Shortlist revealed for Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards 2024
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Finalists have been announced in 14 awards categories, ranging from hotels, B&Bs and campsites to pubs, visitor attractions and unique experiences.
Organised by Visit Peak District & Derbyshire (VPDD), in collaboration with Visit Derby, as the region’s official local visitor economy partnership (LVEP), the 2024 awards celebrate the success and resilience of tourism businesses whilst highlighting the sector’s vital contribution to the local economy.
VPDD managing director Jo Dilley said: “The awards are a celebration of the passionate, hardworking and innovative businesses who continually raise the bar of our world-class tourism offer.“Not only do the awards showcase the sheer quality of our tourism experiences to visitors from across the country, but they also serve as a timely reminder of the value of our visitor economy and the important role the industry plays in making the destination such a great place to live, work and visit.”She added: “We’ve received a record number of applications this year and reaching this impressive lift of finalists is an achievement in itself. We look forward to celebrating with our finalists and partners at the awards ceremony in 2024.”
Matlock Farm Park is a triple nominee for 2024, making the cut for the accessible and inclusive tourism award – which it won in 2023 – along with the LEVEL Centre in Rowsley, and Hoe Grange Holidays in Brassington; visitor attraction of the year, competing against the Museum of Making in Derby and the Children's Country House at Sudbury; and team of the year, with The George in Hathersage and Muse Escapes in Buxton.
Hoe Grange maintains its impressive track record as another triple nominee, with further shortlist spots for self-catering accommodation of the year – competing against Stainsborough Hall in Carsington and Waterside Barn in Bradbourne – and in the ethical, responsible and sustainable tourism category alongside Manor House Farm Cottages in Bakewell and Pure Outdoor in Bamford.
Adventure activity provider Pure Outdoor went on to win gold at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence earlier this year, and has picked up a second regional finalist spot for 2024 in the experience of the year category, together with Pub Tours Ltd of Darley Dale and the Great British Car Journey in Ambergate.
Pub Tours Ltd – which organises day trips around a selection of the Peak District’s best boozers – and upmarket accommodation provider Muse Escapes also made the shortlist for new tourism business of the year, rounded out by the The Bull I' Th' Thorn pub and pizzeria near Hurdlow.
It also looks like a bumper year for Longbow Bars and Restaurants. Adding to their team and pub of the year nods for the George, the Maynard Hotel is a finalist for hotel of the year – competing with the Peak Edge in Chesterfield and Wildhive Callow Hall in Ashbourne – and the taste of the Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby award, along with Fischer's Baslow Hall and the Patternmakers, Duffield.
Two of Longbow’s employees are also in the running for individual honours. Adrian Gagea is shortlisted along with Alan Hobson of the Old Original Bakewell Pudding Shop and Jane Redfern from Wildhive Callow Hall for the unsung hero award, which spotlights those often-overlooked workers who excel in their role and deserve to be applauded for their passion, enthusiasm and inspirational example to others.
Emma West, of Longbow, will hope to pip Helena Smith Parucker, from the Museum of Making, and Steph Taylor, of the Atlantik Inns hospitality group, to win the tourism young achiever prize, open to people 16-25 who demonstrate exceptional commitment to developing the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the industry.
The George will have to beat the Blind Bull in Great Longstone – another VisitEngland winner for 2023 – and the Prince of Wales in Baslow if it is to win the coveted pub of the year title.
In the B&B and guest house of the year category, 2023 silver award winner Sheldon House, in Monyash, will be aiming to go one better against the Coach House in Derby
and Underleigh House B&B in Hope.
Completing the list of finalists are camping, glamping and holiday park of the year contenders Darwin Forest Lodges in Matlock, Longnor Wood Holiday Park in Longnor, and Rivendale Lodge Retreat in Ashbourne.
Those on the shortlist will now be subject to a final round of independent judging, including unannounced visitors, before winners are revealed in a ceremony at the Museum of Making on Thursday, March 7, 2024.
The businesses which claim gold in each of the 13 core categories will automatically progress onto the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024, the highest accolades in English tourism.
The regional awards are sponsored for 2024 by digital solutions company Destination Core and longtime supporter CW Sellors Fine Jewellery & Luxury Watches, which will be designing and handcrafting luxury bespoke awards for all gold winners.
Martyn Wright, of CW Sellors, said: “As a proud Derbyshire business that understands the importance of quality, we’re delighted to be sponsoring the 2024 awards. They are a great way to celebrate excellence within the area’s vibrant tourism sector.”
For full details, visit www.visitpeakdistrict.com/tourism-awards.