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!”

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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

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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

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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

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Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award

Winner: Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Finalists: Avorium, Fairfax Corner

Sponsored by The Fabl

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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

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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

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Large Hotel of the Year

Winner: Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites

Highly Commended: The Grand, York

Finalist: Malmaison York

Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

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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

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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

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Retailer of the Year

Winner: York Gin

Finalists: Avorium, Antiques Centre York, The Potions Cauldron

Sponsored by fidomoney

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Self Catering Accommodation of the Year

Winner: The Dovecote Barns

Finalists: Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges, A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

Sponsored by YO1 Radio

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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

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Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Winner: Mother Shipton's Cave

Finalists: York Army Museum, World of James Herriot

Sponsored by VisiSoft

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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

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Winner's Toolkit:

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.

Mystery Shopping

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.