A HEREFORDSHIRE business has struck gold by winning a prestigious award for offering outstanding value for money accommodation.

The owners of Mocktree Barns holiday cottages, Leintwardine, have been recognised by the Heart of England awards for tourist excellence and have landed their respected gold award.

Clive and Cynthia Prior, who have owned the business for 10 years, believe the judges were impressed by the amount of repeat business they receive.

"One of the things that counted in our favour was that we have a lot of people coming back to see us and we have become good friends over the years," said Cynthia.

Their five cottages are at least 300 years old and Cynthia says people keep on coming back because they have succeeded in providing a warm welcome to a wide variety of guests.

"We try to cater for many needs," she said. "We welcome children and people with limited mobility. We have an accreditation under the national accessibility scheme and have been very pleased to welcome guests from all over the world, including the Netherlands, Mexico, France and Germany."

Cynthia and husband Clive were founder members of the Mortimer Country Consortium, a group set up to promote tourism stretching from Leintwardine and Downton-on-the-Rock in the north to Kingsland in the south, and from the Welsh border to the west to Yarpole in the east.

"We set up the group about five years ago to promote tourism in this lovely northern most part of Herefordshire. We have glorious views of Ludlow and Clee View and people come for the wonderful opportunities for walking, cycling and for the peace and quiet you can find in this wonderful bit of north Herefordshire," Cynthia said.

The accommodation was converted several years ago to provide five distinct cottages situated around a south-facing courtyard.