2016 Winners and Finalists
Broads Tourism Broads National Park Tourism Business of the Year Award
Winner: Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham
Judges Comments: Fairhaven seeks to bring the beauty of the Broads – whether wildlife, woodland or waterways – to everyone, while ensuring it is accessible and affordable for all. The local
community also cherishes the attraction. The management team collaborate with other tourism
organisations to offer support, ideas and best practice aimed at the longevity and sustainability of the promotion of the Broads.
Finalists: Norfolk Broads Direct, Wroxham & Waveney River Centre, Beccles
Camplings Linen Customer Care Award
Winner: Nathan Barnett – Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary
Judges Comments: Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary is part of a worldwide organisation and yet it delivers and feels very personal and very locally focused. The individuals are encouraged to, and recognised for, “taking the initiative” in giving customer care and satisfaction, which was evident in Nathan’s nomination. The judges were presented with one example, but just watching the on-going interaction between staff and visitors demonstrated a genuine desire to look after the visitors. Overlaying the real-life actions is the corporate view of values, which provides a clear position and philosophy of focus on the customer.
Finalists: Anthea Aldis – The Cliff Hotel, Gorleston & Leadership Team – Forest Holidays, Thorpe Forest, Thetford
Dann’s Norfolk Dairy Ice Cream Family Tourism Event of the Year Award
Winner: Old Buckenham Airshow
Judges Comments: The judges were impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment of Matt Wilkins in developing this event year on year and the investment that is ploughed back in each year. In
addition, the event has frozen entrance prices for next year to continue to make it family friendly (80% of the 10,000 visitors in 2016 were families). The event has invested in nappy changing facilities and a special dog water tank. The event also supports the Air Cadets charity. The organisers work hard to ensure that families feel they have value from their day
Finalists: Deepdale Christmas Market & Pleasurewood Chills – Pleasurewood Hills Family Theme Park, Lowestoft
Lloyds Bank Best Food and Drink Tourism Attraction Award
Winner: The White Horse, Brancaster
Judges Comments: The judges were presented with a sample of dishes from the menu with a locally-sourced theme which included how many miles away from the venue it was sourced – some from as little as 100 yards away from the shoreline that the pub overlooks. The restaurant has recently undergone some renovation, which has added covers, including an outside space, overlooking the sea. They have also added a huge glazed wall which allows an uninterrupted view of the shoreline.
Finalists: Green Pastures, Bergh Apton & The Assembly House, Norwich
Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions Best Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Award
Winner: Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
Judges Comments: Rated by TripAdvisor as number one in Great Yarmouth and number three in Norfolk, Time and Tide really does deserve this accolade. Hidden in the back streets of Great Yarmouth, the museum is an absolute gem of an attraction, which needs to establish itself on every visitor’s “must-do” list. The museum brings old Great Yarmouth to life with its wide range of
exhibits from the History of Humans right up to the impact of rock and roll in the town. A fantastic attraction.
Finalists: The Museum of the Broads Trust, Stalham & Paint me Ceramics, Hunstanton
Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions Best Large Visitor of the Year Attraction Award
Winner: North Norfolk Railway
Judges Comments: North Norfolk Railway’s volunteers are excellent ambassadors for this very friendly attraction, which provides a high quality day out for visitors. North Norfolk Railway is an outstanding ambassador for Norfolk attractions. Its stations and trains are presented to a very high
standard. The entrepreneurial events programme has a very positive impact on north Norfolk tourism and the enthusiasm of the friendly volunteers is inspirational.
Finalists: Hunstanton SEA LIFE Sanctuary & Pensthorpe Natural Park, Fakenham
Kingsley Healthcare Golden Years Award
Winner: Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham
Judges Comments: The beautiful gardens and stress-free atmosphere, not to mention the wonderful tearoom, are a natural treat for older people seeking a gentle experience any time of the year. The judges were particularly impressed by manager Louise Rout’s passion for constantly improving the visitor experience. She genuinely listens to her customers and looks for ways to make their visit more enjoyable. For example, great care is taken to give maximum possible access to people in wheelchairs. Good customer service is something that older people really appreciate and Louise places a big emphasis on staff training and development.
Finalists: Cinema City, Norwich & Norwich Theatre Royal
Willerby Holiday Homes Holiday Park and Village of the Year Award
Winner: Searles Leisure Resort, Hunstanton
Judges Comments: Searles Leisure Resort was chosen due to their incredible facilities – both indoor and outdoor – as well as their active promotion of other local tourism businesses, in particular Hunstanton Sea life Centre. The accommodation ranges from affordable to luxury options with hot tubs to accommodate up to 10 per accommodation. Judges were impressed with their full-time employee who is dedicated to speaking to guests on site and dealing immediately with any problems. This resort is also home to a golf club and creates employment for 180 local people in high season. They have seen five per cent year-on-year growth and are keen to develop their staff with an annual conference which this year focused on team building and customer care.
Finalists: Woodland Holiday Park, Trimingham & Woodhill Park, East Runton
Norwich Print Solutions Best Independent Hotel Award
Winner: The Assembly House, Norwich
Judges Comments: With 11 stunning bedrooms, all beautifully finished to the tiniest of detail, all different styles, all spacious and oozing with quality and luxury what more could one wish for when staying in a hotel? The Assembly House now has the perfect offering for people visiting Norwich. t’s set in the city centre, with accessible parking, close to restaurants and shops and the Theatre Royal. The Assembly House is a beautiful building in its own right and is one of the most historic buildings in Norwich.
Finalists: The Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich & The Norfolk Mead Hotel, Coltishall
Dayvisits and Take One Media Best Marketing Award
Winner: The Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich
Judges Comments: Because it keeps things simple in a complex market, The Maid’s Head Hotel makes great use of partnerships, delivers clear information to the staff who have to deliver it and provides a wide range of external events to hang their activities on. And it is succeeding in growing its business as a result – its ethos, values and main USP have been carefully worked through and communicated, making it possible for all, internally and externally, to contribute.
Finalists: Potters Resort, Hopton & Wroxham Barns, Hoveton
Norfolk Country Cottages Best Self-Catering Establishment Award
Winner: Plum Tree Cottage – East View Farm Holiday Cottages, Ashmanhaugh
Judges Comments: The standard of the self-catering category was extremely high – serving as a glowing reflection of Norfolk’s wonderful accommodation offering. But it was hard to deny the wow
factor of Plum Tree Cottage, particularly the exceptional work put into making the business sustainable and the stunning surroundings. Jane’s passion for not just her business, but Norfolk tourism in general shone through like a beacon – making her a very worthy winner.
Finalists: The Brambles Cottage – Luxurious Cottages, East Runton & Tower House, Mundesley
Hoseasons Outstanding Contribution Award
Winner: Broads Authority and Broads Tourism
Judges Comments: The Hoseasons Outstanding Contribution Award winners are major champions of the regional tourism sector. The Broads Authority and Broads Tourism are shining examples of what is possible through partnership working. Together, representing public and private sectors, they were the driving force in the campaign for the Broads to be given National Park status last year. And they work tirelessly to provide a strong unified voice for all Broads-connected businesses. They are a group of individuals whose collective efforts to promote the region’s tourism really have put Norfolk – and specifically the Broads National Park – on the map.