Double Gold for Northumberland at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024

Last night (Weds 5th June), Northumberland championed the North East by retaining Experience of the Year and scooping Unsung Hero at the acclaimed national awards.

Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours was awarded GOLD in the Experience of the Year category for its Grey Seals and Seabirds Cruise, a feat not seen replicated in over 25 years of the awards history. Duncan Wise, Visitor Development and Tourism Officer at Northumberland National Park also came home with GOLD in the Unsung Hero category.

The awards were held at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool, and finalists awaited the final results after winning Gold at the North East England Tourism Awards in February. The regional tourism awards are delivered by Destination North East England and run in partnership with VisitEngland, the awards celebrate quality, innovation, and best practice, showcasing the fantastic range of high-quality experiences on offer for visitors in our region.

Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said: “Northumberland’s tourism businesses never fail to amaze us. Year after year, Northumberland is further recognised as a stellar destination to visit for a first class experience, and awards like this continue to grow Northumberland’s reputation. Northumberland stole the show at the North East Tourism Awards, winning nine of the available fourteen categories, and to see two of our businesses take home gold at the national awards is an honour. We would like to wish a huge congratulations to Serenity, Duncan Wise and Northumberland National Park for this fantastic result.”

Andrew Douglas, owner of Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours, said: “It is absolutely amazing, to have won the first time was brilliant, but to get Gold for a second year in a row is just fantastic. The night was made even more special as it was also my daughter, Charlie’s 18th Birthday, and she was there to celebrate along with me. The hard work and dedication of our staff is what makes this experience so special, the Farne Islands are an amazing place but the staff help to bring it to life for visitors and make it a memorable trip for everyone.”

Duncan said of his win: “It’s an honour to be recognised on a national level for following my passion to conserve our vital dark skies and support people in discovering how wonderful they are. I feel truly fortunate to work every day with colleagues, volunteers, and partners who share my passion for Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and I hope will continue to conserve these wonderful skies for future generations to enjoy.”

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