County on tourism awards shortlist

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Northumberland has been named by the British Travel Awards as one of the contenders for the Best UK Holiday County/Destination 2014.

Visit Northumberland is calling for everyone that loves Northumberland, from its miles of beaches to its wonderful nature parks and dark skies, to go online and vote.

A campaign has been launched to encourage visitors old and new, residents and businesses to vote called ‘Share the Northumberland Spirit’.

Already sharing the spirit are Alan Clark from Dire Straits and Ann Cleeves, author of the books on which the hit TV series ‘Vera’ is based.

Ann Cleeves shared her spirit by saying: “The Vera of my books captures the spirit of Northumberland. She’s rugged, individual, but worth getting to know. However, the county is much more beautiful.”

Jude Leitch, general manager at Northumberland Tourism, said: “Northumberland is an independent spirit, so many people love the county for very different and unique reasons.

“We deserve to be named UK’s best holiday destination and want people to share their spirit for the county and urge as many people as possible vote for us in these awards.

“By sharing the link to the voting site and displaying the Share the Northumberland Spirit campaign badge on everything they can, we hope to both walk away with the UK’s best destination award in the autumn and share the spirit of Northumberland’s heritage, space, people and culture in the process.“

Northumberland has recently experienced fantastic success at the VisitEngland awards and is officially home to England’s best B&B/Guest House and England’s best holiday village, but has never been named the UK’s best holiday destination/county, a coveted accolade in the travel industry.

Ian Lindley, chair of Northumberland County Council’s Tourism, Leisure & Arts Working Group, said: “We stand a great chance of being named the UK’s best county if our fans get behind the voting process.

“Winning will go a long way to helping Northumberland raise its profile, to increase visitor numbers and bring more spend to the economy.”

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