Essex: Tourism awards celebrate excellence

TOURISM businesses and organisations from across Essex met last night to celebrate the very best the county has to offer visitors and travellers.

The Essex Tourism Awards, organised by media group Archant, whose titles include the East Anglian Daily Times, and supported by Visit Essex as main sponsor, took place at the Radisson Blu hotel at Stansted Airport.

Elli Constantatou, tourism marketing and PR manager at Visit Essex, said: “The Essex Tourism Awards are a great celebration of what the county has to offer and the winners in the 15 categories demonstrate the outstanding quality and excellent customer service that make Essex an ideal place to visit.”

The Large Attraction category, sponsored by Essex Life magazine, was won by Audley End, near Saffron Walden, with Barleylands, Billericay, and Lee Valley White Water Centre, Waltham Cross as runners-up, while the Small Attraction award, sponsored by Leo Print, went to Bridge End Garden, Saffron Walden, ahead of Hedingham Castle and the Colne Valley Railway.

Lifehouse Country Spa Resort at Thorpe-le-Soken claimed the Large Hotel award, sponsored by KPMG, with the Waltham Abbey Marriott and the Best Western Atlantic Hotel, Chelmsford the runners-up.

The Small Hotel award, sponsored by Trebuchet, went to the Rose & Crown, Colchester, with the Pier at Harwich and Marygreen Manor, Brentwood, as runners-up.

Park Hall, St Osyth, won the Bed & Breakfast award, with the Pier View Guest House, Southend, and Frasers, Battlesbridge, the runners-up; the Self Catering winner was Thatched Cottages of Burnham-on-Crouch, ahead of Osea Island and Pevors Farm, Sible Hedingham; and the Campsite/Caravan Site award, sponsored by Coastal Life Essex, was won by Waldegraves, Mersea Island, with Valley Farm, Clacton, as runner-up.

Most Read

Rope Runners at Kelvedon Hatch claimed the Tourism Experience award, ahead of Audley End and Lee Valley White Water Centre while the Best Event/Festival title went to the Witham International Puppet Festival, with the Essex Country Show and the Essex Summer of Art the runners-up.

The Tourism Information Centre award was won by Southend TIC, with Visit Colchester and Saffron Walden TIC runners-up, while the EADT-sponsored Customer Service award went to Brian Barton of Colchester Tourist Guides, ahead of Caroline Jenkins of Waltham Abbey Marriott and Rachel Thomas of Saffron Walden TIC.

The Business Tourism award, sponsored by Birketts, was won by Down Hall, Hatfield Heath, ahead of the Rose & Crown, Colchester, and Waltham Abbey Marriott.

The Waltham Abbey Marriott, won the Sustainable Tourism category, ahead of Southend-on-Sea and Old MacDonalds Farm, Brentwood, while the Access for All award went to the Mercury Theatre, Colcheser, with Waldegraves and the Waltham Abbey Marriott as runners-up.