FROM steam railways to gin distilleries, Hampshire venues feature strongly in the shortlists the latest awards to celebrate the south’s top tourism spots.

A team of independent expert judges have been deliberating over a record 179 entries across 20 categories on the 2016 Beautiful South Awards and the names of the contenders have now been announced.

Finalists will discover whether they have won gold, silver or bronze at an awards ceremony at Southampton’s Hilton Ageas Bowl on November 24 Nigel Smith, chief executive of Tourism South East, said, “Every year is a reminder of the fantastic range and quality of tourism businesses the South East has to offer.

“Many who have entered are world class and a match for any in the UK.

"I want to thank all those that entered and the judges who again had the unenviable task of deciding who deserves to be recognised as the best of the best.

"As always there were some exemplary businesses that narrowly missed the cut.

"Good luck to everyone on the night and in the Visit England national awards later in the year.”

This year’s awards are sponsored by brewer Shepherd Neame.

Hampshire entrants which have been shortlisted are as follows:

Access for All Tourism Award:

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton,

Mid Hants Railway Ltd – The Watercress Line,

Wallops Wood Cottages, Droxford Bed and Breakfast,

Guest Accommodation of the Year:

Daiseybank Cottage Boutique B&B, Brockenhurst

Venue and Business Tourism Award:

Careys Manor Hotel and SenSpa, Brockenhurst;

Marwell Hotel, Owlsebury

Tearoom/Cafe of the Year:

Riverside Yurt Cafe, Bransbury

Restaurant/Bistro of the Year:

Terrace Restaurant, Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu

Holiday Park/Holiday Village of the Year:

Hoburne Holiday Park Bashley;

Woodside Bay Lodge Retreat, Isle of Wight

Large Hotel of the Year:

Aviator – a hotel by TAG, Farnborough

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year:

The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year:

Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest;

Wallops Wood Cottages, Droxford

Self-catering Property of the Year:

Tapnell Manor at Tapnell Farm, Isle of Wight

Glamping Business of the Year:

Meon Springs, East Meon;

Tom’s Eco Lodge, Isle of Wight,

Small/Boutique Hotel of the Year:

The Montagu Arms Hotel, Beaulieu

Small Visitor Attraction of the Year:

Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Whitchurch;

The Monkey Haven, Isle of Wight

Tourism Event of the Year:

Hampshire Food Festival,

Marwell Wildlife Zebra Trail

Tourism Experience of the Year:

SenSpa at Careys Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst

Tourism Pub of the Year:

The Old Vine, Winchester

Visitor Information Provider of the Year: East Hampshire Tourist Information Centre, Petersfield,

Visit Isle of Wight Visitor Centre, Newport

Dog Friendly Business of the Year:

Forest Holidays, Blackwood Forest, Packridge Apartments and B&B, Romsey