THE finalists have been announced for the 2020 Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, after an extended 10-month programme.

This is the fifth year that the competition has run, and it has done so in unprecedented times for tourism.

“It is an understatement to say that the past year has been challenging for the tourism and hospitality industry, with many finding themselves in truly desperate situations," said awards organiser Nell Barrington.

"We hope that the announcement of this year’s finalists will bring some welcome good news.

"The judges identified so many businesses who despite their circumstances have innovated, adapted and even reinvented themselves showing true excellence.”

Giles Adams, from Visit Somerset, added: “Never has there been a more important time to reflect and celebrate the best of our visitor economy businesses, who will play such an important part in our recovery.”

The 55 finalists now have to wait until the online Awards Day on March 18 to learn whether they have won Gold, Silver, Bronze or a Special award.

Among those to have made the shortlist as finalists are The Castle at Taunton, joined by Blackmore Farm (Cannington), and The Old Vicarage Hotel and Restaurant (Bridgwater).

In the Mendip area, the Wild Wookey Adventure Caving Experience (Wells), The Cross at Croscombe (Wells), The Old Stables Bed & Breakfast (Shepton Mallet), The Middlewick (Glastonbury), Glastonbury Abbey, Wookey Hub (Wells) and Tor's Tours (Glastonbury) are recognised.

West Somerset is represented by Cross Lane House (Allerford, Minehead), Stockham Farm Exmoor (Dulverton) and Yarn Market Hotel (Dunster), while Esme's Escape (Crewkerne) is also on the list.

Full list of finalists (and those commended)

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award: Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare; Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Clevedon

Active or Learning Experience of the Year: Savouring Bath; West of England Falconry, Bath; Wild Wookey Adventure Caving Experience, Wells; commended - Red Stag Safari, Cutcombe (Minehead)

B&B and Guest House of the Year: Blackmore Farm, Cannington (Bridgwater); Old Church Farm, Rudgeway; The Cross at Croscombe, Wells; The Old Stables Bed & Breakfast, Shepton Mallet

Café & Tearoom of the Year: Dr Fox’s Tearoom, Weston-super-Mare; The Almshouse Tea Shop, Axbridge

Camping & Holiday Park of the Year: Brook Lodge Farm Camping, Glamping & Touring Caravan Park, Bristol; Long Hazel Park, Sparkford

Dining Experience of the Year: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Chippenham; The Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath; THE PIG, Pensford (Bath); The Restaurant at Cross Lane House, Allerford (Minehead); commended - The Babbling Brook Inn, Shurton (Bridgwater)

Dog Friendly Business of the Year: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Chippenham; The Old Vicarage Hotel and Restaurant, Bridgwater

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award: Esme’s Escape, Crewkerne; Grand Pier, Weston-super-Mare; Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Clevedon

Glamping Business of the Year: Esme’s Escape, Crewkerne; Tractors and Cream, Othery

Large Hotel of the Year: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Chippenham; The Castle at Taunton; The Royal Crescent Hotel and Spa, Bath

New Tourism Business Award: Cross Lane House, Allerford (Minehead); Stockham Farm Exmoor, Dulverton; The Old Vicarage Hotel and Restaurant, Bridgwater

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism: To be announced at the awards

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year: Stockham Farm Exmoor, Dulverton; The Apartment, Bath; The Middlewick, Glastonbury; commended - Frederick Place/Your Apartment, Clifton (Bristol); Pennard Hill Farm, Shepton Mallet

Small Hotel of the Year: Backwell House, Backwell; Cross Lane House, Allerford (Minehead); The Queensberry Hotel & Olive Tree Restaurant, Bath; commended - Berkeley Suites, Bristol; The Great Western Hotel, Taunton; The Luttrell Arms Hotel, Dunster

Spa and Wellbeing Experience of the Year: Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Chippenham; The Middlewick, Glastonbury

Tourism Event/Festival of the Year: eat:Portishead; Glastonbury Abbey's Night at the Abbey; More Than Words literary & arts festival, Clevedon

Tourism Innovation Award: Blackmore Farm, Cannington (Bridgwater); Savouring Bath; The Middlewick, Glastonbury

Unsung Hero Award: Andy Childs and Annette Healey (Wookey Hub, Wells); Antony Brunt (Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster); Carol Byrne (The Castle at Taunton); Nick White (Wassail Theatre Company); Tor Webster (Tor’s Tours, Glastonbury)

Visitor Attraction of the Year: American Museum & Gardens, Claverton (Bath); Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Clevedon; Brunel’s SS Great Britain, Bristol; Wild Place Project, Bristol

Visitor Information Service of the Year: To be announced at the awards

For more information about the awards, you can visit