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Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2018: Finalists announced

PUBLISHED: 14:40 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 11:46 08 December 2017

The EADT EDP Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards ceremony will take place in February 2018 (Picture: Ian Burt)

The EADT EDP Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards ceremony will take place in February 2018 (Picture: Ian Burt)

Archant 2017

Tickets are selling out fast for the EADT EDP Norfolk and Suffolk Tourism Awards 2018 ceremony, which takes place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on February 8. The finalists in each category are as follows:

1. Outstanding Achievement Award

The Outstanding Achievement Award, which is sponsored by Hoseasons, recognises an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the tourism industry.

It is a non-entry category with the winner chosen at the judges’ discretion.

The judges will be looking for someone who is an expert in their sector, has a proven track record, inspires colleagues, educates the young and sets standards others aim to emulate.

Past Outstanding Achievement winners are:

2016: Broads Authority and Broads Tourism

2015: Aileen Mobbs

2014: Barbara Greasley

2013: Vanessa Scott

2012: Lydia Smith

2011: Martin Goymour

2010: Richard Searle

2009: Michael Timewell

2008: Ian Russell

Hoseasons is one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists with over 28,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain and Europe.

With the largest selection of luxury lodges with hot tubs, log cabins and boutique beach huts, alongside traditional holiday parks, country cottages and boating breaks on the Norfolk Broads and the UK Canal network, it’s easy to see why over 1.4 million holidaymakers and more than 73,000 pets enjoy a short break or longer stay with Hoseasons.

Revenue director Simon Altham said tourism across Norfolk and Suffolk had increased as the region gained in popularity as a holiday destination.

He said: “I believe the demand we are seeing for holidays in the counties undoubtedly shows the area really is at the cutting edge of UK tourism, and how much can be achieved when the industry works together.”

2. Best Bed and Breakfast

Hoveton Hall Estate

Opened in 2014, the luxury B&B provides a perfect country house retreat for families and couples alike. Being part of Hoveton Hall Estate it offers guests not only beautiful rooms to stay in but also the delights of the gardens to explore and enjoy. Investment plans for 2018 include a new children’s trail around the gardens and investment in the kitchen garden.

Ixworth House

Ixworth House provides a consistently high quality B&B experience for visitors to Suffolk and Norfolk. Positioned in a quiet cul-de-sac, it is a peace haven for both holiday makers and business travellers. The hosts enjoy spending quality time with guests, providing information on places to visit and the best routes. They aim to invest in hard landscaping to increase outdoor visitor facilities and to explore new ways to promote the business.

Chimneys Bed & Breakfast

Going above and beyond is in the DNA at family-run Chimneys Bed & Breakfast which was established 15 years ago in North Walsham, in the heart of north Norfolk. Providing outstanding hospitality begins from the moment guests enquire to stay, as Jenny and family welcome guests to her three boutique-en-suite bedrooms. Breakfast and afternoon tea are very much part of the experience when staying at the Chimneys.

Sponsored by Ryan’s Insurance

Ryan’s specialises in untangling the complications of insurance through expertise, understanding and a passion for great service. Its vision of success is simply to never let down customers or colleagues. Since 1975, Ryan’s has been providing customers with insurance and risk management solutions for a wide range of insurance products. Its Hospitality Division specialises in providing insurance solutions for businesses in the tourism industry including B&Bs, holiday cottages, hotels and restaurants, providing tailor-made cover and risk management.

Judges’ comments

Chimneys Bed & Breakfast

This is a well-established bed and breakfast in North Walsham, with an owner who always goes the extra mile. Guests, who can be collected from the station if required, are welcomed with tea and homemade cakes – and even a gin and tonic on the house in the evening! If they are visiting friends and relatives who live locally, they are encouraged to invite them to breakfast. The owner sources ingredients locally wherever possible.

Hoveton Hall Estate

A 200-year-old country house offering luxury B&B, with bedrooms, including one suite, comfortably furnished and fluffy towelling robes provided. Breakfast, served in the library (complete with cosy open fire), features local ingredients – including produce from the Hoveton Hall Estate. There is ample information on places to visit and an evening meal is provided if required.

Ixworth House

A beautiful Edwardian house with original features, offering four luxurious and immaculate double rooms and en-suite bathrooms with deep baths and large showers. Breakfast features fresh produce, most of which is locally-sourced, and includes fresh figs from the garden.

3. Best Marketing Award

The Assembly House

The Assembly House is a Grade I-listed Georgian gem in the heart of Norwich, which has been hosting fabulous celebrations for centuries. It boasts 11 luxury bedrooms, has a restaurant which is open daily from breakfast to dinner and which serves thousands of afternoon teas every week, has its own award-winning cookery school, seven opulent events spaces and beautiful gardens. A host of special events is lined up in the rooms, restaurant and gardens in 2018.

SPILL Festival of Performance, presented by Pacitti Company

Pacitti Company formed in 1990 and then spent 20 years making and presenting

award-winning performance works worldwide. Now it creates art, including the SPILL Festival of Performance as well as events, groups, classes, courses in its Think Tank building, next door to the Ipswich Museum. Pacitti pledges that SPILL Festival will return to Ipswich bigger than ever in 2018.

The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation

The Suffolk Coast Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) is an industry-led, not for profit, membership organisation working to boost the visitor economy, develop tourism infrastructure and support businesses along the Suffolk coast. Using the “Suffolk Coast” brand, it communicates a clear, consistent message in a complex market – raising the destination’s profile, attracting visitors, and focusing on improving out-of-season trade to support businesses all year round.

Sponsored by dayvisits and Take One Media

Take One Media (and EAE, a trading name of Take One Media in Scotland) is the UK’s only nationwide tourism leaflet and information display company. It offers consolidated marketing that delivers customers to heritage, arts and tourism businesses. Part of Menzies Distribution with more than 35 years’ experience in the industry, it is considered the benchmark within the tourism industry, working with 2,300 clients and servicing 29,000 outlets (10,400 fully merchandised displays).

Judges’ comments

The Assembly House

There was both a vision and a passion at The Assembly House: a clear, thought- out strategy, which works so well. Staff are empowered to think and to act with a persuasiveness and determination to ensure their ideas are acted upon. There is a great work ethic and some innovative, unique and fruitful ideas.

The Suffolk Coast Destination Management Organisation

Meeting the team from the Suffolk Coast DMO was a delight. Their enthusiasm, drive, passion and results achieved for the county on limited resources are fantastic. The judges particularly liked the local aspect of this entry, especially in use of local creative talent for content, which was beautiful.

SPILL Festival of Performance, presented by Pacitti Company

SPILL presents all manner of arts to the public and visitors to Ipswich. The dedication, skill and enthusiasm of the team shines through. There is committed leadership and great attention to detail. The search for continuous improvement and the intent to offer a varied, full and entertaining programme of events is clearly evident.

4. Food and Drink Tourism Attraction

The Fritton Arms

The Fritton Arms restaurant with rooms offers a unique experience, situated in 200 acres of mature parkland at Fritton Lake on the Somerleyton Estate. The “natural larder” provides a rich source of ingredients including fruit, vegetables, edible flowers, Welsh Black beef, Norfolk Horn lamb and wild venison – all with zero food miles. Investment plans for next year include an outdoor adventure trail, swimming pool and spa, tennis courts and other outdoor activities.

The Ickworth

The Ickworth places family life at the heart of a luxury holiday. The bedrooms and facilities are perfectly decked out for children, dogs and grown-ups. With grand architecture, fabulous food and impeccable hospitality, great memories are made at The Ickworth where there are as yet unannounced investment plans for next year.

Wroxham Barns

Wroxham Barns welcomes visitors to its craft studios, shops, Junior Farm and funfair. It’s great for kids and grown-ups too! Food sits at its heart with its restaurant and coffee shop open all day from breakfast to a traditional afternoon tea, and shops selling everything from local beers and cider, handmade fudge to store-cupboard staples. It continues to act on customer feedback with new ideas, new products and menu updates.

Sponsored by Regency Purchasing group

Regency Purchasing Group is a market-leading specialist in the supply of food and drink to 2,700 businesses in the leisure and hospitality sector across the UK. Working with 80 national and regional suppliers Regency uses its consolidated buying power to save businesses money. Acting as an extension of its members’ businesses, Regency can save management teams’ time by assisting with compliance of allergen data, nutritional information, menu advice, tenders and supply chain support. Regency currently supplies businesses in the region such as Dinosaur Adventure Park, Banham Zoo and Africa Alive!

Judges’ comments

The Fritton Arms

A really beautiful location with so much for tourists to see and do, sitting alongside a fantastic food and drink offering. The field to fork ethos, with so much of what is used in the kitchen being sourced on the estate, including home grown veg, fruit and cattle on land was especially impressive.

The Ickworth

This wonderful building is steeped in history and the house and grounds offer so much for visitors. The hotel seamlessly blends family meals and family time with fine dining for adults. The staff are all passionate about their work, while personal touches, such as the diverse range of spirits offered to guests impressed.

Wroxham Barns

A great attraction for tourists, offering something for everyone. The local food and drink retail offering, which sits so well alongside their local crafts, impressed, as did the food and drink offering in the restaurant – don’t miss chef Alex’s special of sausages and mash.

5. Customers at the Centre of Everything

Crown and Castle

Crown and Castle is a restaurant with 21 comfortable bedrooms, situated within a stone’s throw of a 12th century Suffolk castle in the heart of the beautiful, tranquil village of Orford on the river Ore. The National Trust’s Orford Ness is just across the river. Investment is planned next year for additional staff training and development of the al fresco dining area.

Hilltop Outdoor Centre

Hilltop Outdoor Centre is a high quality family-run outdoor activity centre based on the north Norfolk coast. Hilltop provides an exciting array of adventure activities including air jump, high ropes and climbing to a variety of visitors from families on holiday, to school trips and business team-building days. Hilltop has many plans for the year ahead to grow and diversify as a business.

The New Wolsey Theatre

The New Wolsey Theatre is a 400-seat auditorium with a 1,000-seat studio. It’s a mid-scale theatre with large-scale ambitions, producing a dynamic programme of theatre for all the people of Suffolk and surrounding areas. The theatre has an excellent reputation for its actor-musician shows and rock’n’roll pantomimes, as well presenting a snapshot of contemporary theatre from across the UK.

Sponsored by Camplings Linen

Camplings Linen is a linen hire and commercial laundry, providing a reliable laundering service to the region’s tourism, leisure and hospitality businesses. Following successive years of growth, the family-run firm invested £5m in a new laundry at the end of 2016, creating one of the most technically advanced and environmentally friendly facilities in the UK. Excellent customer service derives from strong teamwork. This year’s award will shine a much-deserved spotlight on those who go above and beyond to make customers smile, every day.

Judges’ comments

Crown and Castle

A wonderfully warm and welcoming restaurant with 21 rooms. The team take time to understand the needs of the customer and have extended the friendly welcome to include five dog-friendly rooms. The high level of returning guests demonstrates the value that the Crown and Castle offer.

Hilltop Outdoor Centre

Hilltop manages three sets of customers: children, their parents and the schools. Working with the children, the staff take time to help them reach new goals and so enjoy every activity. Family-owned and run, Hilltop is passionate about good customer service, and this results in referrals and excellent reference from guests.

New Wolsey Theatre

Stepping into the theatre, you are immediately aware of the warm welcome from the front-of-house staff. Attention to detail includes letters left on the seats for customers, welcoming them on their first visit and recommendations on how the customer could further benefit from services offered by the theatre.

6. Best Self-catering Establishment

Limes Farm Holidays

Limes Farm Holidays is a luxury self-catering holiday cottage, set in a beautiful and unique location within the Broads National Park. The 18th century thatched farmhouse has been restored with “eco” credentials and sensitively adapted to meet the expectations of today’s holidaymakers while enabling them to experience the traditional Broadland setting.

The Windmill Suffolk

The Windmill Suffolk is a glorious boutique bolthole overlooking idyllic countryside, just north of Lavenham. Designed for grown-ups who love the finer things in life, guests experience utter indulgence and are able to truly unwind and relax in the secluded and luxurious adults-only, five-star holiday accommodation.

The Suffolk Escape

The Suffolk Escape offers luxury self-catering experiences for guests who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. It includes four adult-only, lakeside, log cabins with hot tubs, while the Sheepyard Barn sleeps 12 and features an indoor pool and a pizza oven. All are set in an idyllic, rural retreat in the heart of the Suffolk countryside.

Sponsored by Norfolk Country Cottages

Norfolk Country Cottages is the county’s leading local holiday cottage agency. Established 25 years ago, and still a family-owned and run business, their experience is unrivalled. The company prides itself on offering exceptional customer service and are accredited with a Feefo 2017 Gold Trusted Service award. Visitors to Norfolk can choose from a portfolio of hand-picked holiday properties throughout the county, and property owners enjoy commanding booking levels, professional yet friendly support and the option of a fully-managed cottage care service tailored to their needs.

Judges’ comments

Limes Farm Holidays

A fabulous eco-inspired thatched holiday cottage set in lovely gardens in the heart of the Broads National Park. The interior is bright, tasteful and stylish and provides the high quality fixtures and fittings that today’s discerning guest expects from holiday accommodation and the owner is committed to ensuring guests have a memorable, trouble-free holiday.

The Suffolk Escape

Even from the outside you can tell you have arrived somewhere special. It offers large groups of holidaymakers an escape from real life in eco-friendly surroundings. Tucked away in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, there are uninterrupted views around the property. Inside, the open plan living area creates the perfect space for entertaining, dinner parties, movie nights or just relaxing.

The Windmill Suffolk

A special and unique property offering a real one-off in self-catering holiday accommodation. Perfect for couples, the Windmill has been lovingly restored to provide the highest quality in every aspect of holiday letting. The top floor with its incredible views over the Suffolk countryside really does have the wow factor – a little slice of heaven for the holiday maker.

7. Best Independent Hotel Award

The Fritton Arms

The Fritton Arms boutique hotel and restaurant offers nine elegantly furnished bedrooms, making the perfect English country house experience. Situated in 200 acres of mature parkland at Fritton Lake, with lots of activities for guests, while the kitchen garden and talented team of chefs make for the perfect foodie destination. Investment plans include new facilities such as an outdoor adventure trail, swimming pool and spa, tennis courts and other outdoor play areas.

Milsoms Kesgrave Hall

Milsoms Kesgrave Hall is a 23-bedroom hotel with an open plan brasserie restaurant that is open all day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. The hotel also has three rooms for meetings, lunch and dinners as well as The Hangar, an exciting and versatile venue for weddings and parties. A day spa will be opening in 2018-19 for hotel and local guests. Plans are also under way to build 12 further bedrooms.

Titchwell Manor Hotel

A stone’s throw from the stunning north Norfolk coast, Titchwell Manor is a beautiful, boutique 26-bedroom country retreat, offering destination fine dining. Owned by the Snaith family in 1988, the elegant former Victorian farmhouse combines traditional values with chic contemporary accommodation and spectacular, uninterrupted views across open marshes to the North Sea. Considerable investment is planned for 2018 to improve the accommodation.

Sponsored by Norwich Print Solutions

Norwich Print Solutions is a family company, established in 2005, and is owned and managed by husband and wife team Pippa and Mark Redmond. Between them they bring more than 60 years’ experience in printing and pride themselves on their knowledge of the printing and communications industry. Today they pride themselves on offering a personalised service, combined with excellent quality and value for money. Over the past 11 years, Pippa and Mark have increased the products and services they offer their clients making Norwich Print Solutions one of the most comprehensive print companies in the eastern region. In January, they are expanding again, installing the latest print finishing equipment to further expand print services.

Judges’ comments

Titchwell Manor Hotel

Set in a wonderful location, there is a friendly smile in the reception area, which was bright and homely with colours of the north Norfolk coast. Titchwell Manor has beautiful views looking out over the sea and a good selection of rooms suitable for families, couples and singles of all ages. Offering a large range of local produce, it prides itself on its food – and rightly so!

The Fritton Arms

The Fritton Arms offers three main eating areas, all unique and different, with a wonderful outdoor eating area in the garden as well. The bedrooms are all beautifully designed, giving a traditional feel of elegance and spaciousness, again each unique and overlooking the extensive grounds including Fritton Lake. Most of the produce used to create a sumptuous menu, which changes daily, is home grown and provided by the Somerleyton Estate.

Milsoms Kesgrave Hall

Surrounded by woods, a stream and the perfectly mown lawn, Kesgrave Hall offers

23 boutique style bedrooms overlooking the grounds. It is all about the restaurant – the main part of the business – which includes à la carte with brasserie style, using all local produce. The bedrooms are all modern, well decorated and comfortable offering some unique furnishings to make for a perfect stay.

8. Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Felixstowe Museum

An independent, volunteer-run, fully accredited museum, Felixstowe displays the local, social and military history of the town and surrounding area. It is housed in a unique Victorian submarine mining depot with 14 display areas, a tearoom, library and gift shop. The museum is family-oriented and hosts special event days throughout the season. Next year, it plans to install an interactive interpretation system to enhance visitor experience, and to commemorate the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust

The Mid-Norfolk Railway is East Anglia’s longest standard gauge heritage railway, running 11 miles between the market towns of Dereham and Wymondham. Established in 1995, it now runs heritage steam and diesel trains on a regular basis between the two towns, with a wide range of special events annually. With bookings from coach companies, social clubs and other organisations up by more than 30pc in 2017, the railway intends to develop the growth further in 2018 through improved marketing and other incentives to visitors.

Hirsty’s Family Fun Park

Hirsty’s Family Fun Park is a family-friendly attraction running three separate events. Easter Holidays is the Spring Baananza when the Funpark is open for tractor and trailer tours to thelambing shed where visitors can see ewes and lambs , cows and calves and interact with lambs. Summer holidays features the Megamaze, a giant maize maze providing fun to all the family. Halloween Hoot comes in the October half term, allowing families to pick and carve a pumpkin and engage in other seasonal activities around a Halloween theme.

Sponsored by Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions and Shopper Anonymous

Norfolk and Suffolk enjoy unrivalled quality attractions from gardens, historic houses, and museums through to family theme parks, zoos and theatres each bringing their own uniqueness and extremely high standards. Norfolk & Suffolk Tourist Attractions is a membership organisation working for visitor attractions to increase the profile of the tourism offer in the area and promote its members’ attractions across all media platforms.

Judges’ comments

Felixstowe Museum

A small independent museum located at Landguard Point in Felixstowe run entirely by volunteers, showcasing social, local and military history. The former submarine mining establishment site adds to the fascinating exhibits.

Hirsty’s Family Fun Park

Hirsty’s Family Fun Park offers great traditional play for families of all ages in addition to the area’s largest maize maze. Growing in visitor numbers each year, the owners continually seek ways to invest and grow the business.

Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust

This heritage railway operating between Dereham and Wymondham operated largely by volunteers attracts enthusiasts, groups and families of all ages with events taking place throughout the year.

9. Best Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

Dinosaur Adventure

Dinosaur Adventure is a dinosaur-themed family adventure park that provides a great variety of activities. The beautiful woodland and parkland setting provides a relaxing backdrop to the many dinosaurs that “live” there. The outdoor play area is complemented by Dinomite, the indoor all-weather play facility and, in summer, by “Dippy’s Splash Zone” where it comes into its own. Next year will see some major additions including the exciting “Predator High Ropes Course”, an adrenaline-filled, hands-on experience for the whole family.

Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary

Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary is Norfolk’s only seal sanctuary open to visitors and is home to more than 2,000 creatures, from tiny shrimps to Amazonian Piranhas. Boasting a state of the art marine aquarium taking visitors on a memorable undersea odyssey filled with amazing close encounters with sea creatures of astonishing variety in spectacular high-tech displays. The penguin enclosure, offering guests an opportunity to walk into the enclosure and get closer than ever before to Humboldt penguins, is due to be enlarged and upgraded next year.

National Trust Ickworth

The National Trust was founded in 1895 by three people who saw the importance of our nation’s heritage and open spaces, and the need to preserve them for everyone to enjoy. More than 120 years later, these values are still at the heart of everything the trust does as a charity. It looks after special places like Ickworth for ever, for everyone. A 10-year masterplan with committed investment aims to support growth at the house and estate over the coming years.

Sponsored by Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions and Shopper Anonymous

Shopper Anonymous UK is a leading research and insight company with specialist knowledge on how to deliver a great customer experience. Working across the UK in the tourism sector for a variety of clients, it delivers comprehensive insight, tailored feedback and mystery visitor programmes in addition to training and business mentoring. The service offers local support and solutions to help clients achieve a truly world class customer experience and develop highly motivated teams to ensure business success and profitability.

Judges’ comments

Dinosaur Adventure

The scale of its operation, capital investment both in new attractions and infastructure, and customer service coupled with their plans going forward show why they were shortlisted.

National Trust Ickworth

The National Trust management, staff and volunteers have taken Ickworth to a level worthy of being short-listed. Their passion, belief and dedication is sure to keep Ickworth at the forefront of the tourism offering.

Hunstanton Sea life Sanctuary

Following the re building of the Sea life centre after flooding in 2014, management

and staff have continued to push the attraction to its current level, with excellent staff initiatives and diversification of displays including the Rainforest Ranger encounter only goes to show the quality of this attraction.

10. Sustainable Tourism Award

East View Farm Holiday Cottages

East View Farm Holiday Cottages offer luxury holiday stays in a two-barn conversions sleeping two or six, set in 10 landscaped acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wroxham in the heart of the Broads National Park. The owners describe it as “a perfect location for a holiday in Norfolk for everyone”. There are plans to invest more in sustainable practices over next year.

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is a natural garden with its own private broad. The garden is cared for organically, using traditional Broads practices, which informs how Fairhaven looks after visitors, minimising its carbon footprint and sharing “green” practices. The attraction is open all year and offers access for all, with a busy events programme to inspire visitors to explore the natural world.

Secret Meadows

Secret Meadows is tucked away at a 115-acre county wildlife site providing high-end glamping accommodation with green-themed packages including locally-sourced food hampers, hen coop hire, off-grid hot tubs, wildlife sponsorships and bushcraft workshops. With Secret Meadows owned by the nature conservation charity, Sinfield Trust, a strong environmental ethos guides the business activities.

Sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group

Lloyds Banking Group is committed to helping businesses by creating deep, long-lasting relationships built around clients and their needs. The bank believes that every business it works with deserves excellent service and support. As Visit East Anglia’s chosen bank and card processing partner, Lloyds is passionate about the tourism sector.

Judges’ comments

Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden

A fantastic example of how this visitor attraction has continued to grow, while retaining its commitment to sustainability. Visitors are able to enjoy the mature walkways through the woodland gardens and the wildlife contained within it, and the experience has been extended to the surrounding broad, with boat trips available. The adjoining coffee shop continues the environmentally-friendly theme.

East View Farm Holiday Cottages

Beautifully presented holiday accommodation adjoining the main residence. There is a long term strategy to maintain the natural surroundings and the trees and hedgerows planted 20 years ago have had a positive impact on the local wildlife, something the owners are clearly passionate about and which continues to demonstrate their passion for the local environment.

Secret Meadows

A well-kept secret in and around Suffolk, this luxury camping experience has an impressive commitment to sustainability and the local environment. Set in 115 acres, the guests experience a complete “back to nature” stay with no electricity. Little touches that enchant include the honesty shop selling local produce and the games store complete with oil lanterns to guide you back to your tent or cabin.

11. Holiday Park/Village of the Year

Cliff House Holiday Park

Cliff House is a 30-acre

holiday park, bought by The Beeston Group in 2000 and is their flagship park. It’s a truly unique setting in woodland yet set right on the Suffolk Heritage Coast adjacent to RSPB Minsmere. Cliff House offers camping and touring holidays, self catering holidays, luxury lodges for sale and has an on-site bar and restaurant, the 12 Lost Churches, which is open to the public all year.

Searles Leisure Resort

Searles Leisure Resort is a family-owned, multi-facility holiday resort focused on providing holidays for families throughout the summer season and accommodating special events and themed breaks during the winter. It offers lodges, homes, tents and touring pitches, and a varied range of facilities and activities for guests to enjoy. This year, wash blocks have been upgraded, two new play areas built as well as a new indoor water play area, the Splash Pool.

Cakes & Ale Holiday Park

Cakes & Ale Holiday Park is a bespoke, family-owned and run holiday park on the Suffolk Heritage Coast. With more than 45 spacious acres of immaculate grounds, the emphasis at Cakes & Ale Holiday Park is firmly on peace, quiet and relaxation. The exceptional facilities are a definite talking point for guests, whether touring or owners. Considerable investment has gone into the park over the last few years including a touring field facilities block for around £250,000.

Sponsored by Willerby Ltd

Willerby is the UK’s largest holiday home and lodge manufacturer.

With a wide range of models, the Willerby name has become synonymous with innovative design, stylish interiors, and above all, exceptional quality standards. Over the last 70 years the company has gained a strong reputation for high quality, beautifully designed products on the back of a policy of continuous improvement and a customer-focused approach underline its commitment to remaining firmly at the forefront of its industry. Willerby began as a small, family business and now covers a 90 acre site in Hull, employing over 1,000 staff whose passion is central to its success, and further supporting hundreds more jobs across its supply chain. Generating a turnover of £150m a year, it has become a substantial business with a brand recognised across the UK.

Judges’ comments

Cakes & Ale Holiday Park

An excellent small park that showed close attention to maintaining high standards throughout. The park both recognises and celebrates its history and heritage on a former airfield, and that came through in many areas. The park clearly has its customers at the very heart of all it does. Nowhere else can you buy George’s Chutney!

Cliff House Holiday Park

The park occupies a unique and stunning location on the cliffs at Dunwich, with sweeping coastal views. Sensitive management of the site has ensured the park blends sympathetically into its natural environment alongside Dunwich Heath. There were very high standards of operation in many areas.

Searle Leisure Resort

A fun park that offers a wide range of facilities to meet the needs of all its customers. Searles embraces its role in the community and plays a strong role in the town management. The park performs well in all areas and keeps reinvesting heavily to better the experience for its guests.

12. Broads Tourism Award

The Museum of the Broads Trust

The Museum of the Broads Trust brings the story of the Broads alive. It is a charitable trust that welcomes 8,000 visitors to its home at historic Stalham Staithe. Visitors discover stories of the landscape, people, wildlife and boats and can take a unique steam boat river trip on board Falcon. The museum has engaged a consultant to help with a business plan that will focus on the visitor experience.

The New Inn, Horning

The New Inn, Horning provides a warm, friendly atmosphere and prides itself on serving traditional, locally-sourced food, fine cask ales and wines, while offering great value for money. The tended moorings, riverside garden and covered decking areas are perfect for relaxing by the river and enjoying the beautiful Broads. The next investment is to further enhance and extend the outdoor covered dining area.

Limes Farm Holiday

Limes Farm offers “5 Star Gold” self-catering holiday cottages in the heart of the Broads National Park. Restored with eco principles at its core, the accommodation has won a Green Tourism Gold award for sustainability and provides the virtues of modern living in an idyllic, traditional setting within the Broads. There are plans for 2018 to extend the website to include direct online booking.

Sponsored by Broads Tourism

Broads Tourism provides a strong unified voice for Broads tourism-related businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk, and other stakeholders with an interest in tourism activity. Its main aims are to promote the Broads National Park as a recreational, leisure and holiday destination, develop, deliver and regularly review actions within the Tourism Strategy and Action Plan and provide guidance and assistance with applications for relevant grant funding, enable the sustainable economic development of the tourism sector and its communities through an improved quality of promotion, service and information, create and deliver various marketing initiatives underpinned by market research, and develop a feeling of an agreed purpose and shared endeavour from all stakeholders and their communities.

Judges’ comments

Limes Farm Holidays

Neat, spacious and well-appointed accommodation in a country setting, Limes Farm Holidays is a great place to unwind and relax from the stresses of city life. The cottages in particular are spacious and offer nearly all the amenities one could need while on holiday.

The New Inn, Horning

At a time when many pubs are shutting their doors, The New Inn at Horning has bucked the trend by offering a family friendly environment coupled with good food and service in a relaxed atmosphere that brings people back for more.

The Museum of the Broads Trust

The museum is passionate staff and volunteers have turned the facility into a “must-visit” for anyone with an interest in the history of the Broads. The displays are neatly laid out, informative and well presented and there is something for visitors of all ages.

13. Family Tourism Event of the Year

Aldeburgh Olde Marine Regatta and Carnival

Aldeburgh Olde Marine Regatta and Carnival is a community celebration for families enabling them to participate in a variety of entertainments, providing something for all ages, staged over a period of three days. It culminates on Carnival Monday with a traditional street carnival procession, a unique Chinese lantern procession and a magnificent firework display. Plans are in hand to build on this year’s most popular activities for 2018.

Lord Mayor’s Celebration

The Lord Mayor’s Celebration is a major annual festival to support Norwich’s cultural offer, delivering a programme of free public events in partnership with the community, business and cultural organisations. The procession is the jewel in the city’s crown – steeped in history, a much-loved, annual, three-day city centre street festival, attracting 45,000 people a year.

The Suffolk Show

The Suffolk Show is organised by the Suffolk Agricultural Association, a registered charity which promote awareness of food, farming and the countryside and its importance to the economy and character of Suffolk, through the annual county show and other agriculturally-based activities. New attractions will be announced in the new year and investment is scheduled in the showground for more seating, improved signage and a show App.

Sponsored by Dann’s Norfolk Dairy Ice Cream

The Dann family lovingly creates its range of delicious luxury ice creams, lollies and sorbets from the 700-acre family farm in the heart of rural Norfolk. They use the fresh milk and eggs produced by their own herd of 400 pedigree Holstein-Friesian cows and free-range poultry, combined with locally sourced and fresh ingredients – a recipe for success that has seen their business go from strength to strength since its launch in 2007. Three generations of the family are involved in the day-to-day running of the farm near Dereham. A hand-made process sees the milk go from cows to freshly frozen ice cream in under one hour.

Judges’ comments

Aldeburgh Olde Marine Regatta and Carnival

This year witnessed the event’s 75th anniversary celebration which included the RAF Falcons parachute display. The free to attend event includes a carnival procession, firework display, lantern procession, swimming and sports races and much more. Children in particular enjoy the RNLI Lifeboat launch demonstration and older generations like the military band.

Lord Mayor’s Celebration

An established event in the community calendar, the Lord Mayor’s Procession is a free fun family day out which attracts 10pc of its audience from outside the local area, with many returning year-on-year. It boosts the local economy, with hotels booking up in advance and local restaurants and retailers enjoying a very busy weekend.

The Suffolk Show

The show, a traditional agricultural show held in May half-term each year, provides an array of activities for every family member. With sports, a cookery theatre, farmyard animals, a flower and garden show plus grand ring entertainment, this event attracts more than 90,000 visitors, with children under 15 free to attend free. The Suffolk Show is a staple event on the region’s event calendar.

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Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100