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The best counties to eat, drink and stay in England

The top counties for food and accommodation – revealed

New data from the hospitality experts at the AA and Visit England show the most highly-rated destinations in England based on restaurant, hotel, B&B and campsite rankings.

Which county in England scores the highest when it comes to offering the best hospitality experience? For the first time, the AA has ranked destinations across England to reveal the regions which offer the highest standards of hospitality.

47 regions are ranked by their average rating across four categories; B&Bs, hotels, caravan and campsites and restaurants. All establishments belong to the AA and/or Visit England quality assessment schemes which provide star rankings and rosettes in accordance with their level of excellence. This information has been combined to give an overall percentage of hospitality excellence for each county.

England's best destinations

The top 20
County Rank Overall % B&B avg. rating Campsites avg. rating Hotel avg. rating Restaurant avg. rating
Berkshire 1 83% 3.97 4.00 3.77 2.00
Surrey 2= 73% 3.62 4.50 3.71 2.17
Staffordshire 2= 73% 3.89 4.50 3.57 1.83
Bedfordshire 4 72% 3.91 5.00 3.80 1.63
Northamptonshire 5 70% 3.95 4.00 3.55 1.80
Nottinghamshire 6= 69% 4.00 3.86 3.46 2.09
Shropshire 6= 69% 4.00 4.25 3.26 1.76
Buckinghamshire 8= 68% 3.79 4.00 3.87 1.75
Cheshire 8= 68% 4.05 4.00 3.76 1.53
West Sussex 10 66.5% 3.94 3.95 3.52 1.90
County Durham 11= 66% 3.71 4.00 3.75 1.80
North Yorkshire 11= 66% 3.97 4.03 3.44 1.75
Herefordshire 13 64% 4.07 4.67 2.89 1.73
Greater London 14= 63% 3.55 4.00 4.16 1.89
Hertfordshire 14= 63% 3.92 4.00 3.80 1.55
Gloucestershire 16 62% 3.98 3.82 3.65 1.75
Cornwall 17 60.1% 4.00 3.89 3.29 1.84
Cumbria 18 59.6% 3.99 4.08 3.43 1.60
East Riding of Yorkshire 19= 55% 3.78 4.29 2.92 2.00
Suffolk 19= 55% 4.19 3.80 3.39 1.72

 

Andrew Oxley, Head of Hotel & Hospitality Services at the AA said:

“We hope this data will be useful for consumers when planning a summer holiday or short break in England. If a county scores over 80% is should be regarded as outstanding, over 70% excellent and over 60% very good. We hope this information will highlight some of the very best hospitality experiences that England has to offer.”

Andrew Stokes, Director at Visit England said:

“It’s exciting to combine the data from Visit England and the AA for the first time and to celebrate the destinations where we see accommodation achieving excellence in quality. We would like to encourage people to go and try a break somewhere they might not have considered before.”
 
Why did Berkshire top the league table?

Berkshire tops the league table as the hospitality capital of England scoring the highest average rating at 83% and a place in the top 20 across all four categories. It is the fourth best destination for restaurants, fifth for hotels, 12th for Bed and Breakfasts and 15th for caravans and camping.

Exceptional restaurants and hotels in the county include The Fat Duck in Bray which has been awarded five red rosettes by AA inspectors, the 5 star hotel Cliveden House, one of Britain’s outstanding hotels and Hurley House in Hurley, a 5 star B&B in the county. Berkshire attractions including Legoland, Ascot races and Highclere Castle – where Downton Abbey was filmed – and Royal Windsor. A high volume of establishments and attractions of this kind have contributed to making Berkshire really stand out as an exceptional county to visit. 

England’s top spots for hotels, B&Bs, restaurants and campsites

The data also reveals the destination ‘top spots’ based on average rankings for B&Bs, caravan and campsites, hotels and restaurants.
Bed and Breakfast top spot: Suffolk
Caravan & campsite top spot: Bedfordshire
Hotel top spot: Greater London
Restaurant top spot: Surrey

Find a great restaurant near you

All with an AA Rosette award so you can be assured of excellent cuisine