We are now CLOSED for entry, details below give you a flavour of the categories should you wish to apply in 2023!
There are 16 award categories to suit Cumbria’s vast and diverse range of tourism businesses. Winning businesses will provide truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrate excellence across every aspect of their business.
The Sheila Hensman Unsung Hero Award recognises the outstanding contribution to excellence offered by an individual employee or a team.
All entries should be completed on the VisitEngland online portal. An entry guide and mock entry form can be downloaded below for each of the award categories. These should be used for checking you are eligible to enter and preparing a draft entry prior to completing your online submission.
No entries other than those completed on the official online system will be accepted. One online entry should be made for each category you wish to enter.
The competition is free to enter. If you are successful in being shortlisted in your award category, you will be required to pay for a mystery shopping visit or announced judging visit. These costs will be appropriate to each award category and further details can be found here and will be sent with the shortlisting notification should you reach the event final.
It is encouraged that applicants are members of Cumbria Tourism to get the full benefit of the promotion associated with being part of the awards competition. Non-members of Cumbria Tourism who are successful in being shortlisted and reaching the event final will be given of the opportunity to join membership or pay a non-member rate to progress their application.
Entry is now CLOSED
Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award
Sponsored by The Cumberland
For tourism businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences for everyone, particularly those with accessibility requirements, and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business.
Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year
Sponsored by David Allen
For holiday parks, sites and villages providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Entering parks or sites can have static vans, touring pitches, tent pitches, glamping and other accommodation such as shepherd’s huts, or any combination.
Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award
Sponsored by Stagecoach Cumbria & North Lancashire
For tourism businesses committed to being sustainable, responsible and ethical in how they operate and interact with customers, the wider community and the environment.
B&B & Guest House of the Year
Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore
For bed & breakfast and guest house businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. This category is usually for those with a maximum of 12 rooms and all entrants must have a proprietor or staff member living on site.
Experience of the Year Award
Sponsored by Burnetts
For any tourism business that provides truly memorable and immersive activities for visitors to participate in. The experience may involve a host/teacher/instructor/guide or may be undertaken independently. The offering is likely to fall into one of the following themes; wellness and well-being, sporting and active, environment, arts and culture or culinary.
Large Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Christie & Co
For full service hotels providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Large Hotel is usually for those with a minimum of 35 rooms and entrants must offer a reception, restaurant, bar, dinner and breakfast.
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Sponsored by H&H Reeds
For visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Large Visitor Attraction is for those attracting 75,000 visitors or more per year or employing more than 10 full-time equivalent members of staff.
New Tourism Business of the Year
Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley
For high performing new tourism businesses trading for at least six months and up to two years, demonstrating excellent understanding of their market, exceeding the expectations of their customers with clear plans for future development.
Makers & Producers Award
For makers and producers whose high-quality, locally made products create a unique and memorable experience that enhances Cumbria’s visitor offer.
Pub of the Year
For pubs that make a significant contribution to tourism in their area, with a food and drink offering that includes quality locally sourced produce.
Self Catering Accommodation of the Year
Sponsored by Out of Eden
For self catering accommodation businesses provide truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Self Catering Accommodation is for a single self-catering property or a collection of self-catering properties on a single site, owned by the same proprietor and of a similar quality.
Small Hotel of the Year
Sponsored by Colliers International
For small serviced accommodation businesses providing truly memorable guest experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Small Hotel is usually for those with a maximum of 35 rooms.
Taste of Cumbria
Sponsored by Eden District Council
For food service businesses within the tourism industry, including restaurants, hotel restaurants, cafes, tea rooms, coffee shops and bistros, that offer food, beverage and service innovation and excellence.
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
For visitor attraction businesses providing truly memorable visitor experiences and demonstrating excellence across every aspect of the business. Small visitor attraction is for those attracting 75,000 or fewer visitors per year or employing less than 10 full-time equivalent members of staff.
Wedding Venue of the Year
Sponsored by Dodd & Co
For all venues which host weddings whether large or small. The winner will deliver distinctive and/ or innovative weddings which create a unique and memorable experience. Weddings will be of exceptional quality, provide an outstanding service and display attention to detail and high standards of organisation and communication.
The Sheila Hensman Unsung Hero Award
For individuals working in the tourism industry who excel in their role and deserve to be applauded for their work and commitment within the industry.
All entrants must be based in Cumbria. Additional eligibility criteria may apply to specific awards so please check the individual award entry guidance for full details.
Full Terms and Conditions of Entry can be found here and should be considered before completing your application.