Cumbria leads the way with 7 finalists in prestigious national awards

by | Apr 28, 2023 | News

VisitEngland Awards for Excellence Cumbria Tourism

Cumbria is blazing a trail in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023, with seven finalists set to represent the county in this year’s awards – more than any other region nationally.

With the shortlist revealed today, the prestigious national awards recognise the highest standards of quality and customer service in the tourism industry across England.

All of Cumbria’s shortlisted businesses won their respective categories at the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2022 and will represent the county at a VIP awards ceremony at Warner Bros Studio in London on Wednesday 7 June.

The finalists representing Cumbria will be:

  • Muncaster Castle, Gardens, and Hawk & Owl Centre: Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
  • Cedar Manor, Windermere: B&B and Guest House of the Year
  • The Quiet Site, Ullswater: Camping, Glamping, and Holiday Park of the Year
  • Bassenthwaite Lake Station: New Tourism Business of the Year
  • Shed 1 Gin Distillery, Ulverston: Experience of the Year
  • Askham Hall: Small Hotel of the Year
  • Michael Wilson, Official Guide to the Kent Estuary: Unsung Hero Award


Zoe Arnold-Bennett, co-owner & founder at Shed One comments “We honestly couldn’t believe it when we heard we had been selected as a finalist, we’re still in shock! We were delighted to win at Cumbria level,  but now to be one of the businesses flying the flag for Cumbria at the national tourism awards is a mind blowing achievement. We’re so proud of the range of gin inspired experiences we offer at Shed One and can’t wait to share them – and everything Ulverston has to offer – with even more people across the country.”

Speaking on behalf of the Michelin-starred Askham Hall, Front of House Manager Nico Chièze, says, “It’s fantastic to be one of the final three fighting it out for VisitEngland’s prestigious Small Hotel of the Year award; it really is a tribute to the hard work of the team who dedicate themselves to maintaining consistently high standards and offering the best possible guest experiences day in, day out.

“High quality customer service – coupled with a food and drink philosophy based around living off the land to develop authentic flavour combinations – is at the heart of what we do. We will be very proud to represent Cumbria at June’s awards ceremony.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, adds: “We are absolutely delighted that Cumbria has received an exceptional seven nominations at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023. This is amazing result for our county and underlines the sheer quality and diversity of Cumbria’s tourism offering.

“Our world-class tourism businesses consistently provide outstanding experiences for visitors to our beautiful county. We wish them the best of luck and will be eagerly cheering them on when the results are revealed later this summer!”

The announcement also comes days after the shortlist for the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2023 was revealed; many of the winners will themselves have the chance of representing the county nationally at next year’s VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.