Posted 1st February
At last we can reveal our countryside champions as voted for by you, the winners of the 2017 LandLove Magazine Awards
This year you’ve been voting in your thousands to help us celebrate the very best things about the British countryside and the people who make it so wonderful. Over the past three months we asked you to vote for your favourites to give our countryside champions the recognition they deserve, so a big thank you to all our readers for taking the time to vote and help us to crown your 2017 award winners. There were 10 exciting categories to vote in, from Britain’s favourite National Park, landmark and place to stay, to forest, drinks producer and wildlife charity, with each of the 10 nominees in every category campaigning tirelessly to get to that top spot.
The voting is now closed for 2017 and the results are in - we spoke with the winners to find out how they feel about being a countryside champion. Well done to everyone that was nominated, and if your favourites didn’t come out on top this time, remember, the awards will be back in October 2018 and they’ll be bigger than ever, with some exciting new categories for you to sink your teeth into.
If you’d like to nominate your favourite place to stay, drinks producer, landmark, natures reserve, food producer (or similar) then we’d love to hear from you. To see your favourites here next year simply email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Britain's Favourite Landmark
A brand new category for 2017, it was a tough choice for readers to pick just one favourite landmark, however Stonehenge has always been a much-loved location full of mystery that intrigues visitors.
"English Heritage are delighted that Stonehenge has won the LandLove Award for Britain’s favourite landmark. Stonehenge is the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. The visitor and exhibition centre sits beautifully within the landscape and allows us to provide a world class experience." Kate Davies, General Manager, Stonehenge.
2nd place - Hadrian’s Wall, North England
3rd place - Durdle Door, Dorset
Britain's Favourite Place to Eat
The Forest Side, Lake District
Place to eat has been a hotly contended category each year, and this year’s awards were no different. It was a very close vote, however The Forest Side took the lead at the last hurdle.
"It’s an honour to be recognised as one of the leading lights in the UK’s food scene. We’ve been on an incredible journey since we opened in 2016, everything we do is a real team effort and winning awards like this demonstrate that we are heading in the right direction." Kevin Tickle, Head Chef.
2nd place - Filbey’s, Isle of Man
3rd place - The Rattle Owl, York
Britain's Favourite Forest
The Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
A standout winner, the Forest of Dean is a popular place for many far and wide, so it’s no wonder its beauty and history won in the end.
"We’re very proud that the Forest of Dean has won this award, which encapsulates all the incredible history, heritage and exciting activities that take place in the Forest today, whether it is enjoying good food or getting closer to nature. We look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our wonderful forest as a result of winning this award!" Maureen McAllister, Executive Director of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism
2nd place - Kielder Water and Forest Park, Northumberland
3rd place - Caledonian Forest, Scotland
Britain's Favourite Drinks Producer
Apple Orphanage, Isle of Man
A returning category in the awards, drinks producer is always difficult to narrow down for readers as there is such a wide choice; from gin to wine and everything in between. This time delicious fruity drinks from the Apple Orphanage took the crown with almost a third of the vote.
"We were so honoured to even be nominated for the LandLove Awards alongside so many absolutely incredible drinks producers! The heart of Apple Orphanage is our Fruit Exchange, where locals can swap surplus homegrown fruit for our drinks; it’s been so rewarding to see this grow year after year, and even nicer to meet some really extraordinary people in the process!" Will Faulds and Charlotte Traynor, founders and owners.
2nd place - Three Choirs Vineyard, Gloucestershire
3rd place - Brass Castle Brewery, North Yorkshire
Britain's Favourite National Park
It is always difficult to pick your favourite national park from the 15 we have across the country as each of the nominees have so much that makes them unique. This year it was the Lake District which took home the gold with more than 20 per cent of the vote. As a World Heritage Site offering panoramic views and the opportunity to spot some of Britain’s most interesting wildlife, it is a destination for all.
"As England’s largest national park and also now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Lake District is well-loved and visited by millions of people every year. I’m delighted LandLove magazine has voted it Britain’s favourite national park and hope readers take the time to enjoy and explore at least one of the UK’s 15 national parks this year." Richard Leafe, Chief Executive of the Lake District National Park.
2nd place - New Forest
3rd place - Northumberland
Britain's Favourite City
Bursting with history and heritage, York’s Viking past, cobbled streets and impressive landmarks are sure to have secured it’s top spot, just beating one of Britain’s most picturesque cities.
"We’re delighted York has been named Britain’s favourite city! We always knew it was! We’re delighted readers of the magazine have voted for us. Visitors to York constantly tell us how much they love it here but it means such a lot that this accolade has been voted for by LandLove readers. We look forward to welcoming new customers and old in 2018 - it’s going to be a brilliant year to visit York, with lots of exciting new exhibitions and festivals planned." Sally Greenaway, Head of Visit York.
2nd place - Edinburgh
3rd place - Bath
Britain's Favourite Food Producer
Noa Bakehouse, Isle of Man
Sourcing almost all their ingredients locally, Noa Bakehouse is a small business that creates mouth-watering loaves of bread using flour sourced from Laxey Glen Mill. Found in the heart of a café, it beat off stiff competition at the last minute.
"We are delighted to have been nominated for such a prestigious award. When we set up Noa Bakehouse 5 years ago our vision was to bring the bakery back into the heart of the community, but we didn’t dream of how well we would be supported and embraced in the Isle of Man." Pippa Pettit, Director of Noa Bakehouse.
2nd place - The Toffee Shop, Cumbria
3rd place - Abroath Smokies, Angus
Britain's Favourite Clothing Brand
The North Face
A household name, The North Face were the clear winners when it came to Britain’s favourite clothing brand, and beat out competition from well-known brands. The North Face took home the trophy with almost a third of the vote. Returning champions, the clothing company won Britain’s favourite outdoor clothing brand in 2016, beating out stiff competition that year too. Clearly, The North Face is going from strength to strength and are a standout favourite among LandLove readers.
2nd place - Regatta
3rd place - Berghaus
Britain's Favourite Wildlife Organisations
The Wildlife Trusts
This category is always a close call as each and every charity which is nominated for the award works tirelessly for Britain’s wildlife. This year, the Wildlife Trusts have taken the winning place for their work across the country. In 2015, they placed joint third, but this year, with a strong campaign, they have taken the crown.
"We are thrilled that LandLove readers have chosen The Wildlife Trusts. It’s a testament to the work our trusts do throughout the UK to make amazing things happen on land and at sea, for wildlife and for people. We couldn’t do it without the support of our members and volunteers, so thank you to them and to everyone who voted for us." Emma Robertshaw, Media Manager, The Wildlife Trusts.
2nd place - RSPB
3rd place - Hedgehog Preservation Society
Britain's Favourite Getaway
New for 2017, Britain’s favourite getaway was a very close vote. However the lure of a traditional woodland retreat won readers over in the end.
"We are delighted to have been chosen as Britain’s favourite getaway in the LandLove Magazine Awards. Forest Holidays offers people the chance to take a break in the midst of nature and our luxury woodland cabins are ideal for couples, families and groups of friends. Not only are our holidays enormous fun, but we also bring communities together, improving habitats and ecosystems and supporting visitor, woodland and recreational economies." Bruce McKendrick, Chief Executive, Forest Holidays.
2nd place - Farm Stay UK
3rd place - Sykes Cottages
Images courtesy of Stephen Spraggan, Visit England / Wye Valley and Forest of Dean Tourism Association, Andrew Johnson, Andrew Locking, Visit England / Diana Jarvis, Gillian Lloyd, Alamy