WINNERS of the Visit York tourism awards 2022 have been unveiled.

Fifteen trophies were presented at a ceremony at York Racecourse on Thursday evening when top businesses went head to head.

The 400 guests stood and clapped for a minute in a show of solidarity with the people of Ukraine affected by the conflict with Russia before the celebrations began.

One of the biggest success stories on the night was Grays Court and the Bow Room Restaurant, praised by judges as 'an outstanding experience' and crowned the Taste of England and best small hotel of the year.  

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They will go forward for VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence, which Grays Court won in 2020 for small hotel of the year.

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Helen Heraty, owner of Grays Court and the Bow Room Restaurant.

Eligible winners in certain categories automatically go forward to the VisitEngland awards.

The Deathly Dark Tours was named new tourism business, commended for how it had 'quickly become one of the most popular tours in York'.

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Dorian Deathly is also a finalist for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar, with the public vote open until March 22.

Jorvik Viking Centre was crowned large visitor attraction, hailed as 'world class' by judges.

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Mother Shipton’s Cave in Knaresborough was named the small attraction for its 'magical experience' and the enthusiasm of staff.

Event of the year went to York Maze. Judges highlighted the constant reinvestment and innovations that deliver an excellent summer event year after year.

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Tom Pearcy with his GPS in the maize field as he unveiled the 2021 theme for the York Maze, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Mr Men and Little Miss. Picture: David Harrison.

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A special mention was given to the highly commended That JORVIK Viking Thing for reaching 'a global audience with an amazing array of events and activities.

The Bloody Tour of York took the award for best experience, praised for providing 'a top-quality quirky and memorable York experience that has fans from all over the globe'.


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Alice Stabler, of The Bloody Tour of York

Best shop went to York Gin for its ''interesting and unique retail experience'.

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The York Gin team

Meanwhile, the best pub was The Drover’s Arms, with judges impressed by how the team has dealt with Covid restrictions, and come out of the pandemic stronger.


The Grand York took the crown for large hotel for its 'true five-star experience'.


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The jacuzzi spa at The Grand York 

Heritage Escapes took the self catering accommodation title; Tower Guest House won B&B and guest house, with the researcher finding 'no room for improvement' and the Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm took camping, glamping and holiday park of the year.

A new resilience and innovation award went to The Web Adventure Park in York for the team's 'grit and determination' during difficult times, campaigning on behalf of all indoor soft play areas and putting children's mental health high on their agenda.


York Press: Another new award hailed Adam Wardale, of Middletons Hotel York, the unsung hero.

This new category recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry.

The judges said Adam was 'inspiring and a credit to York' for being instrumental in transforming the hotel into a luxury destination, and undertaking initiatives to benefit the community such as his work with prisoners.

This year’s awards charity partner was the Family Holiday Charity, which was fundraising throughout the evening to raise funds for families to experience their first holidays.

Sarah Loftus, managing director at Make It York, said all the finalists and winners had a lot to be proud of.

"After an incredibly challenging couple of years for our tourism industry, they’ve demonstrated perseverance, resilience and creativity. We’re so pleased to be able to celebrate their achievements this evening and offer a huge congratulations to all of our winners.”

David Horne, of LNER, the sponsor, said: “We are pleased to support the awards to help celebrate the individuals and businesses that make York such an attractive destination, with thousands of visitors travelling with us to this great city and wider region every week.

"Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners. We are proud of the role LNER plays in York’s tourism industry, with our business delivering an annual contribution of more than £486 million to the Yorkshire and Humber economy.”


Congratulations to Visit York Tourism Awards winners 2022:

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B&B and Guest House: Tower Guest House

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park:Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Experience: The Bloody Tour of York

Event: York Maze

Large Hotel: The Grand, York

Large Visitor Attraction: JORVIK Viking Centre

New Tourism Business: The Deathly Dark Tours

Pub: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Self Catering Accommodation: Heritage Escapes (York)

Resilience and Innovation Award: The Web Adventure Park

Shop Experience of the Year: York Gin

Small Hotel: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Small Visitor Attraction: Mother Shipton’s

Taste of England Award: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Unsung Hero Award: Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel