SOMERSET attractions are among those to make the shortlist in a national awards.

VisitEngland has announced the finalists who will go forward to compete for the tourism industry’s annual national Awards for Excellence - including a number from the county.

Applications were put forward for national judging from businesses across England including hotels, self-catering accommodation providers, B&Bs, glamping operators, attractions, restaurants, pubs, museums, and conference centres.

The 53 finalists will now go on to compete in 15 core categories at this year’s awards, from the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award, the Taste of England Award to Self Catering Accommodation of the Year and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.

There will also be four special awards, including the Outstanding Contribution to Tourism Award.

Winners will be announced in an online virtual event on Monday, August 17.

VisitEngland chief executive, Sally Balcombe, said: “These awards celebrate businesses and individuals in tourism across England who have exceeded expectations and delivered excellence during the last 18 months and it is fantastic to see such an outstanding list of finalists.

“The impressive list reflects the sheer scale of innovation, quality and experiences across our tourism landscape and I congratulate all the finalists and wish them the very best of luck.

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards are also a timely opportunity to acknowledge the determination and dedication of tourism businesses across the country who have worked extremely hard to reopen and welcome visitors back safely.”

List of finalists:

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award:
Birmingham Hippodrome, West Midlands
Durlston Country Park & National Nature Reserve, Dorset
Mylor Sailing and Powerboat School, Cornwall

B&B and Guest House of the Year:
Haven Cottage, Cumbria
St Cuthbert’s House, Northumberland
The 25 Boutique B&B, Devon

Business Events Venue of the Year:
College Court Conference Centre and Hotel, Leicestershire
NTU Events and Conferencing, Nottinghamshire
The Brewery, Greater London

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year:
Eye Kettleby Lakes, Leicestershire
Landal Darwin Forest, Derbyshire
Swallowtail Hill, East Sussex

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award:
Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire
The Hive Café and Bakery, West Midlands
The Quiet Site, Cumbria

Experience of the Year:
Ezekial Bone - Nottingham Robin Hood Town Tour, Nottinghamshire
Wild Wookey, Somerset
ZSL London Zoo Lodges, Greater London

International Tourism Award:
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
International Bomber Command Centre, Lincolnshire
The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Somerset

Large Hotel of the Year:
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
Southampton Harbour Hotel & Spa, Hampshire
The Ned, Greater London

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year:
Old Royal Naval College, Greater London
The Roman Baths & Pump Room, Somerset
Warner Bros Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, Hertfordshire

New Tourism Business Award:
Hotham's Gin School and Distillery, East Yorkshire
The Flower Bowl Entertainment Centre, Lancashire
Vine + Country Tours, East Sussex

Pub of the Year:
The Baskerville, Oxfordshire
The Howard Arms, Warwickshire
Three Horseshoes Pub & Kitchen, Dorset

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year:
Broadgate Farm Cottages, East Yorkshire
North Hayne Farm Cottages, Devon
Wallops Wood Cottages, Hampshire

Small Hotel of the Year:
Cary Arms & Spa, Devon
Grays Court, North Yorkshire
Seaham Hall County, Durham

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year:
Gladstone Pottery Museum, Staffordshire
Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum, Dorset
Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Somerset

Taste of England Award:
John's House, Leicestershire
Restaurant Hjem, Northumberland
The Dining Room - Whatley Manor Hotel and Spa, Wiltshire

Travel Content Award:
Helen Coffey,
Don’t let the Russian Poisonings put you off visiting Salisbury, the UK’s loveliest medieval city
Rachel Dixon, The Guardian
Uncrowded Cornwall: fine food and walking on the Lizard
Paul Healy & Mark Barnes
Anywhere We Roam

Tourism Superstar:
Lorry Middleton, Isle of Wight

International Distribution Award:
Destination Bristol
Newcastle Gateshead Initiative
Visit County Durham