Search starts for the best of the bunch in Yorkshire tourism

The race is on for the 2020 White Rose Awards, after the application process officially opened.

The event recognises the very best tourism businesses in Yorkshire and is the biggest celebration of its kind in the UK.

There are 19 categories open to both Welcome to Yorkshire members (free) and non-members (charges apply) with businesses and organisations able to enter multiple awards.

The prize is a coveted White Rose Award trophy which will be presented at a glitzy ceremony towards the end of the year. Most winners will also get the chance to progress through to the national Visit England Awards for Excellence – where the local and national categories fully align.

This year’s event will see two brand new awards for “casual” and “fine dining” under the banner of Taste of Yorkshire. These will run alongside all the classic awards covering food and drink, the arts, events, accommodation and attractions and new categories introduced in 2019 like Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism and Accessible and Inclusive Tourism

Full entry details can be found here: where you can also see an example application form.

All finalists will receive one free ticket to the awards, as part of the entry conditions. The event location is still to be revealed, with Welcome to Yorkshire currently in conversation with a number of venues across the county.

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Chief Executive James Mason said:

“These awards are so special as they truly recognise the absolute cream of the crop in tourism right across Yorkshire. People work flat out 365 days a year to make Yorkshire the best place to visit. From the smallest B&Bs to our biggest hotels, from our corner cafes to our Michelin starred restaurants, from world-renowned arts companies to the hottest outdoor attractions, I’m so proud to be able to celebrate all the graft that goes into making Yorkshire a top-class destination.”

William’s Den in North Cave were double winners in 2019, taking both the Ethical & Sustainable Tourism and New Tourism Business Award. Owner Tor Carver said: “Winning not one but two prestigious White Rose Awards in November was absolutely incredible, for us as owners, for our team, our loyal friends and visitors. We also benefitted from lots of PR & social media coverage afterwards and winning has helped secure William’s Den’s position in what is a highly competitive market in Yorkshire and beyond. Thank you Welcome to Yorkshire we’ll definitely be entering the White Rose Awards again this year.”

David Thompson is Managing Director and Co-Founder of Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery in Hunmanby, 2019 Small Visitor Attraction of the Year winner:  As a relatively young tourism business, we were delighted and proud to win this award. The publicity that came on the back of the win will help us to benefit from the growth of whisky tourism in England and attract even more UK and international visitors to Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky distillery and the Yorkshire coast.” 

Eleanor Hughes from finalists Castle Park, Home of Doncaster Knights said: “2019 was the first time Castle Park entered the White Rose Awards and this paid off as we made finalist for Business Event Venue of the Year. The PR and marketing around the awards in the run up to the event actually brought in numerous enquiries from people who never even knew we were here before they read about our nomination. We didn’t actually make the cut on the evening with some fierce competition in the category, but as a small business it has been invaluable for helping us demonstrate the quality of facilities here to people who were previously unaware!”

General Manager of Inns and Restaurants with Rooms 2019 winner Manor House, Lindley Mark Ayre said: “We were ecstatic to win, really over moon and we certainly didn’t expect it because we were up against such tough competition from some really well established and fantastic businesses. The team were really quite emotional – especially the owner as this was further recognition that all her hard work and investment are paying off.

Getting the award itself was huge but we also had some great press coverage and the benefit of being associated with Welcome to Yorkshire’s massive outreach meant our following literally increased overnight.”

Welcome to Yorkshire is running a number of award workshops across the county with top tips to make sure your entry is the best it can possibly be. 


Image: Manor House Lindley.

Thursday 13th February 11 – 1.15pm Skipton Devonshire Arms
Wednesday 4th March 11 – 1.15pm Huddersfield The Dunkirk
Monday 9th March 11 – 1.15pm Hawes Wensleydale Creamery
Tuesday 10th March 11 – 1.15pm Pontefract Wentbridge House Hotel  
Mon 30th March 11 – 1.15pm York The Grand Hotel
Tues 12th May 11 – 1.15pm Halifax Shibden Mill Inn
Wednesday 1st April 11 – 1.15pm Hull William’s Den
Mon 11th May 11 – 1.15pm Barnsley Cannon Hall Farm
Weds 13th May 11 – 1.15pm Harrogate Yorkshire Event Centre
Thurs 14th May 11 – 1.15pm Brighouse ROKT

Full list of categories for the 2020 White Rose Awards


Arts & Culture

Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award

B&B and Guest House of the Year

Business Events Venue of the Year

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year

Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award

Experience of the Year

International Tourism Award

Large Hotel of the Year

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year

New Tourism Business Award

Producers & Makers

Pub of the Year

Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year

Small Hotel of the Year

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year

Taste of Yorkshire – Casual Dining Award      

Taste of Yorkshire – Fine Dining Award                                                          

Tourism Event                                                  


The White Rose Award application process opens on 11th February 2020 and closes at midnight on 20th May 2020