Visit York Tourism Awards
Visit York Tourism Awards 2023
On Thursday 23rd March, the winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards were revealed at a prestigious awards ceremony at York Racecourse. The Visit York Tourism Awards, headline sponsored by LNER, celebrates the best of York’s businesses across tourism, hospitality and culture to win one of 16 trophies.
Hosted by previous Visit York Tourism Award winner Alicia Stabler, also known as Mad Alice from The Bloody Tour of York, and BBC’s Elly Fiorentini, the ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ saw eligible winners across a number of categories automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023.
Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “A huge congratulations to our thoroughly deserving winners and finalists at this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards. Every single business and organisation nominated tonight is one of the reasons why York has been recognised as such a welcoming place to visit. The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the very best in tourism, hospitality and culture; many of our winners tonight will automatically be put forward to represent York at the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence – we wish them the very best of luck!”
Visit York Tourism Awards Winners 2023
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year
Winner: Castle Howard
Highly Commended: North Yorkshire Moors Railway
Finalists: The York Dungeon, The Web Adventure Park, JORVIK Viking Centre (York Archaeological Trust), The Hole in Wand York
Sponsored by Ward Hadaway
B&B and Guest House of the Year
Winner: The Bishop & The Bison
Finalists: MonkBridge House, Westergate House, The Sidings Hotel & Restaurant
Sponsored by Shambles Market
Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year
Winner: Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm
Finalists: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges, York Meadows Camping & Caravan Park
Sponsored by Greatest Hits Radio
Cultural Venue of the Year
Winner: York Theatre Royal
Finalists: York Mansion House, Grand Opera House York, York Barbican
Sponsored by Latimer Housing
Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award
Winner: Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens
Finalists: Avorium, Fairfax Corner
Sponsored by The Fabl
Event or Festival the Year
Winner: York Theatre Royal - An Evening with Kyiv City Ballet
Finalists: York Proms, York Maze Hallowscream, Yorktoberfest, York Fashion Week
Sponsored by LNER
Experience of the Year
Winner: The Cookery School at The Grand, York
Highly Commended: The Wizard Walk of York
Finalists: The Hilt, The Deathly Dark Tours
Sponsored by Destination Core
Large Hotel of the Year
Winner: Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites
Highly Commended: The Grand, York
Finalist: Malmaison York
Sponsored by Streamline Taxis
New Tourism Business Award
Winner: No.1 by GuestHouse, York
Finalists: 22 Yards Wine Bar & Merchants, Avorium, A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages, The Wizard Walk of York
Sponsored by PPS
Pub of The Year
Winner: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub
Finalist: Valhalla York
Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd
Resilience and Innovation Award
Winner: Next Door But One CIC
Finalists: City Sightseeing (Transdev), Yemen Heaven, The Deathly Dark Tours
Sponsored by York St John University
Retailer of the Year
Winner: York Gin
Finalists: Avorium, Antiques Centre York, The Potions Cauldron
Sponsored by fidomoney
Self Catering Accommodation of the Year
Winner: The Dovecote Barns
Finalists: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges, A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages
Sponsored by YO1 Radio
Small Hotel of the Year
Winner: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant
Finalists: Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa, No.1 by GuestHouse, York
Sponsored by Inglis Chartered Accountants
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year
Winner: Mother Shipton's Cave
Finalists: York Army Museum, World of James Herriot
Sponsored by VisiSoft
Taste of England Award
Winner: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel
Finalists: Corner Grill House Restaurant, Chopping Block at Walmgate Ale House, The Raj York
Sponsored by F.R. Fowler & Son
You can download your Visit York Tourism Awards Winner logo and social assets here. Logos are also available for highly commended businesses.
These logos are designed to be added to your website to demonstrate your win or highly commended status. We’ve included social assets so that you can shout about your win or highly commended status to your channels.
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.
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.