Suffolk Awards honour Southwold Pier

STEPHEN and Antonia Bournes, the owners of Southwold Pier, have been honoured at the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk Awards with a special award for their outstanding contribution to tourism.

STEPHEN and Antonia Bournes, the owners of Southwold Pier, have been honoured at the 2009 Tourism in Suffolk Awards with a special award for their outstanding contribution to tourism.

The pier, which has been owned by the couple since 2005, was also named as the county's Best Large Attraction during last night's (Thursday) ceremony, held at Trinity Park, Ipswich, with the award for Best Small Attraction going to Ipswich Museum.

The award for Best Large Hotel went to The Angel in Bury St Edmunds while the Best Small Hotel title was won by to Kesgrave Hall.

Mill House at Oulton Broad claimed the Best B&B/Guesthouse award and Old Drift House at Kersey took top honours for Best Self-Catering Establishment.

On a good night for the north of the county, Pleasurewood Hills received the award for Best Visitor Experience and Pine Trees B&B from Beccles won the award for Sustainable Tourism.

Elsewhere, Lavenham Tourist Information Centre took the award for Best Tourist Information Service and the Festival or Event of the Year title went to the Ipswich-based arts festival Ip-Art.

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John Michell from the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket won the individual award for Outstanding Customer Service and the People's Award, voted for by members of the public, went to Lady Florence river cruises, based at Orford.

The Tourism in Suffolk Awards, held for the fourth time this year, are organised by media company Archant Suffolk, publisher of titles including the East Anglian Daily Times, and were this year supported by Choose Suffolk as main sponsor.

Julian Evans, advertising director at Archant Suffolk, said: 'We are delighted at the response to the awards this year and the number of entries we have received.

'It shows the strength of tourism in Suffolk, and it has been good to see the sector benefiting at a time when other businesses have been suffering.

'We are now looking forward to the fifth Tourism in Suffolk Awards next year.'

Most of the winners will go forward to the final of the equivalent category in the East of England regional round of the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence, which takes place at the West Wing, Ickworth, next month.

The full line-up of winners and finalists in the Tourism in Suffolk Awards 2009 was:

Best Small Attraction (in association with BBC Radio Suffolk): Winner - Ipswich Museum; Finalists - National Stud, Newmarket; Go Ape!, Thetford Forest.

Best Large Attraction: Winner - Southwold Pier; Finalists - Christchurch Mansion, Ipswich; Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft.

Best Large Hotel: Winner - The Angel, Bury St Edmunds; Finalists - The Swan, Southwold; Bedford Lodge, Newmarket.

Best Small Hotel (in association with Camplings Linen Services): Winner - Kesgrave Hall; Finalists - Olde Bull, Barton Mills; The Crown, Southwold; Ickworth Hotel.

Best B&B/Guesthouse (in association with Cipher Crystal): Winner - Mill House, Oulton Broad; Finalists - St Edmunds Guesthouse, Bury St Edmunds; Bankside, Uggeshall.

Best Self-Catering Establishment: Winner - Old Drift House, Kersey; Finalists - Read Hall Cottage, Mickfield; Windmill Lodges, Saxtead.

Best Tourist Information Service: Winner - Lavenham; Finalists - Ipswich; Mid Suffolk.

The Sustainable Tourism Award (in association with Suffolk County Council Passenger Transport): Winner - Pine Trees B&B, Beccles; Finalists - Latitude; Museum of East Anglian Life.

Festival or Event of the Year (in association with Leo Print Ltd): Winner - Ip-Art; Finalists - Suffolk Dog Days; Bury St Edmunds Christmas Fayre.

Best Visitor Experience (in association with Business Link): Winner - Pleasurewood Hills; Finalists - Theatre in the Forest, Red Rose Chain; Go Ape!

Outstanding Customer Service: Winner John Michell, Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket; Finalists - Jamie Perry, Southwold Pier; Ron Murrell, Moyse's Hall, Bury St Edmunds.

The People's Award: Winner - Lady Florence, Orford; Finalists - Kentwell Hall; Baylham House Rare Breeds Farm.

Outstanding Contribution to Tourism: Winner - Stephen and Antonia Bournes, Southwold Pier

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