Following a flurry of entries from across Cumbria, the finalists for the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 can now be revealed.

With a total of 18 awards on offer, brand new categories for 2018 include Culture & Heritage Experience of the Year and Adventure Experience of the Year. The finalists have all been chosen by an independent panel of tourism experts.

Tickets for this year’s awards ceremony at Cartmel Racecourse, on Wednesday 20 June, will go on sale shortly. The event will be hosted by Alan ‘Deadly’ Dedicoat – best-known as the National Lottery’s infamous ‘Voice of the Balls’ – with catering on the night provided by The Ilex at Holker.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “The award categories celebrate the huge range and diversity of Cumbria’s tourism industry. The awards are now in their 16th year and following Cumbria’s second World Heritage designation for the Lake District, it’s another great way to mark our Year of Celebration. We’ve seen an exceptional number of entries and I know the judges have once again been bowled over by the fantastic quality shown right across the county.”



The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 finalists are:


Large Hotel of the Year (35+ rooms) – Sponsored by Armstrong Watson

  • Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite
  • North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith
  • The Trout Hotel, Cockermouth


Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Colliers International

  • Cedar Manor Hotel & Restaurant, Windermere
  • Rothay Garden Hotel, Grasmere
  • Briery Wood Country House Hotel, Windermere
  • Lindeth Howe, Bowness-on-Windermere


Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

  • 1863 Bar Bistro Rooms, Pooley Bridge
  • Askham Hall
  • Lindeth Fell Country House, Windermere


Bed and Breakfast of the Year – Sponsored by Cumberland Business

  • Westwood, Cockermouth
  • Raise View, Grasmere


Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year – Sponsored by Out of Eden

  • Tottergill Farm Cottages, near Brampton
  • Bridge End Farm Cottages, Eskdale Valley
  • Iconic collection Whitbarrow Village, near Penrith


Self-Catering Holiday Property of the Year – Sponsorship opportunity available

  • Heart of the Lakes – Bristowe Hill, Keswick
  • Heart of the Lakes – High Cunsey, Far Sawrey
  • Glen Bank, Brampton, near Appleby


Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by NatWest Commercial Banking

  • Black Beck Holiday Park, Bouth
  • The Quiet Site, Ullswater
  • Park Cliffe Camping & Caravan Estate, Windermere


Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by H&H Reeds Printers

  • Old Hall Farm, Bouth
  • Cocoa Bean, Hawkshead
  • Derwent Pencil Museum, Keswick
  • Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport


Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Burnetts

  • Lakes Distillery, Bassenthwaite
  • Lowther Castle & Gardens
  • Honister Slate Mine


Tourism Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Christie & Co

  • The Wheatsheaf @ Brigsteer
  • Queens Head, Troutbeck
  • Dockray Hall, Penrith


Taste Cumbria – Sponsored by Enterprise Answers

  • The Plough at Lupton
  • The Castle Dairy, Kendal
  • 1863 Bar Bistro Rooms, Pooley Bridge
  • The Moon Highgate, Kendal
  • The Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter Forest
  • Merewood Country House Hotel, Windermere
  • George & Dragon, Clifton
  • The Three Hares, Sedbergh


Sustainable Tourism Award – Sponsored by Lake District National Park

  • Cedar Manor Hotel & Restaurant, Windermere
  • Newlands Adventure Centre
  • Upfront Arts Venue, near Penrith


Culture & Heritage Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Carlisle Lake District Airport

  • Line of Beauty – Percy Kelly Exhibition, Tullie House, Carlisle
  • Ravenglass Railway Museum
  • Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere


Adventure Experience of the Year – Sponsorship opportunity available

  • Newlands Adventure Centre & Keswick Climbing Wall
  • Go Ape Whinlatter
  • Cyclewise Whinlatter


Tourism Event of the Year – Sponsorship opportunity available

  • Eden Arts – Winter Droving, Penrith
  • Eden Arts – C-Art
  • Printfest, Ulverston
  • Westmorland County Show, Crooklands


Wedding Venue of the Year – Sponsored by Napthens Solicitors

  • Broadoaks Country House, Windermere
  • Castle Green Hotel, Kendal
  • Heather Glen, Ainstable Village, near Carlisle


New Tourism Business Award – Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley

  • Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater
  • Wheatsheaf at Beetham
  • Snooty Fox, Kirkby Lonsdale


The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Excellence

  • Rachel Dunckley (Hazelbank Country House Hotel, Borrowdale Valley)
  • Victoria Blanco (Tree Top Trek, Windermere)
  • Christine Brown (Castle Green Hotel, Kendal)


Cumbria Tourism would like to thank all its generous sponsors for making the event possible.


To find out more about the Cumbria Tourism Awards, visit:

Cumbria Tourism Logo

We are urging businesses to take part in a county-wide survey, to help it ‘health check’ how our county’s £2.72 billion tourism industry is performing.

The latest Business Performance Survey available on can be completed by any tourism business. It will enable them to benchmark their performance over the past 6 months (October 2017 to March 2018) and comment on the issues affecting trade.

The anonymous survey co-ordinated by our research team aims to understand the successes and challenges being faced by operators, and is part of our role as the official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) to monitor and evaluate tourism trends. More than 100 businesses have already completed the Business Performance Survey, but more are needed by the deadline of this Friday 20 April.

We will be using this research to help make the county’s case for future investment, strategy and business support, as well as informing key partners such as local authorities, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lake District National Park in their work on behalf of the sector.

CT Research Manager, Helen Tate, says, “This survey is quick and easy to complete and is really important for helping us to understand the factors affecting trade. We have been carrying out the six monthly business survey for many years now and it has helped us to build up a long-term picture of current and emerging issues, so we can keep supporting the industry and continuously improving the county as a tourism destination.”

Our six-monthly Business Performance Survey is just one area of regular research undertaken by the organisation. Work will also be getting underway on the Cumbria Visitor Survey in the coming weeks; held every three years, this vital research is the only available source of Cumbria-wide information on the county’s visitors, telling us where they come from, who they are with, why they come and what they do when they are here.

The organisation also undertakes monthly occupancy surveys, regular analysis of accommodation stock composition, and an annual tourism economic impact assessment.

For more information about the Business Performance Survey, contact our Research Manager Helen Tate:


Tourism businesses have more chances than ever to show off their glorious gardens at this year’s Cumbria in Bloom Awards, with a record six tourism-related honours up for grabs.

Cumbria in Bloom has been supporting and encouraging businesses, communities and individuals to improve their surroundings for the benefit of both locals and visitors for more than 30 years. Entries have now opened for the 2018 awards, with a closing date of Monday 30 April.

As the county’s official Destination Management Organisation, we are supporting six special categories for the county’s tourism businesses to enter:

  • Public Houses
  • Bed & Breakfasts /Guest Accommodation
  • Small Hotels (up to 10 bedrooms)
  • Large Hotels (more than 10 bedrooms)
  • Visitor attractions, including golf courses
  • Self-Catering establishments, including Holiday Parks.

2017’s tourism-related winners included Windermere’s Cedar Manor Hotel, Holgates Caravan Park in Silverdale and Ann Tyson’s House in Hawkshead.

This year’s Cumbria in Bloom judging will take place during the first two weeks of July, and the winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on 20 September 2018 in Ulverston.

Cumbria Tourism Executive Board Member, Haydn Spedding says, “As well as being a great asset for local residents, Cumbria’s horticultural offerings are a fantastic draw for visitors and really complement the natural beauty of the county’s coast, lakes and mountains.

Following the Lake District’s new UNESCO World Heritage status as a cultural landscape this is a fantastic time to showcase the entire county, and Cumbria Tourism is proud to support Cumbria in Bloom in highlighting the very best of our beautiful and inspirational gardens.”

To enter, contact Elizabeth Auld on / 01228 710128 before the closing date of 30 April 2018.

Following this week’s visit by HRH Prince of Wales to officially mark the National Park’s World Heritage inscription, and on the cusp of the busy Easter season, we have just released visitor figures that give even more reason for celebration.

Each year as the county’s official Destination Management Organisation, we run a visitor volume survey amongst visitor attractions across the county. The data collected is vital to give the county an indication of how businesses are performing across the region. Information was received from over 70 visitor attractions, telling us about their 6m+ visitors.

Figures just in from the annual visitor attraction survey report a 3.4% increase to Cumbrian attractions during 2017. These figures build on a 7.2% increase in 2015-2016, and 3.3% between 2014-2015.

Gill Haigh, our MD, says;

“This week’s visit by HRH Prince of Wales not only officially marked our World Heritage inscription but has also given us a fantastic advert for Cumbria at the start of the season ahead.  With figures just in from our most recent visitor attraction survey reporting a 3.4% increase to Cumbrian attractions in 2017, it makes us extremely optimistic for the year ahead.  We look forward to the Easter holidays and welcoming thousands of visitors to explore our world class county. We are particularly delighted that the survey findings demonstrate just how much visitors are enjoying attractions throughout the county – from Carlisle to Kirkby Stephen, Maryport to Flookborough, as well as the central Lake District.”

Last weekend we and our partners hosted a visit to the county by the new Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism, Michael Ellis MP, which coincided with his announcement of £3.3m from the Northern Cultural Regeneration Fund to enhance visitor experience at cultural attractions across the UK’s newest World Heritage Site. The multi-venue arts investment will help further cement the county’s international and national reputation for high quality attractions, offering visitors even more compelling ways to explore and experience with our world class landscape.

Cumbria Tourism Logo

As part of English Tourism Week, we have unveiled exciting new plans to team up with VisitEngland – alongside local partners and other English regions – on four key projects to target international visitors.

As part of its role as the official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) for the county, we revealed details of the ‘Discover England’ projects during a special tourism summit of member businesses at the Low Wood Bay hotel and resort.

The event yesterday ran under the theme of ‘Creating a World-Class Visitor Experience’ and appropriately, all four large-scale collaborative projects focus on enhancing a world-class experience for targeted international markets.

Our involvement will mean the county features strongly within each of the initiatives, which are all being supported through VisitEngland’s national ‘Discover England’ Fund. They include:

  • Discover England’s Great Walking Trails is all about promoting the great walking trails of England to visitors from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the USA. Itineraries will be designed to promote walking holidays offered by seven of England’s National Trails, including Hadrian’s Wall and the northern part of the Pennine Way. We are working with Marketing Peak District and Derbyshire, in conjunction with Carlisle City Council, to ensure Cumbria receives maximum exposure.
  • Growing Manchester as an International Gateway to the North: Working alongside Marketing Manchester, this project aims to increase the volume of visitors coming through Manchester Airport by creating itineraries that open up the North of England to the US market. Cumbria Tourism is developing one and two-day excursions to spearhead Cumbria as an unmissable rural destination.
  • The English National Park Experience Collection is a collaboration of the National Parks in England and will create a joined-up, internationally branded collection of experiences. We will be working closely with the Lake District National Park to provide business support, workshops and a trade marketing strategy which can be used by Cumbrian businesses targeting the Australian and German markets.
  • The World Heritage Sites Study is a research project being led by Cumbria Tourism on behalf of all the 18 World Heritage Sites across England. It will be identifying common themes, analysing which locations/activities have greatest resonance with different overseas markets and exploring where there are opportunities to cluster World Heritage themed routes and tours, possibly at a national level.

Our Sales and Marketing Manager, Sue Clarke, says, “14% of visitors to Cumbria are currently from overseas and with two internationally-recognised World Heritage Statuses, it’s a trend that is set to continue in the coming months and yearsOur role is all about cementing a world-class experience by bringing businesses and local authorities together in partnership with VisitEngland and other regions across the country, to ensure we are all working together effectively for maximum impact.

“In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, it is vital that we continually increase the amount of bookable online experiences international visitors can enjoy and keep raising the quality of tourism services and products available to them. These projects are a fantastic platform for Cumbria £2.72billion tourism industry to keep driving forward over the next 12 months.”

Cumbria Tourism will be gathering together around a hundred businesses from across the county next week, as part of a major event to mark English Tourism Week (17-25 March 2018) and celebrate the theme of ‘Creating a World-Class Visitor Experience’ for our £2.72billion tourism industry.

As the county’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO), we have put together a highly topical programme of talks, inspiring speakers and interactive workshops for our upcoming members’ meeting on Thursday 22 March at the Low Wood Bay hotel & resort.

As well as hearing from the Managing Director at English Lakes Hotels, Simon Berry, about the £16million investment at Low Wood, the key speakers will also include the Director of Sustainable Development at the Lake District National Park, Steve Ratcliffe. He will talk about the work being done to help make sustainable travel an enjoyable part of the visitor experience in Cumbria, whether that’s by bus, boat, bike or foot.

Our team will also be updating tourism member businesses on the latest research into visitor expectations, alongside some exciting new projects targeting international visitor markets through VisitBritain’s ‘Discover England Fund’.

To get truly interactive, businesses will even have the chance to take part in three workshop sessions, to help them explore the opportunities resulting from Cumbria’s increasing profile as a world-class destination at home and abroad.

Our Managing Director, Gill Haigh, says, “The last Cumbria Tourism members’ meeting in November focused on how to maximise on the county’s two World Heritage Statuses. This time the focus has shifted to the subject of meeting visitor expectations and ensuring we are creating world class experiences in our world class environment. 

“Hosted in English Tourism Week, it’s the perfect time to shine the spotlight on this subject. We’ve already had lots of interest from our tourism member businesses about this event, which will enable them to dig deep into the practical significance of raising Cumbria’s profile as a visitor destination both domestically and internationally. Following the county’s second World Heritage designation, this is a perfect time to seize new opportunities and focus on becoming even more world class.”  

Cumbria Tourism member businesses should register to attend in advance by contacting Sam Tollerson at:

If you still can’t decide where to spend your Easter break, then check out our Top 5 things to do and places to stay in the Lake District, Cumbria.

Choose to stay in your own private lakeside retreat or get pampered at a sensational spa hotel. Once booked in its time to explore every corner of Cumbria with a Mountain Goat or celebrate a very special anniversary at one of the area’s most iconic motoring attractions…


Stay on the shores of England’s longest lake at The Boathouse, Pullwood Bay (from Heart of the Lakes)

A beautiful detached, fully modernised property situated on the edge of Lake Windermere, with sensational views all around. Built in the 19thC this charming detached property was once used by the owners of the original mansion house that is part of Pullwood Bay Estate. Today it has been beautifully renovated with all modern facilities and everything required to make it the perfect place to spend some quality time with friends or family. This Easter relax and unwind


Get pampered in the heart of a historic village at The Wordsworth Hotel & Spa

Escape to the picture-perfect village of Grasmere and you’ll find it’s easy to share William Wordsworth’s delight at the area. Situated right in the heart of the Lake District, surrounded by magnificent mountains and the shimmering waters of Grasmere lake. The Wordsworth Hotel, nestled within this picturesque village, is no less of a jewel. The Earl of Cadogan’s former shooting lodge, transformed into a country house hotel, is set within beautiful grounds and offers the finest cuisine and spa pampering. Rooms still available this Easter from £200 per night Bed & Breakfast (3-night minimum stay applies) Includes Easter egg hunt and full use of the leisure facilities.


Gear up to for motoring attraction’s 40th birthday

Mark a major motoring milestone with one of the North’s leading heritage attractions this Easter. The Lakeland Motor Museum celebrates its Ruby Anniversary, 40 years after first opening its doors on 1 April 1978.  With a unique collection of 30,000 exhibits, including well over 150 classic cars and motorbikes, this all-weather attraction also has a perfect pitstop with an adjoining riverside café. Star exhibits include the Isle of Man TT Tribute Exhibition, with a newly-arrived Superbike loaned by motorcycling legend John McGuinness. £24.00 for a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children).


Teddies and kids go FREE at two heritage visitor attractions
From the 30 March – 15 April 2018 kids travelling onboard the historic Ullswater ‘Steamers’ and the Ravenglass & Railway Railway can travel for FREE when they bring along their best teddy bear friend. Visitors aged between 5 – 15 years old can take their pick from travelling by steam rail or by steam boat for an outdoor Easter adventure not to be missed.  After the journey either by rail or by water, it’s time to continue the fun and take Ted on a very special ‘Teddy Trail’ just waiting to be discovered. For further information about the events please visit:  or


Take a whistle-stop tour of two World Heritage sites

Jump on board a Mercedes mini-bus with specialist tour operator Mountain Goat for their new ‘World Heritage Tours’, giving visitors an easy, convenient way to see some of the inspirational places which led to the Lake District being awarded World Heritage status. For the first time, passengers can also combine a tour of Hadrian’s Wall in a two-day package, for a snapshot of some of the world’s most iconic Roman landmarks. The double World Heritage Site Tour package costs £85 per person with discounted rates for groups of 10 or more.


Cumbria’s longest-running trade show has been hailed a massive success, after welcoming well over 1,200 delegates through the doors during the two-day event.

The Lakes Hospitality Trade Show was established 43 years ago, and this year was run by the Lakes Hospitality Association in conjunction with Cumbria Tourism at the J36 Rural Auction Centre near Kendal on 7 and 8 March 2018.

Massive exhibitor demand ahead of the show lead to extra marquee space being added to the main exhibition hall, increasing the floor space by 30% and providing room for 120+ stands. Exhibitors spanned a wide range of hospitality businesses, including tourist attractions, food and drink suppliers and support services such as IT technology and catering equipment.

 Special workshop sessions were a new addition for 2018, with the social media and marketing seminars provided by Cumbria Tourism proving particularly popular. The workshops run by top hotelier Nigel Sandiford, formerly of The Dorchester and The Savoy, were also a big draw. There was even a wine tasting a session with TV wine expert Joe Wadsack, best known as Tom Kerridge’s co-presenter on the BBC’s flagship Food and Drink Show.

Director of the Lakes Hospitality Show, James Tasker, comments, “This was the biggest Lakes Hospitality Show ever, representing an amazing growth of 30% since last year. Plans for next year are already looking bigger and better, and the popularity of the event really underlines the strength and optimism across hospitality industry for the main holiday season ahead.  So many visitors and exhibitors told me that this was THE hospitality show to attend in the area, and there’s no doubt the event has really become one of the key events of its kind in the north of England.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “There was a fantastic buzz across both days of the show. Talking to stall-holders, one of the key themes was people’s desire to constantly improve and provide the best possible visitor experience, whether that’s through top-notch catering equipment, better travel links, slicker marketing, and so on. I certainly saw lots of new connections and relationships being made, which is what it’s all about. We’re proud to have worked closely with the Lakes Hospitality Association to help make the event such a big success.”

Nigel Sandiford, an associate for a new training academy just launched by one of the world’s most iconic hotel operators, will be bringing his expertise to Cumbria, as part of this week’s Lakes Hospitality Trade Show on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 March 2018.

The new Dorchester Collection Academy is the first of its kind in the UK luxury hospitality market and unveiled its state-of-the-art facilities in London’s Mayfair last week. Using Dorchester Collection’s expertise as a global leader in the ultra-luxury market, the academy will provide training to help hospitality professionals deliver the ultimate in customer service.  Now one of the academy’s key associates will be heading to Cumbria to help inspire businesses here too.

Nigel Sandiford will lead two free workshops at the Lakes Hospitality Trade Show, outlining what it takes to develop – and maintain – five-star standards. Previously of The Dorchester and The Savoy, he has a career spanning three decades and is the only person in The Dorchester’s prestigious 86-year history to have achieved their ‘Manager of the Year’ accolade twice. Now he is also directly involved with Dorchester Collection Academy as one of its key facilitators.

Nigel says: “The Lake District, Cumbria, is well-known for its high concentration of hotels and restaurants, but skills and training continue to be key challenges facing the hospitality industry nationwide and it’s vital that businesses take these issues seriously in an increasingly competitive visitor economy. I’m looking forward to showcasing what it takes to deliver a five-star service to guests and offering some insights into nurturing the next generation of hospitality professionals.”

James Tasker, a Director of the Lakes Hospitality Association, says, “Nigel is by far and away the most exceptional individual I have ever had the privilege of working with and to have an hour of his time is an opportunity that is not to be missed. In my opinion, and indeed many others, he is one of the top food and beverage operators in the UK, if not Europe.”

Free workshop places with Nigel Sandiford can be booked online, along with details of the full workshop programme.

The two-day Lakes Hospitality Trade Show will take place at the J36 Rural Auction Centre, Crooklands, on 7 and 8 March. This year’s event is being run by the Lakes Hospitality Association (LHA) in conjunction with Cumbria Tourism.