TATTON Park has proven it really is the jewel in Cheshire East’s crown.

The Knutsford beauty spot, which is managed and financed by Cheshire East Council (CEC), has been crowned ‘Best Large Visitor Attraction’ in the country.

Tatton Park beat off a whole host of hopefuls to scoop gold at the 2014 VisitEngland Awards for Excellence and a team of CEC councillors and Tatton Park employees made their way to Cheltenham Racecourse on May 12 to pick up the accolade.

Council Leader Clr Michael Jones said: “This is a proud day for Cheshire East and just goes to show that the council is doing a great job in terms of offering a destination that attracts visitors from far and wide.

“The Tatton Vision, an all-encompassing forward-looking strategic document, has provided a compelling overview of what Tatton Park is capable of achieving and judges were incredibly impressed by this.

“We have a real ‘jewel in the crown’ with Tatton Park and this is testimony to all the hard work from staff over the years. Well done.”

In the ‘Large Visitor Attraction’ category, Tatton beat Trebah Garden in Cornwall (Silver Award); Walby Farm Park in Cumbria (Bronze Award), and Trentham Estate in Stoke-on-Trent and Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (both received a ‘highly commended’ award).

Brendan Flanagan, visitor economy, culture and Tatton Park manager said: “This is great news and reflects well on Tatton, its staff and on Cheshire East. Only the very best made it through to become a finalist so it was with great pleasure that we took home the Gold award.

“It is a testimony to the efforts of Tatton's staff and Cheshire East's investment in both the conservation and the future of Tatton Park.”

Last year, Tatton Park embarked on its five-year plan to substantially develop its visitor experiences by increasing the attractions and activities on offer.

By 2016/17, it is expected that one million visitors a year will visit the historic estate.