More than 400 guests spanning Cumbria’s £2.9billion tourism industry came together in an evening of celebration, on Wednesday 20 June, to honour high-achieving tourism businesses over the past 12 months.

Winners in the main 18 categories were presented with their awards at Cartmel Racecourse, with event host  Alan ‘Deadly’ Dedicoat – best-known as the National Lottery’s ‘Voice of the Balls’ – presiding over the annual ‘Oscars’ of the county’s tourism sector.

The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 winners were:

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

  • WINNER: North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite

 

Small Hotel of the Year Sponsored by Colliers International

  • WINNER: Rothay Garden Hotel, Grasmere

 

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

  • WINNER: Lindeth Fell Country House, Windermere

 

Bed and Breakfast of the Year – Sponsored by Cumberland Business

  • WINNER: Raise View, Grasmere

 

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

  • WINNER: Iconic collection Whitbarrow Village, near Penrith

 

Self-Catering Holiday Property of the Year

  • WINNER: Heart of the Lakes – Bristowe Hill, Keswick
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Glen Bank, Brampton, near Appleby

 

Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by NatWest Commercial Banking

  • WINNER: The Quiet Site, Ullswater

 

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

  • WINNER: Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport

 

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Burnetts

  • WINNER: Lowther Castle & Gardens

 

Tourism Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Christie & Co

  • WINNER: Dockray Hall, Penrith

 

Taste Cumbria – Sponsored by Enterprise Answers

  • WINNER: Merewood Country House Hotel, Windermere
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Castle Dairy, Kendal

 

Sustainable Tourism Award – Sponsored by Lake District National Park

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

 

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

  • WINNER: Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere

 

Adventure Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Lakelovers

  • WINNER: Cyclewise Whinlatter

 

Tourism Event of the Year

  • WINNER: Westmorland County Show, Crooklands
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Eden Arts – Winter Droving, Penrith

 

Wedding Venue of the Year – Sponsored by Napthens Solicitors

  • WINNER: Broadoaks Country House, Windermere

 

New Tourism Business Award – Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley

  • WINNER: Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater

 

The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Customer Service

For the first time in the event’s history, there was a three-way tie for a Cumbria Tourism Award, recognising the exceptional levels of customer service and excellence in this category:

  • WINNER: Rachel Dunckley – Hazelbank Country House Hotel, Borrowdale Valley
  • WINNER: Victoria Blanco – Treetop Trek, Windermere
  • WINNER: Christine Brown – Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

 

The evening was rounded off with an additional honour for Lord Clark of Windermere, who is this year’s recipient of the ‘Bernard Gooch Tourism Personality of the Year Award’.

Lord Clark led the bid for the Lake District’s  successful bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a high-profile figure championing Cumbria on the national and international stage over the past year. Since its status was given it has been fantastic to see how local people and businesses are working together to capitalise on this achievement and raise the profile of the Lake District, in indeed the county, around the world.

Our Managing Director, Gill Haigh, said: “Huge congratulations not only to  our award winners, but to all the finalists. The awards are one of the most eagerly anticipated  events in the Cumbria Tourism calendar and the high number of entries, the incredible number of highly esteemed sponsors and the fact there were more than 400 of us on the night is testament to the fact that this night of celebration, is one that our members, partners and colleagues not only enjoy but also deeply value.

These were my first Cumbria Tourism Awards and I have been blown away by the strength and depth of our £2.9billion tourism industry, not to mention the sheer hard work and dedication shown by tourism businesses who deliver world class experiences to the county’s millions of visitors day in, day out. Following on from Cumbria’s second World Heritage designation for the Lake District, this truly is a Year of Celebration!”

All award-winners received a trophy hand-crafted by Kendal-based glass artist Jo Vincent. We would also like to thank all our generous sponsors for making the event possible.

Researchers will be out and about in the coming weeks speaking to visitors across the county, as part of a major Cumbria Tourism project to find out they come from, why they come and what they do during their trip.

The Cumbria Visitor Survey will see 1,400 in-depth, face-to-face questionnaires completed and analysed between now and the end of September.  Questions will range from what influences their choice of accommodation and how they prefer to book, to how they travel and how much they spend. It is the only county-wide piece of research which gathers this level of detail about visitor behaviour and has been carried out every three years since 2006.

As the official Destination Management Organisation for the county, we take the lead on the Cumbria Visitor Survey with support from seven local authority partners. That includes Cumbria’s Local Enterprise Partnership, the Lake District National Park, Allerdale Borough Council, Carlisle City Council, Copeland Borough Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council.

Our Research Manager, Helen Tate, says, “The Cumbria Visitor Survey is a key piece of research which not only identifies where our visitors come from, but looks at everything from the size and composition of their party, to what they do – and spend – while they are here. To gain a representative sample, we have carefully selected a range of locations designed to pick up different types of visitors and compare results with surveys carried out in previous years.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, adds, “Cumbria Tourism’s role as the Destination Management Organisation for the county means we are in a unique position of working across local authority boundaries with our partners, to ensure we get the fullest, most accurate picture of visitor behaviour. Crucially, we will collectively use the results to support our lobbying work as a county,  to inform our marketing activity and to identify opportunities and areas of development to help continue to grow the value of our £2.9billion tourism industry countywide.”

We will reveal the key findings of the Cumbria Visitor Survey in the autumn.

The latest on the new Destination Borderlands Initiative, plans for The Tour of Britain in Cumbria and a preview of the new branding for the English Lake District World Heritage Site – just some of the topics under the spotlight at our Annual General Meeting (AGM) next Thursday 14 June 2018.

This key event for Cumbria’s £2.9billion tourism sector will be held at The North Lakes Hotel in Penrith and is open to any of our 2,500 member businesses. It will also reveal our latest research findings and feature a ‘Question Time’ style session with tourism experts, alongside an update on Cumbria Tourism’s achievements over the last 12 months.

Carlisle MP John Stevenson will get proceedings underway with an update on the Borderlands Initiative, a major cross-border project aimed at unlocking the economic potential for both the North of England and South of Scotland. As the Government’s designated ‘Borderlands Deal Champion’, Mr Stevenson will outline what Destination Borderlands could mean for Cumbrian businesses.

The Tour of Britain will be high on the agenda, with guest speakers from Cumbria County Council (Executive Director of Economy and Infrastructure, Dom Donnini) and event management and sports marketing company SweetSpot (Chief Executive, Heath Harvey). They will talk in more detail about a double coup for the county, as Cumbria plays host to two full stages of British Cycling’s premier road cycling race in September.

There will also be a preview of the new branding for the English Lake District World Heritage Site, which will be used nationally and internationally to promote the region. World Heritage Site Programme Manager, Alex McCoskrie, will unveil the materials businesses can use to promote themselves under the World Heritage banner.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “This is an important date in the calendar for tourism businesses to come together to get the very latest updates on the sector in the county, to network and to discuss topical issues. As well as hearing about some major developments, it is a chance to discuss marketing opportunities available to the industry and debate future priorities and opportunities for both Cumbria Tourism and the sector as a whole.”

The sponsor for the AGM is Hotfoot Design.  There are also other corporate and supplier members who support the event, as well as our own commercial services.

If you are a current Cumbria Tourism member and have not yet booked your place at the AGM – or if you are not yet a member and are interested in joining membership – please contact the team on 01539 822222 / stollerson@cumbriatourism.org

The finalists for one of the most prestigious literary awards outside London have been released and the all-star judging panel now have the difficult choice of crowning one as the 2018 Lakeland Book of the Year.

Covering almost every genre and subject, from local history and nature to stunning Cumbrian photography, this year’s entries have been narrowed down to a shortlist of 15 by author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism Chairman Eric Robson and BBC newscaster and author Fiona Armstrong.

The finalists will have a tense wait until Tuesday 10 July for the winners to be announced. This year’s glittering charity luncheon at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal will be in support of St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston and the prizes will be awarded alongside entertaining comments and reviews from the judges.

Founder of the awards, Hunter Davies OBE, says:

“As ever I am humbled by the time and research, patience and perseverance that Cumbrians put into producing books about Cumbria. I feel a cheap skate by comparison. Or is it cheese plate… “

As well as the ultimate accolade, the five additional prizes on offer are:

  • The Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides and Places
  • The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation
  • The Zeffirellis Prize for People and Business
  • The Bookends Prize for Arts and Literature
  • The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition

 

2018 Lakeland Book of the Year Shortlist

(In alphabetical order)

Botcherby – A Garden Village by Patricia M Hitchon

Britain’s First Black Policeman by Ray Greenhow

Capture Lakeland by James Bell

Lake District Fell Farming by Terry McCormick

Lives Beneath our Feet by Geoff Pegg

Portrait of Cumbria by Phil Rigby

Sun Shines Fair on Carlisle Wall vols I and II by Stephen Matthews

The Blackbird Diaries by Karen Lloyd

The Long View by Harriet Fraser and Rob Fraser

The Story of Lowther by Charlotte Fairbairn

The Thunder of Guns by Alan Michael Whitworth

The Wainwrights in Colour by Andy Beck

The Yards of Kendal by Trevor Hughes and Arthur Nicholls

Who Shot Percy Topliss by Jim Cox

Yarns from the Ropeworks by David Ellwood.

 

The awards are again this year in partnership with James Cropper PLC, based at Burneside Mills. This association is particularly apt as virtually all the UK’s hard-backed books are printed on paper produced in this Cumbrian factory. As well as financial assistance, James Cropper has also provided advice and, of course, the paper for the event’s printed material.

Have you had your say on the Lake District National Park’s Local Plan? It’s your chance to give your feedback on plans and strategy and help shape the future of the Lake District.

We urge all tourism businesses in the county to take the time to make their opinions heard on this important topic.

Click here to learn more and provide your feedback.

You may have read recently about the Borderlands Deal, a cross border initiative led by the five local authority partners; Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council. The authorities’ shared ambition is for the ‘area’ to play a full part in the regional and wider UK economy and unlock the potential of the south of Scotland and north of England.

In the November 2017 budget round the Chancellor supported the opening of Borderlands Deal discussions and the initiative is now gaining momentum.
One of the themes being developed is ‘Destination Borderlands’ which aims to maximise the opportunities for growth in the tourism sector. Like Cumbria as a whole, the future growth and sustainability for many businesses north and east of the Cumbrian border is also heavily dependent upon a thriving tourism sector and Borderlands will be one of the topics of discussion at CT’s AGM next month.

Many of the opportunities and challenges are replicated across and along the borders. The investment at Carlisle Airport and commencement of passenger flights in June 2018 is seen as a potential game-changer for the visitor economy.

Carlisle City Council and Cumbria County Council are at the early stages of developing proposals for a ‘Destination Borderlands’ programme that will maximise the opportunities for growth in the tourism sector, in particular exploring how the collective offer can be strengthened, particularly for overseas visitors.

Cumbria Tourism is representing its members, contributing to a steering group that is developing the Business Case due for submission to Government in the summer and which will align with Cumbria Tourism’s own ambitions to work in partnership to grow the value of tourism, to strengthen Cumbria’s reputation as an all year-round world class visitor destination of national and international appeal.

It tallies with our focus on:

  • Growing the number of staying visitors and increase the length of stays (international and domestic)
  • Growing the spend per visitor
  • Growing the number of visitors to less well-known areas of the county – ‘attract and disperse’
  • Growing the reputation of and economic value to Cumbria as an all year-round destination

Learn More

The latest economic analysis of Cumbria’s tourism industry reveals the sector is now worth more than £2.9 billion to the local economy, with 47 million people visiting the county in 2017 and supporting almost 65,000 jobs. This marks the fourth year of significant growth.

The annual ‘STEAM’ (Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Model) assessment has taken place since 1999 and is produced on behalf of a partnership led by Cumbria Tourism and supported by Cumbria’s District Councils, the Local Enterprise Project (LEP) and the Lake District National Park Authority.

The latest analysis concentrates on Cumbria’s overall tourism performance for 2017. Carlisle has seen the biggest increase in tourism revenue compared to the previous year (13.8%), but there has also been growth across all 6 local authority areas. This reflects our continuing ‘attract and disperse’ policy, utilising the strength of the Lake District brand to draw people into the Lake District National Park but encouraging them to discover and explore the exceptional offer of the wider county.

Overall Cumbria’s staying visitors increased by 6.2% in 2017 – equivalent to an extra 222,000 people – which is faster than the 5.0% growth in day visitors. Again, this reflects Cumbria Tourism’s strategy to encourage more high spending visitors to stay longer.

As well as highlighting strong spend on accommodation, the latest figures also reveal increased spend on ‘extras’ such as food and drink, leisure attractions and recreation, and shopping.

Our Managing Director, Gill Haigh, says, “This is the fourth year of growth for our tourism sector, which is easy to forget, but it is an amazing achievement. The results are positive for the entire county and are testament to the co-ordinated efforts of tourism businesses and partners working together on new products and developments, marketing and PR, and other highly impactful integrated campaigns such as Cumbria Tourism’s Winter Campaign which reached more than 32 million people.

“That said, it has been a challenging start to 2018, largely due to the weather, and businesses have reported a slower start than we’ve seen for a while. As an industry, this means we should all re-double our efforts to work together and ensure this world-class destination continues to sustain jobs in the county. As we approach the great unknown of Brexit, there has never been a more important time for co-ordinated support and partnership working.”

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 – The B&B with a view, 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: www.cumbriatourism.org/awards