Tourist locations that applied were judged across a number of criteria, with points of comparison ranging from a warm welcome and the availability of staff, to the quality of food and drink and disabled access.

This year, Walton Hall and Gardens scored highly in all areas and was successful in being awarded the much sought after accolade for the second time in a row.

Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, said: “It’s an honour that Walton Hall and Gardens have been given this award for the second time. It really is a credit to the hard work and dedication of the staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the hall, gardens and facilities are kept to a high standard for visitors to enjoy all year round.

“Walton Hall is the jewel in Warrington’s crown and a treasured place for many residents and visitors to the borough. It has an abundance of wonderful qualities and it’s fantastic to see that Visit England agrees.”

Barry Noble, Quality Assurance Assessor for Visit England said: “Walton Hall and Gardens is again accredited by Visit England as a Quality Assured Visitor Attraction. During the recent quality assessment visit, notable improvements were seen in the overall presentation of the attraction, provision of visitor information and in the catering service at the Heritage Café.

“It was pleasing to see the results of the ongoing hard work being carried out by the staff and management team who continue to have the full support of Warrington Borough Council”.

This is the second time Walton Hall and Gardens has received the award, which lasts for two years – the last time being in 2017. From the report received from the previous award, the management team knew exactly where they needed to make improvements, which included consistent signage.

Following the success of winning the Visit England award, Walton Hall and Gardens is now eagerly awaiting the results of the Keep Britain Tidy’s ‘Green Flag’ award.

Cllr Tony Higgins holding the Visit England tourism award for 2019/2020
The tourism award 2019/2020 with Walton Hall and Gardens