A LUXURY cottage business in North Yorkshire has won a national award for tourism excellence.

Thief Hole Cottages in Thornton-le-Moor, near Northallerton, is owned by Phillip and Jessica Barker, who were shocked to hear they had been selected as winners by Visit England, the national tourist board company.

This award was given after their six cottages were recognised for the way they go above and beyond for their guests and customer service.

This, accompanied with their Trip Advisor reviews, resulted in the prestigious award given in London on October 17 at Olympia during the Independent Hotel Show.

Phillip and Jessica said: “We’re so grateful to our family team behind the scenes, without whom all this wouldn’t be possible.

“We’ve been running the cottages for nine years now and literally put our hearts into making sure our guests feel welcome and appreciated from the minute they arrive.

“Without the amazing family support system around us and wonderful team of cleaners, this wouldn’t have happened.

“From morning to night, everyone works so hard, including Phillip’s mother, Lynne, who has the grounds and gardens looking immaculate. We hope to continue what we offer and, now that we have expanded into weddings as well, we just love what we do as every occasion is such a happy and memorable one.”