Almost four hundred guests gathered at Cartmel Racecourse on Wednesday 19 June, to congratulate the winners of Cumbria’s annual tourism ‘Oscars’.

A team of experts whittled down a record-breaking number of entries for the Cumbria Tourism Awards to 47 finalists for the final ceremony, held in association with United Utilities.

The event celebrated the very best of the county’s vibrant £3billion tourism industry and was hosted by comedian, writer and musician Mike Wilkinson.  Among the sixteen awards were two brand new categories: a Makers & Producers Award and an Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award.

The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019 winners were:


Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award Sponsored by Expedia

Lake District Calvert Trust, Keswick WINNER)

Treetop Trek, Windermere (HIGHLY COMMENDED)


Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by Natwest Commercial Banking

Castlerigg Hall Caravan, Camping and Glamping Park, Keswick (WINNER)


Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award Sponsored by University of Cumbria

The Quiet Site, Ullswater (WINNER)


B&B & Guest House of the Year Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

Haven Cottage, Ambleside (WINNER)


Experience of the Year Award Sponsored by Carlisle Lake District Airport

CBA Events @ Graythwaite (WINNER)


Large Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Christie & Co.

Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater (WINNER)


Large Visitor Attraction of the Year Sponsored by H&H Reeds

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway (WINNER)


New Tourism Business Award Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley

The Black Bull, Sedbergh (WINNER)

1692 Wasdale, Gosforth (HIGHLY COMMENDED)


Makers & Producers Award

Grasmere Gingerbread®, Grasmere (WINNER)


Pub of the Year  

The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale (WINNER)


Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year Sponsored by Out of Eden

The Lingholm Estate, Portinscale (WINNER)


Small Hotel of the Year Sponsored by Colliers International

The Regent Hotel, Ambleside (WINNER)


Taste of Cumbria Award – Sponsored by The Cumberland for Business

1863 Restaurant and Rooms, Pooley Bridge (WINNER)


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year Sponsored by Northern

Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth (WINNER)


Wedding Venue of the Year

Cragwood Country House Hotel, Windermere (WINNER)


The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Contribution to Excellence

Jake Winter, Lyzzick Hall Hotel, Keswick (WINNER)


Many of the winners now also have the opportunity represent the county nationally at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence in 2020.

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

 Involved in Mountain Goat since the 1990s, Stephen later bought the company and became its Managing Director.  He and Sir Norman Stoller later bought Lindeth Howe hotel. Stephen has also been involved with the Japan Forum, Cumbria Tourism and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, working tirelessly for the area throughout the UK and flying the flag for the county in Japan, China and the USA.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Our world-class landscape and cultural heritage is world renowned, proudly matched by world class product.  Last year the county’s tourism industry contributed a staggering £3billion to the county’s economy and supported around 65,000 jobs – that’s around 20% of the county’s total employment.

 “Not only that, but the industry also provides an incredible offer for our visitors – both national and international – and contributes significantly to what makes it an incredible place for us and others to live, work, study and invest in. Last night was a showcase and celebration of not just the best of Cumbria but easily some of the best the nation has to offer.

“With a record-breaking number of entries, competition for this year’s Cumbria Tourism Awards has been immense and the quality utterly jaw dropping.  Our thriving tourism businesses have again showed the sheer range, quality and innovation on offer in the county and this event reinforces the hard work and dedication shown by tourism businesses who deliver world class experiences to millions of visitors day in, day out. We should be tremendously proud of not only our award-winners, but of all of the finalists!”

Cumbria Tourism and the industry is fortunate to have a wide range of supporters and would particularly like to thank all of its generous sponsors for making the event possible.

They include headline sponsor United Utilities, as well as the category sponsors, including:  Carlisle Lake District Airport, Christie & Co, Colliers International, The Cumberland for Business, Expedia, Lamont Pridmore, NatWest Commercial Banking, Northern, Out of Eden, University of Cumbria, H&H Reeds, and Thomson Hayton Winkley, plus supporters Booths, Cartmel Racecourse, Campbell and Rowley Corporate Catering, Colourmedia, Heineken, Ambience Venue Styling, CBEN and EWGA Wines.

A newly launched ‘English Lake District India Forum’ to help Cumbrian tourism businesses make the most of the UK’s growing appeal to overseas visitors has been welcoming the CEOs of some of India’s top travel agencies to the county.

The new Forum has been set up by Cumbria Tourism to bring together businesses targeting international visitors from the fast-growing Indian market.

This week’s high-level visit (Tuesday 18 and Wednesday 19 June) coincides not only with the launch of the Forum, but also celebrates the ICC Cricket World Cup in England and Wales, which is a massive draw for Indian sports fans.

The group includes Chief Executives and Managing Directors from leading travel agencies like Cox & Kings India and KFT Holidays, as well as trade media, airline partner Oman Air and representatives from VisitBritain.

Cumbria Tourism’s renewed India-focus is part of a long-term partnership with Marketing Manchester, who hosted the group for the India Vs Pakistan match at Old Trafford on Sunday, before they headed to Cumbria to explore the wider North West region.

The delegates have been travelling through South and Central Lakes to the Eden Valley to experience key visitor attractions including Gilpin Spice; Windermere Jetty, Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories; Windermere Lake Cruises; Lake District Country Hotels; Mountain Goat; Grasmere Gingerbread and Lowther Castle.

A cricket-themed drinks reception at Storrs Hall also celebrated the Cricket World Cup, including a helping hand from Millom Cricket Club and their Sri Lankan professional, Sameera Sadamal.

A second Indian delegation will travel to Cumbria next Monday 24 June, just ahead of the India Vs West Indies cricket match in Manchester. It will bring India Forum members together with key Indian Destination Management Companies which offer services including tours, travel packages and airport transfers. The aim is to help increase their knowledge of the country outside London and put Cumbria at the centre of their planning decisions for the coming year.

The new India Forum is the culmination of work Cumbria Tourism has been doing with Marketing Manchester in recent months, to help promote the Indian sub-continent and meet with Indian tour operators and travel agents face-to-face.

Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director Gill Haigh says, “Cumbria has a compelling message for Indian visitors, who are renowned for their love of culture, heritage and the natural landscape. Businesses joining the India Forum will help forge even stronger links with overseas trade contacts and take an active role in encouraging more leisure visitors from the world’s fastest growing economy.

 “Working with Marketing Manchester is also essential, as we join together to unlock new opportunities and promote the wider North West to potential visitors from the Indian sub-continent.”

Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester says: “India is an incredibly important market in Greater Manchester’s international growth ambitions. The subcontinent is a significant region of growth; responsible for nearly 17million outbound visits a year, with Indian visitors to the UK spending more than £400m in the UK annually.

“As such, it is vital that we work with our partners in the north to make the most of the opportunity that the Indian market presents, and we look forward to further collaboration with Cumbria Tourism’s new India Forum over the coming months and years to do exactly that.”

12 Cumbrian tourism business have already signed up form a Steering Group for the new India forum, including:

  • Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Trust
  • Gilpin Hotel & Lake House
  • Grasmere Gingerbread
  • Mountain Goat
  • Muncaster Castle
  • Lake District Country Hotels
  • Lake District Estates
  • Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway
  • Storrs Hall
  • The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction
  • Treetop Trek and Treetop Nets
  • Windermere Lake Cruises

Businesses interested in joining the Forum can contact for more information.

Two top tourism officials will meet with businesses at Cumbria Tourism’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 27 June, to share the Government’s perspective on the opportunities and challenges facing the county’s £3billion tourism industry.

Businesses gathered at Penrith’s Roundthorn Country House Hotel will hear ‘the view from Government’, with both David Martin (Head of Tourism Strategy and Sponsorship at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) and Tim Jenkins (Policy and Public Affairs Manager at VisitBritain) as headline speakers.

Among the issues under the spotlight will be the Government’s plans for a Tourism Sector Deal and how this relates to Cumbria. The challenges of staff recruitment and skills, Brexit and infrastructure are likely to feature, alongside opportunities to grow productivity and the potential support available for rural tourism businesses.

With up-to-date analysis on the performance and growing economic value of the county’s tourism industry, as well as news on Cumbria Tourism’s national and international marketing and PR work, it is a jam-packed agenda. More than 120 businesses and representatives are expected at the event, which will also see the appointment of three new Non-Executive Directors for Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation.

And with just one week before the official launch of Carlisle Lake District Airport on 4 July, Stobart Group’s Kate Willard will reveal the latest on the first scheduled passenger flights for more than 25 years. The speaker-line up is rounded off with an update from Cumbria Tourism patron, United Utilities.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Our latest research reveals the massive £3billion contribution tourism makes to our county and we’re delighted to be welcoming a great selection of high-level speakers to our AGM, who can update and inspire local businesses on the important issues facing our growing industry.

 “We are proud to be working at both a regional and national level to champion Cumbria’s tourism sector and we know that the latest insights from VisitBritain and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport will be invaluable to local businesses who want to continue growing and innovating for the future.

 “It is great to know that the Government recognises the value of rural tourism, although it’s also vital that we work together to take full advantage of the opportunities and tackle the challenges tourism businesses face on a day-to-day level.”

The day will finish with a ‘Question and Answer’ session for Cumbria Tourism’s member businesses.

Latest figures reveal that Cumbria’s tourism sector generated £3billion for the county’s economy last year and supported 65,000 jobs – 20% of the county’s total employment.

The statistics come from the Scarborough Tourism Economic Activity Monitor, commonly known as ‘STEAM’. The annual assessment has taken place for the past 20 years and is produced on behalf of a partnership led by Cumbria Tourism and supported by Cumbria’s District Councils, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Lake District National Park Authority

The latest STEAM analysis concentrates on Cumbria’s overall tourism performance for 2018 and reveals an overall 3.7% increase in the value of tourism compared to the previous year. The biggest increases in value were in Eden (+8.6%), South Lakeland (+5.6%), Barrow (+4.2%) and Copeland (+4.1%).

South Lakeland district accounts for the greatest share of £3billion tourism revenue at 44%, followed by Carlisle with 18% and Allerdale with 16%.

In line with Cumbria Tourism’s long-term strategy, the county also saw an increase in overnight stays in 2018, with an extra 410,000 bed nights across Cumbria. This supports the increased spend and significantly bucks the national trend.  At the same time, there was a small drop in day visitors to Cumbria of -0.7%.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “This is the sixth year of growth for the value of the county’s tourism industry, and the new £3billion figure underlines the importance of the sector to our economy.  

 “It also demonstrates the success of Cumbria Tourism’s continuing ‘attract and disperse’ policy, which draws on the strength of the Lake District brand to attract staying visitors who also want to discover and explore the wider county. The visitor economy brings a range of benefits to the whole of Cumbria and helps make the county not only a great place to visit, but also a great place to live and work. We believe that by working together there are significant opportunities to further grow the value of tourism.

She adds, “That said, we are conscious that these are testing times for Cumbria’s tourism sector. Our recent Business Performance Survey highlights continued rising costs for tourism businesses, uncertainties around Brexit and reduced consumer spending. As an industry, joined-up investment, co-ordination and partnership working is vital to ensure our world-class destination continues to sustain jobs and bring all year round benefits in the county as a whole.”

Nigel Wilkinson is a Cumbria LEP Board member and Chair of the Visitor Economy Sector Panel. He says, “The latest STEAM data confirms the strength of Cumbria’s tourism offer and Cumbria Tourism and partners success in taking this to the next level. It is really encouraging to see the growth in overnight stays and the results now being delivered by the attract and disperse policy.

 “This strong performance clearly demonstrates Cumbria’s important contribution to the emerging Tourism Sector Deal and puts down a clear marker of our potential to become a national Tourism Action Zone. Cumbria LEP (CLEP) will be working closely with Cumbria Tourism and our visitor economy partners to make Cumbria’s case”.

Cumbria Tourism has launched the latest phase of a £285,000 travel marketing campaign with a high-profile presence at Manchester Airport, London Euston and other key Northern cities including Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.

It’s all being timed to coincide with Northern’s new extra 50% discount off selected online advance train tickets, enabling passengers to access hugely-reduced train fares to and from the county.*

For six weeks, big screen advertising promoting Cumbria can be seen at some of the country’s busiest commuter hubs. That includes Manchester Airport and the city’s Piccadilly Gardens, as well as a huge 12 metre wide ‘digi-bridge’ over one of the North West’s busiest commuter routes, the Mancunian Way.

An array of high-impact advertising is being used alongside large screens at public transport hubs in London Euston, Liverpool Lime Street and Manchester Piccadilly. This is teamed with digital marketing targeting locations across Lancashire and Cumbria, as well as Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle and London.

The campaign comes in the run-up to the school summer holidays and features new high-impact video and photography showcasing the county, which will also be shown on ITV On Demand, YouTube and a wide range of online social media and regional newspaper platforms.

As the county’s official Destination Management Organisation, Cumbria Tourism is aiming to rebuild visitor confidence in train services and positively inspire potential visitors to the Lake District, Cumbria.

Cumbria Tourism’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Rachel Tyson, says, “We are very excited to unveil this new high-profile campaign, which spans six major UK cities and a wide range of online and print channels. It’s all about dispelling misconceptions about travelling by train and giving visitors practical ideas and inspiration to encourage them to book breaks away in our amazing county.

The £285,000 campaign follows robust and sustained lobbying at government level, with Cumbria Tourism working alongside Cumbria County Council and Transport for the North to secure funding through the rail industry amid disruption to train services over the past 12 months.

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern says, “Cumbria is a fantastic place to visit with a wide range of activities on offer and a breath-taking natural backdrop.

 “Of course, the best way to see this fabulous county is by train and we are making travel even better for our customers in the summer with an extra 50% off our Advance Purchase fares. And, we have recently introduced new services between Cumbria and Manchester Airport, so it is easier than ever to jump on a train and explore all the area has to offer.”

This latest marketing activity comes hot on the heels of the campaign’s first phase, which got underway earlier this Spring, reaching more than 15 million people in six weeks and generating 8,700 click-throughs from online activity.

The finalists for the landmark 35th Lakeland Book of the Year have been unveiled and it’s been yet another fantastic year for Cumbria’s literary heritage.

The longlist for one of the most prestigious literary awards outside London, the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year, has been released and the competition’s expert judges now have the difficult task of selecting the final shortlist, six category winners and the overall 2019 winner.

Highlighting almost every aspect of the county, including the history of the land and its people, the huge range of poetry it inspires, and the countless outdoor activities available, the longlist of 20 fabulous books has been selected by author, columnist and founder of the competition Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster, ex-Gardener’s Question Time host and Cumbria Tourism Chairman Eric Robson and BBC newscaster and author Fiona Armstrong.



The authors will be on tenterhooks until the winners are unveiled at this year’s charity luncheon, held at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal on Tuesday 16 July. This year’s supported cause is Growing Well, a farm-based mental health charity near Kendal. Following the luncheon, prizes will be awarded by the judges, accompanied by their reviews and entertaining comments regarding this year’s entries.


As well as the ultimate accolade of the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year 2019, the six additional prizes on offer are:

  • The Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides & Places
  • The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration & Presentation
  • The Zeffirellis Prize for People & Business
  • The Bookends Prize for Arts & Literature
  • The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape & Tradition
  • The Gilpin Hotel Group Prize for Poetry & Fiction


Tickets for the luncheon are available for £30 and can be purchased from Cumbria Tourism by visiting

The awards are again this year in partnership with James Cropper PLC, based at Burneside Mills, a fitting association with virtually all the UK’s hard-backed books printed on paper produced in this Cumbrian factory.

The Lakeland Book of the Year is generously supported by the Cumbria Community Foundation and the Hunter Davies Fund, whose support allows the continued celebration of the county’s literary prowess.


2019 Lakeland Book of the Year Longlist

(In alphabetical order)

70 Sonnets by Stephen Matthews

Bruffam: Henry, first Lord Brougham & Vaux 1778-1868 by David Crackenthorpe

Climbing Skiddaw: A History and an Anthology by Stephen Matthews

The Corpse Roads of Cumbria by Alan Cleaver & Lesley Park

Dalston: The Story of a Cumberland Parish by David Wilcock

The Debatable Land: The Lost World Between Scotland and England by Graham Robb

Derwentwater: In the Lap of the Gods by Ian Hall

Feather Bed & Shive of Cheese: Names in the Landscape of Finsthwaite, Lakeside, Stott Park & Ealinghearth by Sophia Martin, Pat Jones & Liz Kingston

Gin, Cake & Rucksacks by Beth Pipe & Karen Guttridge

Lakelanders: Stories and Poems about Living in a Lake District Valley by Andrea Meanwell

The Little Book of Cumbria by David Ramshaw

Making Their Mark: Learning to Read and Write in 19th-century Cumberland by Jane Platt

Morph by Jill Clough

Over the Hill at 60 Something by Barry Holmes

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven

Running the Red Line by Julie Carter

The Stopping Places: A Journey Through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas

This Place I Know: An Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry by Various Contributors

Wordsworth’s Gardens and Flowers: The Spirt of Paradise by Peter Dale & Brandon C. Yen

You Just Can’t Bottle It by Angela Frances Bell

Cumbria Tourism has described a decision to conduct disruptive engineering works on the West Coast Mainline over two weeks during the school summer holidays as nonsensical.

The West Coast Mainline will close for 16 days from 20 July to 4 August 2019 near Warrington, meaning many train services will be diverted via alternative routes. Network Rail have advised that some passengers may also need to change onto a different train or a bus for a section of their journey.

As Cumbria’s official Destination Management Organisation, Cumbria Tourism says the timing of the work is – yet again – a major blow for the county’s £2.9billion visitor economy and its Managing Director is calling for a rethink.

Gill Haigh says, “This news is a shock and totally unacceptable for tourism businesses.

Following last year’s disruption, we are already in the midst of a major £285,000 marketing campaign – funded by the rail industry – to rebuild people’s confidence in rail services and to inspire potential visitors to travel by train.  This high-profile campaign has already had to be delayed numerous times, due to strikes and then closures at London Euston over Easter and the May Bank Holidays. Following our complaints about the Easter disruption, we were assured that Network Rail would take our views on board and help mitigate against further disruption. However, this does not appear to be the case.

“Cumbria Tourism will now be writing to Network Rail, along with the Secretary of State for Transport, Transport for the North and our local MPs, urging them to look into this issue as a matter of urgency.”

Vice Chairman of Cumbria Tourism, Jim Walker adds, “Whilst we are aware that maintenance of the network needs to be carried out once again, there appears to be no regard for the impact on tourism as part of the planning process. The school summer holidays are the busiest time of year for tourism operators and following the previous issues with train services last summer, less frequent longer journeys are the last thing they need.

 “If passengers are now being told to expect longer, busier journeys for more than two weeks during the peak holiday season, this is simply not acceptable.”

The judges of our annual awards celebration, in association with United Utilities, have a difficult task ahead of them after almost 150 entries highlighting the county’s world-class accommodation, attractions, customer service and more!

16 categories covering every conceivable type of tourism business will celebrate the very best of Cumbria’s vibrant visitor economy, with many winners going on to represent the county nationally at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence. Exciting changes for 2019 include the launch of two brand new categories: a Makers & Producers Award and an Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award, highlighting both the importance of ensuring that businesses cater to those with additional needs and Cumbria’s strong reputation for top-quality produce enjoyed the world over.

The large number of entries have been whittled down to just 47 finalists, who will face another round of judging which will include a mystery shopping visit or announced visit from an industry expert. The winners will be unveiled at a fabulous black-tie celebration of tourism at Cartmel Racecourse on the 19th of June in front of an audience of 400.

Tickets for this year’s awards ceremony will go on sale shortly. The event will be hosted by talented comedian, writer and musician Mike Wilkinson, who has appeared alongside the likes of Dave Spikey, Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay, with a three course meal produced by Campbell and Rowleys from The Ilex Brasserie and drinks on the night supplied by, Booths, EWGA Wines and Heineken.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “There’s no denying that Cumbria is a world-class visitor destination and it’s utterly fantastic to see our county’s natural beauty and heritage matched by the amazing range and quality of our record-breaking number of entries – we’re overwhelmed by the incredibly high standards they all showcase! Whether our visitors come for a luxury break or an adventurous weekend, our fabulous foodie offerings or for life-changing experiences we have it all, and it’s only right that we recognise the hard work and dedication that so many people put into making our county the place to be. These awards celebrate every business supporting our thriving industry with the length and breadth of Cumbria represented by their very best ambassadors – our judges have an incredibly difficult task ahead of them and choosing the overall winners for 2019.”


The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019 finalists are:


Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Award – Sponsored by Expedia

  • Lake District Calvert Trust, Bassenthwaite
  • Treetop Trek, Windermere


Camping, Glamping & Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by Natwest Commercial Banking

  • Park Cliffe, Windermere
  • Waterfoot Park, Pooley Bridge, Ullswater
  • Castlerigg Hall Caravan, Camping and Glamping Park, Keswick


Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award – Sponsorship opportunities available

  • The Quiet Site, Ullswater
  • Ullswater ‘Steamers’
  • Cedar Manor Hotel, Windermere


B&B & Guest House of the Year – Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

  • Haven Cottage, Ambleside
  • The Sally, Irthington
  • Raise View, Grasmere


Experience of the Year Award – Sponsored by Carlisle Lake District Airport

  • CBA Events @ Graythwaite
  • Alpacaly Ever After CIC, Portinscale
  • Cumbria Crystal, Ulverston


Large Hotel of the Year– Sponsored by Christie & Co.

  • Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, Borrowdale
  • Armathwaite Hall Hotel and Spa, Bassenthwaite
  • Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater


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

  • Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway
  • Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Carlisle


New Tourism Business of the Year – Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley

  • Dome House Lakes, Bowness-on-Windermere
  • 1692 Wasdale, Gosforth
  • The Black Bull, Sedbergh


Makers & Producers Award – Sponsorship opportunities available

  • The Lakes Distillery, Setmurthy
  • Grasmere Gingerbread®, Grasmere
  • Pure Lakes Skincare Ltd, Staveley


Pub of the Year – Sponsorship opportunities available

  • The Black Labrador, Underbarrow
  • The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale
  • The Crafty Baa, Windermere


Self-Catering Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Out of Eden

  • Bon Vivant Boutique Smart Villa, Bowness on Windermere
  • The Lodges at Artlegarth, Ravenstonedale
  • The Lingholm Estate, Portinscale


Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Colliers International

  • Brownber Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune
  • The Regent Hotel, Ambleside
  • The Halston, Carlisle


Taste of Cumbria – Sponsored by The Cumberland for Business

  • 1863 Restaurant and Rooms, Pooley Bridge
  • Askham Hall, Penrith
  • Plato’s, Kirkby Lonsdale


Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Northern

  • Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth
  • Brantwood, John Ruskin’s Home, Coniston
  • Birdoswald Roman Fort, Gilsland


Wedding Venue of the Year– Sponsorship opportunity available

  • Cote How Lake District Weddings, Rydal
  • Lodore Falls Hotel and Spa, Borrowdale
  • Lindeth Howe Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere
  • Cragwood Country House Hotel, Windermere


The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Customer Service

  • Richard Monk-Steel (Waterfoot Park, Pooley Bridge)
  • Marion Thompson (Bowness Bay Visitor Centre)
  • Jake Winter (Lyzzick Hall Hotel, Underskiddaw)


Cumbria Tourism would like to thank all its generous sponsors for making the event possible. They include headline sponsor United Utilities, category sponsors Carlisle Lake District Airport, Christie & Co, Colliers International, The Cumberland for Business, Expedia, Lamont Pridmore, NatWest Commercial Banking, Northern, Out of Eden and Thomson Hayton Winkley, plus supporters Booths, Cartmel Racecourse, Colourmedia, Heineken and EWGA Wines.

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

A mission to embrace new technology to make it easier for visitors to donate money to projects which help care for the Lake District is being described as a “pioneering approach” for the National Park.

With the support of Cumbria Tourism and The Lake District National Park, The Lake District Foundation (LDF), is rolling-out its first contactless debit and credit card donation terminals as a convenient alternative to the more traditional coin-slot collection boxes.

Three contactless donation boxes will be operational in time for the Easter weekend, at the Bowness Bay and Keswick Tourist Information Centres, as well as at the beginning of the Ullswater Way route.

The LDF raises money through donations from the public and businesses before distributing grants to projects which care for local landscapes. With the support of its partners the Lake District National Park (LDNP) and Cumbria Tourism, the development is part of the ‘Rethinking Parks’ programme by NESTA, a global innovation foundation which supports new ideas to tackle 21st century challenges and follows a survey with members of the public last year.

Sarah Swindley, Director of the LDF, says, “We had great feedback from last year’s survey and it’s clearer to us than ever that people who love the Lake District want to help us look after it. People are generally carrying less cash with them than they used to, so we’re really excited to be able to offer this pioneering approach to fundraising to people who would like to support our work”.

Each machine not only makes donating possible with a simple swipe of a credit or debit card, but also features prominent new messaging about how fundraising can help, in order to maximise the effect of each machine.

Liam McAleese, Head of Strategy and Partnerships for the Lake District National Park, says, “Visitor giving is a critical component for how the Lake District Foundation is able to fund so many worthy projects to help ensure the national park remains a beautiful place for us all to enjoy. Existing funding streams go a long way, but just aren’t enough on their own, so our visitors play a huge role in helping to preserve the beauty that surrounds them during every visit. We therefore strongly welcome this technology which will help our visitors donate more easily towards the wellbeing of the National Park.”

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “We want to see a step-change in visitor giving by inspiring them to donate quickly and easily if they wish to do so, using the Rethinking Parks project as a pilot. Together with the Lake District Foundation and Lake District National Park, we’re really excited to be part of this project. It’s an innovative new option for the millions of people who enjoy the Lake District and to the best of my knowledge this is the first national park to embrace it fully.”

Sarah Swindley added, “When asking our visitors to part with their money, we understand the process needs to be quick, simple and convenient. We’d like to thank everyone who gave us their views on this project and those findings will continue to be used for the next phase of the project. We hope to put this this technology ‘on tour’ around other parts of the Lake District so visitors to all areas have the opportunity to help the work of the Lake District Foundation. It only takes a small donation to make a big difference.”

You can find out more about the Lake District Foundation’s involvement in the ‘Rethinking Parks’ project here.