Competitions: Where to find Britain's best five family holidays

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A pounds 300 million-pound leisure development and a farmyard shed; a hotel on the north Cornish coast and a Derbyshire youth hostel; and an entire city. These are the finalists for our first-ever Family Holiday Award

The English Tourist Board rewards the people and places who do most for the nation's tourism in its England for Excellence awards. This year, the ETB enlisted the help of readers of The Independent for a new category: Family Holiday of the Year.

Entries flooded in with a broad range of nominations: resorts, cities, self-catering locations, hotels and activity centres. We drew up a shortlist, and have spent the past few weeks travelling the length and breadth of England.

After much discussion, we have come up with five locations and nominations, from which a winner will be chosen at the England for Excellence awards ceremony in London on 4 November. The reader who submitted the best nomination for the holiday selected as England's finest will be invited to the ceremony - and to visit a new attraction for our regular Outings feature.

We checked out the nominations in terms of their environment (particularly in terms of child safety), outdoor activities, wet-weather entertainment, quality, value for money, sustainability and overall family friendliness.

The fortunate five finalists are as follows:

1.Ashbourne Youth Hostel,


2. Bedruthan Steps Hotel,

near Newquay, Cornwall.

3. The Flower House,

Constantine, Cornwall.

4. Oasis Forest Holiday Village, Cumbria.

5. The City of York.