TYNEDALE businesses are celebrating after being shortlisted for the North East England Tourism Awards 2020.

Shortlisted businesses the Battlesteads Hotel and Restaurant at Wark and Falconry Days birds of prey centre, Simonburn, are nominated three times with South Tynedale Railway nominated twice.

The Battlesteads Hotel, which also operates a dark sky observatory, has been nominated for Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable tourism award, the Taste of North East England Award and Small Hotel of the Year.

Falconry Days earned nominations in Experience of the Year, the International Tourism Award and Small Visitor Attraction of the Year.

Mark French, from Falconry Days, said: “We are very proud of our fabulous team, including Delboy, Megan, Anna and all our regular volunteers.

"Without their hard work, dedication and passion it would not be possible.

“We would like to thank all of our customers for taking the time to review us.”

The awards play a key role in highlighting the importance of tourism in the region. The awards ceremony will take place on Tuesday, March 24.

The South Tynedale Railway, Alston, is nominated in the Accessible and Inclusive Tourism Award and Ethical, Responsible and Sustainable Tourism Award.

The format of the awards has changed this year so that they now align more closely with the modernised VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

New categories introduced for the North East England Tourism Awards 2020 include Experience of the Year, International Tourism Award and New Tourism Business Award. Eligible winners of all categories will be automatically put forward to the national VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2020.

Two restaurants were represented in the region’s finest dining award with Restaurant Hjem, Wall and the Barrasford Arms both nominated in the Taste of North East England category.

Hotels throughout the region were well represented with Matfen Hall Hotel receiving a Large Hotel of the Year nomination, while the Lord Crewe Arms, Blanchland, and Walwick Hall, Humshaugh, are nominated for Small Hotel of the Year.

The Angel, Corbridge, and Twice Brewed Inn, Bardon Mill are nominated for Pub of the Year.

Two Tynedale businesses, Herding Hill Farm, Haltwhistle, and Hesleyside Huts, Bellingham, received a nomination in the Camping, Glamping and Holiday Park of the Year award.

St Oswald’s Farm, Wall, is nominated for Self-Catering Accommodation Provider of the Year, while Layside Bed and Breakfast, Bardon Mill is nominated in the B&B and Guest House of the Year.

Sarah Stewart, of the NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said the new categories would give a wider range of businesses a chance to be successful.