Best of England launched in 2015 with the aim of providing a carefully curated portfolio of independent businesses throughout the country. These businesses include pubs, shops, restaurants, vineyards, places to stay, antique treasure troves, walks and family days out among others. Best of England provides an invaluable guide and resource for anyone looking to get out and explore. Whether you’re planning a day out in Kent, weekend away in Sussex or a family break in Norfolk, you needn’t look any further than Best of England’s lovingly hand-picked selection of attractions.
Passionate about everything England has to offer and encouraging people to holiday on home turf, the team personally research, visit and photograph each and every business before they are added to the site, where they are showcased in a simple, elegant, consistent and useful way. Users can search by the individual regions themselves or by specific interests such as Walks, Pubs and Hidden Gems.
Currently the site features over 1,000 attractions across Kent, Sussex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cornwall and Lancashire, a number that they are on track to double by the end of 2016. In terms of future content, Yorkshire, Northumberland & Devon are next on the cards. The team are also working on curating an initial list of around 100 places to feature in London with plans to expand this over time. Other areas that will launch in 2017 include Dorset, Somerset & Oxfordshire. Best of England also produce a free, printed guide for each individual region including 150 hidden gems, each with their unique photography and their Sussex Pub Guide is a carefully curated book showcasing over one hundred of the finest public houses throughout East & West Sussex and is available to buy here for just £7.99.
As well as championing small businesses across England, the English wine industry is one area that the Best of England team are particularly keen to support promotion of. With the number of vineyards and areas of England under the vine on the increase, the team have forged strong relationships and work closely with a number of vineyards across the South of England including Ridgeview, Rathfinny, Bluebell & Kingscote. Best of England are staunch supporters of English wine and are keen to help spread the word on the various tours, tastings, gourmet delights, activities and accommodation available at these establishments.
Simon Ridgwell, creative director and founder of Best of England wanted to provide a solution for businesses to market themselves to potential customers, whether it be those looking for a shot of inspiration for a day trip or weekend break or those looking to spend longer exploring the country. The result, a beautiful, easy to navigate website with some of the country’s best hidden gems. He comments “As well as continuing to grow the number of businesses and destinations featured on the site, we are thrilled to announce that the NEW Best of England App launched on 29th July. Once downloaded, the app allows users the chance to browse our extensive library of attractions without the need for internet connection, it also knows where you are and will show you places of interest nearby. The app is free to download and showcases over 1,000 of our hidden gems and includes over 2,000 photos.”
He also added, “The growth we have experienced over the last 6 months has been phenomenal and we are currently adding over one hundred new attractions to the site each month. The site is fully optimised for search engines and mobile devices making for an unrivalled end user experience. We don’t know anyone else out there in the market today offering such a high level of quality and content in the UK tourism sector.”
Here are just a handful of places you might stumble across on Best of England’s website:
Kingscote Estate, East Grinstead
The 150-acre Kingscote Estate is an English wine producer and a venue for weddings, corporate events and private parties. With vineyards, apple orchards and a winery, it produces Kingscote wines and ‘cyder’. The shop sells Kingscote products, as well as a wide range of Sussex sparkling wines. Vineyard tours with wine tasting, clay pigeon shooting and fishing are some of the activities on offer. The 15th century Tithe Barn hosts the cookery school and is available for hire. Kingscote Estate is set in quintessential Sussex countryside in the Kingscote Valley.
The Loft, Arundel
The Loft at Sparks Yard is a Californian inspired restaurant occupying the entire third floor of Sparks Yard General Store in Arundel. The space is a light, and modern which creates a welcoming environment
The menu celebrates the best of American style cuisine with favourites such as pancakes, burgers and macaroni as well as more healthy options such as superfood salads. There is a lift, baby-changing facilities, and free Wi-Fi.
The Goods Shed, Canterbury
The Goods Shed in Canterbury is a quirky food hall, farmers market and restaurant that is off the beaten track but well worth the effort to discover. The building is the old Good’s Shed for the railway station so convenient for the trains. As a farmers market, the food is kept seasonal and fresh. Prices are on the high side but portions tend to be generous. A lively, informal dining experience and concept which we think could be rolled out.
Darsham Nurseries, Darsham
Darsham Nurseries is a garden centre and restaurant just off the A12 on the way to Lowestoft. The restaurant is fresh, light and artistically finished as are the dishes they serve. As a result, they have recently been nominated as the 80th best restaurant in the UK at the National Restaurant Awards.
Shuck’s Restaurant, Thornham
Award winning chef Philip, with over 20 years experience along the Norfolk coast, wishes to bring his passion to the punters, cooking with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, to make the tastiest of food. You can now cross off your bucket list of eating in a Yurt!