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The best hidden gems

Discover the winners of the VisitEngland 2020-21 Visitor Attractions Accolades

Discover your next great day out

Every year, VisitEngland highlights the attractions that deliver the best visitor experiences with its Attractions Accolades.

The impressive Hidden Gem accolade recognises outstanding attractions that may not have previously received the recognition they deserve. From glorious gardens to interactive museums, here are the 2020-21 winners.

Bromwich Hall – The Manor House Museum, West Midlands

Regarded as one of the best timber-framed buildings in the Midlands, this unique building has a fascinating 750-year history. These days the building is a heritage visitor attraction with a lively and varied programme of event and activities.

Chawton House, Hampshire

This grand Elizabethan manor house was once owned by Jane Austen’s brother and has so much to offer visitors – particularly those with an interest in literary history. The library, house and gardens are all open to the public, along with a unique and impressive collection of women’s writing.

Dales Countryside Museum, North Yorkshire

Sharing the stories of the people and places of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, the Dales Countryside Museum is much more than just displays. Climb aboard the locomotive, get arty at the Creation Station and roll up your sleeves to have a go at the range of activities on offer.

Helmsley Walled Garden, North Yorkshire

Discover vibrant displays, dreamy apple orchards, secret gardens and more with a visit to Helmsley Walled Gardens. Sitting beneath the imposing ruins of Helmsley Castle, the Gardens have been welcoming visitors to enjoy its peaceful setting for over 25 years.

Oliver Cromwell’s House, Cambridgeshire

Enjoy interactive displays, try on costumes and experience what life was like during the English Civil War with a visit to Oliver Cromwell’s House. The new augmented reality trail truly brings the house to life – search the rooms for seven lost coins and solve the riddle to unearth the remaining treasure.

Quaker Tapestry Museum, Cumbria

Housed within an original Georgian Meeting House, the vibrant embroidered panels of tapestry bring over 350 years of social history and Quaker stories to life. Delight in the detail of the beautiful needlework and enjoy a fascinating journey through the Quaker influence on the modern world.

REME Museum, Wiltshire

The REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) Museum provides an interactive, family-friendly visitor experience for all ages. Browse the wonderfully eclectic collections, including specialist vehicles, uniforms and weapons, to gain a fantastic insight into the British Army in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Scampston Walled Garden, North Yorkshire

The striking Walled Garden at Scampston is a true horticultural paradise, designed by the much-admired Dutch plantsman, Piet Oudolf. Originally the kitchen garden for Scampston Hall, the Walled Garden has evolved into an exciting, contemporary space quite unlike any other.

Shipley Art Gallery, Tyne & Wear

Founded in 1917, The Shipley Art Gallery is widely recognised as the North East’s leading gallery of contemporary craft and design. With five galleries to explore and a varied programme of events and activities on offer too, there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy.

The Hook Norton Brewery Co Ltd, Oxfordshire

This five-story Victorian Tower Brewery on the edge of the Cotswold Hills has been brewing since 1849. A proudly independent family business, the brewery also houses a shop, Malthouse Kitchen Café, and a museum – book onto a tour to truly appreciate the sights, sounds and smells.

The Salisbury Museum, Wiltshire

Discover 500,000 years of history within the glorious setting of the medieval King’s House in Salisbury’s Cathedral Close. The extensive collections range from Stonehenge archaeology to fine art and fashion – there’s also a lecture hall, shop and café, the latter boasting the best views in town of the cathedral.

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