LANCASHIRE businesses have triumphed in national awards, recognising the UK’s best tourism spots.

The annual Lancashire Tourism Awards took place at Blackburn Cathedral on November 7, 2013 where 20 awards for tourism excellence across the county were made, and fourteen of these were eligible to progress to the national awards.

Five Lancashire entries made the finals of the Visit England Awards for Excellence 2014 and each received recognition at the event held in Cheltenham on Monday.

The Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland was awarded silver in the ‘Taste of England’ category in the 25th Annual Visit England Awards, which took place at Cheltenham Race Course.

Bleasdale Holiday Cottages, which is sited between Beacon Fell Country Park and Fairsnape Fell in the Forest of Bowland, and the Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool were also awarded silver medals.

Blackpool Resort Pass, and Visit Garstang Centre were also highly commended at the ceremony. The 31 Gold and Silver winners were selected by a panel of tourism industry experts, chaired by VisitEngland Board Member and Chief Executive of the Blenheim Estate in Oxfordshire, John Hoy.

Ruth Connor, chief executive of Marketing Lancashire, which organised the Lancashire Awards, said “We are proud of our Lancashire tourism businesses and their achievements at the national awards.

“Their win at the highest industry level reminds everyone of the quality and variety of product available in the county, as well as the reasons why we continue to see such growth in visitors to Lancashire and

“These businesses triumphed on a county level at the Lancashire Tourism Awards and have now shown they are very worthy national winners.

“Congratulations to them and to Visit Blackpool and Visit Wyre, who also received recognition at the industry’s most prestigious awards.”

Helen Grant, UK Minister for Sport, Tourism & Equalities, speaking at the event, said: “The tourism industry is playing a key part in our economic growth strategy and VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence celebrates all the very best visitor experiences on offer and the hugely talented people working within the sector.”