Phil Rigby’s Portrait of Cumbria has been announced as the 34th Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year – one of the most prestigious literary awards outside London – at a star-studded literary luncheon at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal today (Tuesday 10th July 2018).

Photographer Phil, whose book was chosen from almost 50 entries, was celebrated as the overall victor alongside five other category winners at a charity event in support of St Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston.

The judges, author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism Chairman Eric Robson and BBC newscaster and author Fiona Armstrong, entertained 150 attendees as they discussed the finalists before celebrating the winners.

Following the announcement, Phil Rigby said, “I am thrilled and delighted to win this year’s Lakeland Book of the Year Award. The book wouldn’t have come about without the amazing team at Cumbria Life Magazine, who each month discover new characters and places in Cumbria for me to photograph.”

Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism MD, added: “I am very proud of our continuing support for the Lakeland Book of the Year, an annual highlight in Cumbria’s events calendar. For me, the Lake District Book of the Year Awards underline just why our county continues to inspire millions of visitors each year, to enjoy the stunning landscape which inspired the Lakeland greats of Wordsworth, Coleridge and so many more, and continues to do so to this day. I feel excited too about the potential there is to link into many other outstanding events across Cumbria and in turn to help share the high-quality writing with the greatest possible audience.“


The Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year 2018

Portrait of Cumbria by Phil Rigby


The Zeffirellis Prize for People and Business

The Thunder of Guns by Alan Michael Whitworth


The Striding Edge Prize for Guides and Places

The Yards of Kendal by Trevor Hughes and Arthur Nicholls


The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition

The Story of Lowther by Charlotte Fairbairn


The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation

Portrait of Cumbria by Phil Rigby


The Bookends Prize for Art and Literature

The Blackbird Diaries by Karen Lloyd


Cumbria Tourism provides administration and PR support to the Lakeland Book of the Year, which is organised by a team of external organisers and judges.

The much-appreciated partnership with James Cropper plc, based in Kendal, continued for this year’s awards. The association is particularly appropriate, as virtually all hard-backed books published in the UK are bound using paper produced by James Cropper here in Cumbria. In addition to financial assistance, James Cropper provided professional advice and, of course, all printed material required for the event was produced on their paper.

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