Five tourism businesses from the Peak District and Derbyshire have reached the finals of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence where they will compete for the highest accolades in English tourism.

Great British Car Journey, Wildhive Callow Hall, The Blind Bull, Pure Outdoor and myGuidedWalks have been shortlisted for national glory after winning gold at the 2023 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards earlier this year.

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Great British Car Journey in Ambergate has been shortlisted for New Tourism Business of the Year; Wildhive Callow Hall near Ashbourne has reached the finals for Small Hotel of the Year; and The Blind Bull at Little Hucklow, near Buxton, has been shortlisted for the Pub of the Year Award.

Also hoping to win gold are Peak District based outdoor activity and training providers Pure Outdoor – shortlisted for the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award – and myGuidedWalks, a Peak District walking experience provider shortlisted in the Experience of the Year category.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence champion the very best of the country’s tourism industry celebrating quality, innovation, best practice and exceptional customer service.

The finalists, announced following a rigorous judging process by handpicked tourism industry experts, will now go on to compete at the national awards. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter on 7th June 2023.

This year’s awards aligned with 16 local competitions from across England – including the 2023 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards – with winners automatically put forward for the national awards.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire said: “It’s an excellent achievement to be shortlisted for these prestigious national awards and we’re proud that the Peak District and Derbyshire is represented by five fantastic finalists.

“This serves as a timely reminder of the value and sheer quality of our world-class tourism offer, and is testament to our passionate businesses who are dedicated to providing visitors with unforgettable experiences.

“Entering locally aligned awards is the only way to qualify for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, so we encourage tourism businesses to look out for when entries open for the 2024 Peak District & Derbyshire Tourism Awards this summer. We wish our finalists the very best of luck!”

Richard Usher, CEO and founder of Great British Car Journey, finalists in the New Tourism Business category, said: “Since we opened in Derbyshire in 2021, the attraction has really struck a chord with the general public, whether they are classic car enthusiasts or not, offering the ultimate trip down memory lane. The exhibition, driving experience and our events are attracting visitors and tourist groups from all over the world. It’s been an exciting journey for the entire Great British Car Journey team. To be a finalist in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence is just the icing on the cake.”

Ed Burrows D.L., Co-Founder of Wildhive Callow Hall, finalists in the Small Hotel of the Year category, said: “It’s been a fantastic couple of years for England’s tourism sector and with so much inspiring activity happening all over the country, it’s an honour for Callow Hall to be the shortlisted for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. The whole Wildhive team has worked incredibly hard and are well-deserving of this recognition.”

Paul Smith, Founder and Guide at myGuidedWalks, finalists in the Experience of the Year category, said: “myGuidedWalks are honoured to be named as a finalist for the Experience of the Year Award at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. I'm committed to providing my guests with unforgettable walking and nature-based experiences that connect them with the history and natural environment of the Peak District. I'm proud to be recognised for my work whilst also working hard to make the Peak District and England an accessible, sustainable and enjoyable destination for a diverse range of visitors from both across the UK and all over the world.”

Guy Wilson, Founder of Pure Outdoor, finalists in the Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism category, said: “We’re over the moon to be shortlisted for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. All of our team have worked really hard on the ethical, responsible and sustainable elements of our business and it’s great to be recognised and to be going to the national awards.”

Raab Dykstra-McCarthy, Owner and Manager of The Blind Bull, finalists in the Pub of the Year category, said: “We are so thrilled to have been included as a finalist for 'Pub of the Year' in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. We've been open less than three years and this achievement really is a credit to our wonderful team. We couldn't have done it without everyone's hard work.”


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