Waterside Park makes a big splash at National Tourism Awards

Visit England Awards 2014


Northumbrian Water’s lodges and caravan park are officially among the top five in the country.

Leaplish Waterside Park at Kielder Water, Northumberland, has been awarded bronze for Best Holiday Park at the Visit England 2014 Awards – held Monday May 12 at Cheltenham Racecourse.

The shore of the biggest man-made lake in northern Europe is home to 32 luxury four and five star lodges and 99 touring pitches, each with panoramic views of the lake and Kielder Forest, the largest working forest in England.

Northumbrian Water’s Commercial Director, Maxine Mayhew, said: “We are thrilled to have been recognised as one of the cream of the crop of best holiday parks in the country and it’s been an honour to represent Northumberland and the North East in the national awards.

“Over the last year we have made significant improvements to the guest experience at our visitor centre, including five star upgrades to our lodges and we have seen overnight stays at Leaplish increase by 20% as a result.

“I’d like to pay a special tribute to our team who have worked exceptionally hard to deliver the very best experience to our guests, for their talent, commitment and creativity. It’s a great privilege to work with such a professional team.

“This award comes quickly on the heels of winning Best Holiday Park in the North East and is an important milestone on our journey from good to great. I know the team will be working hard to secure the gold award in the future.

“We are proud to have been a key partner of Kielder Water & Forest Park ever since the build of our giant reservoir more than 30 years ago, and with over 250 square miles to enjoy, the Park is an unrivalled, must-visit destination in Northumberland.”

Last year, Kielder Water & Forest Park, part of Northumberland International Dark Sky Park – the largest Dark Sky Park in Europe, scooped Gold for Best Tourism Experience at the Visit England Awards 2013.

Jude Leitch, General Manager of Northumberland Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to see Northumberland so strongly represented at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and congratulate Northumbrian Water on Leaplish Waterside Park’s achievement in reaching the finals and achieving bronze.

“The quality of our tourism offer increases year on year and Leaplish is providing the lead in innovation and creativity that other tourism businesses in Northumberland will inspire to follow.”

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For more information contact Janine Scott, communications advisor (Kielder Water & Forest Park), on 0191 301 6713 or Janine.scott@nwl.co.uk

Kielder Water & Forest Park, which spans 250 square miles, is home to the largest forest in England and the largest man-made lake in northern Europe. It was awarded the best Tourism Experience in England by Visit England 2013 and the most tranquil place in England by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. For more information go to www.visitkielder.com.

Kielder Water & Forest Park Development Trust is a registered charity working at Kielder to promote sustainable development, provide recreational facilities, improve knowledge of the natural environment and encourage the arts. The Trust works with the range of communities to benefit from these activities.

Members, who have appointed directors/trustees to serve on the board, are Northumbrian Water, Forestry Commission, Calvert Trust Kielder and Northumberland County Council.

Affiliate organisations that are not members but have a close working relationship with KWFPDT include Arts Council England, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency, The Scout Association and local decision making bodies such as the parish councils.

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 www.visitengland.org/insight-statistics.

• England is a unique destination and a real powerhouse in global tourism. It represents 84 per cent of the total UK visitor economy, is worth £106 billion, and supports 2.6 million jobs.

• For corporate information see www.visitengland.org and for consumer information see www.visitengland.com.

About the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014

• The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2014 celebrate the best of English tourism. They promote healthy industry competition and high standards, helping to ensure England′s place as a world-class destination. www.visitenglandawards.org.

• The 18 categories for the 2014 awards included: Access for All Tourism Award, Bed & Breakfast / Guest Accommodation of the Year, Business Tourism Award, Holiday Park / Holiday Village of the Year, Large Hotel of the Year, Large Visitor Attraction of the Year, Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year, Small Hotel of the Year, Small Visitor Attraction of the Year, Sustainable Tourism Award, Taste of England Award, Tourism Event of the Year, Tourism Experience of the Year, Tourism Pub of the Year, Visitor Information Provider of the Year.

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