The number of cyclists visiting the county from other parts of the UK looks set to be boosted as Cumbria Tourism joins the successful Cycle England initiative.
Cycle England was launched as a joint venture between VisitEngland’s Discover England fund, Welcome to Yorkshire and Visit Lincoln in 2018 with the initial aim of developing cycling holidays for the Dutch and German markets.
The project got off to a strong start with 21 holidays being made available across 12 international tour operators before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on all but essential foreign travel.
With those restrictions in place, Cycle England have shifted focus to take advantage of the domestic market and capitalise on the huge rise in cycling since the UK first went into lockdown. The decision proved an astute one, and last week enabled the project to secure a second round of funding from VisitEngland’s Discover England fund
Cumbria Tourism has joined the project alongside Northumberland, and the money will be used to develop cycling holidays across the county as well as launching a digital marketing campaign in the New Year.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, says, “Our latest visitor survey results revealed that the top two reasons for visiting The Lake District, Cumbria were for personal wellbeing and the landscape. Not only do our routes offer cyclists the chance to really soak-up our world class scenery, but to also appreciate the relaxation opportunities here, alongside our rich culture, heritage and attractions, our fabulous food offering and wide range of accommodation providers, making it #theperfectplacetobe.
“With cycling routes across The Lake District, Cumbria suitable for all ages and abilities, the popularity of cycling staycations is expected to rise in 2021 and we are delighted to be able to work with partners to develop the Cumbria offering. This project also fits perfectly with Cumbria Tourism’s ‘attract and disperse’ policy, which we have been using heavily in recent years to encourage people to look beyond the more famous areas of the county and explore our hidden gems, which can sometime fly under the radar.
“The Lake District, Cumbria’s wider cycling offer and incredible range of routes right across the county will be put in the national spotlight, to encourage visitors to explore areas off the beaten track including areas like the West Coast, North Pennines, Hadrian’s Wall, Morecambe Bay and the Yorkshire Dales. It also complements other cycling projects being developed within the county and increases Cumbria’s profile as a top destination for cycling.”