Northumberland has struck gold twice at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence 2024.

At an awards ceremony held on June 5, Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours was awarded gold in the Experience of the Year category for its Grey Seals and Seabirds Cruise.

Duncan Wise, visitor development and tourism officer at Northumberland National Park, also won Gold in the Unsung Hero category.

The ceremony took place at The Titanic Hotel in Liverpool.

Two two finalists had already won Gold at the North East England Tourism Awards back in February.

The regional tourism awards are delivered by Destination North East England in partnership with VisitEngland.

They aim to celebrate quality, innovation, and best practices on offer for visitors in the region.

Andrew Fox, chair of Visit Northumberland, said: "Northumberland’s tourism businesses never fail to amaze us.

"Year after year, Northumberland is further recognised as a stellar destination to visit for a first class experience, and awards like this continue to grow Northumberland’s reputation.

"Northumberland stole the show at the North East Tourism Awards, winning nine of the available fourteen categories, and to see two of our businesses take home gold at the national awards is an honour.

"We would like to wish a huge congratulations to Serenity, Duncan Wise and Northumberland National Park for this fantastic result."

Andrew Douglas, owner of Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours, said: "It is absolutely amazing, to have won the first time was brilliant, but to get Gold for a second year in a row is just fantastic.

"The night was made even more special as it was also my daughter, Charlie’s 18th birthday, and she was there to celebrate along with me.

"The hard work and dedication of our staff is what makes this experience so special, the Farne Islands are an amazing place but the staff help to bring it to life for visitors and make it a memorable trip for everyone."

Mr Wise said it was an 'honour' to win the award.

He said: "It’s an honour to be recognised on a national level for following my passion to conserve our vital dark skies and support people in discovering how wonderful they are.

"I feel truly fortunate to work every day with colleagues, volunteers, and partners who share my passion for Northumberland International Dark Sky Park and I hope will continue to conserve these wonderful skies for future generations to enjoy."