Every year, a group of judges get together and choose a selection of British properties that rank among the highest in the country on a number of categories. It’s called the UK Heritage Awards and it often sets the tone for the year’s best places to visit for travelers. This year, the judging was held in London at the Grocer’s Hall.
There were a lot of categories covered, including the best place to eat, the best castle to visit for a family day out, the best festival, and, my person favorite, the best hidden gem. Each category has a charming title, which only seems to fit with the embracing nature of the country’s inhabitants.
To confirm all of your British dreams, there are a bunch of castles on the list. The one that caught our eye the quickest was the winner for the Contribution to Heritage category: Blenheim Palace. The honor was given for the palace’s “new 10-year plan,” which maps out a $52 million restoration plan. The palace is looking to “acquire key items lost from the collection in the past, the establishment of an endowment fund for the Palace, and tripling Blenheim’s contribution to the local economy,” according to the Heritage Award website.
As mentioned above, Blenheim Palace wasn’t the only noble mention on the list: Castle Howard took home the title of Best Festival, Event, or Exhibition for its 12 Days of Christmas Celebration. Hever Castle in Kent—the former home of the Boleyn Family in the late 1460s—won for Best Family Day Out.
The entire list is worth a look, especially if you plan on visiting the area anytime this year. If you’re looking for a real treat, fit in a meal at The Alnwick Garden. Its restaurant, called The Treehouse, is an adventure of rope bridges, stunning gardens, twinkle lights, and pathways. It was named this year’s “Great Place to Eat” by the judging panel this year.
Check out the full list here.