GILBERT White and The Oates collections at Selborne have been commended in Tourism South East’s Beautiful South Awards as best Small Visitor Attraction category.

This year saw a near record number of entries (170) in 23 categories from all parts of the region – 40 per cent more than last year.

They were shortlisted from their entry forms and mystery shopped by expert independent judges.

Mark Smith, chairman of Tourism South East, said: “Every year I’m blown away by the sheer quality of the businesses that enter the Beautiful South Awards. It’s a reminder that tourism businesses in the South East are a match for any in the country and some are truly world class.”

The Selborne collections celebrate the lives of three explorers of the natural world: the eighteenth century naturalist Gilbert White, the nineteenth century explorer Frank Oates, and Lawrence Oates who was part of the fateful Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole.

The museum went through a major redevelopment from 2017 to 2018, opening its new café and galleries in May 2018. The changes were seen to have “vastly improved” the museum’s visitor offering.