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Sexy Landlords and Taxidermy…..
The search is on for York’s Best Pub/Bar
Visit York Annual Tourism Awards

Sexy landlords, taxidermy, fine food and ghosts; all these and more are reasons that five of York’s pubs and bars have made it through to the final round in the Visit York annual Tourism Awards:

The Ackhorne, the Evil Eye, the Golden Fleece, the House of the Trembling Madness and the Maltings are all now in the running to be crowned the nation’s favourite York Pub/Bar.

From Visitor Attraction of the Year to the Outstanding Customer Service Award, there are thirteen award categories, which will showcase the cream of the crop in York’s tourism businesses and will celebrate those going the extra mile to give visitors a memorable and quality experience.

Following record entry levels fifty four tourism businesses in all have been shortlisted by a panel of independent judges for York’s 2013 annual Tourism Awards, which will take place on 9th May at York Racecourse. Over the coming weeks the panel of judges will be reviewing the shortlisted businesses and conducting ‘mystery shopping’ visits.

Best Pub/Bar, however, is the only category which will go to a public vote and be decided by locals and visitors. 800 votes have already been cast to nominate the city’s best Pub/Bar and the five businesses with the most nominations have now made it through to the final five. Comments received on each of the bars included:

The Ackhorne: ‘Fantastic range of Yorkshire real ale and supports its new independent breweries, all topped off with the friendliest staff’.

The Evil Eye: ‘Quirky, friendly, welcoming to both young & old, great food, best Sunday roast in town, fabulous music’.

The Golden Fleece: ‘I love the atmosphere and spooky stories, plus its selection of ale is second to none as well as a welcoming atmosphere’.

House of the Trembling Madness: ‘Great, good value, good quality Dickensian pub, great view of York Minster and nice booze. Also the taxidermy deserves a mention!’

The Maltings: ‘General awesomeness, great beer, good food and the sexiest landlord in the world’.

Gillian Cruddas MBE, Chief Executive of Visit York, said, ‘We’ve been overwhelmed by the passionate comments received so far. York’s visitors love to seek out our traditional pubs as well as our modern bars. We’ve clearly got something unique in York; our pubs and bars are creating real connections with their customers and making every guest feel special.’

To vote for your favourite pub or bar go to The closing date for voting is 21 April.

Tickets for the Visit York Tourism Awards cost £45 + VAT. For further information on the awards call Alison Ruddick Tel 01904 554458 or email

To find out more about the Awards visit ENDS.

The 2013 Visit York Tourism Awards finalists are as follows:

Pub/Bar of the Year
The Ackhorne
The Evil Eye
The Golden Fleece
The House of the Trembling Madness
The Maltings

Guest Accommodation of the Year
The Bloomsbury
Carlton House

Hotel of the Year
Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa
Dean Court Hotel
Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
Novotel York
Royal York Hotel & Event Centre
York Marriott Hotel

Self Catering/Caravan Park of the Year
Apartments 5, 6 & 12 Monkbridge Court
Jollydays Luxury Camping
The Riverside York
Robin Hood Caravan Park
The York Hop Store

Restaurant of the Year
El Piano
The Grill Room at Cedar Court Grand Hotel & Spa
Mumbai Lounge
The Oak Room at Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
The Royal Oak

Café/Tearoom of the Year
Café Harlequin
Filmore & Union
Spring Espresso
York Cocoa House

Visitor Attraction of the Year
Beningbrough Hall and Gardens
National Railway Museum
York Castle Museum
York Maze

Visitor Experience of the Year
Jorvik Viking Festival
York Maze Halloween/Hallowscream
York Minster /The Orb
York Mystery Plays 2012
York Racecourse - Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival 2012

Shopping Experience of the Year
Hotel Chocolat
Jack Wolfskin
Now and Then Events - York Does Vintage
York Cocoa House

Marketing Campaign of the Year
Now and Then Events - York Does Vintage
Umbrella Sky at Clifford’s Tower
York Maze 2012 & Halloween Events
York Mystery Plays 2012
York Racecourse - Unlocking the Frankel Factor

Conference Venue of the Year
National Railway Museum
Royal York Hotel & Event Centre
The Merchant Taylors Hall
York Conferences
York Racecourse Hospitality

Outstanding Customer Service Award
Amanda Fogg - Hedley House Hotel
Guy Wallis - The Golden Fleece
Shirley Fletcher- Hilton York
Alexandra Claydon & Samantha de la Tour, Now and Then Events
Rebecca & Damian Palmer-Bunting, Robin Hood Caravan Park

For further information please contact:

Kay Hyde – Head of PR and Communications – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554451
Mobile: 07961 828092

Katie Parsons – Senior Communications Executive – Visit York
Direct Line: 01904 554436

Notes To The Editor

Tourism Ambassador Award
This award goes to an individual who consistently goes out of his or her way to ensure visitors have a memorable time in York and leave wanting to revisit. Previous winners have included the Archbishop of York and Sister Agatha of the Bar Convent. The 2012 winner was Ian Reed, Director of Yorkshire Air Museum, whose dedicated work over the last twenty years raised the profile of York around the world.

2012 Visit York Tourism Award Winners
• Hotel of the Year, Middlethorpe Hall & Spa
• Guest Accommodation of the Year, Bishops
• Self-catering/Caravan Park of the Year, Dovecote Barns
• Pub of the Year, The Golden Fleece
• Outstanding Customer Service Award, Shirley Fletcher – Hilton York
• Business Tourism Award, York Marriott Hotel
• Marketing Campaign of the Year, York Maze
• Employee of the Year, Alan Rowley – Complete Yorkshire
• Best Shopping Experience, The Hairy Fig
• Visitor Attraction of the Year (under 50,000 visitors), The Ice Factor
• Visitor Attraction of the Year (50,000 visitors & over), York Racecourse 2011 season
• Taste of York – The People’s Choice Award, El Piano
• York Tourism Ambassador, Ian Reed – Yorkshire Air Museum

Visit York
• Visit York is supported by the City of York Council and over 700 tourism businesses and works in partnership with Visit England.
• Visit York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure and business visitor, and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. Visit York is responsible for leisure and conference marketing, visitor services (running the city’s Visitor Information Centre), training and ensuring a quality visitor experience.
• Visit York is the driving force of the city’s tourism industry.

Key facts:
7.1 million visitors
£443 million total visitor spend
23, 000 jobs