England's best places to eat, sleep and visit in 2022 named in awards

From a pub in Somerset to a Chinese restaurant in Liverpool: England’s best places to eat, sleep and visit in 2022 named in prestigious annual awards

  • The 2022 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence celebrates those ‘who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer’
  • Somerset’s The Cotley Inn was named Pub of the Year, followed by second-place The Acorn Inn in Dorset
  • Seaham Hall, which offers ‘striking views’ of the Durham coastline, bagged the title of Small Hotel of the Year 
  • The Experience of the Year Award was won by the Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School in Cornwall 

England’s best places to stay, its most excellent eateries and most riveting tourist attractions have been named in the 2022 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

The finalists were selected from hundreds of tourism businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, and museums. Judges narrowed it down to 19 overall winners, which were announced during an awards ceremony at the Library of Birmingham on June 8, hosted by broadcaster and author Clare Balding.

One of the most coveted awards is always the title of Pub of the Year – and this year the top accolade went to The Cotley Inn, a Somerset pub that ‘welcomes drinkers, muddy boots and wellies just as much as diners visiting for an evening meal, ensuring all guests are made to feel at home’.

The winners of the 2022 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence have been revealed – with The Cotley Inn in Somerset, pictured, named the Pub of the Year 

A tasty dish at Pub of the Year The Cotley Inn

The silver medal was snapped up by The Acorn Inn in Dorset – which VisitEngland says is ‘the kind of place you wish you could call your local’ – while The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley in Derbyshire, ‘a village inn with charm by the pint’, came third.

Taste of England Award

From pubs to restaurants, first place in the Taste of England Award went to Lu Ban Restaurant, an establishment that serves ‘cuisine inspired by the Chinese region of Tianjin’ in Liverpool. 

‘Executive chef Dave J Critchley and his team develop dishes with an inventive, culinary passion, respectful of Chinese food culture and traditions and bringing a new dimension of Chinese cuisine to the city,’ VisitEngland says of the award-winner. 

It was followed by second-place Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, a Lancashire eatery that holds two Michelin stars and five AA Rosettes.

The silver medal in the Pub of the Year category was snapped up by The Acorn Inn (pictured) in Dorset 

The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley in Derbyshire (above) came third in the Pub of the Year ranking

One of the guest rooms at Pub of the Year bronze-medal winner The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley – ‘a village inn with charm by the pint’

First place in the Taste of England Award went to Lu Ban Restaurant, a Merseyside establishment that serves ‘cuisine inspired by the Chinese region of Tianjin’

Second place in the Taste of England category was claimed by Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms in Lancashire (above) 

A dessert at Fischer’s Baslow Hall, which snapped up the bronze medal in the Taste of England Award

Fischer’s Baslow Hall, ‘the culinary jewel in Derbyshire’s crown since 1989’, snapped up the bronze medal in the Taste of England Award.

B&B and Guest House of the Year Award

Meanwhile, offering some staycation inspiration, the gong for the best B&B and Guest House of the Year went to The 25 Boutique B&B in Torquay, a property that’s described by owners Andy and Julian Banner-Price as a ‘funky five-star luxury escape’.

Leicestershire’s Horseshoe Cottage Farm, ‘a small, rural B&B that prides itself in attention to detail’, earned the silver medal. 

The gong for the best B&B and Guest House of the Year went to The 25 Boutique B&B in Torquay, pictured 

Leicestershire’s Horseshoe Cottage Farm, ‘a small, rural B&B’, earned the silver medal in the B&B and Guest House of the Year Award

Brightham House Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Devon, above, ranked third in the B&B category 

It was followed by third-place Brightham House Boutique Bed and Breakfast in Devon – a guest house with a ‘stylish but relaxed vibe’.

Large Hotel of the Year Award

Elsewhere, the top prize in the Large Hotel of the Year category was awarded to The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, a property that promises to be a ‘five-star haven of elegance and tranquillity in the historic centre of Bath’.

Hotel Indigo Durham in County Durham scooped up second place.

The bronze medal went to legendary London institution The Langham.

The top prize in the Large Hotel of the Year category was awarded to The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa in Bath, pictured 

Pictured is an ensuite bathroom at Hotel Indigo Durham in County Durham, which scooped second place in the Large Hotel of the Year category 

The bronze medal in the Large Hotel ranking went to legendary London institution The Langham

The elegant interior of the bronze medal winner in the Large Hotel ranking, The Langham

Small Hotel of the Year Award

Topping the podium in the Small Hotel of the Year category was Seaham Hall – ‘a five-star boutique hotel and spa with striking views from its clifftop position on the Durham coastline’.

The judges were torn between two properties when it came to awarding the silver medal, meaning both No.15 by GuestHouse in Bath and The Idle Rocks in Cornwall, tied in second place. 

Topping the podium in the Small Hotel of the Year category was Durham’s Seaham Hall (pictured)

Small Hotel gold-medal winner Seaham Hall is described as ‘a five-star boutique hotel and spa with striking views from its clifftop position on the Durham coastline’

No.15 by GuestHouse in Bath, pictured, a ‘beautiful boutique hotel’, earned joint second in the Small Hotels category 

The Idle Rocks in Cornwall, pictured above, tied in second place in the Small Hotel of the Year Award

Small Hotel silver-medal winner Idle Rocks, pictured, promises to be ‘a place to relax, kick off your shoes and re-engage with the simpler pleasures in life’

The former, No.15 by GuestHouse, bills itself as a ‘beautiful boutique hotel’, while the latter, Idle Rocks, promises to be ‘a place to relax, kick off your shoes and re-engage with the simpler pleasures in life’. 

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year Award

For holidaymakers who crave immersion in the Great Outdoors, the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year category celebrated the creme de la creme of England’s campsites.

Secret Meadows, a luxury family-run glamping site located in rural Suffolk, reigned supreme. ‘The site is for guests who favour the comforts of glamping, like being “off-grid” and are inspired by the environmental ethos,’ says VisitEngland. 

Behold, the gold medal winner in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year Award – Secret Meadows, a luxury family-run glamping site located in rural Suffolk

Of Secret Meadows, which topped the podium in the Camping and Holiday Park category, the judges say: ‘The site is for guests who favour the comforts of glamping, like being “off-grid” and are inspired by the environmental ethos’  

Leicestershire’s Brook Meadow (above) received the silver medal in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year Award

The ‘small and friendly holiday park’ of Landal Sandybrook, Derbyshire, ranked third in the Camping and Holiday Park category

Leicestershire’s Brook Meadow, a 30-year-old family-run campsite business surrounded by 400 acres of land, received the silver medal, while the ‘small and friendly holiday park’ of Landal Sandybrook, Derbyshire, ranked third.

Experience of the Year Award

Which ‘experiences’ impressed the judges? First place in this award, sponsored by the Caravan and Motorhome Club, went to Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School in Cornwall – which also scooped the top spot in the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award.

According to VisitEngland, the school ‘aims to offer fully inclusive sessions for budding sailors, “from absolute beginners to salty seadogs” aged six and above’.

Pure Outdoor, an activity centre in the Peak District National Park, sitting ‘in the heart’ of Derbyshire’s Hope Valley, landed second in the Experience category, while All Hallows’ Farmhouse Cookery School in Dorset – which offers guest rooms, a ‘spacious’ school kitchen, gardens and private family accommodation – came third.

First place in the Experience of the Year award went to Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School in Cornwall (above) 

Visitors at Pure Outdoor, the activity centre in the Peak District National Park that landed second in the Experience of the Year category 

As for other categories in the awards, the title of Large Visitor Attraction of the Year went to Chester Zoo, Cheshire. Buckinghamshire’s Bletchley Park country house and estate was runner-up and Norfolk’s Pensthorpe conservation park grabbed the bronze award.

Emerging victorious in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year category was Nothe Fort, a historic sea fort on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, followed by Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building 360 in second place and the city’s British Music Experience – which charts the nation’s history of pop and rock music – finishing third.

VisitEngland said in a statement: ‘The prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, running for more than 30 years, celebrate and champion innovation, quality and best practice across the industry recognising businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.’

Third place in the Experience category went to All Hallows’ Farmhouse Cookery School in Dorset, which offers guest rooms, a ‘spacious’ school kitchen, gardens and private family accommodation 

Commenting on the awards, Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: ‘Our superb tourism businesses offer something for everyone and the sector is one we can be proud of. It is fantastic to see so many hardworking businesses of all sizes recognised for their gold-standard contribution to English tourism and I congratulate all the winners.’

VisitEngland Advisory Board Chair Nick de Bois added: ‘It is wonderful to see the Awards event back in-person, giving us the opportunity to come together, celebrate and congratulate the best-of-the-best across England’s world-class tourism industry.

‘From an accessible and inclusive sailing school to a family-run rural glamping site and an immersive living museum, these awards highlight the outstanding quality, the innovation and the customer service excellence across our industry. All these businesses are winners in every sense.

‘Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards also highlight the dedication of tourism businesses as they rebuild, championing best practice and providing visitors with first-class experiences.’

For more information visit www.visitbritain.org.

VISITENGLAND TOURISM AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE WINNERS 2022

Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award – sponsored by Barclays

Gold – Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School, Cornwall

Silver – Alton Towers Resort, Staffordshire

Bronze – Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs, Lancashire

B&B and Guest House of the Year 

Gold – The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon

Silver – Horseshoe Cottage Farm, Leicestershire

Bronze – Brightham House Boutique Bed and Breakfast, Devon

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Gold – Secret Meadows, Suffolk

Silver – Brook Meadow, Leicestershire

Bronze – Landal Sandybrook, Derbyshire

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Gold – Chichester Festival Theatre, West Sussex

Silver – Pure Outdoor, Derbyshire

Bronze – West Bay Discovery Centre, Dorset

Experience of the Year – sponsored by the Caravan and Motorhome Club

Gold – Mylor Sailing & Powerboat School, Cornwall

Silver – Pure Outdoor, Derbyshire

Bronze – All Hallows’ Farmhouse Cookery School, Dorset

Large Hotel of the Year

Gold – The Royal Crescent Hotel & Spa, Bath

Silver – Hotel Indigo Durham, County Durham

Bronze – The Langham, London

Small Hotel of the Year

Gold – Seaham Hall, County Durham

Joint Silver – No.15 by GuestHouse, Bath

Joint Silver – The Idle Rocks, Cornwall

New Tourism Business of the Year

Gold – Three Mile Beach, Cornwall

Silver – Triple A Food Tours, Tyne & Wear

Bronze – Rowley Farm Holidays, Worcestershire

Pub of the Year

Gold – The Cotley Inn, Somerset

Silver – The Acorn Inn, Dorset

Bronze – The Devonshire Arms at Pilsley, Derbyshire

Resilience and Innovation Award

Gold – Black Country Living Museum, West Midlands

Silver – Chester Zoo, Cheshire

Bronze – Severn Valley Railway, Worcestershire

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year – sponsored by Sykes Holiday Cottages

Gold – Treeopia, Worcestershire

Silver – Glynn Barton, Cornwall

Bronze – Pitt Farm Holiday Cottages, Devon

Taste of England Award

Gold – Lu Ban Restaurant, Merseyside

Silver – Moor Hall Restaurant with Rooms, Lancashire

Bronze – Fischer’s Baslow Hall, Derbyshire

Unsung Hero Award

Gold – Adam Wardale, Middletons Hotel, North Yorkshire

Silver – Neeshal Jeewon, Hilton London Metropole, London

Bronze – Clive Goodwin, Ouseburn Trust, Tyne & Wear

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Chester Zoo, Cheshire

Silver – Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire

Bronze – Pensthorpe, Norfolk

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Gold – Nothe Fort, Dorset

Silver – Royal Liver Building 360, Merseyside

Bronze – British Music Experience, Merseyside

TXGB Trailblazer Award

Gold – Rugby League World Cup 2021

Silver – Visit Gloucester

Bronze – Mike James, Savouring Bath

Tourism Superstar 2022

Winner – George Finlay, Matlock Farm Park

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award

Winner – The English Period Drama

Source: VisitEngland  

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