BUSINESSES across Taunton Deane are celebrating after being named as finalists for a prestigious awards event.

Hestercombe House near Taunton, Waterrow Touring Park near Wiveliscombe, The Cottage Beyond near Wellington and the Taunton Visitor Centre have all been named as finalists in the South West England Tourism Awards.

The finalists will find out if they are overall winners at an awards ceremony at Bristol's Ashton Gate stadium at a celebration dinner on February 2, 2017.

Hestercombe is a finalist in the Small Attraction of the Year section , Watterow Touring Park in the Camping and Caravanning Park of the Year section, The Cottage Beyond in the Self Catering Property of the Year section, and the Taunton Visitor Centre in the Tourism Information Service of the Year. 

CEO of Hestercombe, Philip White, said: “We’re so pleased to be in the finals.

"We were amazed and thrilled to win the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, and to now be named finalists in the South West Tourism Excellence Awards is just the icing on the cake.

"We work very hard here at Hestercombe to bring the public an attraction that combines landscape and the art, and champions accessibility and sustainability.

"Since its rediscovery just 25 years ago, we strive to restore, preserve and protect this piece of heritage for generations to come. As a charity we rely totally on the support of the public, our members, our dedicated members of staff and volunteers.

“Now we all have our fingers crossed that we can bring home another award in recognition of this.”