DURLSTON Country Park has won a prestigious VisitEngland award celebrating the best of the country’s tourism industry.

It was named winner in the Accessible and Inclusive category, beating tough competition from other shortlisted entries Birmingham Hippodrome and Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School.

A total of 19 awards were given out in a virtual awards event hosted by Julia Bradbury from The Outdoor Guide in categories ranging from Experience of the Year to Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year.

The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, now in its thirty-first year, celebrate and champion innovation, quality and best practice across the industry recognising businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer.

The winners were selected from hundreds of tourism businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums and conference centres.

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:”Not only does our tourism industry offer incredible experiences to those who holiday here, it supports millions of jobs up and down the country. I’m delighted to see so many great establishments, from major Lincolnshire attractions to boutique Yorkshire hotels, being celebrated.

“This important sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus and we have helped with an unprecedented package of measures including the job retention scheme, a years’ business rates holiday and most recently a £4 billion reduction in VAT benefitting the sector.

“I would like to congratulate all the winners and businesses around England who are doing an outstanding job in showcasing the best in tourism. I encourage everyone to get out, Enjoy Summer Safely, and experience everything England has to offer.”

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “These prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have delivered excellence. From a world-class boutique B&B in Devon to adventure-packed experiences in Somerset, from an accessible country park and national nature reserve in Dorset to a bespoke English wine tour in Kent, our award winners provide stand-out experiences of the highest calibre.”

The Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen in Burton Bradstock won silver in the Pub of the Year category.

Bronze in the Small Visitor Attraction of the Year went to the Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum in Dorchester.

The Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa won bronze in the Large Hotel of the Year category.