Kielder Water & Forest Park (KW&FP) in Northumberland has today been named as a finalist in the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.
Competing with top tourism destinations nationally, the Park has been recognised in the Tourism Experience of the Year category meaning it is guaranteed to receive Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended at the awards ceremony in Manchester on 20 May 2013.
KW&FP scooped Gold in its category, which incorporates Best Event, in the North East England Tourism Awards last month and in addition has been selected to represent the North East at the upcoming national awards.
Heidi Mottram, Chair of Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust, said: “We are all so incredibly delighted to have achieved national recognition as a destination that truly provides an innovative customer experience within the tourism industry. The experience covers every aspect of our visitors’ journey which is made possible thanks to each and every team member, event organiser and accommodation and activity provider that work around the 250sq mile wilderness.
“Our category incorporates Best Event and actually we submitted our fantastically varied year round event programme, rather than one event, which includes star gazing events at Kielder Observatory, Kielder Winter Wonderland, Kielder Osprey Watch, many outdoor activity events such as Salomon Kielder Marathon weekend, Kielder 100, and Kielder Challenge Walk as well as family favourites like the Kielder Classic and Vintage Vehicle Show.”
Commenting on the finalists James Berresford, VisitEngland’s Chief Executive said: “I would like to congratulate all those nominated as VisitEngland Awards for Excellence finalists this year. We received 320 applications and the quality of submissions was higher than ever. It is therefore no small achievement for Kielder Water & Forest Park to become a finalist and justifiably take credit and pride in earning a coveted place in the top five in their category in England. I wish everyone all the best for the final in May.”
Highlights over the past year for the Park have included the success of naturally re-colonising ospreys, award winning art and architecture, launching a bid for Dark Sky status and a whole host of successful events.
Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was voted the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com.
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For more information contact Philippa Clark, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 5538, 07970 897 756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editor:
Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working at Kielder to promote sustainable development, provide recreational facilities, improve knowledge of the natural environment and encourage the arts. The Trust works with the range of communities to benefit from these activities.
Members, who have appointed directors/trustees to serve on the board, are Northumbrian Water, Forestry Commission, Calvert Trust Kielder and Northumberland County Council. Affiliate organisations that are not members but have a close working relationship with KWFPDT include Arts Council England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, The Scout Association and local decision making bodies such as the parish councils.
• VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors
• Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics
• For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.
About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013
The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England's place as a world-class destination. www.visitenglandawards.org.
The 17 categories for the 2013 awards include: Access for all Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Best Tourism Experience, Business Tourism Award, Caravan Holiday Park, Large Hotel (over 35 bedrooms), Large Visitor Attraction (over 100,000 visitors), Self Catering Holiday of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year (under 35 Bedrooms), Small Visitor Attraction (under 50,000), Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourist Information Service, Tourism Pub of the Year, Tourism SuperStar, and Travel Article of the Year.
Included in the 17 categories is the additional award for Outstanding Contribution to Tourism to be announced on the night. Previous winners of this award have included The Great English Pub, Michael Eavis CBE, HM The Queen, the Harry Potter films, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Sir Paul McCartney, Liverpool, The National Trust and last year the English Garden.
Kielder Water & Forest Park is the ultimate outdoor playground that everyone can enjoy.
Kielder Castle is the visitor centre for Kielder Forest. Features include information centre, tearoom and exhibitions about forestry and conservation. Bike hire available.