This award aims to celebrate a business that attracts visitors to our rural backwaters and heartlands. Projecting all that is wonderful about our rural tourism sector, we will rewards businesses that are truly outstanding and offer something a bit different or innovative. With rural values, philosophy and commitment to customer care the winning business will stand out as a flagship of excellence. The winning business will be able to clearly demonstrate the following:
• Strong business ethics and financial competency.
• Strategy for sustaining quality and continuous improvement.
• A clear understanding of the market and customers to whom the business is selling.
• That consideration has been given to addressing accessibility and inclusivity.
• That the business is sustainable has excellent green credentials and consideration has been given to environmental impact.
• Exceptional customer care and the willingness to go the extra mile for customers.
• Uniqueness in offering – what sets the business apart from the competition.
• Commitment to ongoing improvement both in terms of customer experience and staff satisfaction.
• Links with local communities and businesses for the benefit of all.
Best Rural Social Enterprise, Charity or Community Project
The Sustainability and Environmental Impact Award
Best Rural Tourism Business Winners
The Wensleydale Experience
The Wensleydale Experience offers an immersive, integrated experience of Wensleydale life. Based in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, they provide guests with a unique place to stay in luxury yurts or an 18th-century temple folly, both with fantastic views. The Wensleydale Experience run farm tours and experiences from the yurt site and educate visitors in an authentic way about local agriculture. They also work with several on-site partners to offer further services: Fairhurst’s at Berry’s farm shop and café provides homemade local food and gifts; and The Healing Collective provides in-yurt complementary therapies for a truly relaxing stay.
Shropshire Festivals organises events for their rural region throughout the year, including Shrewsbury Food Festival, Shropshire Kids Festival and Shropshire Oktoberfest. Their events are powered by amazing local businesses, particularly with local food and drink. Their ethos is to provide the local community with positive experiences and fun days out bursting with culture, showcasing independent local businesses, boosting tourism in their region and helping people in their community create memories they will treasure for a lifetime. By diversifying into drive-in events, providing marketing and PR to local businesses, and launching a hamper business, Shropshire Festivals have successfully weathered the 2020 storm.
Best Rural Tourism Business Finalists
Brook Meadow campsite and Cromwell Caravan Storage are tourism diversifications owned by the Hart family on their farm in Leicestershire. Nestled by the lake with acres of woodland and meadows, the site features hedge lined pitches, excellent onsite facilities and lots of local activities from tranquil dog walks to off road driving adventures. For those wanting to enjoy the beautiful setting with a few more comforts, Brook Meadow has a safari themed glamping tent, a camping cabin and award-winning lodges facing the water for watching the sunrise or sun set while also enjoying the active local wildlife.
Grand Get-Togethers is a family business owned and run by mother and daughter team – Joan and Molly. As proud third generation Yorkshire farmers they have diversified from farming to fill a gap in the market for large, luxury celebration properties and a DIY wedding venue, sleeping 46 at any one time. The once redundant farm buildings have been given a new lease of life and the succession of the family farm now has two avenues – farming and hospitality. Molly and Joan continue to develop and expand their business striving to create an elite collection of celebration properties.
The Hudnalls Hideout
The Hudnalls Hideout is a ground-breaking, luxury glamping treehouse located in the stunning Wye Valley AONB. The Hideout is the UK’s first A-frame treehouse and provides guests with a nature immersive and sustainable tourism experience. The long-held vision of husband and wife team, Sarah and Adrian Orchard, the Hideout has taken over five years of their patience and determination to turn the project from a dream to reality. Opening on 14th February 2020 and being heavily impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic has been a testing start for this fledgling new venture.
The Roost Luxury Glamping
Located in the Forest of Dean, The Roost consists of two unique and beautiful cedar wood cabins set in 2.5 acres of meadow within a Special Area of Conservation. Cosy and snug, the cabins are the ideal place to hide away for a few days (or even longer) and have been rated as one of the top 15 Great Cabin Getaways in the UK by The Sunday Telegraph. The cabins have been designed to make the most of inside / outside living and are finished off with beautiful soft furnishings and bespoke hand-crafted furniture created by one of the Forest’s talented carpenters.