hotel image

Best told stories

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

Tales to be told

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

The Best Told Story Accolade is awarded to attractions that tell their story in a memorable and creative way, where visitors leave having thoroughly enjoyed an entertaining day out. From historic castles to wonderful wildlife sanctuaries, here are the 2020-21 winners.

Bodmin Jail Attraction, Cornwall

This bold redevelopment gives visitors the chance to delve into Cornwall’s most haunting and intriguing histories by offering a world-class immersive experience. The state-of-the-art ‘Dark Walk’ is particularly atmospheric, blurring your perceptions between the past and present as you walk in the footsteps of the condemned.

Dorset Museum, Dorset

Connect with 250 million years of Dorset’s rich history – from natural and archaeological to literary, art and textile exhibitions – at the Dorset Museum in Dorchester. A real highlight is the Thomas Hardy collection, which is the world’s largest relating to the Dorset-born writer.

Highgrove Gardens, Gloucestershire

Highgrove is the private home of Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall. The Gardens are open every year between April and October to allow visitors to share the enjoyment of this series of interlinked green spaces.

Killhope Lead Mining Museum, County Durham

Located in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this multi-award-winning 19th century mining museum offers the chance to experience the life and work of the lead mining families of the North Pennines, along with stunning landscapes, captivating art installations, its iconic working waterwheel, and more.

Lincoln Guildhall, Lincolnshire

Lincoln Guildhall is the “official home” of the Mayor and occupies the second floor of the city’s Stonebow. This striking Tudor building forms an archway over the Main High Street and houses numerous fascinating pieces relating to Lincoln’s history, including the sword of Richard II.

Muncaster Castle, Gardens & Owl Centre, Cumbria

Majestically situated in wild, woodland gardens with breathtaking views of the Lake District, this 800-year-old castle provides a great family-friendly day out. Enjoy an audio tour of the sumptuous rooms before exploring 77 acres of diverse gardens – the fascinating Hawk & Owl Centre and its inspiring flying displays are included with your ticket.

Seven Stories, Tyne & Wear

The National Centre for Children’s Books, Seven Stories is the only place in Britain that’s dedicated to celebrating and sharing the best children’s literature. Occupying seven storeys of a beautiful listed building, the Centre also hosts events and workshops for children and their grown-ups.

Tamworth Castle, Staffordshire

Step through 900 years of history in the centre of town with a visit to Tamworth Castle. Explore 15 fully furnished rooms – relax in the Day Parlour, sit in front of the log fireplace in the Tudor Dining Room, take in the panoramic views from the tower, and more.

The Beacon Museum, Cumbria

Dedicated to telling the fascinating story of this corner of the Western Lake District, this lighthouse-style museum offers an interactive experience for all the family. Take in the amazing views through the telescopes, present your own weather forecast, and more on your visit.

The Coffin Works, West Midlands

Located on the edge of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, this Grade II listed factory and its contents tells the tale of the Newman Brothers – the city’s last coffin-furniture manufacturers. The guided tour truly illuminates this unique attraction, which is an important piece of Birmingham’s industrial legacy.

The Cotswolds Distillery, Warwickshire

This beautiful distillery opened its doors in 2014 and is the first of its sale in the Cotswolds. With tours, tastings and masterclasses available, visitors can see production in action before sampling the single malt whiskey and London Dry gin the distillery is famed for.

Trentham Monkey Forest, Staffordshire

Trentham Monkey Forest is the only place in Britain where you can walk amongst 140 Barbary macaques, all roaming free in 60 acres of ancient forest. The hourly feeding talks are a must watch – knowledgeable guides are also situated throughout the woods to help answer any questions.

Wollaton Hall, Nottinghamshire

Set within 500 acres of stunning Parkland, this striking Elizabethan mansion houses an impressive Natural History Museum. Discover Wollaton’s incredible history with a wander through the house, before browsing the Museum’s vast collections and stepping outside to explore the extensive gardens.

Discover more top-rated travel ideas