Bletchley Park in Milton Keynes, the former top-secret home of Britain’s World War two Codebreakers and now a museum and heritage attraction has won two UK Heritage Awards.
The UK Heritage Awards honour the very best historic houses, gardens, museums, and heritage sites in the UK. The 2020 UK Heritage Awards categories included: ‘Best Family Day Out’, ‘Great Place to Eat’, ‘Most Improved Heritage Development’, ‘Best Wedding Venue’, ‘Contribution to Heritage’ and ‘Finest Place to Stay’.
The annual UK Heritage Awards are hosted by Visit Heritage, the UK’s leading heritage, tourism and destination marketing company. Visit Heritage publishes best-selling heritage guide Hudson’s and the UK’s longest-running independent hotel guide, Signpost.
Why is Bletchley Park so revered?
Bletchley Park is a vibrant heritage attraction and museum, which is normally open daily to visitors. It was the home of British World War Two codebreaking; a place where technological innovation and human endeavour came together to make ground-breaking achievements that have helped shape the world we live in today.
This unique site was previously a vast Victorian estate, where parts including the Mansion still survive, expanding during wartime to accommodate Codebreakers Huts and Blocks.
During World War Two, the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), now known as the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), was based at Bletchley Park. It grew from a small team of specialists to a vast intelligence factory of thousands of dedicated women and men. This extraordinary combination of brilliant and determined people and cutting-edge technology contributed significantly to Allied victory. In tough conditions, they provided vital intelligence and developed pioneering technological innovation that had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the war. The site continues to reveal secrets and tell fascinating stories of our national legacy.
About the UK Heritage Awards 2020
The winners of the UK Heritage Awards 2020 were crowned across twelve categories, which were adjudicated by a panel of judges formed of leading figures and experts on UK Heritage including:
Paul Bridle – CEO of Excellence Squared Group Ltd and Director of Visit Heritage, the UK’s leading heritage, tourism and destination marketing company.
Lizzie Glithero-West – Chief Executive at The Heritage Alliance, an NGO representing the biggest coalition of heritage interests in England.
Annie Reilly – Manager at Heritage Open Days for the National Trust, an independent charity and membership organisation for environmental and heritage conservation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Jeremy Musson – An Architectural Historian, author and consultant, plus former Country Life Architecture Editor (1998 – 2007) Jeremy also presented the BBC Two series The Curious House Guest.
Norman Hudson OBE – Chairman of the Historic Houses Foundation and consultant to the Heritage Sector.
The winners, and commended venues
Family Day Out
Winner: Birdoswald Roman Fort, Cumbria
Great Places to Eat
Winner: Levens Kitchen, Kendal
Highly Commended: Askham Hall, Penrith
Wonderful Places to Stay
Winner: Broughton Hall, North Yorkshire
Highly Commended: Larchfield Estate, Belfast
Most Improved Heritage Development
Winner: Winchester Cathedral, Winchester
Winner: Accessing Aiden Project, Northumberland
Best Wedding Venue
Joint Winner: Victoria Baths, Manchester
Joint Winner: Goodwood, Chichester
Outstanding Customer Experience
Winner: Goodwood, Chichester
Best Event, Festival or Exhibition
Winner: Eltham Palace “Our House”, Greenwich
Contribution to Heritage
Winner: English Heritage – Speaking with Shadows podcast
Best Corporate Experience
Winner: Thirlestane Castle, Scottish Borders
Winner: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes
Judges Discretionary Award – Best of Heritage
Winner: Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes