Tourism awards recognise region's leading businesses as finalists announced

A harbour at low tide with fishing boats

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022 will recognise all that’s great about our visitor economy - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The finalists for the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022 have been announced – and what a tough job it was for our judges!  

As organisers of the awards, Archant is delighted to recognise the outstanding efforts and achievements within the tourism and hospitality industry - see the full list of finalists below.  

Tourism is a vital part of the region’s economy, attracting 140 million day trippers a year and close to 10 million staying visits, and directly employing around 240,000 people. And in this era of staycations, we are incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful places to discover right on our doorsteps.  

Alongside the outstanding destinations in the Broads, our beaches and our countryside are the hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes, campsites, attractions and more, which contribute to making these areas such wonderful places to visit and stay.   

The awards will be more poignant than ever following the significant challenges faced during the pandemic. It is a testament to the resilience of the industry that organisations were able to overcome those challenges by diversifying their business models and being innovative and creative in their thinking.   

This year’s reinvigorated awards are brought to you in association with Visit East of England, and have been made possible by a range of sponsors, led by our headline partner, Hoseasons

Andy Wood OBE, chairman of Visit East of England

Andy Wood OBE, chairman of Visit East of England - Credit: Adnams

Andy Wood OBE, chairman of Visit East of England, applauds the courage, enterprise and creativity of our tourism and hospitality businesses as we progress to the finalists stage of the East of England Tourism Awards 2021-2022. 

“As the country learns to live with Covid, the tourism and hospitality industry is looking forward to being fully open to welcome visitors and guests in 2022,” said Mr Wood. 

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“For the region’s largest industry and biggest employer, it’s important that we recover as quickly as possible and get back to pre-Covid levels where we had been enjoying significant growth across the region for the best part of a decade.  

“The hard work put in by businesses and staff to keep the sector operating has been exceptional. We happily put a smile on our faces for our customers, and there’s certainly more reason to smile in 2022. That’s why it’s important that we champion and celebrate our visitor economy – and that’s what the East of England Tourism Awards are all about.” 

Tourism businesses operating across Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire were invited to enter the 15 categories, and the judges have chosen four to five finalists in each.  

David Whiteley at the 2020 event

The East of England Tourism Awards 2021-22 event will once again be hosted by David Whiteley - Credit: Matt Brasnett - I Do Photography

A glittering black-tie event will take place at Imperial War Museum Duxford on Thursday, February 24, 2022, marking the celebration of those who have grappled with a year of change, challenge and new opportunities. The event will be hosted by David Whiteley and will raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities UK.

The winners and top two highly commended businesses in each VisitEngland-aligned category will also go on to the finals of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, with the potential to triumph as the best in the country. 

Two mums with children that are being supported by the Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

The Ronald McDonald House Charities UK can accommodate 426 families a night, allowing them to be as close as possible to children undergoing treatment in hospital - Credit: Ronald McDonald House Charities UK

And the finalists are:  

B&B and Guest House of the Year – sponsored by Tiptree  

Alma Inn and Dining Rooms 

Argyll House Bed and Breakfast 

Downham Hall 

Suenos Guesthouse 

Camping, Glamping, Holiday Park and Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – sponsored by cottages.com 

Glamp and Tipple 

Hippersons Boatyard 

Secret Meadows 

Wild with Nature 

Wolterton Park 

Customer Excellence Award – sponsored by Swiss Camplings  

Barnham Broom 

Hippersons Boatyard 

Old Hall Country Breaks 

Potters Resorts 

Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre 

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award – sponsored by Biffa 

Discover Ramsey 

NOMAD Sea Kayaking 

Wild With Nature 

Woodland Holiday Parks 

Experience of the Year – sponsored by insight6 

Brightlingsea Lido 

Cambridge Vintage Tours 

Mersea Island Watersports 

Premier Sailing 

Sunnyfields Honey & Home 

Large Hotel of the Year – sponsored by Ensors 

Salthouse Harbour Hotel 

Seckford Hall Hotel & Spa 

The Maids Head Hotel 

Ufford Park Hotel, Golf & Spa 

Wivenhoe House Hotel 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – sponsored by knp  

Audley End Miniature Railway 

Jimmy’s Farm and Wildlife Park 

Pensthorpe Natural Park  

RHS Garden Hyde Hall 

ZSEA Banham Zoo 

Marketing Campaign of the Year – sponsored by Pear Out Of Home 

Best of Suffolk 

Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park 

Pensthorpe Natural Park 

Potters Resorts 

ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure  

New Tourism Business of the Year – sponsored by Larking Gowen 

Beach Street Felixstowe 

LandyCampers 

Old Buckenham Country Park 

Rayne Heritage 

Watatunga Wildlife Reserve 

Pub of the Year – sponsored by everard cole  

Alma Inn and Dining Rooms 

The Angel at Watlington 

Kings Head Bawburgh 

The Weeping Willow 

The Lion at Thurne 

Resilience and Innovation Award – sponsored by Howes Percival  

Audley End Miniature Railway 

Chestnut 

Potters Resorts 

Richardson’s Leisure 

Wroxham Barns 

Small Hotel of the Year – sponsored by John Doe of Diss 

The Assembly House 

The Crown 

Hintlesham Hall Hotel 

The Hog Hotel 

The Norfolk Mead 

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – sponsored by Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions  

English Spirit Distillery 

Hippersons Boatyard 

Rayleigh Town Museum 

Shepreth Wildlife Park 

Watatunga Wildlife Reserve 

Taste of East of England Award – sponsored by Adnams  

Alma Inn and Dining Rooms 

Pig & Whistle Restaurant 

The English Whisky Co. 

The Lion Brasserie 

The Maids Head Hotel