A Northumberland seaside village scooped a remarkable double, as two of its accommodation providers won national awards.
St Cuthbert’s House bed and breakfast and Seafield Caravan Park, both at Seahouses, won gold awards at the prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014.
St Cuthbert’s, a renovated former church, took gold in the guest accommodation category, while the caravan park scooped the top award in the holiday park/holiday village category.
The two businesses from the village - which is close to the Farne Islands, Bamburgh Castle and Holy Island - were presented with their awards at a ceremony at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday night.
Jeff Sutheran, owner of St Cuthbert’s, said: “These national awards bring together the best businesses from around the whole country, and to be awarded the top honour is wonderful.
“It is especially remarkable to have two gold-award winners from the same village.
“The message couldn’t be clearer - the Northumberland coast is a fabulous visitor destination, offering the very highest-quality accommodation and services. These awards prove it.”
Ken Britton, owner of Seafield, said he was delighted to win gold - the second time the site has landed the top prize.
He added: “It is testament to the continued investment in the park and most importantly to the dedicated and motivated team here at Seafield, who continually strive to not only maintain but to improve the customer experience.
“The most pleasing aspect of the prestigious national VisitEngland awards process was that a small village called Seahouses can not only have two businesses shortlisted for the awards, but to achieve gold in two different categories.
“We would like to congratulate St.Cuthbert’s House on their success.
“Tourism is now the main industry supporting the village and this success can only bode well for the future as Seahouses is certainly a centre of tourism excellence.”
James Berresford, VisitEngland’s chief executive, said: “We received hundreds of applications of an exceptionally high quality making the competition for a gold award extremely tough.
“It is therefore a tremendous achievement for these two businesses from the same village to win a gold award, the highest accolade for excellence in tourism which VisitEngland can bestow.
“They have raised the bar for excellence for others to aspire to and I warmly congratulate them on their exemplary contribution to tourism in this country, and especially on the Northumberland Coast.”
Also recognised in the awards was Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder, which received bronze in the holiday village of the year category.
Jude Leitch, general manager of Northumberland Tourism, said: “I’m delighted that three of Northumberland’s accommodation providers have been recognised as the best in England, and congratulate all of them on their hard work and dedication to providing the highest levels of quality and service.
“Their success in the Visit England Awards for Excellence proves that visitors to Northumberland can expect a welcome that is second to none.”