Best of Britain: BBC Countryfile Awards 2020 names Northumberland as No1 national park, Isle of Wight as the top holiday destination and Wales’ Freshwater West as the finest beach
- Readers of Countryfile Magazine were asked to vote for their favourite UK spots and 17,000 votes were cast
- Poison Garden at Alnwick Garden and Northumberlandia, a 400m sculpture, were also among the winners
- Skomer, an island off the coast of Wales, is best nature reserve and Isle of Eigg wins best green attraction
The very best of the British countryside has been revealed in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2020, with Northumberland named the best national park, the Isle of Wight the top holiday destination and Wales’ Freshwater West the most stunning beach.
The gongs were handed out after more than 17,000 votes were cast by the public.
Runners-up in the national park category are Snowdonia and the Yorkshire Dales, while Anglesey and Orkney are named the second-best holiday destinations, with Murlough and Felixstowe runners-up in the best beach category.
Northumberland National Park has been named as the best national park in the UK in the Countryfile Magazine Awards 2020. Pictured is Hadrian’s Wall, which runs through the park
Wales’ Freshwater West beach has been named as the finest in the UK. It is located on the Pembrokeshire coast
The Isle of Wight has been named as the top holiday destination in the 2020 BBC Countryfile Awards
The big winner across the nine awards is Northumberland, home of Hadrian’s Wall.
On top of the national park prize, scooped thanks to ‘beautiful rugged uplands, coastline and dark forests’, the county also secures the garden of the year award, which goes to Alnwick Garden Poison Garden, home to a ‘spectacular rose garden and a collection of 100 of the most thrilling and deadly plants’.
Northumberlandia, meanwhile, a 400-metre-long sculpture set in a community park in Cramlington, wins best landmark.
The Kelpies of Falkirk and the Singing Ringing Tree nearly Burnley are runners-up in the best landmark category, while second in the best garden category are Tresco and Powis.
Skomer – an island off the coast of Wales – known for its ‘stunning sandy beach, rich wildlife and unbelievable bluebells’, lands nature reserve of the year. Runners-up in this category are Carlton Marshes and Northey Island.
The Poison Garden at Alnwick Garden has been named the best garden in the UK ahead of Tresco and Powis
Northumberlandia, a 400m-long sculpture set in a community park in Cramlington, is the winner of the best landmark award
One of the runners-up in the best beach award category is Flexistowe beach in Suffolk, pictured. The other runner-up is Murlough beach in Northern Ireland
Simon Woodley scoops the award for the reader photo of the year with this snap, called ‘Paws for Thought’
The award for green attraction of the year goes to the Isle of Eigg, which the magazine describes as a ‘beautiful, wildlife-rich Hebridean island owned entirely by its community in the Inner Hebrides’.
Runners-up in the green attraction award are the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales and Knepp Wildlife in West Sussex.
The White-Tailed Eagle Project on the Isle of Wight is the winner of the wildlife success of the year award with the runners-up podium slots occupied by the Pine Marten reintroduction programme in England and the white stork project in Knepp Castle in West Sussex.
Simon Woodley entered multiple images for reader photo of the year and walks away with first and second prize, with Steve Harper joint runner-up.
Fergus Collins, BBC Countryfile Magazine editor, said: ‘A really strong showing for the north-east in this year’s results and a couple of real surprises too – but the winners and runners-up in every category are a resounding confirmation of the beauty and diversity of the British countryside.’
- The winners will be profiled in the May issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine.