Swinithwaite visitor attraction wins Rural Business Award

A boy meets piglet at The Wensleydale Experience. Photo: Rebecca Munds.

A Richmondshire company has been named one of the best businesses in rural Britain after winning a Rural Business Award.

Wensleydale Experience, based in Swinithwaite, was named Best Rural Tourism Business at the first ever virtual national final of the Rural Business Awards, in association with Amazon.

Wensleydale Experience, founded by Olly Thornton-Berry, began with a farm shop and café in Leyburn and now offers farm tours, glamping experiences and events to support charity initiatives.

The Rural Business Awards 2020/21 marks the Awards’ sixth year of celebrating the success of businesses across the UK’s rural sector.

This year, businesses could enter 13 categories, ranging from Best Rural Start-Up Business and Best Rural Diversification Project, through to Best Rural Professional Services Business and The Triumph Over Adversity Award.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, this year’s competition was run entirely online. The finalists attended the Awards’ first ever virtual final ceremony, which was held on Thursday, February 25.

The winners were decided by an independent panel of judges drawn from the rural business sector, rural public sector agencies and rural charitable organisations.

Speaking after winning the Best Rural Tourism Business Award, Tim Durham from The Wensleydale Experience said:  “We are absolutely over the moon to have been recognised by the Rural Business Awards and Amazon with the national award for the Best Rural Tourism Business.

“We love providing our guests with unique, immersive, authentic experiences in the stunning Yorkshire countryside, with eco-friendly stays, farm tours, local walks, delicious food, complementary healing and a ton of off-the-grid relaxation all on site.

“We really cannot wait to start welcoming our amazing visitors back in the near future.”

The Rural Business Awards is the brainchild of Leicestershire businesswomen Anna Price and Jemma Clifford, who wanted to showcase the wealth of entrepreneurial talent in rural areas of Britain.

Co-founder of The Rural Business Awards, Anna Price, added: “On behalf of the Rural Business Awards, I would like to congratulate Wensleydale Experience on this well-deserved win.

“I would also like to extend my congratulations to all the businesses who made it to the final and wish them well in their future endeavours.”

The 2021/22 Rural Business Awards is now open for entries.

Visit www.ruralbusinessawards.co.uk for details.