MORE than a hundred businesses joined the online celebrations on Thursday, February 17, for the Bristol, Bath, and Somerset Tourism Awards 2021/22.

Several businesses across Somerset celebrated their achievements and won awards in different categories.

The Purplespoon Café, Bridgwater, won two golds and a bronze at the latest awards.

The business won the gold for the Age-Friendly Tourism Business Award, sponsored by Age UK Somerset, another gold for the Café/Tearoom of the Year category, and a bronze for the Dog-Friendly Business of the Year category.

Exmoor Character Cottages won gold in the Resilience and Innovation category and another Exmoor business, Dunkery Beacon country house hotel has been presented with Silver in both the Small Hotel of the Year category and the Restaurant of the Year category for its Coleridge Restaurant, adding to their existing accolades of Gold and Bronze won in previous years.

Warren Farm Holiday Centre in Brean was crowned ‘Camping, Caravanning & Holiday Park of the Year’.

John Turner, CEO, VisitSomerset , added: “I am delighted to congratulate the many winners from Somerset in this year’s Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards. It is an honour to share in their success and help build the environment in which such innovators are able to grow and thrive, to the benefit of all in the visitor economy."

Businesses that also won awards on the night include:

  • Bossington Hall, Silver, Bed and Breakfast Guesthouse of the Year;
  • Holi Moli Beach Hut, Dunster, Gold, Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award;
  • Owley Woods Glamping, Cheddar, Bronze, Glamping Business of the Year, and Silver, for the New Tourism Business Award;
  • Ocean Adventures, Cheddar, Bronze, New Tourism Business Award, and another Bronze for the Resilience and Innovation Award;
  • The Cotley Inn in Chard won the Gold in the Pub of the Year category;
  • Middlewick Holiday Cottages in Glastonbury won the Gold in the Self Catering Accommodation of the Year award, while the Silver went to The Cottage Beyond, Wellington.
  • Jake Tyler, Tropiquaria, Nr Watchet, won the Gold for the Unsung Hero Award;
  • South Somerset Visitor Information Centre won the Gold for the Visitor Information Service of the Year category; Silver went to Exmoor National Park Centre, and Bronze went to Porlock Visitor Centre.

Giles Adams and Nell Barrington hosted an emotional ceremony during which 60 awards were announced for the best tourism and hospitality businesses in the region.

Nell Barrington, awards organiser and co-host, said: “I was so moved to hear about the amazing things these businesses had done to welcome visitors and care for their staff during this particularly difficult time. Congratulations to every one and I truly hope that you all have a great season and also have time to celebrate your success.”

Entrants were in high spirits and gathered with their teams from across the county, and indeed the world, to find out what they had won and enjoy the camaraderie that is at the heart of the hospitality sector. Special guests in attendance even included a python from Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. Emma Thomasson, CEO, Visit Exmoor, said: “Visit Exmoor are proud to be a long time sponsor of the awards that celebrate the phenomenal and inspiring visitor offering we have across the area. Our award winners represent the highest level of excellence, quality and innovation, this is always an amazing achievement and especially so in the current climate after an uncertain and challenging period. Well done.”

Kathryn Davis, Director of Tourism, Visit West, added: “Congratulations to all finalists and gold winners in the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, and we are thrilled to see so many Visit West members featured. In what has been another exceptionally difficult year for the industry, our business community should be applauded for their resilience and innovation.”