Events

York Christmas Festival 2022: Celebrations for 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair

Baubles, carols and festive fairs – Christmas in York is just around the corner! Extra special plans are in place across the city this year to celebrate 30 years of York’s famous Christmas Market, St Nicholas Fair. 70 alpine chalets will line the streets of Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square from 17th November to 23rd December, creating a festive wonderland with an array of local produce and artisan gifts on offer from local traders. 

From luxury stationary to Yorkshire Pudding beer, there are lots of unique gift ideas at this year’s Christmas market. What’s more, all traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering exclusive discounts for York residents when presented with a valid York Card or identity card with proof of address*. Each trader will offer a discount ranging from 10 to 30% discounts, more details can be found here. 

Brand new to York Christmas Market for 2022 is a traditional Swiss chalet, The Winter Hütte. With a spectacular terrace overlooking St Nicholas Fair, The Winter Hütte offers a ‘Swiss with a Twist’ dining experience from one of Yorkshire’s best-known chefs, the Michelin-starred Andrew Pern. For passers-by, there is a fully-licensed bar area serving seasonal favourites such as gluhwein and spiced cider. Dining bookings are now open on the website. 

Another new addition to York’s Christmas Market 2022 is the Chocolate Circus. The brainchild of the York based family behind Herbie’s Treehouse, look out for their Instagram-worthy loaded hot chocolates. From giant snowman marshmallows to York printed wafers, there’s a topping for everyone including a full vegan hot chocolate alternative menu.  

Herbie’s Treehouse returns for its fifth year, with premium German mulled wine, Cornish mulled cider and Belgian hot chocolates. This year, look out for the new Herbie’s Secret Orchard at the back of the Treehouse for a special menu of hot toddies created with award-winning York Gin. Throughout the duration of the Christmas Market, resident singers and variety performers will play on the new Treetop Stage above the Treehouse, offering an exciting new entertainment area. Local schools, choirs and community groups will be invited to perform, as well as York based artists and international singers.  

Shambles Market Food Court vendors Krep and Shambles Kitchen will be returning to the Christmas market this year, plus Meow and Bao Little Bubble Box will be serving up a combination of infused Asian cuisine. Shambles Ski Bar is also returning this year, with an authentic Après Ski themed pop-up bar stocked with festive favourites. A new addition to this year’s market is York Cocoa Works, who will be on hand to share their chocolate making process from cocoa beans to chocolate bar, truffles, cakes and more. Don’t miss a visit to neighbouring Shambles Market for some of York’s best independent traders, selling everything from seasonal wreaths to locally grown produce.  

To mark the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, the city will come alive on the opening day of the market with a special programme of free events and activities for residents. From 12pm to 9pm on Thursday 17th November, there will be live entertainment in St Helen’s Square, Parliament Street and Shambles Market to get everybody in the festive spirit. There’ll be choirs, bands, performances and free theatre workshops throughout the day and into the evening. Plus, there’ll even be an opportunity to meet St Nicholas himself at Shambles Market! The full programme of events will be announced soon. 

Those in the city centre on the evening of the 17th November to celebrate the opening of St Nicholas Fair will be the first to see the spectacular light display for the 2022 festive season. Promising to be the best winter lights display the city has seen, this year will see more lights, new technology and new areas added to the scheme. A partnership between York BID and Make It York, this year’s winter light display will increase the use of more sustainable LED and solar lights, with new areas to be lit up including George Hudson Street and Nessgate. The curtain of lights on York’s historic bar walls will remain, along with the magical ‘Tree of Light’ at the Eye of York with its 1km of twinkly LED lights which change colour to mark important dates and festivals. 

Another great way to see the city in all its festive glory is by following the brand-new Nutcracker Trail. Pick up a free map and seek out ten Nutcrackers across the city centre for a chance to win a £500 York BID Gift Card.  

York Minster has a packed programme of events for Advent and Christmas, including their Christmas Carol Concerts and the return of the Christmas Tree Festival. Castle Howard is set to be transformed into a wonderland of ‘happily ever afters’ with their new ‘Into The Woods’ Christmas experience designed by Charlotte Lloyd Webber Events and The Projection Studio. Plus, THOR’S Tipi will be back in The Principal Hotel Gardens from 11th November, serving up delicious snowboard platters by Yuzu Street Food and cocktails by the cosy log fires. 

Residents and visitors can bring home some of the magic of York this Christmas, with their own special edition 30th Anniversary Bauble. Designed by local artist Emma Feneley, following a local competition, the porcelain bauble will be available to purchase from the Visitor Information Centre from mid-November. Emma’s design features famous York landmark Clifford’s Tower in the festive season and is the perfect addition to any Christmas tree! 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “Christmas in York is always a special time of the year, with this year set to be even more so as we celebrate 30 years of the famous St Nicholas Fair. We’re delighted to be welcoming Michelin-starred Andrew Pern and The Winter Hütte to Parliament Street for a unique food and drink offer. We’re pleased that all of our traders at this year’s St Nicholas Fair will be offering a discount for York residents, plus we’ll be hosting a whole day and evening of free festive entertainment on Thursday 17th November to mark this special milestone for St Nicholas Fair.” 

Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure & Communities, said: “The programme of Christmas activities across York this year is outstanding – with so many unique experiences on offer for all to enjoy. This, combined with world-class food and drink and an array of independent retailers and traders, is sure to bring the festive magic back to York.  Christmas is a great time to support York’s local businesses by purchasing unique gifts and enjoying all they have to offer. 

“York really comes alive at Christmas, so we are looking forward to welcoming residents and visitors to enjoy the magic of the festive period in York.” 

Andrew Lowson, Executive Director at York BID said: “We’re excited about the new design and can’t wait to see the new winter lights scheme in place. Residents and visitors will notice a real difference in key areas like Parliament Street, and we’re pleased that we’ve been able to extend the scheme to light up new areas like Castlegate, George Hudson Street and Nessgate.” 

Andrew Pern, Michelin-Starred Chef, said: “We are hugely excited to be bringing The Winter Hütte and a taste of the Alps to the ancient streets of York. Aside from the incredible two-storey structure, I am delighted to introduce a new Star Inn venture to The Winter Hütte with a restaurant serving great Yorkshire produce with a Swiss twist.  As well as traditional fondue and raclette, the menu will also boast off-piste specials such as Cinnamon Roast Porcetta Suckling Pig with spiced apples, chestnuts and mulled cider juices or Gratin of Winter Roots with toasted cranberry muesli, nut “cheese”, garden sage and onion.  In the downstairs ski bar we will be serving a range of Bratwurst from “The Dog Haus” to enjoy with a festive beverage, while passers-by can also grab a tasty bite from the window counter.  Together with the scent of pine and decor of mountain scenes and cow bells, The Winter Hütte will be a real experience for all the senses this Christmas.” 

Festive cheer will be spread across the city, with carol concerts, festive events and the return of panto season. For more information about what’s happening in York this Christmas, please visit visityork.org/christmas.  

Visit York’s festive press pack can be found here and press images can be downloaded here. 

*To qualify for the resident discounts offered by traders at St Nicholas Fair, you must present a valid York Card or identity card that proves York residency. If presenting an identity card, this must clearly state ‘York’ (e.g. driving licence or older person’s bus pass). The full list of offers can be found here. 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

St Nicholas Fair runs from 17th November to 23rd December on Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square, open daily from 10am to 7pm. St Nicholas Fair is a Make It York event.  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand. 

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About The Winter Hütte 

The Winter Hütte is a joint venture between Coopers Marquees, CMJ Events and Andrew Pern of The Star Inn the City (York) Limited. Combined, the team brings over 60 years of live entertainment and food knowledge to deliver this spectacular new event for York, home to all three companies. 

Finalists Announced for Visit York Tourism Awards 2023

Finalists in the Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, have been revealed today. Celebrating the best in tourism, hospitality and culture, finalists will go head-to-head to win one of 16 trophies on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

The ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ will take place in a glitzy ceremony at York Racecourse hosted by award-winning journalist and legendary broadcaster, John Stapleton. John has more than 50 years of experience working in television and newspapers, spending 17 years as a presenter for GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain. On hosting the Visit York Tourism Awards, John Stapleton said: “Really looking forward to the awards ceremony and visiting the wonderful city of York. It’s a long time since my school trips there.”

Eligible winners across a number of categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2023 to compete for the crown of the country’s best. York has a strong record of national glory, with Middletons Hotel’s General Manager Adam Wardale taking the national Unsung Hero Award in the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022.

New categories for 2023 include ‘Cultural Venue of the Year’ to celebrate the city’s thriving culture scene. The ‘Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award’ champions businesses who go above and beyond in their commitment to the environment and the wider community.

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “We had such a brilliant turnout in entries this year, with incredibly strong applications across the board. A huge congratulations to our finalists announced today, who have demonstrated excellence in their sectors across tourism, hospitality and culture. The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the countless organisations who work tirelessly year-round to deliver the very best experiences for visitors and residents. We look forward to celebrating their successes at the ceremony in March.”

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “From historic sites to wonderful places to eat and stay, York has so much to offer and is one of the most popular destinations on the LNER route. We are therefore proud to support the Visit York Tourism Awards, helping to celebrate the individuals and businesses that continue to work hard to make York such a great place to visit. Congratulations to all those who have been selected as a finalist.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley: Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “York is proud to be home to many excellent businesses and individuals who work incredibly hard to create unique visitor experiences for the millions of visitors exploring our city each year. These businesses are an essential part of our city and I am delighted to see such a diverse group of finalists this year. Their hard work, resilience and creativity will be rightly recognised and celebrated at the Tourism Awards. With so many excellent businesses in the tourism sector in York, it really is an achievement to be shortlisted. Congratulations and good luck to all finalists!”

Visit York Tourism Awards Finalists 2023:

B&B and Guest House of the Year**

MonkBridge House

The Bishop & The Bison

Westergate House

The Sidings Hotel & Restaurant

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year**

Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

York Meadows Camping & Caravan Park

Cultural Venue of the Year* sponsored by Clarion Housing Group

York Theatre Royal

York Mansion House

Grand Opera House York

York Barbican

Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by The Fabl

Stillingfleet Lodge Gardens

Avorium

Fairfax Corner

Event or Festival the Year* sponsored by LNER

York Proms

York Maze Hallowscream

Yorktoberfest

York Fashion Week

York Theatre Royal – An Evening with Kyiv City Ballet

Experience of the Year sponsored by Destination Core

The Wizard Walk of York

The Cookery School at The Grand, York

The Hilt

The Deathly Dark Tours

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year**

The York Dungeon

Castle Howard

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

The Web Adventure Park

JORVIK Viking Centre (York Archaeological Trust)

The Hole in Wand York

Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Streamline Taxis

The Grand, York

Middletons Hotel – part of Daniel Thwaites

Malmaison York

New Tourism Business of the Year**

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

22 Yards Wine Bar & Merchants

Avorium

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

The Wizard Walk of York

Pub of the Year sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd

Valhalla York

The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Resilience & Innovation Award sponsored by York St John University

City Sightseeing (Transdev)

Next Door But One CIC

Yemen Heaven

The Deathly Dark Tours

Retailer of the Year* sponsored by Fidomoney

York Gin

Avorium

Antiques Centre York

The Potions Cauldron

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year

The Dovecote Barns

Wolds Edge Holiday Lodges

A Brecks Away Holiday Cottages

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year**

Mother Shipton’s Cave

York Army Museum

World of James Herriot

Small Hotel of the Year sponsored by Inglis Chartered Accountants

Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Feversham Arms Hotel & Verbena Spa

No.1 by GuestHouse, York

Taste of England Award sponsored by Fowlers of York

The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Corner Grill House Restaurant

Chopping Block at Walmgate Ale House

The Raj York

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the Visit England Awards for Excellence.

**Sponsorship opportunities available.

Tickets for the glittering awards ceremony event on Thursday 23rd March 2023 are available from today. Book your tickets here. (Tickets cost £75 plus VAT for Visit York members, or £70 plus VAT when booking a table of 10. Tickets cost £95 plus VAT for non-members).

More information about the Visit York Tourism Awards can be found at visityork.org/awards

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer

Communications team at Make It York

Email: comms@makeityork.com

Notes to Editors:

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events.

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York.

About John Stapleton

John Stapleton is an award-winning journalist with more than 50 years of experience in newspapers and television. He was the Royal Television Society’s Presenter of the Year in 2004 for his work covering the war in Iraq and a series of interviews with, amongst others, the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. John’s career began as a journalist in local newspapers and progressed to Fleet Street where he worked on two national newspapers. After a four-year spell in regional TV he became a presenter on the BBC’s hugely popular Nationwide programme for five years and later a foreign correspondent with Panorama and Newsnight. He co-presented the BBC Watchdog programme with his wife Lynn Faulds Wood for seven years, hosted the ITV daytime chat show The Time the Place and spent 17 years as a presenter at GMTV, Daybreak and Good Morning Britain.

Winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards 2022:

B&B and Guest House of the Year – Sponsored by Morrell Middleton

Winner: Tower Guest House

Finalists: MonkBridge House, Westergate House

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by The Fabl

Winner: Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm

Finalists: Springwood Shepherd Huts Glamping York, Wolds Walk Glamping

Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Destination Core

Winner: The Bloody Tour of York

Finalists: Castle Howard, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Cookery School at The Grand, York,

Event of the Year – Sponsored by Rugby League World Cup
Winner: York Maze

Highly Commended: That JORVIK Viking Thing

Finalists: The Great Ryedale Maze, York Balloon Fiesta

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxis

Winner: The Grand, York

Highly Commended: Sandburn Hall Hotel

Finalists: Hotel Indigo York, Middletons Hotel, The Principal York

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by YO1 Radio
Winner: JORVIK Viking Centre

Finalists: The York Dungeon, York Art Gallery, York’s Chocolate Story

New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by City Cruises
Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours

Finalists: Malmaison York, Sandburn Hall Hotel, York Riverside Apartments

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd
Winner: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Finalists: House of Trembling Madness Lendal, House of Trembling Madness Stonegate

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Clarion Housing

Winner: Heritage Escapes (York)

Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotels – York City, Staycity Aparthotels, The Enchantment Chamber, The Riverside York (Finalist)

Resilience and Innovation Award – Sponsored by Fabler & Co

Winner: The Web Adventure Park

Finalists: The Deathly Dark Tours, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub, The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, The Web Adventure Park, Trembling Madness Ltd, York Gin

Shop Experience of the Year* – Sponsored by Fidomoney
Winner: York Gin

Finalists: The Antiques Centre York, York’s Chocolate Story

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Hospitality Staffing
Winner: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant

Finalists: Galtres Lodge, The Judge’s Lodging

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Fowlers of York

Winner: Mother Shipton’s

Finalists: Fairfax House, York Army Museum

Taste of England Award – Sponsored by The York Roast Co.
Winner: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel

Finalists: Forest at Galtres Lodge, Mr Chippy York, Plush Café, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub

Unsung Hero Award - Sponsored by LNER

Winner: Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel

Finalists: Frank Caulfield, Porter at Dean Court Hotel and Norbert Lawrie, Kitchen Porter at Galtres Lodge

York Sculpture Trail Character Commission

Make It York is looking for visual artists, designers and illustrators to create a unique character or creature, bespoke to the city, that will be transformed into 3D, larger than life sculpture models as part of a family-friendly city-wide trail in 2023.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Sculpture Trail Background

The 2023 sculpture trail will see 25/30 large scale sculptures strategically placed around the city to form a vibrant and bold family friendly trail of characters or creatures. Each sculpture model will be customised by being decorated with unique designs (through painting, applique, etc.) from Yorkshire-based artists, in response to a set overarching theme.

It is expected the sculptures will remain in situ for a period of four months and will be complimented with a programme of workshops, talks and demonstrations from our commissioned artists.

While this trail model has been seen widely across the country, taking the form of animals and other shapes in a multitude of formats, we’re looking to create something bespoke for the city – creating our own story and narrative for residents and visitors of York to explore.

About the Character Commission

We’re looking to commission an artist to design a character or creature that represents the city, something new and something different, that we will then turn into the sculpture model for the trail. Not only that, we’re interested in the narrative and why artists have chosen to create this particular design.

Perhaps the character plays on the heritage of York, a concept that is unearthed or has been missed from the city achieves, even a myth brought to life. Maybe this character or creature has found itself misplaced in the city, maybe it’s a fantastical never-seen-before animal, or perhaps it’s another construct entirely.

We are keeping the commission as open as possible to allow artists freedom of interpretation to create this character however, the trail will be family friendly and submitted designs must take that into consideration.

Practically, the selected design will be cast and transformed into a 5/6ft tall sculpture and therefore cannot be overly complex and highly detailed. Once produced the blank sculptures will be brought to life with different artist designs, meaning the shape of the character is key as this will be the defining element across the trail.

Another consideration is to keep designs as contained as possible, loose aspects to the character increase the likelihood of damage to the sculptures once they are in situ. Keeping the sculpture as solid and contained as possible reduces the risk of damage. For example, a long upward tail of a cat would be more prone to damage that one wrapped around the cat.

The selected artist will be decided by Make It York. The commissioned artist will be awarded a £1000 commission fee for the design and narrative of the character alongside an additional artistic fee of £1000 to create one of the artistic designs and bring a sculpture to life as part of the trail itself.

Upon commissioning Make It York will work with the artist and the manufacturing company to tweak designs where appropriate for the most suitable replication in a physical format.

Submit your design using this form on the Make It York website by 12 noon on 14 October 2022.

Commission Criteria

  • Artists may submit a maximum of two entries.
  • Anyone over the age of sixteen is eligible to submit a design.
  • Artists should reside in Yorkshire (including all of North, East, South and West)
  • Designs that do not fit the commission criteria will not be accepted.
  • Only new designs will be permitted – designs which already exist and have been used in other contexts will not be accepted.
  • The artist should submit a visual drawn/designed representation of their concept. This should be in PDF or image format.
  • Artists should also complete the expression of interest form and include details of the character narrative.
  • Designs should be considered practically based on the shape and elements for large scale reproducing.
  • The commissioned artist will be required to make tweaks to the design if needed following selection and consultation with the production company.
  • Entries remain the intellectual property of the artist and will be kept on record for informational purposes only by Make It York. Artists may contact the company to request their design be removed from records.
  • The selected artists commission fee includes a buyout fee of £1000 of the intellectual property of the design, which will become the property of Make It York, who will have sole right to replicate the design for the production of the trail and potential commercial opportunities to run alongside. The artist will not receive a share of sales.
  • An additional £1000 artistic fee will be awarded to the selected artist to create a design on one of the sculptures as part of the trail.
  • Decisions will be made in October 2022, with the winner being notified on or before 4th November 2022.
  • The decision of Make It York on the outcome of the commission is final, although we are happy to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

Applications open for Visit York Tourism Awards 2023

Entries are now open for the prestigious Visit York Tourism Awards 2023, sponsored by LNER, which recognise, congratulate and celebrate outstanding businesses and individuals that deliver a world-class experience for visitors to the city.  

The last Visit York Tourism Awards 2022 took place earlier this year in March, where 15 of York’s top tourism businesses celebrated a win at the ceremony at York Racecourse. Winners of eligible categories were put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence, with Middletons Hotel’s Adam Wardale going on to win the national Unsung Hero award.  

Returning on 23rd March 2023 at York Racecourse for a black-tie ceremony and an evening of entertainment, there will be 16 Visit York Tourism Awards up for grabs including: 

  • B&B and Guest House of the Year   
  • Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year   
  • Cultural Venue of the Year* sponsored by Clarion Housing Group 
  • Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award sponsored by The Fabl 
  • Event or Festival the Year* sponsored by LNER 
  • Experience of the Year sponsored by Destination Core 
  • Large Attraction of the Year   
  • Large Hotel of the Year sponsored by Streamline Taxis  
  • New Tourism Business of the Year   
  • Pub of the Year sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd  
  • Resilience & Innovation Award sponsored by York St John University  
  • Retailer of the Year* sponsored by Fidomoney  
  • Self Catering Accommodation of the Year   
  • Small Attraction of the Year   
  • Small Hotel of the Year   
  • Taste of England Award sponsored by Fowlers of York  

There are two new categories introduced for the 2023 awards, ‘Cultural Venue of the Year’ and ‘Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award’.  

From hotels to restaurants, pubs to visitor attractions; businesses and cultural organisations across the city are being urged to enter – with the deadline of Friday 26th August to submit their winning entries online at www.visityork.org/awards. The awards are free to enter for Visit York members and £150+VAT for non-members. 

Once all the entries are in, a panel of independent judges will decide on the final shortlist and winners through a mix of mystery shopping and rigorous analysis against the entry criteria. Businesses can check the eligibility criteria and enter the Visit York Tourism Awards online at www.visityork.org/awards. 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “The Visit York Tourism Awards celebrate the very best in tourism, hospitality and culture in our city and surrounding areas. For many years, winning these awards have had huge benefits for businesses both regionally and nationally, with many awards being automatically put forward for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. This year, following his win at the Visit York Tourism Awards 2022, Middletons Hotel’s Adam Wardale went on to win Unsung Hero at the Visit England Awards for Excellence.  

With 16 opportunities to take home an award in 2023, as well as the introduction of two new categories, businesses have until 26th August to get their entries in!” 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council, said: “York’s tourism industry plays a major role in our city’s economy and culture, with a vibrant offering, which sets us apart from other cities. There are many excellent local businesses and organisations who make our city world-renowned to millions of visitors every year and . The Tourism Awards are a great way to celebrate their wonderful work and the contribution they make to our great city. I would encourage all across the industry to apply to ensure their efforts can be rightly recognised.” 

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.   

ENDS 

For more information: 

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer 

Communications team at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Applications for the Visit York Tourism Awards 2023 are open until 5pm, Friday 26th August. Finalists will be announced in the Autumn, ahead of the awards ceremony at York Racecourse on Thursday 23rd March 2023.  

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

York Ice Trail 2023: Date and Theme Announced

York Ice Trail organisers, Make It York, are pleased to announce that plans are underway for the family-favourite event to return to the city in February 2023.  

The theme for York Ice Trail 2023 will invite people to time travel to prehistoric ages, walk through history and step into the future for ‘A Journey Through Time’. 

The last York Ice Trail took place in March 2022 and was a huge success, following a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic. Over 40 ice sculptures lined the streets of York over the weekend, with an estimated 25,000 people participating in the trail. Research commissioned with Qa Research showed that 94% of participants would recommend the trail to family and friends.* 

The free trail also had a positive impact on businesses in the city, with 81% of participants eating out or drinking in the city’s restaurants, cafes and bars. Plus, more than 50% were likely to go shopping or visit an attraction. 

Post-pandemic, York Ice Trail appealed to more residents than pre-pandemic in 2020. The proportion of residents visiting York Ice Trail in 2022 increased to 39%, compared with 23% in February 2020. 

York Ice Trail 2023 will once again see the ‘coolest’ sculptures around the city, all sponsored and concepted by local businesses. UK and Europe’s leading ice specialists, Icebox will design and create all the sculptures for the 2023 trail for the second year.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “York Ice Trail is one of the best-loved events in the city and we’re so excited to planning our next trail in February 2023. It’s a huge celebration of our city and a great opportunity for businesses to come together to support. The concept for next year’s trail will inspire the imagination with ‘A Journey Through Time’, transporting visitors across time and dimension!” 

Greg Pittard, Managing Director at Icebox, said: “We are thrilled to be returning to York for the second year in a row as the sculptors for the 2023 Ice Trail!  The York Ice Trail is by far one of the ‘coolest’ events we have been a part of, and we have a busy few months in the freezer ahead as we begin carving for this year’s theme. Thank you to Make It York and all the amazing businesses across the city for trusting us and making this event possible!” 

For more information, visit York Ice Trail | Visit York  #YorkIceTrail  

*Research based on a survey of 393 visitors  

ENDS 

For more information, please contact: 

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors 

York Ice Trail 2023 will return on 4th and 5th February. York Ice Trail is a Make It York event. 

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

York’s Unsung Hero wins at national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence

Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel in York, won the Unsung Hero award at the tourism industry’s annual national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in Birmingham.

Following Adam’s win for Unsung Hero at this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards in March, he was put forward for consideration in the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and was shortlisted as a finalist alongside Neeshal Jeewon and Clive Goodwin.  

The Unsung Hero Award is a new award for 2022, which recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry. Upon winning the Visit York Tourism Award in March, judges commented that “Adam Wardale at Middletons is a very deserving winner. As well as being instrumental in transforming the hotel into a luxury destination, he has undertaken a number of initiatives to benefit the community such as his work with local prisoners. He is inspiring and a credit to York.” 

Adam celebrated his win at the national awards ceremony last night, 8 June, at the Library of Birmingham, where Gold, Silver and Bronze winners were announced by broadcaster and author Clare Balding.  

The prestigious VisitEngland Awards for Excellence have been running for more than 30 years, celebrating and championing innovation, quality and best practice across the industry recognising businesses and individuals who raise the bar of England’s tourism offer. 

The full list of winners for the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence can be found here.  

Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel and winner of the Unsung Hero Award, said: “It was both an honour and a privilege to be nominated, yet alone to win, the prestigious Unsung Hero Award at both the Visit York and VisitEngland awards. On both a professional and personal level, I am incredibly proud to have been able to represent Middletons Hotel and York – a wonderful city that has such as diverse tourism offering. Over the past few years, the Middletons’ team has worked incredibly hard to develop the hotel and offer guests a first-class experience. We’re also extremely proud to be able to give back to the York community by forging strong partnerships with local institutions such as HMP Askham Grange women’s prison. This has always been a personal passion of mine and I’m determined that we will continue to support local schools, colleges and universities to promote and champion hospitality as a viable career.” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “A huge congratulations to Adam for his well-deserved win at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence! We’re incredibly grateful for all the hard work that Adam has put into our city and for always going above and beyond, both for our visitors and in our communities. A huge congratulations again to Adam and we’re so proud that he’s brought this national accolade home to York.” 

Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Our superb tourism businesses offer something for everyone and the sector is one we can be proud of. It is fantastic to see so many hardworking businesses of all sizes recognised for their gold-standard contribution to English tourism and I congratulate all the winners.” 

Nick de Bois, Advisory Board Chair at VisitEngland, said: “It is wonderful to see the Awards event back in-person, giving us the opportunity to come together, celebrate and congratulate the best-of-the-best across England’s world-class tourism industry. 

“From an accessible and inclusive sailing school to a family run rural glamping site and an immersive living museum, these awards highlight the outstanding quality, the innovation and the customer service excellence across our industry. All these businesses are winners in every sense. 

“Millions of jobs and local economies depend on tourism and this year’s awards also highlight the dedication of tourism businesses as they rebuild, championing best practice and providing visitors with first-class experiences.” 

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to editors: 

  • This year’s national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence aligned with 14 local competitions, which ran across England, with winners automatically entered into the national awards. 
  • For more information about the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence – see www.VisitEnglandAwards.org 
  • The VisitEngland Awards for Excellence has been accredited with the Awards Trust Mark. The Awards Trust Mark scheme, run by The Independent Awards Standards Council, enhances trust between those entering awards schemes, and the organisations running them. For more information about the Awards Trust Mark see – https://awardstrustmark.org/ 
  • TXGB (Tourism Exchange Great Britain) is a business to business platform connecting tourism suppliers to a diverse range of domestic and international distributors. 
  • For images of the individual VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022 winners contact Thomas.Clues@visitbritain.org 

About Make It York 

Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand.

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

Full programme announced for YorkLife Festival 

The full programme has been announced for York’s inaugural YorkLife Festival, which will see over 30 local performers and organisations come together on Parliament Street on the 2nd and 3rd April.  

Organised by Make It York, with support from the City of York Council’s ARG funding, the programme of events for YorkLife has been curated with York residents in mind, supporting local talent across the city and bringing the festival feel to York this spring. The weekend will showcase a programme of family friendly workshops, as well as stellar line-up of musical performances from the likes of The Howl and The Hum and Huge. 

There will be a full schedule of workshops throughout the weekend, from theatre to music. The full workshop programme includes:  

Saturday 2nd April – Workshops:  

  • 11.00 – 11.45: Drumming with Mark BarfootA fun and inclusive drumming session for children and families using a mixture of djembe drums and hand percussion. 
  • 12.00 – 12.45: Storytelling with Mud Pie Arts Meet Jenna, author of Cloud Tales, as you hear stories of lonely dragons and desperate dogs mixed with plenty of dressing up and fun improvisation activities.  
  • 13.00 – 13.45: Thunk-it TheatreExplore the process of creating your own dream city through drama, singing and crafting, perfect for anyone aged 4-11. 
  • 14.00 – 14.45: York Wire Skylines with Gemma Wood York Join Gemma Wood, a York-based visual artist, as you’re immersed and transformed into the depths of your curiosity. 
  • 15.00 – 15.45: YorkMix Quiz – Ben and Laura will be bringing their much-loved Game Wheel live to YorkLife, giving you a chance to win some incredible prizes. 
  • 16.00 – 16.45: The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts A fun taster session for young budding singers, dancers, actors or filmmakers in this PQA session. 
  • 17.00 – 17.45: The JORVIK Viking Takeover – A 45-minute interactive presentation about various aspects of Viking life in the 10th century. 
  • 18.15 – 19.45: Burning Duck Comedy Club Presents Stepping out of The Crescent, Burning Duck Comedy brings you 90 minutes of Live, back-to-back comedy. 

Sunday 3rd April – Workshops:  

  • 11.00 – 11.45: York Wire Skylines with Gemma Wood Join Gemma Wood, a York-based visual artist, as your immersed and transformed into the depths of your curiosity. 
  • 12.00 – 12.45: Ukulele Workshop with Christian TopmanJoin Christian Topman, co-founder of the arts barge project and bass player, to learn how to play fun tunes on the Ukulele. 
  • 13.00 – 13.45: Thunk-It Theatre Explore the process of creating your own dream city through drama, singing and crafting, perfect for anyone aged 4-11. 
  • 14.00 – 14.45 York Festival of Ideas Prepare to be inspired as you enjoy a preview of York Festival of Ideas, one of the largest free festivals of its kind in the UK. From mind-reading to crime and punishment, and the bass guitar to plasma, don’t miss a range of interactive talks. 
  • 15.00 – 15.45: Say Owt Poetry Workshop Meet Henry Raby, a York-based performance poet, as he teaches you how to make quick and fun poetry and become craftier with your words. 
  • 16.00 – 16.45: Beatboxing with Matty GrooveIn this exclusive workshop, Matty will share his knowledge and secret techniques into the unusual art of beatbox. 
  • 17.00 – 18.00 – London Magician and Card Reader, Chris Wall Be amazed with a 60-minute performance from Chris Wall and his mind-reading magic!  
  • 18.15 – 19.45: Say Owt Back-to-Back PerformanceSay Owt present a back-to-back poetry slam from their collective of ‘gobby northern poets’. 

There’ll also be all-day face painting across the weekend with Fantastic Faces, whose expert team of face and body artists are providing a series of face painting, body painting and henna from 11:00 to 17:00. 

‘Circus Workshops’ are also taking place throughout the weekend, including fun skill-building challenges such as unicycling, juggling and various other fun circus skills. A great family-friendly way to share moments and build memories.  

The main YorkLive Stage on Parliament Street will be showcasing live music by talented local artists  from afternoon to evenings, as curated by York’s Music Venue Network. The full YorkLive programme includes:  

Saturday 2nd April – Live Music: 

14:30 – Marnie Glum 

15.30 – Pennine Suite 

16.30 – Wounded Bear  

17.30 – Flatcap Carnival 

18.30 – Kitty VR  

19.30 – HUGE  

Sunday 3rd April – Live Music: 

15.00 – Bargestra 

16.00 – Floral Pattern  

17.00 – Hyde Family Jam  

18.00 – Trueman & The Indoor League  

19.00 – Bull  

20.00 – The Howl & The Hum  

There’ll also be two dance flashmobs taking place on Sunday, courtesy of the Big City Flashmob and York Dance Space. Learn the choreography on the YorkLive stage at 12:00 on Sunday to be able to take part in either of the two flashmobs on Parliament Street at 12.45 or St Helen’s Square at 13.30. There’s also a tutorial video to learn the moves here.  

The main stage will be located on Parliament Street, with an open viewing area that holds a capacity of 500 people. The workshop and performance tent will be located at the end of Parliament Street, near St Sampson’s Square, and can hold up to 100 capacity. There will also be a covered stretch tent, which will hold a York Gin bar and seating area. The stretch tent holds a further 90 people, on a one-in-one-out policy.  

YorkLife is organised by Make It York, with support from the City of York Council’s ARG funding – which aims to support businesses impacted by Covid-19. The programme of events for YorkLife has been curated with York residents in mind and to support the city’s recovery from Covid. 

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “Our cultural sector is the life-blood of our communities. There is so much local talent in York, from musicians to comedians and poets to performers, which make our city so vibrant and unique. YorkLife is an excellent way to celebrate our home-grown musicians and performers, particularly after what have been a challenging few years for us all. I would encourage residents to join the festival and enjoy the best of York’s own local talent.” 

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York said: “YorkLife is a celebration of local York talent and culture, from our street musicians to our local community groups. We want to really celebrate the sense of community in York and we’re encouraging residents to come join the party and see some of the hottest talent York has to offer.” 

Chris Sherrington, Music Venue Co-Owner and a member of York Music Venue Network, said: “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to showcase some of York’s amazingly talented artists who have developed their careers across the city of York’s many great grassroots music venues. As part of YorkLife weekend, we are looking forward to celebrating the return of live music to the city and enjoying the wonderful variety of music for one and all. This event has been a true cooperative effort of York’s event industry and creatives and we look forward to working on future events.” 

This is a free event and there is no need to book tickets in advance. 

Find out more about YorkLife Festival at visityork.org/yorklife #YorkLife 

For more information, please contact: 

Brittany Guymer 

Communications Executive at Make It York 

Comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors 

YorkLife  is taking place on the 2nd – 3rd April between 11:00 and 21:00 on Parliament Street. This is a free open event organised by Make It York, with the support of City of York Council’s ARG funding.  

About Make It York 

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.   

These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Over 30 acts, musicians and interactive workshops announced for York’s new Spring festival, YorkLife 

A new spring festival is being brought to York this April to showcase local talent in the city in the form of musicians, performers, comedians and much more. Organised by Make It York, YorkLife will see over 30 local performers and organisations join together on Parliament Street over the weekend of the 2nd and 3rd April for residents to enjoy.

Festival headliners include Huge, who for the last 30 years have been filling dance floors and theatres across York, will be bringing the party to Saturday night. Closing the festival Sunday night will be home-grown talent The Howl & The Hum, who recently graced the stage of York Minster and celebrated a sell-out 2-night residency at The Brudenell. They headline the main “YorkLive” stage which hosts a programme curated by York’s Music Venue Network showcasing local artists, including Bull, Kitty VR, Flatcap Carnival, Hyde Family Jam & many more.

There’ll also be an array of interactive sessions held by local organisations in the city such as theatre workshops, instrumental workshops, face painting, comedy and dance performances, as well as fire performers and local circus acts to really bring the festival feel to York this spring and celebrate York residents.

The main stage will be located on Parliament Street, with an open viewing area that holds a capacity of 500 people. There will also be a covered stretch tent, which will hold a York Gin bar and seating area. The stretch tent holds a further 90 people, on a one-in-one-out policy. This is a free event and there is no need to book tickets in advance. 

YorkLife is organised by Make It York, with support from the City of York Council’s ARG funding – which aims to support businesses impacted by Covid-19. The programme of events for YorkLife has been curated with York residents in mind and to support the city’s recovery from Covid.

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “Our cultural sector is the life-blood of our communities. There is so much local talent in York, from musicians to comedians and poets to performers, which make our city so vibrant and unique. YorkLife is an excellent way to celebrate our home-grown musicians and performers, particularly after what has been a challenging few years for us all. I would encourage residents to join the festival and enjoy the best of York’s own local talent.”

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York said: “YorkLife is a celebration of local York talent and culture, from our street musicians to our local community groups. We want to really celebrate the sense of community in York and we’re encouraging residents to come join the party and see some of the hottest talent York has to offer.”

Chris Sherrington, Music Venue Co-Owner and a member of York Music Venue Network, said: “It’s wonderful to have this opportunity to showcase some of York’s amazingly talented artists who have developed their careers across the city of York’s many great grassroots music venues. As part of YorkLife weekend, we are looking forward to celebrating the return of live music to the city and enjoying the wonderful variety of music for one and all. This event has been a true cooperative effort of York’s event industry and creatives and we look forward to working on future events.”

Find out more about YorkLife at visityork.org/yorklife #YorkLife

The full line-up for YorkLife will be announced later in March 

For more information, please contact:

Brittany Guymer

Communications Executive at Make It York

Comms@makeityork.com

Notes to Editors

YorkLife  is taking place on the 2nd – 3rd April between 11am and 9pm on Parliament Street. This is a free open event organised by Make It York, with the support of City of York Council’s ARG funding. 

About Make It York

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.  

These are: 

  • City positioning and profile-raising
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy

Full line-up to be announced soon. Confirmed acts and workshop include: 

Workshops:

Mud Pie Arts – Interactive Storytelling Cloud Tales

Thunk It Theatre – Build Our City Theatre Workshop 

Gemma Wood – Art ‘York Skyline’

Fantastic Faces – Facepainting 

York Mix Radio – Quiz 

York Dance Space – Dance Performance

Burning Duck Comedy Club – Comedy night 

Henry Raby from Say Owt – Spoken Poetry 

Matt Barfoot – Drumming Workshop 

Christian Topman – Ukulele Workshop 

Polly Bennet – Little Vikings PQA Performing Arts Workshop 

Innovation Entertainment – Circus Workshops 

Musicians

The Howl & The Hum 

Huge

Bull

Kitty VR

Flatcap Carnival 

Hyde Family Jam 

Floral Pattern

Bargestra

Wounded Bear

Winners of Visit York Tourism Awards 2022

On Thursday 3rd March, the winners of the Visit York Tourism Awards, sponsored by LNER, were revealed at the prestigious awards ceremony. Held at York Racecourse, the best of York’s businesses went head-to-head to win one of 15 trophies.  

Hosted by YorkMix Radio Breakfast Presenters, Ben Fry and Laura Castle, the ‘Tourism Oscars of the North’ sees eligible winners across a number of categories automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2022.  

This year’s winners include two awards for Gray’s Court and The Bow Room Restaurant, who take the Taste of York award and Small Hotel of the Year with judges commenting on an “outstanding experience”.  They will now be put forward for VisitEngland’s Awards for Excellence, which they won in 2020 for Small Hotel of the Year.  

New Tourism Business of the Year goes to The Deathly Dark Tours, which judges said had “quickly become one of the most popular tours in York”. Dorian Deathly is also a finalist for VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar, with the public vote still open until 22nd March.  

JORVIK Viking Centre takes the Large Visitor Attraction of the Year award with judges commenting that the “world-class attraction” scored a “10 out of 10 experience”. While the Small Attraction of the Year goes to North Yorkshire’s Mother Shipton’s Cave, with judges praising the “magical experience” and the “enthusiasm of the staff”.  

York Maze is crowned Event of the Year, with judges “particularly impressed by the constant reinvestment and innovations that make York Maze an excellent summer event year after year.” A special mention is given to the Highly Commended ‘That JORVIK Viking Thing’ for reaching “a global audience with an amazing array of events and activities”. 

The Bloody Tour of York takes the award for Experience of the Year, with judges commenting on “a top quality quirky and memorable York experience that has fans from all over the globe”.  

York Gin is awarded Shop of the Year, for their “interesting and unique retail experience”, and Drover’s Arms takes Pub of the Year with judges “impressed with the many changes that the team have implemented over the past year to deal with the various covid restrictions, and with how they have come out of the pandemic stronger.” 

In accommodation, The Grand, York “once again delivered a true five-star experience for York” winning the Large Hotel of the Year award. Heritage Escapes takes Self Catering Accommodation of the Year, with “a near faultless experience”.  

Tower Guest House is awarded B&B and Guest House of the Year with the researcher finding “no room for improvement” and Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm takes Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year for being “an impressive venue”.  

The Visit York Tourism Awards 2022 introduced two new categories, including the Resilience & Innovation Award. This award honours organisations who have built on their strengths, innovated their business and showed incredible resilience during a difficult time for the industry. The judges commented that “the team at The Web Adventure Park has demonstrated incredible resilience during a very challenging time. We were impressed by their grit and determination, with their campaigning on behalf of all indoor soft play areas and with how they put children’s mental health so high on their agenda.” 

The second new award for 2022, the Unsung Hero category recognises an individual working for a tourism business who excels in their role and deserves to be applauded for their work and commitment to the industry. The judges commented that this “was a very difficult category to judge as each of the finalists has gone above and beyond. Adam Wardale at Middletons is a very deserving winner. As well as being instrumental in transforming the hotel into a luxury destination, he has undertaken a number of initiatives to benefit the community such as his work with local prisoners. He is inspiring and a credit to York.” 

This year’s charity partner for the Visit York Tourism Awards is the Family Holiday Charity, which will be fundraising throughout the evening to raise funds for families to experience their first holidays.  

Sarah Loftus, Managing Director at Make It York, said: “All of the finalists and winners of this year’s Visit York Tourism Awards have a lot to be proud of. After an incredibly challenging couple of years for our tourism industry, they’ve demonstrated perseverance, resilience and creativity. We’re so pleased to be able to celebrate their achievements this evening and offer a huge congratulations to all of our winners.”  

David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said: “We are pleased to support the Awards to help celebrate the individuals and businesses that make York such an attractive destination, with thousands of visitors travelling with us to this great city and wider region every week. Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners. We are proud of the role LNER plays in York’s tourism industry, with our business delivering an annual contribution of more than £486 million to the Yorkshire and Humber economy. We’re already looking forward to welcoming more people to York this year to enjoy and experience the world-class attractions, sights and shops on offer.” 


Councillor Darryl Smalley: Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, said: “York is well known for its vibrant and flourishing tourism sector and these awards give us the chance to celebrate the incredible businesses that York is lucky enough to be home to. It is a significant achievement to be shortlisted amongst so many excellent businesses. Congratulations to the well-deserved winners of this year’s awards for all they contribute to our city!” 

Visit York Tourism Awards Winners 2022:  

B&B and Guest House of the Year – Sponsored by Morrell Middleton  

Winner: Tower Guest House  

Finalists: MonkBridge House, Westergate House  

Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by The Fabl 

Winner: Wigwam Holidays Ball Hall Farm  

Finalists: Springwood Shepherd Huts Glamping York, Wolds Walk Glamping  

Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Destination Core 

Winner: The Bloody Tour of York  

Finalists: Castle Howard, The Deathly Dark Tours, The Cookery School at The Grand, York,  

Event of the Year – Sponsored by Rugby League World Cup 
Winner: York Maze 

Highly Commended: That JORVIK Viking Thing  

Finalists: The Great Ryedale Maze, York Balloon Fiesta  

Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Streamline Taxis 

Winner: The Grand, York  

Highly Commended: Sandburn Hall Hotel  

Finalists: Hotel Indigo York, Middletons Hotel, The Principal York  

 
Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by YO1 Radio 
Winner: JORVIK Viking Centre  

Finalists: The York Dungeon, York Art Gallery, York’s Chocolate Story  

New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by City Cruises 
Winner: The Deathly Dark Tours  

Finalists: Malmaison York, Sandburn Hall Hotel, York Riverside Apartments  

Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Hunter Gee Holroyd 
Winner: The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub 

Finalists: House of Trembling Madness Lendal, House of Trembling Madness Stonegate 

Self Catering Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Clarion Housing 

Winner: Heritage Escapes (York)  

Finalists: Roomzzz Aparthotels – York City, Staycity Aparthotels, The Enchantment Chamber, The Riverside York (Finalist) 

Resilience and Innovation Award – Sponsored by Fabler & Co 

Winner: The Web Adventure Park  

Finalists: The Deathly Dark Tours, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub, The North Yorkshire Moors Railway, The Web Adventure Park, Trembling Madness Ltd, York Gin 

Shop Experience of the Year* – Sponsored by Fidomoney  
Winner: York Gin  

Finalists: The Antiques Centre York, York’s Chocolate Story 

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Hospitality Staffing 
Winner: Grays Court Hotel & The Bow Room Restaurant  

Finalists: Galtres Lodge, The Judge’s Lodging  

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Fowlers of York 

Winner: Mother Shipton’s 

Finalists: Fairfax House, York Army Museum 

Taste of York Award – Sponsored by The York Roast Co. 
Winner: The Bow Room Restaurant at Grays Court Hotel  

Finalists: Forest at Galtres Lodge, Mr Chippy York, Plush Café, The Drovers Arms Restaurant & Country Pub  

Unsung Hero Award - Sponsored by LNER 

Winner: Adam Wardale, General Manager at Middletons Hotel  

Finalists: Frank Caulfield, Porter at Dean Court Hotel and Norbert Lawrie, Kitchen Porter at Galtres Lodge  

*Visit York only. These categories are not eligible to go forward to the Visit England Awards for Excellence. 

Photos from the awards ceremony will be available on Friday 4th March.  

ENDS 

For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster, Communications Manager at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com 

Notes to Editors: 

Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business.  The company’s remit covers leisure and business tourism, city centre management, Shambles Market and festivals and events. 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

About Family Holiday Charity 

We help families get time away together, often for the first time ever. 

We’re here for families’ children who have never seen the sea, for teenagers who can’t remember when they last saw their mum smile. For parents having to choose between a day out and a new pair of school shoes. For young carers, kinship carers, families facing illness isolation and bereavement. 

Holidays open up new possibilities. There’s time to reconnect, to try new things, and to make happy memories together. Time for running, playing, climbing trees and flying kites, time for picnics and bare feet. There’s time enough to share a laugh and watch the tide come in – for buckets and spades and sandy sandwiches. 

St Nicholas Fair to return for 30th Anniversary

After a hugely successful St Nicholas Fair in 2021, Make It York have confirmed that plans are already underway for Christmas 2022 with the popular fair set to return on 17th November to 23rd December. 

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of St Nicholas Fair, which has been a staple in York’s streets during the festive period since 1992.  The famous alpine chalets line Parliament Street and St Sampson’s Square creating a festive wonderland, with an array of local traders and artisan products.   

In 2021, St Nicholas Fair influenced 71% of visitors to come to York – with 3 in 10 visiting for the market alone.* Traffic to the Christmas content on the Visit York website exceeded 700,000 views, with Visit York social channels reaching over 1.4 million. There was over 140 pieces of media coverage, which had a combined reach of over 19 million. Plus, a national marketing campaign including national radio adverts and 50,000 print Christmas guides which were distributed across the city. 

Make It York’s research into 2021 also demonstrated that St Nicholas Fair had a positive impact on other businesses within the city. 32% of visitor spend was at the Christmas Market itself, with 41% shopping elsewhere and 20% eating and drinking in venues away from the market.* 

St Nicholas Fair was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic, with Visit York hosting a virtual market online. 2021 saw the second year of the Virtual Christmas Market, which allowed shoppers unable to travel to have the opportunity to buy from local traders online.   

Tendering is now open for St Nicholas Fair 2022. To be involved in a special year for the market, please find out more here. The deadline for applications is 4th March 2022.  

*Data based on 200 people interviewed by Qa Research at York Christmas Markets 2021. Base: 169 visitors and 31 residents  

 
For further information please contact:  

Sarah Foster and Brittany Guymer, Communications team at Make It York 

Email: comms@makeityork.com   

Notes to Editors 

About Make It York  

Make It York’s purpose is to develop and promote the city and its surroundings – nationally and internationally – as a vibrant and attractive place to live, visit, study, work and do business. Its mission is to grow the economic prosperity and wider wellbeing of York and its citizens. In practice, this means delivering a range of projects and programmes based around our corporate strategic priorities.  These are:  

  • City positioning and profile-raising 
  • Ensuring an exciting city centre 
  • Delivering the city’s ground-breaking Cultural Strategy 

Visit York is a part of Make It York and is the leisure tourism brand  

Under the brand Visit York, Make It York’s aim is to market York as a must-see world-class destination to the leisure visitor and ensure investment to develop the quality of tourism in York. 

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