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BBC Countryfile Awards, and some vineyards to go with them

Congratulations to all the winners of the  BBC Countryfile Awards. We know only too well how much work is involved in building a great product or service, and then sharing it with the world and presenting your case for an awards, so much credit to all of the entrants.

Since I look upon visiting vineyards as a great way to discover our countryside, looking through the award winners made me think of lots of ideas to share.

Holiday Destination of the Year 2018 – Pembrokeshire Coast

Right on St Bride’s Bay, over to the very western-most part of Wales. The closest vineyard is Cwm Deri and you’ll almost certainly be passing Jabajak on your way, too. Both offer local food and accommodation as well as local wines, so definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area, in fact quite possibly worth a special visit if their reviews are anything to go by.

Beach of the Year 2018 – Holkham, Norfolk

While the vineyards of the South East are becoming increasingly well known for their sparkling wines, the fact that stunning still wines are produced in East Anglia is still a bit more of an insider’s secret. If you’re heading to this part of the North Norfolk coast, near Burnham Market, we’d definitely suggest planning to pop into some of the vineyards that now cluster around Norwich. Multi-award winning Winbirri have recently added booking tours to their online shop and response has been incredible. Chet & Waveney and Humbleyard both also offer tours, and should be well worth a visit.

Landmark of the Year 2018 – Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Here, the stunning natural architecture has been enhanced to make an open air theatre overlooking the sea. Sadly the only time I’ve had tickets for a performance was one of the very few occasions when the show was rained off, but I’d still recommend planning to see a show if you’re going to be in the area. As for vineyards, Polgoon near Penzance is your perfect spot to pick up a bottle of wine and other picnic essentials on your way. If you’re there in the summer, then a crab sandwich or other tasty treat from their outdoor Kitchen Café is highly recommended.

Garden of the Year 2018 – Lost Gardens of Heligan, Cornwall

As you head down the A30 into Cornwall, it’s easy to focus on getting to your holiday destination and heading straight past Heligan. It’s a great idea, though, to plan to pop by on your way in or out of Cornwall, or as a day trip. Just past St Austell and not far from Mevagissey are the gardens themselves. Your nearest visitor-friendly vineyard is Bosue, where the sweeping views and palms (yes, really!) make this one of England’s prettiest vineyards and if the owner Paul has time to show you around and give you a tasting, you’ll learn lots as well as having a very pleasant time.

The other winners are too far north to have wineries close by but, as always, we suggest checking out our vineyard map to make the most of any travels around the country.

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