Arts Derbyshire


Local finalists announced in VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024

Four local tourism businesses have reached the finals of the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence where they will compete for the highest accolades in English tourism.

Hoe Grange Holidays, Darwin Forest Lodges, Wildhive Callow Hall and Pure Outdoor have been shortlisted for national glory after winning gold at the 2024 Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards earlier this year.

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Hoe Grange Holidays near Brassington has been shortlisted for the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award, Darwin Forest Lodges near Matlock has reached the finals for Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year, and Wildhive Callow Hall at Ashbourne has been shortlisted for Small Hotel of the Year.

Also hoping to win gold is Peak District based outdoor activity and training provider Pure Outdoor, whose Mountain Bike Taster Day has been shortlisted for Experience of the Year.

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 Rum Warehouse at The Titanic Hotel Liverpool on 5th June 2024.

This year’s awards aligned with 16 local competitions from across England including the 2024 Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards, which are organised by Visit Peak District & Derbyshire in partnership with Visit Derby as the region’s accredited Local Visitor Economy Partnership (LVEP).

All four businesses have previously been successful in reaching the finals for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. Pure Outdoor won the Gold Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award in 2023, Wildhive Callow Hall won Bronze in the Small Hotel of the Year category in 2023, Darwin Forest won Gold in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year category in 2020, and Hoe Grange Holidays won Bronze in the Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism category in 2020.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire says: “It’s an excellent achievement to be shortlisted for these prestigious national awards and we’re proud to see our diverse tourism sector represented by four fantastic finalists.

“This news serves as a timely reminder of the value and sheer quality of our tourism offer, which supports jobs and local communities, 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 2025 Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards this summer. We wish our finalists the very best of luck!”

Bev, Nick and Lyndsey Grayson who own and operate Darwin Forest say: “We were delighted to win Gold at the recent Peak District, Derbyshire & Derby Tourism Awards and to now be shortlisted as finalists in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence is a great honour. To be recognised as one of the leading holiday accommodation providers in England is testament to the whole teams’ dedication to providing our guests with a wonderful holiday experience. Our luxury lodge accommodation and fantastic facilities are ideally located on the edge of the Peak District National Park and is one of the many reasons that guests return year after year.”

Ed Burrows D.L., Co-Founder of Wildhive Callow Hall says: “Year on year England’s tourism grows stronger and with such a wealth of exciting happenings in the industry countrywide, it’s an honour for Wildhive Callow Hall to be once again shortlisted for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. The whole team continues to put in the hard work and we’ve really established ourselves now, so this award is wonderful recognition of that.”

Felicity, David and Caroline Brown who own and operate Hoe Grange Holidays say: “We’re incredibly passionate about supporting everyone to enjoy the beautiful Peak District, so we’re over the moon to be a finalist in the Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award category. Our guests regularly tell us how much they love their stay, but it’s amazing to have our efforts recognised by industry professionals too.”

Guy Wilson, Founder of Pure Outdoor, says: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in the Experience of the Year category. It reflects the hard work of our instructors, guides and office staff. We’re proud once again to be heading to the national awards and to be putting the Peak District on the map for its outstanding outdoor adventures.”

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