Award winning film-maker Terry Abraham returns to the Lake District next week as his latest documentary ‘Life of a Mountain: A Year on Blencathra’ is shown on BBC TV.

The highly anticipated sequel to the BBC hit ‘Life of a Mountain: A Year on Scafell Pike’ will showcase some spectacular scenes of Blencathra and the surrounding area. From spring lambs to winter’s snows, it will look at the lives of local residents, school children and visitors to the mountain with contributions from comedian Ed Byrne, broadcaster Stuart Maconie, mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE and record-breaking fell runner Steve Birkinshaw.

The film was released on DVD/Blu-ray last year, but an abridged version will be shown on terrestrial TV for the first time later this month. It is due to be screened on BBC Four at 9 pm on Tuesday 14th February.

Terry has already been on Radio 6 with Radcliffe and Maconie talking about the TV premiere. He says, “Blencathra is almost a guardian to the locals; it looks over them like a benign friend. It may not be the highest of hills, but it’s certainly iconic and adored by both visitors and residents alike. It truly is a community asset. After all it’s ‘the people’s mountain”.

Broadcaster and Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, Eric Robson, says, “I’m looking forward to this film tremendously. Terry Abraham’s previous documentary about Scafell Pike prompted rave reviews from viewers, and I’ve no doubt this latest offering will again showcase Cumbria’s epic views and splendours to the audience watching at home.”

A major exhibition dedicated to the new documentary and the area around Blencathra will open at the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery in May.

An unabridged film version of ‘Life of a Mountain: Blencathra – A Year in the Life of the People’s Mountain’ is available to buy on DVD via Amazon UK. A video entitled ‘the Mountain’ features music from the documentary and is available on YouTube.

A Busy Start to 2017

Ten press trips have been organised and taken place across January, with titles such as National Geographic Traveller, Rough Guides, and The Telegraph. The team have also handled more than 50 media and image enquiries so far, resulting in widespread national coverage including an article for Another Place, The Lake in Yahoo! Style’s ’18 of the hottest hotels opening in 2017’ list. Meanwhile, a highlight for Heart of the Lakes was Olive Magazine’s  Five of the best holiday cottages for foodies feature, both online and in the March edition of the magazine.

We are currently working with Robinsons Brewery, who will be reopening the doors to the iconic Queens Head pub in Troutbeck in April 2017. Coverage already includes Boutique HotelierHotel Owner and Hospitality and Catering News.

Sunday Times Travel magazine included a seasonal round-up of ‘Lake District log fires’ in its January edition, while there was wide-ranging coverage to commemorate 50 years since Donald Campbell’s tragic death on Coniston Water in 1967.

And we also released our 2017 Holiday Guide this month, which has already gained extensive regional coverage.


Media release: 01 February 2017

Whether you’re looking for a mountain scramble, a coastal gallop or a downhill challenge, the Lake District, Cumbria has a dramatic landscape of lakes, mountains, countryside and coast to explore this spring.

Check out our top tips for outdoor adventures, or visit the GoLakes website for more ideas and inspiration:

1. Take in the sea air on horseback: Enjoy stunning views across the Irish sea and the Western Lake District on horseback with Cumbrian Heavy Horses. Canter from the Duddon Estuary on the Cumbria coastline along endless miles of beautiful sand dunes and tranquil scenery. Ride on a majestic Clydesdale, Shire or Ardennes horse and make it a trip to remember. Prices start from £70 per person.

2. Enjoy a quintessential Lakeland cruise: Windermere’s unique scenery and atmosphere make spring the perfect time of year to get out and discover some spectacular natural wonders. Travelling by Windermere Lake Cruises is a unique way to see the famous Lakeland fells, wooded shoreline and rolling countryside along the lakeshore. The 45 minute ‘Blue Islands Cruise’ is at £8 per adult and £4 per child, other cruises are available.

3. Get in a spin: Explore the grounds of a country house estate or have an adventure on a race track on Cumbria Tourism’s ‘Tourism Experience of the Year’ Lakeland Segway. Feel the exhilaration as you whizz along tracks and trails whilst taking in the glorious sights and sounds of Cartmel Racecourse and The Holker Hall Estate. With professional training, safety instruction, and lots of practice included, you’ll be well equipped to set off on a thrilling mini adventure. Prices start from £40 per person.

4. Feed your need for speed: Challenge yourself whilst having an epic day out over endless miles on one of Cumbria’s fantastic man made mountain bike trails. The Altura Trail at Whinlatter Forest Park is a 19km red grade challenge with some superb flowing sections of single-track, huge sweeping berms, technical forest sections, and optional black graded features. This awesome trail rewards success with outstanding views, making it one of the best places for thrill seekers this spring! Free Entry.

5. Walk the wall: Discover the northern frontier that is Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle Castle and follow in the footsteps of a mighty Roman empire to the historic Birdoswald Roman Fort. Witness the longest surviving stretch of wall and extensive remains of Roman settlement while spotting fort milecastles, turrets, a Roman bridge, and Cumbrian wildlife as you look out towards the Lake District and North Pennines. With the unique 2017 celebration of Hadrian’s Cavalry kicking off from 8th April, there has never been a better time to have your very own historical adventure. Carlisle Castle entry at £6.40 per adult and £3.80 per child and Birdoswald Roman Fort entry at £6.10 per adult and £3.70 per child.

6. Look up to the sky: Head outdoors to witness the dark night sky in all its glory. Head away from the bright lights of towns and villages and up to Church Fell near Sizergh Castle in Lake District National Park where, on a clear night before a full moon, you can see infamous constellations the Plough and Orion’s Belt. Just remember to take your binoculars and a flask of hot chocolate. Free Entry to Church Fell. Sizergh entry from £6.50 per adult and £3.25 per child.

7. Zip through a forest: Think you, your friends, and family could handle three hours of tree top adventure? Are you wild enough to climb 30ft up a rope ladder, Tarzan Swing into a giant rope net, then zip wire through trees, crawl through tunnels, and tackle high wire rope bridges? If so, try out GoApe at Grizedale Forest where you will be guaranteed hours of fun whilst unleashing your inner ape. The Tree Top Adventure starts from £33 per adult and £25 per child.

8. Descend a clifftop… backwards: A popular and thrilling activity for the brave – walking off a cliff backwards and living to tell the tale! Try your hand at a gentle abseil, push yourself with a mega abseil of 120ft, or really up the adventure stakes with a canyoning experience at Mere Mountains. Set amongst spectacular caverns and gorges, this exciting opportunity will make for a truly memorable day. Activities start from £35.

9. Experience views like no other at 15,000ft: Get your adrenaline pumping, face your fears, and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience skydiving the Lake District this spring with Skydive Northwest. After the exhilarating 120mph freefall, it’s time to catch your breath whilst you enjoy a tranquil parachute ride through stunning landscapes. What better way to go ‘sightseeing’ than from thousands of feet above it all? Tandem Skydive at £230 per person.

10. Put yourself in the driving seat: Experience the exhilaration of a real 4X4 off road driving adventure and discover the Lake District National Park from behind the wheel of a specially prepared KANKKU vehicle. These tough and capable ex-army Land Rovers allow you to go off the beaten track as you are expertly guided on challenging rough and rocky terrain on a gripping journey with a spectacular lake and mountain backdrop. Prices from £45 per person.



Robinsons Brewery are delighted to announce that the doors to the Queens Head at Troutbeck, in the Lake District, Cumbria will reopen in April 2017 following a 2 million pound investment.

In 2014, the Queens Head was devastated in a fire that resulted in the popular inn closing for almost three years whilst a full refurbishment programme and rebuild of the damaged areas took place by Robinsons Brewery.

The Queens Head, nestles on the side of the Lakeland fells overlooking the Troutbeck Valley, four miles from Ambleside and three miles from Windermere. There are unsurpassed views of Garburn Pass, High Street and 111 Bell Ridge.  The former 17th century coaching Inn boasts an eclectic mix of ancient Cumbrian and contemporary decor alongside it’s iconic four poster bar.

The brand-new Queens Head will feature a large drinking area with cosy and secluded dining areas, with focus being around the three original real fireplaces which are being lovingly restored.  The bar will feature a great range of real ales, craft beers, premium lagers, wines and award-winning spirits with a focus on the Queens Head’s new eye-catching gin range.

Renowned for serving some of the finest food in the area, The Queens Head’s new menu will highlight a mixture of hearty classic pub food created with provenance and served with flair.  The menu has been created to include requests from old friends of the pub who have contacted the brewery through Facebook to make sure their favourite dishes are featured.

There are also 10 newly-refurbished en-suite guest bedrooms named after the iconic Lakeland fells of Great End, Bowfell, Great Gable, Pillar, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Nethermost, Catstyecam, Scafell Pike and Esk Pike, providing the perfect base for guests to Cumbria and, of course, their four legged companions.

Rooms start from £110 per night, which includes a hearty breakfast. They can be booked at

William Robinson, Managing Director (Pubs Division) for Robinsons Brewery said: “It’s no easy feat restoring such a historic pub. It was of the utmost importance that we worked closely with the local council to ensure the most authentic restoration of the original building’s fabric. The Queens Head has never been a case of ‘reinventing the wheel’ and it will pick right up where it left off – a cosy, family friendly pub where you can enjoy a pint, a great night’s stay, and a warm, hearty meal. The outpouring of support from local residents and previous customers has been brilliant and we can’t wait to welcome them back to the Queens Head this April.”

For more information on the Queens Head, please visit, like the pub on Facebook or follow the pub on Twitter @queenstroutbeck (


Notes to editors:

For further information including hi-res images please contact Sarah Jones, Senior PR Executive at Cumbria Tourism
01539 825052 / 07398255654

The Queens Head are happy to host Press trips to sample the brand new development please contact Sarah Jones to discuss your commission and dates.

Authors and publishers are needed to enter new books into Cumbria’s leading literary awards.

The Lakeland Book of the Year Charity Luncheon and Awards Ceremony takes place every summer and is now in its 33rd year. These awards are unique and are recognised as being the most prestigious literary prizes outside of London.

The competitions are open to established authors as well as first-time writers. As long as the books to be entered are about anything to do with Cumbria and were published during 2016, they are eligible to enter. More than 50 books are entered in a typical year, and in excess of 70 books is not uncommon.

The judges have the task of reading all books and selecting the winners. The lead judge is Hunter Davies, Chairman of the Judges Panel and the inspiration behind the event. Hunter  has ghost-written a number of high-profile biographies of celebrities such as Wayne Rooney, Paul Gascoigne, Dwight Yorke and John Prescott, as well as acclaimed works about William Wordsworth and Alfred Wainwright. He regularly writes for national newspapers such as The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian and the Daily Mail. In 2016 he published several successful new books including The John Lennon Letters, Lakeland – A Personal Journey and The Co-op’s Got Bananas.

The panel also includes ITV and BBC newscaster, author and journalist, Fiona Armstrong, and Gardner’s Question Time Chairman, broadcaster and Chair of Cumbria Tourism and The Wainwright Society, Eric Robson.

There will be five topical categories, with each one providing a prize of £100. But, the real prize is the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year Award, given to the book judged to be the overall winner.

All prizes are presented at a charity awards luncheon, to be held this year at Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite Lake, near Keswick on July 11th. Over the years, the luncheon has raised many thousands of pounds for local charities and the charity benefitting this year will be the Alzheimer’s Society, Cumbria Branch.

Previous winners at the Lakeland Book of the Year have included Alfred Wainwright, Harry Griffin, Kate Haste and Booker Prize nominee Sarah Hall. Lord Melvyn Bragg was also highly commended in 1988 for his book, the Maid of Buttermere.

The winner of last year’s Lakeland Book of the Year was “Lakeland Waterways” by Robert Beale and Richard Kirkman, published by Lily Publications. Robert is the lead author and a Cumbrian lad. He started working for Windermere Lake Cruises in 2008 and is one of the youngest employees to regularly skipper a historic ‘steamer’ on England’s largest natural lake.

The awards were founded by the Hunter Davies and Cumbria Tourism (CT) and are organised by Chris Tomlinson OBE, Affra Hartree and Vicky Robinson MBE, with support from CT.

The deadline for submissions to this year’s competition is March 24th 2017 and entry forms are available by going to the website: or by contacting Cumbria Tourism on 01539 822222.


Notes to Editors:

For more information, contact Chris Tomlinson on 07770 688644 or go to:

Cumbria Tourism continues to provide administrative support to the voluntary team and has given full access to archives, databases and financial planning.

Based on the shores of Lake Bassenthwaite, The Lake District Calvert Trust is a residential outdoor centre with over 40 years of experience in delivering challenging outdoor adventure holidays for people with disabilities.  They offer exciting residential breaks for schools, groups, families and individuals with their friends and carers, which are accessible to people of all ages including those with the most complex needs for which most outdoor centres cannot cater. Their experienced staff and adapted equipment allows guests to really experience a range of activities including (to name a small selection) sailing, climbing, abseiling, horse riding and bush-craft.

Due to the generosity of their funders, this spring they are able to offer bursary supported weekend breaks for adults and children with disabilities with their friends, carers of family members for only £99 per person!
Justin Farnan, Business Manager with the charity said: “We have fantastic financial support from a range of charities, organisations and individuals and every stay with us is already subsidised by around 30%. We have now had a further very specific release of funds from two organisations, Keswick Bridge and the Hadfield Trust. Both these organisations want to help more residents of Cumbria with disabilities enjoy what this great county has to offer and have potentially life changing experiences through the power of outdoor adventure!”

This additional funding allows the Calvert Trust to be able to offer this amazing opportunity to live up to their motto “it’s what you can do that counts” for such an amazing price. To qualify for this bursary supported price of £99 per person, you must:

• Live within the Cumbria County Council area
• Have a learning difficulty, physical disability, sensory disability or acquired brain injury
• Be a new visitor to the Calvert Trust, not have visited since December 2015 or only attended as part of a larger organised group
• Attend with carers or support workers if you need support in your daily lives and / or are under 18

This weekend offer includes 2 nights’ accommodation, all food and 2 full days of activities, with arrival after  4pm on the Friday and departure after the afternoon’s activity session on the Sunday – all you have to do is get there.   Although additional dates may be available later on in the year, current dates available are:

• 3rd – 5th and 24th – 26th February 2017
• 3rd – 5th, 10th – 12th and 17th – 19th March 2017

If you, or those in your care would be interested in finding out more about the Calvert Trust and this specific opportunity for Cumbrian residents, please call the Calvert Trust direct on 017687 72255 to discuss further details, or email them on

Grab your 2017 guide to the Lake District, Cumbria today!

Cumbria Tourism – the county’s official destination marketing organisation – is pleased to announce that the 2017 Holiday Guide for the Lake District, Cumbria, is ready to inspire holiday makers to book their visit and plan fantastic days out in our stunning county.

This year’s front cover image was chosen through a highly successful online #theplacetobe competition where we invited fans of the area to share their favourite image on our Facebook Page The Lake District, Cumbria.

The competition generated hundreds of entries capturing the true beauty of the area. However, it was Tristan Tinn’s stunning image of Honister Pass, looking west towards Buttermere and Crummock water that made the short list before coming out on top in the public vote.

The 2017 Holiday Guide features key information on what to do and where to stay. From luxury lakeside lodges, cosy self-catering cottages, beautiful B&Bs and quirky pod retreats, not forgetting the many museums, independent shops and mouth-watering cafes and restaurants we have on offer.

The guide also illustrates how the Lake District, Cumbria, is the ultimate all year-round destination – whatever the season. Start the New Year by making the most of the remaining winter months with a short break, combined with a new Love Cumbria visitors card – the ‘must have’ holiday accessory for the season giving access to over 40 exclusive offers including ‘2 for 1s’ and up to 30% off entrance to attractions, cafes and restaurants.

Produced by Cumbria Tourism, more than 150,000 copies of the guide have been printed and over 160,000 e-mail alerts have also been sent to our visitor database letting them know the new guide is out.

Ian Stephens, Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism says;

“The 2017 holiday guide beautifully illustrates everything there is to do and why you should visit our stunning county. It is well equipped to influence many to book their holidays to the region and continues to play an important part in the decision making when consumers are planning their visits or short breaks and we continue to receive a high volume of requests throughout the year.

Ian continues;

“2017 is set to be another exciting year for Cumbria with lots to celebrate across every corner of the county, and we look forward to finding out if the Lake District’s bid for World Heritage Status is successful and will further confirm Cumbria’s leading position on the global cultural map.”

Copies can be downloaded direct from or by calling Cumbria Tourism on 01539 822222

The 2017 Holiday Guide is also supported by a range of other marketing materials including; 420,000 copies of the 2017 Attractions Guide, distributed throughout the county in high footfall areas and at a number of key locations outside the county. Along with the increasingly popular Food and Drink Guide that showcases a whole host of tasty places to eat and drink across Cumbria, including tempting tearooms, fantastic farm shops and award winning restaurants.

If you want to know more about the work of Cumbria Tourism and how you can get involved benefit from these key marketing initiatives please call the team on 01539 822222.


Notes to Editors:
For more information, please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on: 01539 822222 or email

1. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and support around 61,000 jobs.

2. For more information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit:

3. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit

Cumbria Tourism teams up with UK’s leading outdoor retailer

Blacks heads up list of new corporate partners

The leading outdoor retailer in the UK has thrown its weight behind Cumbria Tourism’s winter marketing campaign to promote the county as an all-year-round destination.

Cumbria’s official destination organisation is announcing details of a new partnership with Blacks, as part of a major promotional drive on behalf of its 2,500 tourism members between now and the end of March.

Other key names to back Cumbria Tourism’s winter marketing campaign include HF Holidays, Stagecoach, Lakelovers and the Lakes Culture project.

The businesses will be involved in a range of promotional activities nationally, including a wide range of digital marketing, competitions and feature ads in glossy magazines to show that the Lake District, Cumbria is #theplacetobe this winter.

This latest news follows the launch of Cumbria Tourism’s Love Cumbria rewards card aimed at giving people a range of special deals and discounts to incentivise more visits during the traditionally quieter winter season.

Rachel Tyson, Head of Marketing & Sales at Cumbria Tourism, says, “We’re thrilled to announce these latest new partnerships, as all of these organisations have a special affinity with the area.
“Blacks really epitomises the very best of outdoor activities and adventures – the perfect fit for the Lake District, Cumbria. It’s the first time we have worked with this famous outdoor brand, so we’re looking forward to developing some exciting ideas together to entice more visitors to this special part of the country.”

Lee Bagnall, Managing Director of Blacks Outdoor Retail Ltd, says, “The Lake District is one of the most scenic regions of the country, offering beautiful villages and a range of walks through stunning countryside no matter what the season.  It’s an all year round destination and we are keen to support Cumbria Tourism in its campaign to help raise awareness and encourage more visitors to the area during the winter months.”

Notes to Editors:

For more information, please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on: 01539 822222 or email

1.Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and support around 61,000 jobs.

2. For more information about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit:

3. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit

Ian Stephens, the MD of Cumbria Tourism – the lead organisation for the marketing and development of tourism in the county – is stepping down.

With destination brands like the Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall and Historic Carlisle, the role is one of the most important in England’s tourism industry responsible for Cumbria’s £2.6 billion industry that supports 40,000 jobs throughout the County.

Mr Stephens, 57, said: “It has been an honour and privilege to work in one of the most exciting and dynamic sectors in UK’s economy. I have loved working for Cumbria Tourism and with exceptional people through major changes.

“It’s a challenging role and now is the time to hand the reins to someone who can take the organisation through the next phase of its development. I’m not planning to retire and am looking forward to pursuing a number of projects in due course. After 14 years as a director of CT, I feel I need a change and the next six months seems a good time to make the move.

“I also think it’s a good thing for CT and chance for a fresh start with a new constitution and new leadership. CT is in good shape and in the strongest position it’s been for many years, with great potential to grow. So, in the short term, it is my priority to see through a smooth handover with minimum disruption. “

Mr Stephens became Chief Executive of CT in 2005 following on from Chris Collier OBE. He was formerly CT’s Deputy Chief Executive and Operations Director. He has worked in the tourism and leisure sector for 28 years in a number of operational and leadership roles. He joined the executive board of Cumbria Tourism in 2002 and is believed to be the organisation’s longest ever serving executive director.

Born in Carmarthenshire, West Wales, Ian trained and qualified as a chartered town planner and worked for the Sports Council before moving into marketing with a leading London based agency. He is a fellow of the Tourism Society, a Trustee of Nurture Lakeland, a Director of FairBooking UK and Welcome to Excellence Ltd. Ian’s career has involved a range of roles in market research, tourism policy, strategic marketing and campaign planning. Since joining CT, he played a pivotal role in various marketing campaigns such as the Place to Be campaign, Taste Cumbria and Adventure Capital campaigns and in crisis management with the Foot and Mouth Recovery campaign and Flood Recovery campaign, and with an exceptional team of staff has spearheaded the drive to improve all aspects of the tourism industry across Cumbria.

Notes to Editors:

1. For more information please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on: 01539 825019 or email
2. For more information and ideas about visiting the Lake District, Cumbria, visit:
3. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,400 members. In 2015, more than 43 million people visited Cumbria, contributing more than £2.62 billion to the local economy and support around 61,000 jobs.

To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit