Lancashire’s best of the best recognised at top tourism awards

Lancashire Tourism Awards - Blackburn Cathedral.

Lancashire Tourism Awards - Blackburn Cathedral.

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The cream of the tourism crop was recognised at a glittering awards ceremony.

Some of the county’s finest tourism businesses were awarded for excellence in their field at Marketing Lancashire’s 10th annual Lancashire Tourism Awards.

The winners were recognised by an audience of more than 400 industry colleagues and sponsors at Blackburn Cathedral.

The awards ceremony was hosted by Simon Calder, senior travel editor of The Independent, TV and radio broadcaster, who provided an entertaining and witty introduction to the main presentations, following a Lancashire inspired three-course dinner created by Blackburn-based caterers With A Twist.

Award-winning Lancashire cheesemaker Dewlay provided one of the ingredients for the menu, as well as a three- tier celebration cheesecake to mark the 10th anniversary which, along with special beer from Blackburn brewers Thwaites, was offered to guests on arrival at the drinks reception.

Guests also enjoyed live music entertainment from Blackburn and Darwen Brass Band, and the Lancashire Jazz Youth Orchestra.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, said: “All our finalists are deserving of recognition, but our winners today have demonstrated they are the ‘best of the best’ of Lancashire’s tourism businesses and I congratulate them.

“This wonderful evening would not have been possible without the support of our host sponsor, Blackburn with Darwen Council, and headline sponsor, the University of Central Lancashire, as well as a wide range of sponsors and partners, who have made an invaluable contribution to the success of this landmark event.

“Tourism is of vital importance to the economic good health of Lancashire, and our finalists and winners are at the forefront of a drive to improve the industry’s current £3.4bn contribution to the visitor economy, which Marketing Lancashire will proudly continue to lead and develop, through creative partnerships and strategic and ambitious marketing.”

This year’s awards ceremony was the biggest to date, with more categories, more applications and more finalists than ever before.

A number of new categories were amongst the most popular. The new category of Wedding Venue had 12 incredible finalists, proving the county has a wealth of options available to happy couples looking for the perfect location for their wedding. Other new categories included: Best for Groups, Retail Experience, Cultural Venue/Organisation, and Luxury Experience.

The presentation of the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award was a highlight of the evening, with the award going to all 250 Guilders of the Preston Guild 2012 – volunteers who welcomed over one million visitors to Preston and ensured the smooth-running and success of this ‘once every twenty years’ event.

This award was presented by Andrew Lightfoot, deputy chief executive of Blackburn with Darwen Council, host sponsor. Winners this year received a newly designed trophy; a handcrafted, distinctive glass wave design, featuring the Lancashire rose created by Stonegate Glass Studio. Marketing Lancashire would like to thank all the sponsors who supported the awards: Dewlay Cheese Makers, Group Travel Organiser Magazine, Insight With Passion, Intersys Micronics, Lancashire Walks and Wildlife Magazine, Napthens Solicitors, Northern Print Distribution, Pannone, Total Food Service, and Workhouse Marketing.

The Winners of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2013

A full list of all finalists, with the winner in each category highlighted, follows:

B&B/Guest Accommodation Award *

Broadgate Farm B&B, Preston

The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston – WINNER

The Castle Inn, Hornby

Mode, Lytham St Annes

Park House B&B, Gisburn

Small Hotel Award *

Briar Dene Hotel, Blackpool

Farington Lodge Hotel, Leyland

The Spread Eagle, Sawley

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn – WINNER

Large Hotel Award *

Elgin Hotel, Blackpool

Holiday Inn Express Burnley – 
WINNER

Holiday Inn Preston

Preston Marriott Hotel

Holiday Park Award *

Bay View Holiday Park, Bolton le Sands – WINNER

Claylands Park, Garstang

Hackings Caravan Park, Clitheroe

Marton Mere Holiday Village, Blackpool

Windy Harbour Holiday Park, Nr Blackpool

Self Catering Award *

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton – WINNER

Marton Mere Holiday Village, Blackpool

Parrock Lumb Cottages, Bacup

Pattys Farm Barn, Lancaster

Queens Mansions, Blackpool

Green Tourism Award *

Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Complex, Blackburn

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Bleasdale Cottages – WINNER

Cuffe & Taylor Event Management Ltd, Lytham St Annes

Hackings Caravan Park, Clitheroe

Sea Life Blackpool

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough

Conference/Meeting Venue Award *

Blackpool Zoo

Brockholes, Preston – WINNER

Cotton Court Business Centre, Preston

Wedding Venue Award

– new category 2013

Bashall Barn, Clitheroe

Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Complex, Blackburn

Browsholme Tithe Barn, Clitheroe

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Eaves Hall, Clitheroe – WINNER

Farington Lodge Hotel, Leyland

Mitton Hall, Nr Clitheroe

Ribby Hall Village Business and Banqueting, Wrea Green

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

Stanley House Hotel & Spa, Blackburn

West Tower, Ormskirk

Wyrebank Banqueting Suite, Preston

Luxury Experience Award – new category 2013

Breck Apartments, Poulton le Fylde

Queens Mansions, Blackpool

The SPA Hotel at Ribby Hall Village, Wrea Green – WINNER

The Woodland Spa, Burnley

Taste Lancashire Award *

The Castle Inn, Hornby

Heathcotes Brasserie, Preston

La Locanda Ristorante Italiano, Gisburn

The Oyster and Otter, Blackburn

The Parkers Arms, Clitheroe – WINNER

Quite Simply French, Lancaster

The Red Cat, Chorley

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

The Stirk House Hotel, Gisburn

Toast Cafe Bar & Grill, Blackpool

Tourism Pub Award *

The Assheton Arms, Clitheroe – WINNER

The Cartford Inn, Little Eccleston

The Parkers Arms, Clitheroe

The Sparrowhawk, Burnley

Cultural Venue/Organisation Award – new category 2013

Horse & Bamboo Theatre, The Boo, Waterfoot

Chorley Little Theatre

The Dukes Theatre, Lancaster – WINNER

Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool

Pendle Sculpture Trail

The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery, Rossendale

Best for Groups Award –

new category 2013

Blackpool Pleasure Beach – WINNER

Brockholes, Preston

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Lancaster Canal Boats

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough

Small Visitor Attraction Award *

Canal Boat Cruises, Hoghton

Carnforth Station Heritage Centre

Go Ape, Rivington

The Grand, Clitheroe

Lancaster Canal Boats – WINNER

Pendle Sculpture Trail

Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, Burnley

Samlesbury Hall, Samlesbury

Large Visitor Attraction Award *

Barton Grange Garden Centre, Preston

Blackpool Zoo – WINNER

Brockholes, Preston

Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Preston

Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool

Williamson Park, Lancaster

WWT Martin Mere Wetland Centre, Burscough

Retail Experience Award –

new category 2013

Barton Grange Garden Centre, Preston

Cedar Farm, Mawdesley – WINNER

The Cheese Shop at Dewlay, Garstang

J Atkinson & Co, Lancaster

Nick Shop at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Visitor Event Award *

Armed Forces Week, Blackpool

Clitheroe Food Festival

Fleetwood Festival of Transport

Lancashire Witches 400 project

Lancaster Music Festival – WINNER

Lytham Wartime Weekend

Pendle Witches Festival

Preston Guild 2012 including A Vintage Guild

Ride with Brad

Customer Service Award

Blackburn Visitor Centre

Duk Pond & Dukbodega, Preston

Lancaster & Morecambe Visitor Information Team

Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool 
– WINNER

Toast Cafe Bar & Grill, Blackpool

Tourism Customer Services Team for Preston City Council

Visit Garstang Tourist Information Centre

Marketing Initiative Award

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Resort Pass – WINNER

Crafty Vintage Weekenders at Brockholes

#Lancashire Hour

Pennine Lancashire Museums Partnership

Ride with Brad

St Annes Beach Huts

Outstanding Contribution

to Tourism Award

Amanda Dowson, Ribble Valley

Emma Bartlet, Burnley

Guilders of Preston Guild 2012 – WINNER

Lynn Harter, Wyre

Peter Taylor & Daniel Cuffe, Lytham St Annes

* Winners of these categories will progress to the VisitEngland Excellence Awards 2014, representing Lancashire in the national tourism awards.