Top Ten Things To Do in Cumbria

There’s plenty of things to see and do and we’ve selected just a few top suggestions for a perfect winter break. Come join us and enjoy this truly remarkable landscape. To find out more visit: www.golakes.co.uk and book yourself a break away.

1. The Snow Queen, Theatre by the Lake – Keswick

Treat the family to a Christmas performance of The Snow Queen at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. A tale of friendship, kindness and adventure set amongst the coldest season, based on Hans Christian Andersons classic can warm the heart.

Running until 16th January 2016

2. The Big Sleep in aid of Cumbria Community Foundation

Join Cumbria Community Foundation for a night of entertainment and fund raising for the Winter Warmth Appeal; to support vulnerable older people in Cumbria.

Cumbria Community Foundation is currently in the midst of raising millions of pounds for the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund.

We’re asking you to leave the comfort of your warm home, brace the cold Winter air and spend a night sleeping under the stars.

In a bad winter 300 older people in Cumbria can die because of the effects of the cold weather – by spending one night camping out at the Low Wood Bay Hotel overlooking Lake Windermere, you could help keep one older person safe and warm over the winter months.

Entertainment, food and refreshments and overnight parking is all available; just bring yourself, your tent and sleeping bag and your winter woollies to keep you warm

January 30th 2016

3. Lakes Artist Society’s Winter Exhibition, Rheged Centre – Nr Penrith

The Lake Artists Society was founded more than 100 years ago, by artist W.G.Collingwood, secretary to John Ruskin. The society consists of a range of Cumbrian painters and sculptors working in a variety of styles and mediums. The annual Winter Exhibition is an opportunity to see a large selection of artworks, and is an ideal chance to add to your collection, at this festive time of year.

Running until 31st January 2016
4. Canalleto – Exclusive After Hours Tour at Abbot Hall

Join an exclusive tour of the Canaletto: Celebrating Britain exhibition after hours. Take in the exhibition in the company of only a dozen people before joining the curatorial team to hear more about the paintings and discuss the work.

Canaletto, is today remembered as one of Italy’s greatest view painters. His images of Venice were particularly popular with the well-bred English gentlemen undertaking the Grand Tour of Europe. When war caused the flow of British visitors to Venice to dry up Canaletto followed his patrons home to Britain

After Hours Tour: Thursday 14th January 2016
Exhibition: Open now until 14th February 2016
5. Distillery Tours at The Lakes Distillery

Set in the backdrop of the beautiful Cumbrian hills and mountains, The Lakes Distillery, the largest distillery in England, is set in an area of unimaginable beauty next to Bassenthwaite Lake. Overlooked by one of the Lakes’ highest peaks, Skiddaw, our location has been an inspiration to many people over the years including the poets Wordsworth and Tennyson.

We welcome visitors to learn about their spirits via their cutting edge distillery tours. Visitors will be taken on a tour through the ages, exploring the history of distilling, learning about what makes The Lakes Distillery’s products so special and unique, and of course having a sample of the spirits themselves!

Open every day except Christmas Day
6. Health and Wellbeing Fair

Come along to The Rheged Centre and meet with fitness experts, nutritionists, beauticians and join us in our quest to get fit, feel great and wipe away those winter blues
The event also features gluten free products in association with the Cumbria Coeliac Society

January 3st 2016, 10am – 4pm, free entry

7. White Noise Festival, the Brewery Arts Centre

Brand new for 2016, The White Noise Festival aims to inspire young people under 26 to reflect on & question the world around them through an eclectic mix of theatre, spoken word, music & art.
More information and acts to be announced soon. See all White Noise events for only £20 (Under 26s) or £5 individually.

February 5th and 6th 2016

8. Burns Night at Tullie House

A night of dialect poetry and Burns Night traditions to celebrate the birthdays of Robbie Burns and Robert Anderson, the famous Cumberland Bard. The Lakeland Dialect Society and local poets will deliver a night of entertaining and wide ranging dialect performances. There’ll also be the chance to view the Picture the Poet exhibition.

January 29th 2016

9. Polar Exploration: An illustrated talk with Geoff Somers
Geoff Somers is one of the Worlds most accomplished Polar travellers. He has completed several “Firsts”- including in 1990 the first and only traverse of the entire Antarctic Continent by its greatest axis – a seven month, near 4000 mile (6000 km) journey. Keswick Museum hosts this expedition icon on Tuesday 26th January, for more info and booking, please contact Helen Keogh on 017687 73263 or email: learning@kmag.org.uk

January 26th 2016

10. Blue Monday at Heaton Cooper Studios

Grasmere art Studio, Heaton Cooper is putting on show just bright and sunny paintings on the most depressing day of the year. The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere plans to mark “Blue Monday” with an exhibition of sunshine and colour on the third Monday in January (18th). The show will include a rarely-seen painting of Les Calanques in Provence by William Heaton Cooper, the grandfather of the gallery’s director Becky Heaton Cooper who is arranging the event to raise money for MIND, the mental health charity.

January 18th 2016
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Notes to Editors:
All events correct at time of release, may be subject to change, please check with event venues and accommodation providers if you’re unsure.

1. For further information please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on 01539 822222 or on pressoffice@cumbriatourism.org

2. With over 40 years of continuous service, Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria visitor economy. It has a membership of more than 2,600 members who in turn employ thousands of employees.

3. In 2014, over 41 million people visited Cumbria contributing more than £2.44 billion to the local economy and support around 58,000 jobs. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org

Lake District skipper nominated for VisitEngland’s ‘Tourism Superstar’

One of the youngest ever skippers of a Windermere ‘steamer’ has made the national shortlist in a competition to find VisitEngland’s Tourism Superstar 2016.
The campaign recognises the dedication and passion of those working in the tourism industry and is awarded to an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty to ensure visitors to England have an unforgettable experience.

VisitEngland has just revealed details of the national finalists for 2016, with Cumbrian boatman Rob Beale making the top ten who will go forward to a public vote. 27 year old Rob, who lives in Kendal, is the only nominee in the North West to make the shortlist.

Rob started working for Windermere Lake Cruises in 2008 and is one of the youngest employees to regularly skipper an historic ‘steamer’ on England’s largest natural lake. An avid photographer of Windermere and the surrounding area, he is a keen researcher into the Lake District’s proud boating heritage and has also written three books on the history of Lakeland steamers.

Rob Beale says, “I’m a bit stunned, but also honoured to be nominated by VisitEngland. I know I’m the only person from Cumbria on the national shortlist, so I’m proud to be flying the flag for the North West of England. It’s another great opportunity to show the rest of the country what a great place this is to visit.

CEO of VisitEngland, James Berresford says, “Showcasing the passion and commitment of highly skilled individuals within the English tourism industry, is precisely why Tourism Superstar 2016 will be a success. This award recognises the people on the ground who meet and greet visitors on a daily basis, and whose consistent vision and dedication ensures that visitors to England have a memorable and fulfilling experience.

Managing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, Nigel Wilkinson, adds, “We’re really pleased for Rob. Not only does he have an in-depth knowledge and passion for Windermere and the Lake District as a whole, but his friendly, easy-going nature means he knows how to put our passengers at ease. Recently married with three young children, we still can’t work out when he’s found the time to do his boating research, write his books and continue giving numerous talks to community groups on local history.”

The Daily Mirror will host an online public vote from 16 January 2016, which shows a short film of all Tourism Superstar nominees. Readers will then be able to vote for their favourite.
The winner will be announced during English Tourism Week (5-13 March 2016) and will be invited to accept their title at the VisitEngland Awards for Excellence.

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Notes to Editors:

Hi res image attached: Rob Beale (left) with Nigel Wilkinson, MD of Windermere Lake Cruises.

The full list of shortlisted superstars includes:

• Rob Beale – Boatmaster at Windermere Lake Cruises, Cumbria
• Dr John Bevan – Chairman, The Historical Diving Society in Gosport, Hampshire
• David Cameron-Young – Express Coach Driver at Oxford Bus Company, Oxfordshire
• Rachel Duffield – Learning and Engagement Officer at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse in Norfolk
• Lilian Groves – Senior Guide at Durham Cathedral in County Durham
• Alex McLennan – Recreation & Public Affairs Manager for the Forestry Commission in the North East, Northumberland
• Rose MacInnes – Visitor Centre Supervisor at Blackfriars Distillery, Plymouth Gin in Plymouth
• Aaron Orman – Travel Ambassador at Visit Isle of Wight Visitor Information Centre on Isle of Wight
• Allison Prin – Pier Manager at City Cruises in Greenwich, London
• Diana Rosset – Receptionist at Smiths Court Hotel in Cliftonville, Kent
• Tracy Slator – Tour Guide at Oxford Castle Unlocked in Oxford

For more information or images, please contact: Heather Sewell on hsewell@cumbriatourism.org / 07795 487003 / 01539

2016 brings national TV spotlight to Honister

Honister Slate Mine gets the New Year underway with two major appearances on primetime TV, following visits by a couple of very famous faces.

Politician turned broadcaster Michael Portillo visited Honister last Spring, as part of a trip through the Lake District for the new series of BBC2’s Great Railway Journeys. As England’s last working slate mine, Honister is an important heritage site and Co-owner Joe Weir took his special guest underground to see the modern-day mining process. He was also shown an original electric train used by miners in days gone by and followed in the footsteps of Victorian miners on their way to work. The programme, which celebrates the country’s railways, will be transmitted tonight Monday 4 January 2016 at 6.30pm on BBC 2.

Also starting tonight is a new weekly ITV series called Griff’s Great Britain, presented by Griff Rhys Jones. One of the eight programmes to come later in the series will focus on the Lake District, with Griff taking on the daunting challenge of ‘skywalking’ across the so-called ‘Infiniti Bridge’ at Honister – thought to be Britain’s longest Burma bridge, suspended more than 2,000 feet above the valley floor. He will also be exploring the terrain in a variety of other ways, such as driving across Wrynose pass in a vintage car and taking to the waters of Derwentwater in a canoe.

Joe Weir, Co-owner of Honister Slate Mine, says “We’re getting used to welcoming famous faces to Honister and it’s great that TV documentary crews are so keen to come and film here. We had great fun with both Michael Portillo and Griff Rhys Jones, who had already filmed down the mine a few years ago. Michael took a real interest in what we do and Griff was definitely up for the challenge of Skywalking!

He adds, “With some other TV programmes already in the pipeline for 2016, it’s fantastic to see interest in the iconic Lake District landscape still continues to grow. Honister really is becoming the ultimate filming location.

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Hi res images attached: ITV crew film Griff Rhys Jones ‘skywalking’ across the Infiniti bridge at Honister.

Additional images available. For more information, please contact: Heather Sewell, hsewell@cumbriatourism.org / 01539 825002 / 07795 487003

The Force Awakens in the Fells

In July 2014 Cumbria Tourism, was contacted by the national film agency Creative England to help them with a very hush, hush, film project being worked up by Lucasfilm.

In the following days the CT team were approached by a location manager working for the film company to help their production team identify some spectacular locations, ones that would lend themselves to some important scenes for their new project ‘The Force Awakens’…

Directed by J.J Abrams, the hotly tipped return to the ‘Star Wars’ universe picks up 30 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’ and follows a new group of heroes who must try to restore balance to the force. Revisiting this character-rich environment required finding locations that could pass for new worlds, alien strongholds and rebel bases, many of which were found in England, including a number of locations right here in the Lake District, Cumbria.

In the following film the production team talk about the film and a number of key locations, including the Lake District, Cumbria: http://www.creativeengland.co.uk/story/I-Love-Filming-In-England-Star-Wars-The-Force-Awakens

Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism Manging Director, said: ‘’Cumbria and the Lake District, provides a range of amazing locations and fabulous backdrops for all sorts of filming projects. I’m sure you will agree the resulting film footage shows off some magnificent sections of this remarkable landscape, including the Borrowdale Valley, Derwentwater and Ullswater, as well as a number of other areas across the North Lakes. Film projects like this help us to showcase many parts of the county to millions of cinema goers around the globe. Given the unfortunate of events of recent weeks, the exposure the region is getting from this particular film can only be a good thing. It’s another welcome tool to help us profile what we have to offer as a destination, and one we are making the most of to help the county get back on its feet.’’

Kaye Elliott, Deputy Director of Regional Partnerships / Head of Production Services – Creative England, said: “It’s fantastic that one of the world’s most famous movie franchises chose to film on location at Cumbria’s stunning Derwentwater. Cumbria offers so much versatility to film crews and the breadth of locations available, which can also double for other worlds in the case of Star Wars, is a great pull for the film industry. Star Wars builds on Cumbria’s recent surge in production activity. Highlights include Jamaica Inn (Origin Pictures for BBC), Safe House (Eleventh Hour Films for ITV), Swallows and Amazons (BBC Films/Harbour Pictures) and currently in production, brand new BBC One drama The A Word (Tiger Aspect Productions). We look forward to continuing to work with Cumbria to bring more production to the area.

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Notes to Editors:

1: For further information please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on 01539 825075 or on pressoffice@cumbriatourism.org

2. Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria Visitor Economy. It is also the largest membership organisation in Cumbria with more than 2,600 members. Over 41 million annual visitors to Cumbria contribute more than £2.44 billion to the local economy and support around 58,000 jobs. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org

3: To book accommodation in Cumbria – the Lake District, visit www.golakes.co.uk

Flood Stricken Businesses Urged To Assist Cumbria Tourism Gather Evidence For Funding

In order to start gathering evidence of the impact the recent weather events have had on tourism in the county Cumbria Tourism has instigated an online survey: https://goo.gl/B50wOh

Cumbria Tourism conducted a similar survey in 2009, the evidence gathered helped CT to unlock millions of pounds of Government support to assist with the recovery of the tourism sector in Cumbria. We urge all tourism businesses affected by recent severe weather to please give their feedback to Cumbria Tourism as soon as possible.

Cumbria Tourism is working closely with business leaders, including the LEP, the County’s local authorities and its own members to support our vital tourism economy. We are working pro-actively with the media, VisitEngland and VisitBritain to convey the message that large parts of the county are open for business and are ready to welcome visitors in the vital build up to Christmas and New Year.

In addition Cumbria Tourism is actively lobbying local MP’s and Central Government with a view to helping fund a range of marketing initiatives designed to help the region recover from recent weather events and support those in the industry who been affected.

As an organisation Cumbria Tourism has been instrumental in helping with business recovery in the aftermath of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001 and the serious floods of 2005 and 2009.

CT’s staff are uniquely placed to assist the county’s £2.44 billion tourism industry recover, and will inevitably play a key role in helping to get the county back on its feet in the coming weeks and months. It is now vital that they are given the resources to be able to use their insight and knowledge.

Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director, Ian Stephens, commented: “We welcome the £50 million recovery fund the government have confirmed but it is important to show how valuable the tourism industry is to the county. Government resources need to make sure that businesses affected can get back to normal as soon as possible and that a positive ‘open for business’ message is widely promoted as soon as possible. In order to assess the impacts of the flooding and make a case for Government funding support, we need to hear from the tourism industry itself, through our online survey.”

Survey: https://goo.gl/B50wOh

Ends

Notes to Editors:

1. For further information please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on 01539 825019 or on pressoffice@cumbriatourism.org

2. With over 40 years of continuous service, Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria visitor economy. It has a membership of more than 2,600 members who in turn employ thousands of employees.

3. In 2014, over 41 million people visited Cumbria contributing more than £2.44 billion to the local economy and support around 58,000 jobs. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria is ‘open for business’ and we invite you to join us

Despite recent weather events experienced in Cumbria over the weekend, large areas of the county remain unaffected and are open for business.

Many of the region’s hotels, pubs, restaurants, shops, cafes, visitor attractions and galleries are welcoming visitors, come join us and enjoy this truly remarkable place. To find out more visit: www.golakes.co.uk

There’s plenty of things to see and do and we’ve selected just a few top suggestions for a perfect weekend away:

1. Taste Cumbria, Cockermouth

In one of the worst affected areas, the Taste Cumbria team, the Cockermouth community and business’ alike are pulling together to ensure the Christmas foodie festival goes ahead. There’ll be a giant food fair and Christmas market amid the gorgeous festive lights, with all the sights and smells you’d expect at this fabulous time of year.

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th December 2015

2. The Snow Queen, Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Treat the family to a Christmas performance of The Snow Queen at Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake. A tale of friendship, kindness and adventure set amongst the coldest season, based on Hans Christian Andersons classic can warm the heart.

Running until 16th January 2016

3. Lakes Artist Society’s Winter Exhibition, Rheged Centre, Near Penrith

The Lake Artists Society was founded more than 100 years ago, by artist W. G. Collingwood, secretary to John Ruskin. The society consists of a range of Cumbrian painters and sculptors working in a variety of styles and mediums. The annual Winter Exhibition is an opportunity to see a large selection of artworks, and is an ideal chance to add to your collection, at this festive time of year.

Running until 31st January 2016

4. Christmas Fun Weekend, Tullie House and Art Gallery, Carlisle

Join Tullie House and Art Gallery for a fun filled festive weekend of Christmas activities. You’ll be able to meet Father Christmas, get creative with some Christmas crafts, complete a Christmas gallery trail and handle some Christmas related objects from the museum collections.

Saturday 12th & Sunday 13th December 2015

5. Kendal Choral Society presents: ‘A Celebration of Christmas’, Kendal

Christmas music from ‘Messiah’, Christmas carols and anthems at Kendal Parish Church, 7:30 pm, tickets available on the door.

Sunday 13th December 2015

6. The Petzl Night Runner, Grizdale Forest

The second night time trail 10K race of the Petzl series takes place at Grizedale Forest. The start and finish venue is based at Grizedale Visitors Centre, in the Lake District, which is ideal venue for families and supporters as well as runners. As with all our night runner races, fancy dress is actively encouraged and the theme for Grizedale is “Christmas Festivities”. Search out those Santa suits and dust of the angel wings and get ready for some forest festive fun.

Saturday 12th December 2015

7. Santa Express, Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Santa Express is back with a magical experience in store for both young and old. Reserved seating on our Santa Express steam trains from Ravenglass to meet Father Christmas at Dalegarth in his Gingerbread Grotto.

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December 2015

8. Festive Weekends, Brockhole, Windermere

A fun packed weekend with activities and entertainment for children and adults. Free entry, just turn up.

Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th December 2015

9. Festive Cocktails, Keswick Live Advent Day 12, Keswick

Create stylish cocktails to enjoy with friends and family at Inn on the Square, Market Square.

Sunday 13th December 2015

10. Hill People – Heaton Cooper Studio and Gallery, Grasmere

A photographic exhibition by Henry Iddon, the culmination of a project which took Iddon out onto the Lakeland Fells to look at the people out there, rather than the landscape. ‘Hill People’ represents a photographic investigation of the contemporary individuals who engage with this distinctive and scenic upland environment.

Launched in November, as part of Kendal Mountain Festival, the exhibition runs until 04th January 2016. (Access via A591 from Ambleside)

To find out more visit: www.golakes.co.uk

Ends

Notes to Editors:

All events correct at time of release, may be subject to change, please check with event venues and accommodation providers if you’re unsure.

1. For further information please contact Cumbria Tourism Press Office on 01539 822222 or on pressoffice@cumbriatourism.org

2. Many business across Cumbria and the Lake District are open as normal and with that in mind Cumbria Tourism is urging people not to cancel trips but for visitors planning on coming to the county to check with their accommodation providers regarding accessibility. Before travelling please check the latest roads information at: www.bbc.co.uk/travel/cumbria/incidents/road for rail enquiries please visit www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.aspx or their train company website for the latest information.

3. With over 40 years of continuous service, Cumbria Tourism is the lead organisation for tourism in the county and is at the heart of the Cumbria visitor economy. It has a membership of more than 2,600 members who in turn employ thousands of employees.

4. In 2014, over 41 million people visited Cumbria contributing more than £2.44 billion to the local economy and support around 58,000 jobs. To find out more about the work of Cumbria Tourism, visit www.cumbriatourism.org

Cumbria Tourism Statement – weather events in Cumbria & The Lake District

Ian Stephens, Cumbria Tourism’s Managing Director, said: ‘’Our thoughts are with all of the people and businesses across Cumbria affected by this weekend’s weather events.

Many business across Cumbria and the Lake District are open as normal and with that in mind Cumbria Tourism has set up a helpline to provide visitors and businesses with up to date information, the Helpline Number is 01539 822222. Cumbria Tourism staff will be available to deal with enquiries in normal office hours (9.00am to 5.o0pm). For information outside those times please visit: www.golakes.co.ukk this site will be regularly updated.

Whilst the recovery phase is underway we would urge visitors planning on coming to the county to check with their accommodation providers regarding accessibility. Before travelling please check the latest roads information at www.bbc.co.uk/travel/cumbria/incidents/road for rail enquiries please visit www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.aspx or their train company website for the latest information.

For those businesses affected by flooding please visit: www.cumbria.gov.uk/emergencyplanning/supportingpages/floodingadvice.asp which provides a range of useful advice regarding clear up. Whether you’ve been flooded directly or are affected indirectly (for example through staff evacuations or your supply chain), download the following Business Continuity Checklist, which highlights things to think about and do immediately. Please also see the following Business Recovery Toolkit for more information to support your recovery www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk/news/article/december-floods

We are strongly urging the Government to allocate funds to enable Cumbria’s £2.44 billion tourism industry to get back on its feet in the coming weeks and months. Cumbria Tourism has a great deal of experience in dealing with such crises and played a key role in coordinating business recovery after the 2005, 2009 Cumbria floods and the Foot and Mouth Outbreak in 2001.’’

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For more information or enqueries please contact the Cumbria Tourism Press Office on 01539 8222222 or email press@cumbriatourism.org

Lakes hotel chef and Lancashire based micro-brewery team up to create the perfect winter warmer

Kevin Tickle, head chef at Andrew Wildsmith’s latest hotel offering The Forest Side, in Grasmere, has teamed up with Ian Walsh from the Old School Brewery, Warton, near Carnforth, to create the perfect winter warmer – Spruce beer.

Kevin, a born and bred Cumbrian, has always had a deep seated love for the natural environment around him, something that has been a major influencing factor in his life and has underpinned his career over the years, previously as chief forager and Sous Chef at L’Enclume, Simon Rogan’s flagship restaurant and now in his role at Forest Side.

Tickle has over the years experimented with producing small batches of beer, using a wide variety of ingredients from the local surroundings to compliment his food. Kevin got chatting to The Forest Side’s head gardener Catherine Walsh about brewing possibilities the 43 acres of gardens might offer for the Hotel.

As luck would have it, Catherine’s other half, Ian, runs his own micro-brewery, The Old School Brewery, Warton, near Carnforth. The brewery has a pretty simple ethos – they use top quality ingredients to create handcrafted beers produced with lots of love and patience, which is why it widely recognised as one of the top breweries in Lancashire.

So when Kevin, Catherine and Ian got talking about the brewing possibilities and they soon hit on the idea of making a Spruce beer using young pine needles from trees in the grounds of Forest Side, Hipping Hall and The Ryebeck.

Spruce beer may sound a little unusual but they have been about produced in North America and Scandinavia for centuries, indeed it is believed that Native American Indians learned to make Spruce beer after regular contact with Viking settlers. The beers itself can be have vastly different flavours depending on which part of the tree is used, the variety of used or what time of year the crop is harvested from the tree – which can produce everything from floral, citrusy, fruity, resinous, piney or even cola-like flavours.

The first batch of 1,200 litres produced by the trio was fermented for five days, brewed in a day and then sent off to be bottled, producing 2,000 bottles, which has been split between Wildsmith Hotels and The Old School Brewery.

Now the three are busy talking about other brews they can work up using the huge range of botanicals available to them from The Forest Side’s fully restored kitchen gardens and the grounds at the other two hotels in the group.

Kevin Tickle, Head Chef at The Forest Side said: ‘‘I’ve loved making beers over the years, it’s always been a bit of a hobby of mine – having the opportunity to work with Catherine and Ian to produce bespoke beers for Wildsmith Hotels is amazing and I’ve loved every minute. For me it’s about making a connection with our local surroundings, the food I produce and giving the hotels guests a range of taste experiences.‘’

Ian Walsh, owner of The Old School Brewery, Warton, said: ‘’We had been considering developing a botanical range of beers for a couple of years now, but never settled on anything in particular. When the opportunity to work with Kev and The Forest Side presented itself, it seemed the ideal moment for the brewery to launch its botanicals range. The spruce beer has a really interesting flavour and allows us to use seasonal produce. We are looking forward to working with Kev next season to develop more innovative, local flavours for our beers, and to give The Forest Side a more bespoke product.’’

For more details please visit: www.wildsmithhotels.com

ENDS

Notes to Editors:

1) For further information and/or images please contact Greg Stephenson – gstephenson@cumbriatourism.org / 01539 825060

2) The Wildsmith Hotels are happy to accommodate press visits for journalists with commissioned pieces, please contact Greg Stephenson by email or on the number above for more details.

A PaperBridge made in the English Lake District captures the world’s imagination

Spring 2015 saw Lakes Culture, launch a brand new cultural events programme called ‘Lakes Ignite’ to showcase the Lakes District, Cumbria, as the UK’s must visit rural cultural destination.
As part of that event four innovative artistic works were commissioned based around the theme of imaginary journeys, designed to encourage people to explore the area’s cultural offer between April and May.

One of the pieces commissioned was a unique large-scale temporary installation, a bridge made entirely of bright red paper, supplied by Cumbrian papermaker James Cropper Plc, called PaperBridge, traversing a flowing river in the Grisedale Valley, Patterdale in the heart of the Lake District landscape.

PaperBridge was the culmination of three years’ work – the dream of Teesdale based artist Steve Messam, an artist with an international reputation for undertaking ambitious temporary installations in rural landscapes.

The 4.2 tonnes of bright red paper in Paperbridge certainly captured people’s imaginations, as over 8,500 people visited the piece during the ten days it was on display in the Lakes. Images and film footage of the bridge taken by the public and press featured in a huge variety of media and on an array of social platforms around the globe. See the construction of the original PaperBridge on YouTube: https://youtu.be/dKto0hsaMRs

This coverage also caught the attention of international vehicle manufacturer Land Rover as well. As a result they approached Messam and the world’s leading papermaker James Cropper Plc with a proposal to create a new paper bridge to help them celebrate a significant milestone – the 45th anniversary Range Rover and 45 years of engineering innovation with the launch of their latest SUV, in the build up to the Guangzhou Auto Show, China (20 – 22 November).

Messam and Cropper’s agreed to help out and began the task of planning a modified version of the earlier Lake District PaperBridge – one capable of bearing the gross weight of the very latest Range Rover at 3 tonnes.

This new bridge utilised the same ancient building method used in the original created by Messam, making use of a wooden former, to enable the construction of a 2050mm wide roadway, created from 53,000 sheets of 330gsm Natural Crystal white paper produced by Cropper’s.

Steve Messam and members of the team involved in creating the Lake District’s PaperBridge travelled to China set about building the bridge over a four day period in Suzhou, China. The city also known as the ‘Venice of the East’, was chosen because of its many associations with the invention of paper and host of beautiful arched bridges. See the crossing on YouTube: https://youtu.be/KksImg6rCtk

As the artist Steve Messam said: ‘’PaperBridge created for Lakes Culture’s ‘Lakes Ignite’ programme was a temporary artwork made for and about the landscape of the Lake District, based on local stone bridge construction dating back to Roman times. By contrast the paper bridge created for Land Rover was designed to celebrate 45 years of Ranger Rover and to demonstrate British innovation both in terms of manufacturing a simple material such as paper and in terms of complex engineering solutions found the latest Range Rover SUVs.’’
Chris Brown, Commercial Director at James Cropper, added: “It’s an honour to collaborate with fellow British manufacturers and designers to be a part of this world-first, which puts our paper’s durability to the ultimate test. The combined expertise of Land Rover, Steve Messam and James Cropper represents the highest standard of British engineering, manufacturing and design.

Usha Mistry, Lakes Culture’s Project Manager, said: “The original PaperBridge put the Lake District’s inspirational landscape under the world’s gaze. It juxtaposed cutting-edge contemporary art against our historic landscape. The second reincarnation of PaperBridge highlights modern technology using what is essentially a natural product. Like our Lakes Ignite event, art has been used to make us see things differently.

To find out more about art and culture in the Lake District, Cumbria or about ‘Lakes Ignite’ please visit www.lakesculture.co.uk

ENDS

About Lakes Culture:

• Lakes Culture aims to bring together the area’s tourism and cultural sectors to better promote the wealth of cultural activities on offer reaffirming the area as the UK’s leading rural cultural destination.
• The Lake District is one of only ten locations in the country to benefit from Cultural Destinations initiative a focused programme set up by Arts Council England and VisitEngland. The aim of Cultural destinations is to enable arts and culture organisations working in partnership with destination organisations to increase their reach, engagement and resilience through working with the tourism sector. Closer working between the two sectors will contribute to the economic growth of the cultural and tourism visitor economies.
• Organisations involved in the project include Kendal Brewery Arts Centre (Lead Organisation), Lakeland Arts, Kendal Arts International, Wordsworth Trust, Theatre by the Lake, The Forestry Commission – Grizedale, Cumbria Tourism, The National Trust, Lake District National Park and South Lakeland District Council.
• The Lakes Culture project will also form a supporting strand of the World Heritage Status bid to be submitted by the Lake District National Park and partners.

For more information contact Greg Stephenson – gstephenson@cumbriatourism.org / 01539 825060 or visit www.lakesculture.co.uk