Beautiful South awards: Hever Castle gets a hattrick

December 11 2019 | Weddings


Staff at Hever Castle are celebrating after getting a hattrick at the Beautiful South awards.

The historic attraction scooped a gold award in the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year category with Leeds Castle and Marwell Wildlife receiving silver and Bletchley Park and D-Day Story getting bronze.

Odds Farm Park was highly commended in the same category.

The historic attraction was awarded a joint gold with Blenheim Palace in the Wedding Venue of the Year category with East Afton Farmhouse given silver and Solent Hotel & Spa gaining bronze.

Hever Castle 5* bed and breakfast was also given a bronze award in the small hotel of the year category. The Montague Arms got gold and Hurley House Hotel won silver.

Oakley Hall Hotel and The Five Arrows were highly commended.

Eighty businesses received trophies at the black tie event at The Grand Hotel in Brighton on Tuesday 10 December.

Run by Tourism South East in partnership with Services for Tourism Ltd, the awards recognise achievement in the tourism industry over the last 18 months. This year the prestigious evening was compered by travel journalist and broadcaster, Simon Calder.

As well as a detailed awards application those putting themselves forward in each category underwent a mystery shopper visit plus a judging panel in order to be named as a finalist.

Duncan Leslie, CEO of Hever Castle said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won two gold awards and one bronze at the Beautiful South Awards – the top industry awards for the tourism industry. To be named best Large Visitor Attraction and best Wedding Venue in the South East is a huge honour and is testament to the hard work and dedication of all our staff across all the departments.”

Mark Smith, Chairman of Tourism South East, said: ‘What a night! I was blown away by the sheer quality of the tourism businesses and experiences celebrating the trophies. Through some incredibly hard work, talent and determination, they have all achieved well deserved success and will be a great example to others. I am certain that they will inspire other businesses across the UK. I also want to recognise and thank the Awards sponsors and voluntary judges who make the Awards possible. Our headline sponsor, The Grand Brighton, pulled out all the stops to make the Awards a very special end of year celebration. I am now looking forward to our winners taking on the rest of the country at the VisitEngland National Awards.”