BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2019: the winners

The votes are in and we can now reveal the winners of the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2019, including the country’s favourite holiday destination, most-loved beach and best country pub.

BBC Countryfile Magazine awards

Meet the wonderful winners of the BBC Countryfile Magazine awards 2019 as voted for by you. After a long and detailed judging process to produce the shortlists followed by a month of voting, you our readers and website visitors have spoken. And it’s a fantastic list of champions this year – all richly deserving of their success.

“Congratulations to each of the winners – and all the people and places who were shortlisted. The aim of our awards is to celebrate the best of the British countryside and shine a light on lesser known places, projects and people who are doing great work. And personally I’m delighted to have a new list of places to explore in the year ahead.”
Editor Fergus Collins

Beach of the Year

Winner: Sandown Bay, Isle of Wight

Traditional bucket and spade beach on the east coast of the island with miles of golden sand, pier and eclectic seafront – and just a short walk to peace, fossil-rich cliffs and stunning coastal wildlife.

  • Runner-up: Machrihanish Bay, Argyll and Kintyre
  • Third place: Seaham, Durham
Stormy beach

Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight. (Getty)


Holiday Destination of the Year

Winner: North Yorkshire

Vast moors, dales rich in wildflowers, historic houses and a vibrant coast blending traditional seaside with wild nature reserves. Plus vintage steam railways, handsome market towns and great local food.

  • Runner-up: Orkney
  • Third place: Forest of Dean
Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire (Getty)

Roseberry Topping, North Yorkshire (Getty)


National Park of the Year

Winner: North York Moors

Peace and wild beauty blend with a rich human history throughout these uplands which can be explored by the well-planned Cleveland Way walking route. Steam trains, strong literary connections and ‘Dark Skies’ add to the magic.

  • Runner-up: Cairngorms
  • Third place: Pembrokeshire National Park
Countryside views
Vintage steam train makes its way through the heart of the North York Moors surrounded by woodland and farmland between Levisham and Goathland, Yorkshire (Getty)

Nature reserve of the Year

Winner: Falls of Clyde Scottish Wildlife Trust

This achingly beautiful wild haven is famous for its spectacular salmon leap waterfalls and scenic woodland walks along the river. Over 100 bird species have been recorded, including ravens, dippers and kingfishers along with bats, otters and badgers.

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  • Runner-up: Seaton Wetlands LNR, Devon, East Devon District Council
  • Third place: Suffolk Wildlife Trust Carlton Marshes, Suffolk
Forest and waterfall
Falls of Clyde Scottish Wildlife Trust (Getty)

Landmark of the Year

Winner: Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland

World famous Roman boundary and fortification running 141 miles from Bowness in the west to Newcastle in the east. With museums and historic sites along its entire length.

“Hadrian’s Wall isn’t just one of the most important historical structures in Britain, it’s also the one with the most stunning natural setting,” judge Eleanor Barraclough

  • Runner-up: Huer’s Hut, Cornwall
  • Third place: Pakenham Water Mill, Suffolk
Hadrian's Wall is a World Heritage Site in the beautiful Northumberland National Park. Popular with walkers along the Hadrian's Wall Path and Pennine Way
Hadrian’s Wall is a World Heritage Site in the beautiful Northumberland National Park. Popular with walkers along the Hadrian’s Wall Path and Pennine Way

Garden of the Year

Winner: The Gertrude Jekyll Garden, Lindisfarne

A small yet cleverly planted walled garden that provide an oasis of warmth, colour and beauty all year round on a windswept and otherwise stark island. Once a vegetable patch that provided food for the soldiers of Lindisfarne Castle, this walled garden is an unexpected explosion of colour on the windswept shores of Holy Island.

  • Runners-up: Coleton Fishacre, Devon
  • Third place: Bodnant, Conway
Garden and castle
Gertrude Jekyll designed the garden so it would be at its best during the summer months, and today’s gardeners stick to that concept (Getty)

Village of the Year

Winner: Bembridge, Isle of Wight

Wonderful coastal setting with a pier and lifeboat station, plus a busy village community with independent shops, cafés and restaurants. With three great beaches and the white cliffs of Culver Down on the doorstep, the village is a perfect base for exploring.

  • Runner-up: Ingleton, North Yorkshire
  • Third place: Cartmel, Cumbria
Harbour view
View of Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight (Getty)

Country Pub of the Year

Winner: The Dolaucothi Arms, Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire

A coaching inn at the heart of its small community serving Welsh ales and great pub food and a large beer garden with views over the valley. Set in the heart of the National Trust’s Dolaucothi Estate with great walking routes and even a goldmine nearby.

  • Runner-up: The Chequers, Retford, Nottinghamshire
  • Third place: Crown Inn, Crowntown, Cornwall
Pub
The Dolaucothi Arms, Pumsaint, Carmarthenshire/Alan Richards, Geograph

Wildlife Success Story of the Year

Winner: Beavers in the Forest of Dean

A strong partnership between local people and the Forestry Commission to trial using beavers as a thrifty and effective way to prevent flooding as well as improve wildlife habitat for woodland and wetland flora and fauna.

“This is a really brave project – where a natural solution has been favoured over hard engineering – and it appears to be working well,” judge Fergus Collins

  • Runner-up: Water vole reintroduction on Exmoor
  • Third place: Caledonian Forest Restoration Project
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) one of the largest rodents in the world. It is well adapted to fulfil its role as a vital engineer of swamp habitats
Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) one of the largest rodents in the world. It is well adapted to fulfil its role as a vital engineer of swamp habitats

Reader Photo of the Year

Winner: Hello, hare by Ben Hartley

BBC Countryfile Magazine Picture Editor Hilary Clothier, said: “Wildlife photography needs great patience to capture that exact shot. Ben Hartley has managed this by his impressive image of the hare taken in the perfect composition, catching it as it stares directly into the camera lens and using a good understanding of natural light which bounces off the eyes and defines the fine delicate outline of the fur on its coat.  A worthy winner!”

  • Runner-up: Standing tall by Iain Fazackerley
  • Third place: Highland view by Malcolm Gray
Hare

How voting for the awards works

Reader nominations

Reader nominations were gathered from BBC Countryfile Magazine readers online and via a form in the print magazine.

Judging

A panel of six judges examined the nominations and whittled them down to a shortlist of five in each category. The judges assessed the quality of the nominations against a series of criteria.

Readers vote online or via a postal form in the print magazine. Voting closes on Sunday 17th February at 11:59pm.

The judges:

  • Charlotte Smith, BBC presenter of Countryfile and Farming Today
  • Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, historian and TV and radio presenter
  • Mark Rowe, travel writer and environmental newswriter
  • Phoebe Smith, explorer and travel writer
  • Fergus Collins, editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine
  • Carys Matthews, BBC Countryfile Magazine digital editor

Public voting

Readers vote online or via a postal form in the print magazine.

Winners announced – March 2019

View the winners of the 2018 awards

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Terms and conditions

Read the terms and conditions of the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards