Two top awards have been won in North Yorkshire through the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards for 2019.
North Yorkshire as a county has been named Holiday Destination of the Year, with Orkney and Forest of Dean placed second and third, while the North York Moors National Park has won the prestigious award for National Park of the Year with Cairngorms and Pembrokeshire parks second and third.
The holiday award has been praised for “its vast moors, dales rich in meadows, historic houses and vibrant coast blending traditional seaside with wild nature reserves” said the judges, who also praised vintage steam railways, handsome market towns and great local food.
The judges singled out the Cleveland Way which covers a large part of the moors and the Whitby, Scarborough and Filey coast.
Meanwhile the moors’ park is praised for its “peace and wild beauty” which, said the judges, blend with a rich human history.
The park’s strong literary connections and its dark skies “add to the magic”.
A delighted Janet Deacon, Welcome to Yorkshire’s Area Director for the Yorkshire Coast and Ryedale, said: “This are marvellous, especially as they come right at the start of the tourist season.
“We are well aware of the county and park’s great appeal to tourists and these prestigious awards, coming from such a nationally respected organisation as the BBC and Countryfile, endorse our enthusiasm.
“I’m sure they will encourage more people to spend holidays here this year.”
Jim Bailey, chairman of the National Park, said: “It’s great for the North York Moors to be the winner.
“The park authority works hard alongside farmers and foresters, tourist businesses, volunteers, visitors, and young people in particular, to care for our beautiful living landscape. It’s re-assuring to have this vote of confidence in what we are doing.
“Our park landscapes are very much about the many people who sustain and care for them and it is re-assuring to have the winning vote of Country File viewers in the work we are all doing.”