PUBS, hotels and popular attractions have been celebrated at county tourism awards.

Soap star Lucy-Jo Hudson was the special guest as the winners of the 2023/24 Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards were crowned.

The ceremony at Chester Cathedral on Thursday night (March 21) saw individuals and businesses behind the region’s £3.41 billion tourism sector given some well-earned recognition.

Across the 16 categories a record 87 nominations, up 29 per cent from the previous year, had been received across Cheshire East, Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester.

Some of the winners will go on to represent the county at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

A Cheshire resident herself, Lucy-Jo, whose TV credits include Coronation Street, Hollyoaks and Doctors, was thrilled to host the event.

She said: “Cheshire is my adopted home and it was a real honour to be able to celebrate the truly marvellous individuals and businesses who make the region a perfect place to live, work and visit.

“The dedication of those behind Cheshire’s visitor economy is inspirational and the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards are a brilliant way to recognise this.”

Northwich Guardian: Lucy-Jo Hudson presenting the awardsLucy-Jo Hudson presenting the awards (Image: Supplied)

There was some success for Mid-Cheshire at the awards, with The Bear’s Paw in Warmingham being named Small Serviced Accommodation Provider of the Year while Quaryy Bank took home the prize for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism.

Meanwhile, Jodrell Bank picked up Team of the Year with judges noting the UNESCO World Heritage site was home to “a great team, doing amazing work”.

Trevor Brocklebank, chair of Marketing Cheshire and deputy chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership said: said: “The record number of entries is testament to the pride those behind the region’s world-class attractions and pioneering businesses have and just why our visitor economy is worth billions and attracts 50 million visitors a year. Another truly special night.”

Northwich Guardian: Chester Zoo, Quarry Bank, BeWILDerwood and Jodrell Bank were among the winners at the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards 2023/24Chester Zoo, Quarry Bank, BeWILDerwood and Jodrell Bank were among the winners at the Marketing Cheshire Tourism Awards 2023/24 (Image: Chester Zoo, National Trust, BeWILDerwood, Rose Hurley)

Marketing Cheshire Tourism Award winners 2023/24

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award - National Trust, Quarry Bank

Best Tourism Marketing Project of the Year - Make A Sploosh at BeWILDerwood This Summer

Business Events Venue of the Year - Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year - Manor Wood Country Caravan Park

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award - Chester Zoo

Experience of the Year - A Taste of Chester Food Walking Tour, Tours Around Chester

Large Hotel of the Year - The Chester Grosvenor

New Tourism Business of the Year - Dark Chester Tour

Pub of the Year - The Pheasant Inn

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year - Enjoy the Pause Holiday Home - PauseUK

Small Serviced Accommodation Provider of the Year - The Bear's Paw, Warmingham

Taste of Cheshire Award - New Chester Market

Team of the Year - Jodrell Bank Centre for Engagement

Unsung Hero Award - Peter Rosenfeld, BusyBus

Visitor Attraction of the Year - Escapism Chester

Wedding Venue of the Year - Walton Hall and Gardens