HESTERCOMBE won gold at the Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards in the Small Attraction of the Year category.

The awards, which feed into the South West Tourism Awards and the national Visit England Awards, are held annually and celebrate the great websites, reviews and social media interaction of destinations across the region.

Mystery visits were carried out at Hestercombe Gardens, the gallery and house, and evidence presented to a judging panel.

Chief executive of the Hestercombe Gardens Trust, Philip White, and general manager Richard Mira attended the awards ceremony at Cadbury House Hotel, near Congresbury, on Wednesday (October 19).

Mr White said: “To have been recognised as a top destination in the region is a great honour, and we are delighted the work of our dedicated staff, volunteers, and supporters has paid off in helping us bring this award back to Somerset.

"We were up against some strong competition and this is testament to the support of everybody who is so involved with the preservation, restoration and development of Hestercombe.”

John Turner, chief executive of Visit Somerset, said: "Visit Somerset is delighted to be part of these prestigious awards, finally now many Somerset tourism and leisure businesses are going to get the recognition that they deserve in our wonderful county that we call Somerset.”

It’s been a winning streak for Hestercombe, as only last month the gardens won the European Gardens Award.