Winners of VisitEngland Access for All Award 2013 Announced

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22.5.2013. UK. National tourist board launches brochure showcasing the best of England’s accessible tourism businesses.

Photo: VisitEngland Award Winners 2013VisitEngland Award Winners. 22 May 2013. Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool, Lancashire, has won Gold in the Access for All category of the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2013.  The coveted accolade was one of 17 presented at a glittering ceremony hosted by the national tourist board at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club, in Manchester, on 20 May. These prestigious awards, currently in their 24th year, promote excellence in England’s tourism industry and celebrate the very best the country has to offer.  

A key category in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, The Access For All Tourism Award, recognises businesses that provide exceptional access for all visitors.  Gold Winner Sandcastle Waterpark wowed the judges with their passion for meeting visitor needs and providing a warm welcome for all their customers.  A host of top accessible facilities, including a Changing Places facility, is coupled with Accessibility Water Ambassadors and a dedicated hotline to discuss requirements prior to arrival.

The Science Museum, London was awarded Silver in recognition of its wide range of initiatives for groups of all abilities. Its Deaf-led programme includes SIGNtific, a British Sign Language family event with voice-over interpreters, suitable for both Deaf and hearing audiences.

Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax was awarded Bronze. The museum offers an ‘Extra Pair of Hands’ service where bespoke and discreet one-to-one support is provided by a trained ‘Enabler’ to groups/families with a disabled child.

Three businesses were Highly Commended on the night. Hoe Grange Holidays, Derbyshire continues to impress, adding an off-road wheelchair buggy since winning Gold in 2011.  Events venue, One Great George Street, London expertly integrates accessibility with its listed building status and Calvert Trust Exmoor, is the South West’s premier outdoor activity destination for people with disabilities.

All the winners are featured in a brand new brochure launched today by VisitEngland, featuring 27 Access for All Tourism Award winners and finalists from the last five years.  Produced with help from national charity Tourism for All, this first edition aims to help people with access needs make the most of accessible England, featuring the very best accommodation, attractions and experiences across the country from Exeter to Newcastle.

Other awards announced at the ceremony in Manchester included the best Bed and Breakfast, Small Hotel, Tourism Experience, Tourism Pub of the Year, Taste of England, Sustainable Tourism, Business Tourism and Access for All Tourism Award. The 32 Gold and Silver winners were selected by a panel of tourism industry experts including VisitEngland Board Member David Orr and travel broadcaster Alison Rice.

In total, the judging panel awarded 20 Gold Awards, 12 Silver Awards and 14 Bronze Awards24 finalists were Highly Commended.

VisitEngland’s Chief Executive, James Berresford, commented:

“The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence represent the highest accolade in English tourism, and this year’s winners have raised the bar higher than ever before. The awards champion the very best in quality and customer service, and continue to help to raise standards across the industry, establishing England’s place as a world-class destination and a brilliant place to visit. The competition was fierce so all our finalists are to be warmly congratulated for their success – particularly our Gold Award winners, whose passion and commitment to excellence is exemplary.”

For more information on the Access for All winners, visit:

Access for All Tourism Award Results

  • Sandcastle Water Park, Blackpool, Lancashire - Gold
  • The Science Museum, London - Silver         
  • Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire - Bronze
  • Calvert Trust, Barnstaple, Devon - Highly Commended
  • One Great George Street, London - Highly Commended
  • Hoe Grange, Matlock, Derbyshire - Highly Commended                        

For more information on the awards, please visit:

About VisitEngland

VisitEngland is the country’s national tourist board. We work in partnership with the industry to develop the visitor experience across England, plan national tourism strategy, grow the value of tourism in England and provide advocacy for the industry and our visitors

Our work is underpinned by robust research and customer insights. You can access the latest in-depth market intelligence and statistics on   

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