What do David Hasselhoff, TV presenter Helen Skelton and actress Anna Friel all have in common?

They’re among just three of the high-profile names to contribute to a new Cumbria Tourism initiative which forms part of its Autumn and Winter Marketing Campaign to inspire visits to the Lake District, Cumbria.

Other familiar faces getting behind the new celebrity endorsement campaign range from TV personality and regular visitor Julia Bradbury, comedian Jon Richardson, and Olympic and Great North Swim competitor Cassie Patten, to homegrown Cumbrian heroes including mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington, Lord Melvyn Bragg and MasterChef 2019 winner Irini Tzortzoglou.

The initiative is part of Cumbria Tourism’s wider #theperfectplacetobe Recovery Marketing Campaign to help tourism and hospitality businesses affected by more than £1.5billion lost income following the impact of COVID-19. Following months of closure and just a few short weeks of summer trading, thousands of tourism jobs in the county are at risk, so the performance of the industry during the autumn and winter months will be all the more critical this year.

To help launch the campaign’s autumn activity and build on the momentum for staycations, Cumbria Tourism has called on an array of well-known faces across different walks of life – many of whom have strong Cumbrian connections – and invited them to show their love for this world-class destination by sharing their own personal messages.

The aim is simple: To share their favourite parts of the Lake District, Cumbria, and to inspire people to rediscover this diverse and spacious county during the traditionally quieter months for a well-served staycation. We are pleased to say our celebs have jumped at the chance to get behind Cumbria Tourism and the industry.

Locations featured alongside the messages from each celebrity include St Bees, Cartmel, the Solway Plain, Scafell Pike, Ullswater, Wastwater, Blencathra, Muncaster, Derwentwater, Kendal, Windermere, Catbells, Dodd Fell, Helvellyn and many more.

The celebrity messages will be shared with Cumbria Tourism’s social media audience of more than a quarter of a million people in the coming weeks, and each celebrity will also be asked to share them on their own channels to highlight the region as a great place to visit all-year round.

The full range of Cumbria Tourism’s celebrity endorsements will also be available on the region’s official tourism website, visitlakedistrict.com here, and feature in the 2021 Lake District, Cumbria, Holiday Guide. The Cumbria Tourism team will also be tagging participating celebrities into its posts and asking them to reshare with their social media audiences.

“We all know this is a special place but with so many well-known faces sharing that passion it’s great to hear their insights and genuine love or connection with the county,” says Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh.

“The messages have been a joy to read and we can’t wait to share them with our potential visitors, particularly those who missed their holidays here during lockdown. Our awe-inspiring landscape has so much to offer; not only some superb outdoor adventures, but also fantastic food, fascinating culture and heritage, and plenty of unique attractions and experiences.”

Another celebrity to add his name to the campaign is broadcaster Stuart Maconie, who says, “Last week for the first time in many months, I did two fell walks in Cumbria and I’ve been missing it so much. In fact, I hadn’t realised just how much I’d been missing it until I was out there again. Everything is there – the lakes are there, the shops, the pubs and the restaurants are there. Obviously, you may have to book ahead now things are a little different to normal, but Cumbria is open for businesses and is welcoming you back so it would be great to see you there.”

As the summer holidays draw to a close, Cumbria Tourism is calling on residents to continue their strong support for local attractions and the thousands of local people employed by the tourism sector by getting involved in this week’s #CumbriaAttractionsWeek.

Running until Sunday (September 6), the county’s official Destination Management Organisation is asking people to help raise the profile of the attractions they visit by posting photos of their day-out on social media, using the hashtag #CumbriaAttractionsWeek.

Designed to inspire residents to visit somewhere new and discover even more of what’s right on the doorstep, the initiative will be used to reaffirm how local people are just as integral to the strength of the county’s economy as visitors from further afield.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “We all enjoy visiting pubs, restaurants and cafes and it is common for us all to look around for ideas for a day-out close to where we live. By choosing to visit a local attraction, every resident will be playing a vital role in helping to protect 65,000 jobs, the economy and the way of life we all benefit from.

“The range of opportunities we have here is simply incredible. We have got wildlife attractions like Predator Experience and the Lake District Wildlife Park, to the birds of prey at Muncaster Castle and the Lake District Coast Aquarium. There are stunning gardens like those at Askham Hall, a chance to explore the arts at Tullie House or delve into Cumbria’s heritage at the Ruskin Museum, the Lakeland Motor Museum, Beacon Museum and The Senhouse Museum.

“Experiences range from mediation at Conishead Priory’s Manjushri temple, creating confectionary at The Chocolate Factory, blowing glass at Cumbria Crystal, or trying dry-stone walling. We have got train and boat rides and plenty of physical activities too, from golf at Carus Green, water sports at Low Wood, fell pony camping adventures, and swinging among the branches at Treetop Trek. The list really goes on and on.

“With so much on offer, Cumbria remains the perfect place to recharge, reconnect, reflect and rediscover with friends, family and support bubbles after such a strange and difficult first half of 2020. We thank local people for their support but do remind them to plan visits in advance and book ahead.”

Among the attractions to have felt the benefits of local support in recent weeks is Whinlatter Forest. Mark Holroyd, Head of Recreation and Communications for Forestry England, says, “In recent weeks we’ve seen a really encouraging rise in the number of cyclists and record numbers of people trying-out Go Ape, with 120 to 180 participants a day. Overall, visitor numbers are up 40% on this time last year and our average stay length is slightly up as well.”

Asia Connor, Sales Manager at tour operator Mountain Goat, says, “As a small local company we appreciate the support from both visitors and locals alike. We rely on locals throughout the shoulder months to book private hires and local services and appreciate their business. I believe this year we have shown how reliant we have become on visitors and international markets but here at Mountain Goat it has made us review our local market and make sure we are looking after them as well.”

Meanwhile, massive savings can be made on many local attractions by holders of Cumbria Tourism’s ‘MyCumbria’ card. Full details of all offers are online here.

After months of entertaining and educating the kids at home, bosses at the Senhouse Roman Museum are hoping the newly-reopened attraction can help reignite children’s interest in Cumbrian history and jumpstart their preparations for a return to school next month.

After re-opening to the public last week, bosses at the attraction near Maryport say they are already getting widespread interest from residents across the county who want to rediscover the little-known stories of life for ordinary people in Cumbria during the Roman occupation almost 2000 years ago.

Museum Manager, Jane Laskey, says, “I think people have been itching to get out and experience museums and cultural attractions again. We genuinely have one of the most important Roman collections in Britain here in Cumbria and right now, people are very open to the idea of exploring those hidden gems on their doorsteps.

 “With children returning to school in a few weeks, the education slant is an added bonus for parents who want to get youngsters thinking in a fun and informative way. We’ve certainly had plenty of interest not just from families in West Cumbria, but also from those in the south and east of the county who want to come and explore our spacious coastal site.

 “There have also been enquiries from couples and older visitors who have cancelled foreign holidays this year and are looking for more unusual day trips.

 “There’s an added appeal because we are in a dramatic location overlooking cliffs alongside the Cumbrian Coastal Way, giving people an easy, scenic walking route along the shoreline to Maryport Marina and other attractions like the Lake District Coast Aquarium and the town’s Maritime Museum. In the other direction, there is Silloth and the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).”

The Museum itself has put a number of measures in place to help manage the flow of people and by ensuring people book ahead and space out their visits, there is a real possibility of some ticket-holders having near-exclusive use of the Museum during their visit.

 Jane adds, “Lockdown has given so many of us a greater appreciation for the world around us and made us think about how the way we live our lives. During the Roman Occupation, different cultures and traditions melded together and there some interesting parallels with our society today, which really do make you think.”

I believe plenty of people who don’t see themselves as ‘average’ museum visitors will be surprised by some of the unique objects and fascinating stories they can discover here at Senhouse Roman Museum.  There’s an outdated perception that museums are dry and dusty places with limited appeal, but that’s not true: museums are for everyone!

The majority of Senhouse Roman Museum is now open daily from 11am to 5pm. A one-way system is in place, with visitors asked to wear facemasks and respect the 2-metre social distancing rule. Entry to the Museum should be pre-booked online and visitors will be allocated a timed slot to explore.

 The attraction has also achieved its official ‘We’re Good to Go’ accreditation to show it is following all the official Government safety measures and public health guidance.

Cumbria Tourism is using the Government’s ‘Love Culture Week’ (from 17 August 2020) to highlight the amazing range of museums, galleries, heritage sites, cinemas and cultural organisations we have in the Lake District, Cumbria.  It’s all part of the national #EnjoySummerSafely  campaign.

It’s also ideal content for #theperfectplacetobe campaign and a fantastic way for the county to get behind our world-class cultural offering and show visitors it is #theperfectplacetorediscover all we have to offer, while reassuring them about the safety measures in place.

We are encouraging people to get involved with our social media and blog activity throughout the week. On Thursday 20 August, we are also asking visitors to join us in sharing #ThrowbackThursday photos from their previous holidays and day trips to the Lake District, Cumbria of the past and say why they can’t wait to visit again.

We hope you will join us in shouting about our massively talented and inventive cultural sector next week and use it as a marketing opportunity to promote all things culture and heritage to your customers.

Learn more

The Government’s ‘Shop Local Week’ is running until 17 August to encourage shoppers to return to their local high street and to shop safely, and there’s never been a better time for residents to show how much they love The Lake District, Cumbria, than by supporting local retailers and communities.

Although famous for its world class landscape, Cumbria also boasts a multitude of fabulous independent shops, with plenty of retail therapy on offer across the stunning National Park, in towns dotted along more than 100 miles of the county’s coastline, in and around the city of Carlisle, and to the east of the county where the Lakes meets the Dales.

Businesses and shops on high streets up and down the county have adapted since the outbreak of coronavirus and are now able to welcome customers back to business-almost-as-usual.

Shop Local Week reassures shoppers that safety is paramount, and that their custom is valued by local high street shops and businesses. It also gives customers an opportunity to show appreciation and support for their local communities.

The initiative is part of the Government’s Enjoy Summer Safely campaign, which aims to inspire the public to get back to the things they enjoy, whilst following coronavirus safety guidelines.

Cumbria is brimming with dynamic and exciting shops, offering everything from groceries to artisan gifts and food. From the city of Carlisle to towns like Barrow, Kendal, Ulverston and Cockermouth, to tucked away gems like Alston or Coniston.

With bespoke independent outlets in historic market towns like Kirkby Lonsdale and Penrith, there’s also the official ‘book town’ of Sedbergh, where plenty of opportunities await those who want to get lost inside a new set of pages.

Also well-worth a look are shops in the coastal spots of Whitehaven, Workington and Maryport. Many visitor attractions have shops on-site too.

‘Shop Local Week’ also coincides with ‘Afternoon Tea Week’: A celebration of one of the nation’s favourite traditions. Whether enjoyed in a 5-star hotel or in a cosy cafe, The Lake District, Cumbria, is the home of countless providers of some of the best afternoon teas that money can buy.

It’s another great excuse to take advantage of the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme which is running this month, again to help local food and drink businesses get back on their feet.

The Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will give people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in participating cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels Monday-Wednesday, until 31 August. The maximum discount available is £10 per person, with establishments deducting the money off the bill and claiming it back from the Government.

Many places also offer great discounts on afternoon teas to holders of Cumbria Tourism’s ‘MyCumbria’ discount card. So, what better way to celebrate conquering a mountain than by raising a glass to the achievement, and tucking into a tasty meal or afternoon snack?

To qualify as a card holder, you just need to either live or work in a CA or LA postcode area.  For further information on MyCumbria, contact: info@mycumbriacard.co.uk

Cumbria Tourism has teamed up with the county’s Lord Lieutenant and MPs in county-wide efforts to help local food and drink businesses get back up and running through the Government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme.

Over the past 48 hours, Cumbria Tourism Board members have been out and about meeting local businesses who are offering discounts as part of the newly-launched ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ initiative.  They have been accompanied by Cumbria’s Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman and MPs from across the county, to listen to their recent experiences about the impact of the pandemic and to help inspire customer confidence about eating out again.

Locations ranged from Coniston, Hawkshead, Keswick and Cockermouth, to Barrow and Ulverston, alongside Brampton, Carlisle and Workington.

Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, Jim Walker, has been among those visiting hospitality businesses. He says, “More than 65,500 jobs and livelihoods rely on Cumbria’s visitor economy, so we are hoping that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ will provide a much-needed boost for hardworking tourism businesses, who have pulled out all the stops to ensure their establishments are COVID-secure and ready to welcome people back.

 “We thank everyone involved in the whistle-stop tours so far this week; the aim is not just to reassure and encourage people to eat out, but also to consider combining meals with day trips or overnight stays to the fantastic range of attractions and accommodation providers we have here on our doorsteps. By supporting local businesses through the ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme, residents across Cumbria really can show their practical support for our vital tourism industry.”

The Government’s new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August and enables people to get 50% off up to the value of £10 per person in any participating establishment.

Cumbria Tourism is promoting participating Cumbrian businesses on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com and is recommending that customers contact their chosen establishments in advance to book ahead.

The Government has also launched a restaurant finder to enable diners to search for participating eateries within a 5 mile radius of a specific postcode.
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As visitors continue to return to Cumbria many cannot wait to return to enjoy the Lake District’s outdoor spaces, and the county’s official Destination Management Organisation (DMO) is working alongside partners to help make sure first-time hikers and experienced adventurers enjoy a safe return to the fells by planning ahead and asking themselves three simple questions.

94% of visitors surveyed by Cumbria Tourism reported feeling better mentally during their trip*, and with exercise currently being encouraged a hike, cycle or even wild swim is a fantastic way for many to enjoy low-impact exercise in the fresh air as part of a wider trip sampling the county’s attractions.

Whilst Cumbria Tourism always encourages visitors to enjoy the outdoors safely as part of its destination marketing, the current situation means that it is more important than ever to plan ahead. They are encouraging those looking to get active to ask themselves three simple questions to ensure they stay AdventureSmart.

1 Do I know what the weather will be like?

2 Do I have the right gear?

3 Do I have the knowledge & skills for the day?


The object of the campaign is not to dissuade visitors from lacing up their boots, rather to help them plan ahead and consider the risks before making an informed decision. Whilst the weather or an individual’s skills may mean one route is unavailable, there are plenty of other options to choose from.

Cumbria Tourism Chair Jim Walker says “The Lake District, Cumbria is a truly fantastic place to enjoy the great outdoors, and after months of lockdown we are welcoming the return of visitors. It’s been very encouraging to see tourists abiding by the new social distancing measures to reduce the spread of Coronavirus but it’s important not to overlook other safety measures.

 “Nobody sets out expecting to require the emergency services but even in summer the weather is changeable, it doesn’t take much effort to plan for the conditions and ensure an enjoyable and safe day out.

Our local mountain rescue volunteers do an amazing job, but we all need to ensure their services are reserved for unavoidable emergencies.”

Cumbria also boasts a fantastic range of guides and instructors prepared to help the less experienced, or those looking to expand their comfort zone whilst minimising risk. Outdoor businesses have adapted their practices to reflect social distancing guidelines and are ready to offer high-quality experiences.

Local outdoor instructor Stuart Lockton from The Expedition Club says “So many outdoor activities are naturally socially-distanced. As an outdoor activities guide working with a wide range of clients doing activities in the hills and on the lakes I have had to adapt my procedures to the current climate, but this doesn’t fundamentally change the nature of our provision – supporting people of all backgrounds to be active and experience the wonderful outdoor space available in the Lake District.

 I now ensure all my interactions with clients are outside. I work with smaller groups, following the latest guidelines. I have changed the way I brief groups about any equipment such as climbing harnesses and canoe paddles, to avoid close contact. I either wipe down or quarantine equipment which has been handled by clients.

 Overall, my customers will still be able to experience the same exciting and invigorating or renewing experiences outdoors and in nature, under the watchful and supportive guidance of an experienced, qualified instructor, as I have always been able to deliver.”

Safety information is available on www.visitlakedistrict.com as well as at www.adventuresmart.uk

*Cumbria Tourism Visitor Survey 2018.

Communities across Cumbria are being urged to make use of the Government’s new ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – running on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays throughout August – to help local food and drink businesses get back on their feet.

As the county’s official Destination Marketing Organisation, Cumbria Tourism says the 50% discounts are a great way not only for local people to get back out and rediscover the range of foodie treats on their doorstep, but also to show their practical support for local tourism and hospitality businesses which were closed during lockdown.

 Cumbria’s visitor economy supports 65,500 jobs in the county and Cumbria Tourism’s research has already revealed an estimated loss of almost £2billion across the industry so far this year. It’s hoped that ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ will provide a much-needed boost by increasing customer confidence not just about eating out, but also about combining meals with day trips or overnight stays to other parts of Cumbria they may have missed in recent months.

The Lake District, Cumbria is renowned for its world class food and this new government-subsidised initiative is a great opportunity for all businesses which offer eat-in food to get back on the road to recovery,” says Jim Walker, Chairman of Cumbria Tourism.

“As well as directly supporting food and drink businesses, we hope the Eat Out to Help Out  scheme will encourage both residents and visitors to rediscover our diverse and inspirational county, or perhaps to seek out parts of Cumbria they haven’t explored before. Businesses have been working hard to implement all the necessary health and safety measures, to reassure everyone that they can enjoy a great food experience at the same time as helping to safeguard local jobs and livelihoods.”

Jo Lappin, Chair of the Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group and Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, adds, “Eat Out to Help Out is a really positive way to support local businesses and help our restaurants and pubs to get back on their feet after lockdown. It a great opportunity for everybody to get out and about, sample everything that is on offer and treat themselves and friends and family to a meal at the same time.”

During August the Brockhole Café and The Gaddum Restaurant are participating in the Eat out to Help Out initiative.

Sam Mason, General Manager of Brockhole on Windermere says, “This is a fantastic way for people to support the Lake District hospitality industry while enjoying great food. So if you want to feed the family after a busy morning of activities at our 30 acre Brockhole site, or you want to treat yourself to a sumptuous afternoon tea, enjoying one of the best views in the Lake District then please book your table with us.  We’re thrilled to be welcoming visitors back and are proud that we have received official Good to Go accreditation from Visit England.”

The Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme will give people a discount of up to 50% when eating or drinking soft drinks in participating cafes, pubs, restaurants and hotels Monday-Wednesday, from 3 to 31 August. The maximum discount available is £10 per person, with establishments deducting the money off the bill and claiming it back from the Government.

Cumbria Tourism is promoting participating Cumbrian businesses on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com – which people can also use to plan other activities across the county – and is asking customers to plan ahead and book in advance.

The Government has also launched a restaurant finder to enable diners to search for participating eateries within a 5 mile radius of a specific postcode.

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With Cumbria being world-famous for its local produce and household name foods, businesses right across the county which offer on-premises dining are being encouraged to sign up to the government’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme – not just to help the food and drink sector, but tourism across the board.

As Cumbria Tourism continues to help businesses overcome the financial difficulties caused by the effects of Covid-19, the organisation is urging people to use the scheme as a springboard to go-on to explore everything the county has to offer, in addition to enjoying a tasty meal at a discounted price. Nationwide, more than 32,000 restaurants have signed-up to the scheme so far.

Designed to encourage further confidence among consumers as lockdown measures continue to ease, from next week, every household will be entitled to dine at a discount at participating businesses, where from August, meals from Monday to Wednesday will be sold at a 50% discount (of up £10), including children’s meals and non-alcoholic drinks. It is not just restaurants which are eligible, but all establishments that sell food for consumption on the premises.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “The Lake District, Cumbria is famous for Herdwick Lamb, Cumberland Sausage, Sticky Toffee Pudding and Grasmere Gingerbread, just to name a few, so it would be great to see strong support for the scheme here. This government-subsidised initiative not only means businesses will benefit, but it also means attractive savings for residents and visitors. Plus, it also provides an incentive for people to visit new and inspirational parts of the county, or to rediscover those places they have missed in recent months, through day trips or longer stays.

“So, enjoy a meal with a great view or an afternoon tea at one of our many hotels, then combine it with a visit to an attraction or cultural venue like Tullie House or Windermere Jetty for example. It’s a perfect opportunity for friends and family to reconnect, with the added bonus of being able to take advantage of the discounts on meals as many times as they like.”

In the coming weeks, Cumbria Tourism will be taking a tour of some of the participating businesses to raise awareness of their involvement in the scheme on social media. Each will be featured online via Cumbria Tourism’s social media channels, newsletters, website content and blogs.

Gill Haigh continues, “Cumbria is not only the home of world class landscapes, but of world class food. Let us not forget, we are proud to have more Michelin stars anywhere north of London, which immediately sets the tone! This is a great opportunity for all businesses which offer eat-in food to get back on the road to recovery, which must not disappear in the wake of Covid-19.

“Businesses have been working very hard to offer a Covid-secure environment, meaning those who dine can be assured of not just a great food experience but also a safe and reassuring one. By using the Eat Out to Help Out scheme residents and visitors will also be supporting businesses and safeguarding jobs and livelihoods.”

The scheme launches on August 3, when each participating establishment will simply deduct the discount from the bill, so no vouchers are needed. In the coming days, participating businesses will receive window stickers so customers can look out for the logo.

Cumbria Tourism will promote participating businesses on a comprehensive list on its visitor facing website www.visitlakedistrict.com, which people can also use to plan other activities right across the county.


Details of how to sign-up to the Eat Out to Help Out scheme is at Cumbria Tourism’s Covid-19 information hub at www.cumbriatourism.org.