BLENHEIM Palace and Wallingford Food Festival are among tourist attractions across Oxfordshire which have been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

The Beautiful South Awards reward tourist attractions across the South East in a series of categories ranging from Pub of the Year to Sustainable Tourism.

Witney and Burford tourist information services have both been singled out by being shortlisted, while Blenheim Palace in Woodstock has been nominated in two categories.

Palace spokesman Hannah Payne said: “After a successful year in tough times, with visitor numbers up nine per cent in 2011/12 on the previous year, and the success continuing this year with the opening of our stunning new visitor centre, we have all fingers crossed for the awards ceremony in November.”

Peter Colling, managing director of Tourism South East, said: “We’re thrilled with the high calibre of entrants this year.

“The standard of all entrants is exceptional and the shortlist selection has proved extremely challenging.

“In the current economic climate it is more important than ever to provide an outstanding visitor experience and we are delighted to recognise their efforts.”

Other businesses from Oxfordshire which have been included in the shortlist are Marsh Baldon’s Weber Grill Academy in the best tourism experience category, and the Juicy Juicy cafe at Newington Nurseries, near Watlington.

Susi Golding, director of Visit Oxfordshire, said: “We would encourage any business in Oxfordshire to enter awards such as this.

“It helps raise the profile of tourism in Oxfordshire and the wonderful things we have here.

“The shortlist is of quite a high standard and it encourages businesses to try and improve themselves.”

Wallingford Food Festival, launched two years ago, is nominated in the Tourism Event of the Year category, while Blenheim Palace is a nominee in the Large Attraction and Sustainable Tourism category.

The Bay Tree Hotel in Burford was nominated in the Small Hotel/Townhouse of the Year category while Juicy Juicy was up for a Flavour of the South East award.

Burford Visitor Information Centre was selected in the Tourism Information Service of the Year category, while Witney Tourist Information Centre was chosen as a candidate for a Tourism Information Service of the Year award.

  • The winners will be revealed at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 28. For a full list of nominees in Oxfordshire visit