Barley Wood are triple gold award winners at this year’s Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards, after being recognised in the Wedding Venue of the Year, Tourism Innovation categories and being crowned overall winner of winners.
Sponsored by Hotel Perfect, the Wedding Venue of the Year category was new for 2019 and recognises venues which go above and beyond for their clients. Barley Wood won Gold, facing tough competition from Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa and The Roman Baths & Pump Room.
In 2019, 21 weddings have been held within the Barley Wood grounds and have each been tailored to suit the couple individually, with support from the dedicated team. One couple said of Barley Wood: “We can’t put into words how incredibly lucky we feel to have had our wedding at Barley Wood.”
Barley Wood also managed to scoop Gold in the Tourism Innovation Award, which recognises innovative developments, alongside other finalist Visit Weston. As a social enterprise, Barley Wood operates self-sufficiently and employs apprentices to work alongside the experienced team, as well as supporting the Somerset economy by recommending local businesses and working collaboratively with the community.
The final award of the evening, Winner of Winners sponsored by NFU Mutual Wrington, recognised Barley Wood for delivering excellence whilst supporting other local businesses and creating a legacy for the team, community and visitors.
The experience available at Barley Wood impressed award judges so much that they decided to award the overall prize to the team, who were shocked to have won.
Martin Hodgson, CEO of YMCA Dulverton Group said: “I am so proud that Barley Wood has been recognised at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards winning gold three times! “To become a finalist alone was a great achievement for us, and to win gold in two categories as well as the overall winner of winners is astounding. The team are incredibly dedicated to ensuring that Barley Wood is a welcoming, friendly and beautiful place to visit and are passionate about keeping the philanthropic values of the house’s original owner, Hannah More, alive. “We work closely with so many local businesses as well as the community, and must thank our supporters Allied Irish Bank.
“We are approaching 5 years since we took over Barley Wood and in that time we have seen so many people walk through our doors, take in the breath-taking views and become surprised that all of this is offered by a charity. Every time someone chooses Barley Wood, they are directly supporting YMCA Dulverton Group and enabling us to continue working within our local communities to help young people to fulfil their full potential.”
Nell Barrington, Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards Organiser said of Barley Wood: “There are no fixed criteria for selecting the Winner of Winners. It can go to a business who has won many other awards, to someone who has won in their category by a huge margin, or maybe to someone who acts as a ‘role model’ to others in the way they deliver excellence.
“This year’s Winner of Winners is all of these, impressing the judges not just by the excellence of what they deliver to visitors, but by the sheer passion and enthusiasm they show, the creativity to surpass expectations and the energy and genuine desire of every single team member to deliver excellence each and every time, promoting local sourcing and fellow businesses along the way as they aim to create a legacy for the team, its visitors and the local community as well.”
The Barley Wood team now await to hear whether they have made it through to the South West Tourism Awards, which will be held next year.