8th March, 2010 – Google have today announced the winners of the Google Street View Awards, a celebration of Britain’s best-loved streets as voted for by the public in a nationwide poll supported by VisitBritain, Lonely Planet, Harden’s Guide and a host of celebrity experts.
Over 11,000 people voted within a three week period from Monday 8th – Sunday 28th February, and competition was fierce. The three winning streets faced tough competition from 48 other streets from across the UK, shortlisted by a panel of experts from the worlds of food, fashion and travel.
Proving it is streets ahead than its competition, The Shambles in York takes the crown for Britain’s Most Picturesque Street. Best Foodie Street goes to Stockbridge High Street in Hampshire who stormed to the top in its category and Milsom Street in Bath takes the title of Best Fashion Street.
Top 5 “Most Picturesque”:
Top 5 “Best Fashion”:
Top 5 “Best Foodie”:
The awards were created ahead of further imagery being added to Google’s revolutionary Street View tool, which currently allows users to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery in 25 British towns, including many of those nominated for the Street View Awards. This week, Street View will be rolled out to cover additional streets from around the UK and Google will work with the winning streets to offer a special guide of the streets, allowing the world to find out more about the nations winning choices and highlighting the key retailers and points of interest.
Shortlisted nominations for each of the award categories were compiled by a panel of experts from the worlds of food, fashion and travel including VisitBritain, TV personalities Julia Bradbury (Countryfile), Jeff Banks (The Clothes Show) and Brix Smith Start (Gok’s Fashion Fix), leading journalists Jo Elvin (Editor, Glamour) and Nicholas Lander (Restaurant Correspondent, Financial Times) and authors David Else (Editor of The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain) and Richard Harden (Co-Editor, Harden’s Restaurant Guide).
The experts were asked to nominate streets that fulfilled a pre-set criteria for each category; Britain’s Best Foodie Street needed to offer a unique mix of mouth-watering options which could include fine dining, cafés, market stalls and delicatessens, all covering a diverse mix of food types and price points. Britain’s Best Fashion Street should have an eclectic mix of boutique and high street clothing for all tastes, price ranges and ages, whilst Britain’s Most Picturesque Street should be uniquely British, visually charming, full of character and diverse.
Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist for Google said: “The Google Street View Awards are aimed to celebrate the many fantastic streets that Britain has to offer, and the results reveal a diverse cultural landscape of food, fashion and beauty that puts the winning towns firmly on the map.”
The Shambles, York
The Shambles is a bustling centre piece of historic York. The street today is one of the UK’s most visited and has become a wealth of shopping, tourist attractions, restaurants and many other things to see and do, including tours, ghost walks and historic talks. The 15th century buildings lean into the middle of the cobbled street means & the roofs almost touch in the middle. The street is mentioned in the Doomesday book (making it date over 900 years), which makes it one of Europe’s best preserved Medieval street.
Frank Barrett, Travel Editor of The Mail on Sunday said The Shambles is: “Perfect picture postcard olde Englande.”
Ian Addyman, Owner of Past Images photography shop on The Shambles said: “The Shambles is a timeless street full of historic charm and whatever time of year you come here, there is something different to see. There is a real feeling of community amongst shop owners and I think we all feel privileged to work in such a beautiful place. The shops here are all strikingly different and unique. Most people say that if you visit York, then at some point you will walk down The Shambles. It has been the backdrop for many a jigsaw, chocolate box and railway poster and once you visit you will see why.”
Milsom Street, Bath
Milsom Street in Bath, was built in 1762. The buildings were originally grand town houses, but most are now used as shops, offices and banks. Milsom Street has many smart shops and unique boutiques including Jolly Department Store, Cath Kidston, Austen Reed and Duo Shoes. Many of the buildings and shops are listed and just off Milsom Street is an upmarket shopping arcade called Milsom Place.
Hannah Sandling, Stylist and TV Personality said of Milsom Street: “It’s a style conscious treasure trove packed with amazing range of beautiful boutiques and designer clobber. I love to shop in Bath!”
Nikki, sales assistant at Duo shoe shop on Milsom Street: “It’s fantastic news that Milsom Street has been shortlisted as ‘Best Fashion Street’. Bath is DUO’s spiritual home and our Milsom Street store still remains our flagship store thirty years on. The mix of independent boutique labels, high street brands and lifestyle shops makes Milsom Street a vibrant, exciting shopping destination.”
Stockbridge High Street, Hampshire
Sitting on the River Test, there is an abundance of independent specialist shops on Stockbridge High Street, including tea rooms, pubs and restaurants, many serving local produce, as well as a familiar high street grocery shop. The High Street is also home to the town’s famous Butchers, John Robinson & Sons – regarded by many as one of the best in the UK – and the award-winning, The Restaurant at The Greyhound, which has received critical praise and is often booked up weeks in advance.
Chloe Scott, Food Editor at Metro newspaper said: “Robinsons (is) one of the best butchers in the UK… plus, the River Test behind it is the best in the country for fly fishing.”
Suzie Fiducia, General Manager of The Restaurant at The Greyhound said: “Stockbridge, in the very heart of the Test Valley, is an old market town and now a great destination for foodies; providing something for every palette and pocket. The Greyhound building is at least 500 years old, but for the past 6 years we have been lucky enough to build up a fantastic local customer base. Not only does Stockbridge boast a famous butchers, independent wine shop and a host of pubs, but some of the best fishing in the country – with a fishmonger and deli soon to open in the High Street the Greyhound finds itself smoking and cooking local fishermen’s wares.”
For further information please contact: Laura Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org 0207 031 3130
About the Poll: Voting ran from Monday 8th February, and closed on Sunday 28th February.
About the nominations: The panelists were asked to nominate streets in their relevant categories across 10 different regions in the UK. From these nominations, Google worked with VisitBritain to compile a shortlist of streets consisting of 21 nominations in the Best Fashion category, 20 nominations in the Best Foodie category, and 10 in Most Picturesque. These nominations reflect a broad and diverse offering from across the UK.
About Google Street View: Street View is a hugely popular feature of Google Maps which is already available in more than 100 metropolitan areas around the world. It is also available in Google Earth and on Google Maps for Mobile. Google launched Street View imagery in UK in April 2009 allowing people to view and navigate 360 degree street-level imagery in 25 British towns.
In areas where Street View is available, you can access street-level imagery by zooming into the lowest level on Google Maps, or by dragging the orange “Pegman” icon on the left-hand side of the map onto a blue highlighted street. You can check out a restaurant before arriving, make travel plans, arrange meeting points, get a helping hand with geography homework, or just explore and get to know your town better.
VisitBritain has contributed to every category. VisitBritain is Britain’s national tourism agency, responsible for marketing Britain overseas. They work in partnership with thousands of organisations in the UK and overseas and seek to ensure that Britain is marketed in an appropriate way in 35 markets around the world. They also work to promote the tourism industry within the UK itself.
Roopa Gulati, Deputy Channel Head of Good Food, Chef and Author
A Cordon Bleu trained chef, Roopa blends western and Asian styles of cooking and has previously worked as a consultant chef with the Taj group of hotels. She is currently Deputy Channel Editor for Good Food Channel. She is a regular broadcaster for BBC Radio 4, and a restaurant critic for Time Out magazine and guides. Her features have been published in many magazines, including BBC Good Food and New York-based food and travel magazine, Gourmet.
Henrietta Green, founder of FoodLoversBritain.com
Henrietta is a leading expert on British local and regional quality food. She has won several awards including a Guild of Food Writers Award for the greatest contribution to British food and The Good Housekeeping Award 2006 for Outstanding Contribution to Food.
Nicholas Lander, Restaurant Correspondent at the Financial Times
Nick opened London’s L’Escargot restaurant and became the Food Critic at the Financial Times in 1989 writing under the byline of ‘The Restaurant Insider.’ He has written a number of books and works as a consultant for a wide range of clients including Fortnum & Mason’s and The British Museum.
Richard Harden, Co-Editor of Harden’s Restaurant Guides
Richard founded Harden’s Guides with his brother Peter in 1991. Initially just for London, Harden’s Guides launched their UK guide in 1998. Prior to founding Harden’s Guides Richard was a Barrister.
Chloe Scott-Moncrieff, Food & Drink Editor of Metro
Chloe has worked for Metro since 2003, initially as a freelancer, becoming the Food and Drink Editor 3 years ago. She writes Metro’s popular Gastro Girl blog and sits on the panel of the Great Taste Awards and World Cheese Awards. She has also written about food for the Saturday Telegraph Magazine, Country Life and Waitrose Food Illustrated.
Jeff Banks, Fashion Designer
Jeff has been a pioneer within the UK fashion industry since he founded Clobber in 1966. He’s been a regular on TV since launching The Clothes Show on BBC in 1987, presenting over 320 episodes. His clothing is sold in leading department stores and he’s opened a range of Jeff Banks stores around the world. He designs a range of corporate clothing for companies such as BAA and Barclays.
Jo Elvin, Editor of Glamour
Jo has worked on a number of British magazines including TV Hits, Sugar, B Magazine and New Woman before launching Glamour in 2001. She is a regular guest on GMTV and LK Today and has written for The Observer, Evening Standard and The Independent.
Brix Smith-Start, fashion retailer and TV personality
Brix began her career within the British band, The Fall in 1983. In 2002 she launched the clothing store, Start, with her husband Philip Start. Brix is now a regular face of fashion on TV appearing on Gok’s Fashion Fix, The Culture Show and LK Today.
Hannah Sandling, Stylist and TV personality
Hannah can regularly be seen on TV commenting on fashion, style and celebrity on BBC Breakfast, Five News and GMTV. As a celebrity stylist Hannah has worked with Sienna Miller, Dita Von Teese and Emma Bunton. She has a column within Fabulous Magazine and has written two books.
Scott Henshall, Fashion Designer
In 1998 Scott became the youngest designer to show during London fashion week and since then he’s grown famous for dressing celebrities in show-stopping red carpet designs. The Scott Henshall Mainline Collection is stocked around the world and he’s developed a successful label specifically for Japan.
Amber Morales, Fashion Editor of the Daily Mirror
Credited with revamping Sunday night primetime television and dubbed “The Lady of the Lake District”, Julia is one of the small screen’s most popular and versatile presenters. Having taken the helm on BBC One’s rural affairs show Countryfile alongside Matt Baker in 2009, the show’s ratings have since soared to over six million viewers.
David Else, Lead Author of The Lonely Planet Guide to Great Britain
David wrote his first travel guide book in 1983 and since then he has written or co-written over 25 Lonely Planet guides covering the UK and many other parts of the world. David also writes and broadcasts about travel and outdoor activities for newspapers, magazines and websites.
Frank Barrett, Travel Editor at the Mail on Sunday
Frank joined the Travel Trade Gazette as a graduate trainee and has worked in travel journalism his entire career. He has written for The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times before becoming the Travel Editor of the Mail on Sunday in 1994. He has written several travel books and has won multiple awards, including the prestigious British Press Award for travel feature writing.
Lisa Minot, Travel Editor of The Sun
Lisa started her career in journalism at just 15 and by 19 was Editor of her local newspaper. She has worked at The Sun newspaper for 20 years, 10 of which as their Travel Editor.