Visit York Tourism Awards

23rd March 2023, York Racecourse

The awards, sponsored by LNER, aim to shine a spotlight on excellence in York’s tourism and cultural sectors, rewarding quality, innovation and customer service. Across many categories the winners will also go forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

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Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2023

This year, there are 16 awards categories for businesses to enter, with 13 of these categories eligible for the winner to be put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023.

See the finalists for each category:

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year


York Dungeon
Castle Howard
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
The Web Adventure Park
JORVIK Viking Centre (York Archaeological Trust)
The Hole in Wand York

Sponsored by Ward Hadaway

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B&B and Guest House of the Year


MonkBridge House
The Bishop and The Bison
Westergate House
The Sidings Hotel & Restaurant

Sponsored by Shambles Market

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Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year


Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm
Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges
York Meadows Camping & Caravan Park

Sponsored by Bauer Media


Cultural Venue of the Year


York Theatre Royal
York Mansion House
Grand Opera House York
York Barbican

Sponsored by Latimer Housing

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Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award


Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens
Fairfax Corner

Sponsored by The Fabl

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Event or Festival the Year


York Proms
York Maze Hallowscream
York Fashion Week
York Theatre Royal (An Evening with Kyiv City Ballet)

Sponsored by LNER

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Experience of the Year


The Wizard Walk of York
The Cookery School at The Grand, York
The Hilt
The Deathly Dark Tours

Sponsored by Destination Core

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Large Hotel of the Year


The Grand, York
Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites
Malmaison York

Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

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New Tourism Business Award


No.1 by GuestHouse, York
22 Yards Wine Bar & Merchants
A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages
The Wizard Walk of York

Sponsored by PPS


Pub of The Year


Valhalla York Limited
The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

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Resilience and Innovation Award


City Sightseeing York (Transdev)
Next Door But One CIC
Yemen Heaven
The Deathly Dark Tours

Sponsored by York St John University

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Retailer of the Year


York Gin
Antiques Centre York
The Potions Cauldron

Sponsored by fidomoney

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Self Catering Accommodation of the Year


The Dovecote Barns
Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges
A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

Sponsored by YO1 Radio

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Small Hotel of the Year


Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant
Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa
No.1 by GuestHouse, York

Sponsored by Inglis Chartered Accountants

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Small Visitor Attraction of the Year


Mother Shipton's Cave
York Army Museum
World of James Herriot

Sponsored by VisiSoft

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Taste of England Award


The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel
Corner Grill House Restaurant
Chopping Block at Walmgate Ale House
The Raj York

Sponsored by F.R. Fowler & Son

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The Visit York Tourism Awards are judged by an independent panel of judges.

View our 2023 judging line up ▸

For all Awards the first stage is ‘desk judging’ – which is an evaluation of the online applications using a centralised scoring matrix. A shortlist of entrants is then selected from the application who will be our ‘Finalists for 2023’

Our judges look for evidence of excellence and best practice in all areas of the business operation. A strict word limit is set for each section/question and the online system will cut off at the maximum word count.

The finalists are then taken through a second round of judging which will be conducted through a ‘Mystery Shop’* and subsequent report. The judging panel will then meet to make a final decision utilising all the submitted and gathered evidence for the winners.

Mystery Shopping

This year we will continue to work with our Visit York member and local Regional Director, Ian Sadler from Insight6 to carry out the valuable mystery shopping for the awards. Insight6 is one of the UK's leading Customer Intelligence organisations in the UK who work within the tourism sector and carry out thousands of high quality mystery shops every month.

As part of the process applicants of all categories will have the opportunity to meet with Ian and after the awards ceremony will be offered a review meeting to go through the completed report on your business.

*Only two categories this year will not be mystery shopped – Event or Festival of the Year and Resilience and Innovation Award. The second round of judging for this category will comprise of a face to face interview.

Please note: Shortlisted businesses must agree to waive all costs associated with the mystery shopper process.

All applicants for the 2023 Awards, including those who do not reach the shortlist stage, will receive feedback on their application via the Openwater system.