Northumberland scoops hat-trick in BBC Countryfile Awards

15 Mar 2017

Northumberland County Council has  welcomed news  that the county has received three fantastic awards  in a prestigious national competition.

The Northumberland coast was crowned Holiday Destination of the Year in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2017, while one of its beaches, Embleton Bay,  with its stunning views towards the ancient Dunstanburgh Castle, won Beach of the Year.

The Farne Islands scooped second place  for Nature Reserve of the Year, being pipped to the winning post by Abernethy Forest in Scotland.
Now in their sixth  year, the 11-category awards are a celebration of the countryside and its people with a shortlist of nominees drawn up by experts including BBC presenters John Craven, Ellie Harrison and Chris Packham. The BBC experts looked back over the past 12 months and nominated five contenders in each category. These were then put to the public vote.


Council Leader Grant Davey said:  “  We couldn’t be more delighted that the county has received these awards. The fact that they were voted for by the public makes it all the more special.


“ I think we can sometimes  take for granted the sheer beauty, diversity and uniqueness of the county but those  of us who are fortunate enough to live here do know what a special place it is. It is good to know that our visitors also agree.”

“ Tourism is incredibly important to  our local economy, especially for our rural communities.  These awards will put  the county on the national and international tourism  map and provide us with the type of positive  publicity that no amount of money could buy.”

Tourism is a huge growth area for Northumberland. In 2013, £730 million was injected into the county’s economy economy by 8.8 million visitors and over 13,200 jobs rely on tourism. Since then, many  attractions, activity providers, accommodation businesses and hospitality establishments have reported increases in business.

In recent  years, Northumberland County  council  has worked collaboratively on a number of initiatives to  encourage more visitors, to develop sustainable tourism and to reaffirm the county’s  proud identity. At the same time it has  been supporting and assisting local businesses to maximise the opportunities that tourism can bring.