides.  Mobility aids including Tri-Walkers, Rollaters, wheelchairs and scooters are provided free and the Deep runs ‘Quiet Days’, when the sound is switched off, the lights brightened and presentations are signed.

Tel: 01482 381090; PR Contact Linda Martin,, 07751 288434

Self Catering Holiday of the Year

The Dovecote Barns, Kelfield, Yorkshire

The Dovecote Barns are proof that staying the words ‘luxurious’ and ‘farm accommodation’ are not mutually exclusive.  Opened in 2008, the three previously derelict barns have been converted into stylish rural boltholes, with log-burning stoves, hand-painted wooden country kitchens with top of the range appliances and contemporary-styled wet rooms as ensuite facilities in all the bedrooms.

Tel: 01757 249332; PR contact Brigita Bramley,

Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year

Number 43, Arnside Cumbria

The accent is on style and luxury at No 43, a boutique B&B with chic rooms which boast Bose music systems, mini bars including a jug of cold milk, and home-made biscuits on the tea tray.  Opened in 2006, occupancy rates have steadily increased, leading to the creation of an additional bedroom in 2009 and an increase in staff of seven, all part-time.  This increase in guest to staff ratio is reflected in the high level of service, which encompasses everything from luggage assistance to the two-course suppers available in the evening.

Tel: 01524 762761; PR contact Lesley Hornsby,

Best Tourism ExperienceCumbrian Heavy Horses, Millon, Cumbria


The only equestrian centre dedicated to heavy horses, such as Clydesdale, Shire and other ‘draught’ horses, Cumbrian Heavy Horses wins as much for its dedication to an idea and a cause as for the excellent experience the centre provides.  Heavy horses are often characterised as only fit for farm work, but owners Annie Rose and Tim Ancrum opened the centre to prove that they are also provide an excellent riding experience.

Tel: 01229 777764; PR contact; Annie Rose, 07769 599565,

Caravan Holiday Park

Woodclose Park, Kirkby Lonsdale, Cumbria

The nine acres of glorious Cumbrian countryside at Woodclose Park have seen many changes since the park first opened 35 years ago, and there is now space for all types of holidaymaker, with caravan and camping pitches, wigwams and luxurious lodges all on site.  What hasn’t been lost, however, is an understanding of what makes Woodclose so special; the tranquil atmosphere and feeling of being miles from anywhere.

PR contact Steven McAvoy, tel: 015242 71591

Tourist Information ServiceMorecambe Visitor Information Centre, Lancashire

Morecambe’s VIC is many things besides an information point; it has been used as a venue for local artists to showcase their work and authors to hold launches and events.  It also has an excellent range of regularly-changing merchandise including foodie products linked to Taste Lancashire and an Art Deco range produced to compliment the Midland Hotel.

Tel: 01524 582808; PR Contact Deborah Hollings

Outstanding Customer ServiceLucy McEnaney at Event Durham, Durham University, Durham


Working as one of four Customer Relations Agents, Lucy McEnaney has been recognised for the positivity and enthusiasm she brings to her role, along with the additional activities and responsibilities she has taken on.  Her role involves overseeing events – from weddings to work functions – and from the moment of booking she manages all client contact, and will happily work at evenings or weekends to fit the schedule of the customer.

Tel: 0191 334 2883; PR contact Stina Maynard,

South of England


Large Hotel (Over 35 bedrooms)The Langham Hotel, London

The Langham has been welcoming visitors to London since 1865, and a recent £80m renovation has seen the hotel restored to its original grandeur.  Architecturally imposing, the hotel feels luxurious and indulgent, with excellent service at every level – from the concierges, with their intimate knowledge of the capital, to the restaurant manager and sommelier, who have been worked as a team for over 35 years.

Tel: 020 7636 1000; PR contact: Bacchus PR, Alexandra Irving 0208 968 0202;

Small Hotel of the Year (Under 50 Bedrooms)The Bay Tree Hotel, Burford, Oxfordshire

A classic Cotswolds hotel, the Bay Tree has been welcoming travellers for over 550 years, and is steeped in history.  Once the country home of Elizabeth 1’s Chief Baron of the Exchequer, many original features remain; oak-panelled rooms, stone fireplaces, tapestries an flagstone floors.  The historic feel is paired with 21st century comforts in each of the 21 bedrooms, from Molton Brown toiletries to sumptuous beds.

Tel: 01993 822791; PR Contact: Leila Driver,

Small Visitor Attraction (Under 50,000)Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre, Faversham, Kent

Beer has been produced at the Shepherd Neame brewery since 1698, and three centuries of history makes the Visitor Centre a fascinating place to visit for groups, families and individuals.  The opening of the ‘Vaults’ in the former Wines and Spirits Warehouse has added a new dimension to the visitor experience, with some of the company’s historic vehicles, pub signs and memorabilia on display alongside a re-created cooper’s workshop.

Tel: 01795 542217; PR Contact Graham Hukins,

Best Tourism EventRoyal Ascot, Ascot, Berkshire

One of England’s most famous events, and the highlight of the summer season, Royal Ascot draws everyone from royalty to committed race goers to those simply in search of a glamorous day out.  The Racecourse will celebrate its tercentenary in 2011 and every year there are new and exciting developments; in 2010 Michel and Alain Roux took over the Panoramic restaurant.

Tel: 0870 722 7227; PR Contact Thomas Ryves 01344 8878506

Tourist Information Service

Winchester Tourist Information Centre, Hampshire

Located in the Winchester Guildhall, a Grade II listed conference venue, Winchester’s TIC offers a wide range of services from guided tours to bicycle loan and accommodation bookings.  Recent improvements to the centre include new shop fittings to allow sales of goods made by local artists and craftspeople, improved disabled access, clearly displayed local events information and new out of hours boards showing available accommodation.

Tel: 01962 840500; PR Contact Alison Woods,, 07860 414294

Sustainable Tourism AwardRED Hotels, Cornwall

The Bedruthan Steps has long been one of Cornwall’s best-loved – and most environmentally-friendly – hotels, and the team of three sisters brought the same high standards and ethical principles to the Scarlet, a luxury hotel that combines five-star service with a warm atmosphere and ethos of caring for both the environment and the local community.

Tel no: (Bedruthan) 01637 860555; PR Contact Lucy Shrouder at The Massey Ptnership 020 7637 3220`

Taste of England AwardPorthminster Beach Café, Cornwall

The Porthminster Beach cafe may be tucked away in the farthest reaches of Cornwall, but it’s fame has spread as far as the United States and a starring role in the Discovery Channel’s “Beach Cafe” series.  Its popularity is due to its combination of a perfect location, opening right onto the golden sands of Porthminster Beach, an inventive menu that changes daily according to the catch brought back by the fishing boats, and the fantastic service and welcome overseen by Australian head chef Michael Smith.

Tel: 01736 795352; PR Contact Michael Smith,




Access for all Tourism Award

Hoe Grange Holidays, Matlock, Derbyshire

Hoe Grange was set up by David and Felicity Brown in 2006, with the aim of providing a home-from-home experience in the heart of the countryside that was accessible for everyone.  The four log cabins offer a truly luxurious stay, complete with hot tubs and fully-fitted kitchens and two – Hipley and Rainster – have excellent access facilities.  Both are rated Mobility Level 2 under the National Accessibility Scheme, while three-bedroom Pinder cabin is rated Mobility Level 1.


Tel: 01629 540262; PR Contact Felicity Brown,,






Business Tourism Award

Highgate House, Creaton, Northamptonshire

Proof that business and conference venues aren’t always impersonal, modern buildings, Highgate House was the family home of the Chudley family, who have turned their parents b&b into a flourishing conference venue.  The elegant 17th century house is equally suited to day conferences or evening events, with the largest room, the Coote suite, able to accommodate 200 guests for a sit-down meal.

Tel: 01604 505505; PR contact James Bland, 01604 731850,

Large Visitor Attraction (Over 100,000 visitors)Chatsworth House, Bakewell, Derbyshire

One of England’s most elegant stately homes, Chatsworth has been in the Cavendish family since the mid 16th century.  The current owners, the 12th Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, have created a vibrant visitor attraction that combines exhibitions throughout the house, family-themed activities and a spectacular 105-acre garden.

Tel: Chatsworth 01246 565300; PR Contact: Redbrick Comms 0115 910 1500

Outstanding ContributionRoyal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Upon Avon

The RSC’s history began with the opening of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in 1879.  Over a century later in 2010, the RSC re-opened the Royal Shakespeare and Swan Theatres to public and critical acclaim after a £112.8 million transformation project.  The RSC is an ensemble company: everyone, from directors, actors and writers, to production, administrative, technical and workshop staff, all collaborate in a distinctive and unmistakeable approach to theatre.  As well as Shakespeare, the company’s repertoire includes classical plays and new work by contemporary writers. In 2011 the RSC celebrates its 50th Birthday, and will lead a World Shakespeare Festival as part of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012.


- ENDS -


Notes to Editors:


About the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011

§  The Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class

§  The 17 categories for the 2011 awards include: Access for all Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Best Tourism Experience, Business Tourism Award, Caravan Holiday Park, Large Hotel (over 35 bedrooms), Large Visitor Attraction (over 100,000 visitors), Outstanding Customer Service, Self Catering Holiday of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year (under 50 Bedrooms), Small Visitor Attraction (under 50,000), Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Best Tourism Event, Tourist Information Service, “Where Else But England” and Travel Journalist of the Year.

§  Included in the 17 categories is the additional award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism to be announced on the night. Previous winners of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh and in 2007, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool and The National Trust.

§  *The ‘Where Else But England’ Facebook page is live at facebook/whereelsebutengland

About VisitEngland

§  VisitEngland is the strategic leadership body representing the public and private sector stakeholders of English Tourism.  It works in partnership creating national tourism strategy, optimising marketing investment, and developing the visitor experience across England 

§  VisitEngland continues to use its Enjoy England consumer brand in the domestic market and markets England under the VisitEngland brand in international markets 

§  More information can be found on and

About The Caravan Club

§  As Europe’s premier touring organisation, The Caravan Club represents the interests of one million caravanners, motor caravanners and trailer tenters.

§  The Club operates the largest privately owned network of quality sites in the UK, together with a further 2,500 Certificated Locations (sites that take a maximum of five ‘vans).

§  For more information visit The Club's award-winning website at For more press information please contact The Caravan Club Press Office on 01342 336664 or 01342 336768, or email


For further press information contact:

Amy Skelding / Pegi Amarteifio, Four bgb 0870 626 9000 / /  07841 672 399 / 07584 504 717

Sarah Long, VisitEngland: 020 7578 1452,



 Gold and silver  finalists for VisitEngland’s Enjoy England Awards for Excellence 2011:


National Finalist

Access for all Tourism Award

Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire - GOLD

Cadbury World, Birmingham - SILVER

Colston Hall, Bristol - SILVER

The Deep, Hull - GOLD

Bed &

Breakfast / Guest


of the Year

Number 43, Cumbria - GOLD

St Cuthbert’s House, Northumberland - SILVER

Best Tourism Experience

Cumbrian Heavy Horses, Cumbria - GOLD

BBC Tours, Birmingham - SILVER

Global Boarders, Cornwall - SILVER

Business Tourism Award

Highgate House, Northamptonshire - GOLD

Manchester Central Convention Complex, Manchester - SILVER

Rockliffe Hall, Darlington - SILVER

Caravan Holiday Park

Woodclose Park, Cumbria - GOLD

Poston Mill Park Holidays, Herefordshire - SILVER

Faweather Grange, Yorkshire - SILVER

Large Hotel (Over 35 bedrooms)

The Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Manchester - SILVER

Bovey Castle Country House Hotel, Devon - SILVER

Chewton Glen Hotel, Hampshire - SILVER

The Langham Hotel, London - GOLD

Large Visitor Attraction (Over 100,000 visitors)

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire - GOLD

Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester - SILVER

Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire - SILVER

RHS Garden Harlow Carr, North Yorkshire - SILVER

Outstanding Customer Service

The Front of House Team at East Lodge, Derbyshire - SILVER

The Front of House Team at Tylney Hall – Hotel, Hampshire - SILVER 

Lucy McEnaney at Event Durham, Durham University, Durham - GOLD

Sarah Lee at The BIG Sheep, Devon - SILVER

Self Catering Holiday of the Year

Stretton Lakes, Rutland - SILVER

East View Farm Holiday Cottages, Norfolk – SILVER

Millbrook Cottages, Devon - SILVER

The Dovecote Barns, Yorkshire - GOLD

Small Hotel of the Year (Under 50 Bedrooms)

Langley Castle Hotel, Northumberland - SILVER

The Bay Tree Hotel, Oxfordshire - GOLD

The Egerton House Hotel, London - SILVER

The Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, North Yorkshire -SILVER

Small Visitor Attraction (Under 50,000)

The Henry Moore Foundation, Hertfordshire - SILVER

Compton Verney, Warwickshire - SILVER

Shepherd Neame Visitor Centre, Kent - GOLD

The Walled Garden at Scampston, North Yorkshire - SILVER

Sustainable Tourism Award

Clough Bottom Farm Cottages, Lancashire - SILVER

The Battlesteads, Northumberland - SILVER

RED Hotels, Cornwall - GOLD

The Cavendish London - SILVER

Taste of England Award

Hotel Maiyango & Restaurant, Leicestershire - SILVER

The Cottage in the Wood, Cumbria - SILVER

Ludlow Food Centre, Shropshire - SILVER

Porthminster Beach Café, Cornwall - GOLD

Best Tourism Event

Buxton Festival, Derbyshire - SILVER

Manchester International Festival, Manchester - SILVER

The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Gloucestershire - SILVER

Royal Ascot, Berkshire - GOLD

Tourist Information Service

Morecambe Visitor Information Centre, Lancashire - GOLD

Durham City Tourist Information Centre, Durham - SILVER

Gloucester Tourist Information Centre, Gloucestershire - SILVER

Winchester Tourist Information Centre, Hampshire - GOLD


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