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Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018: Winners unveiled

Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 winners and highly commended (WittWooPhoto)

[M]ore than 400 guests spanning Cumbria’s £2.9billion tourism industry came together in an evening of celebration, on Wednesday 20 June, to honour high-achieving tourism businesses over the past 12 months.

Winners in the main 18 categories were presented with their awards at Cartmel Racecourse, with event host  Alan ‘Deadly’ Dedicoat – best-known as the National Lottery’s ‘Voice of the Balls’ – presiding over the annual ‘Oscars’ of the county’s tourism sector.

The Cumbria Tourism Awards 2018 winners were:

Large Hotel of the Year (35+ rooms) – Sponsored by Armstrong Watson

  • WINNER: North Lakes Hotel & Spa, Penrith
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Armathwaite Hall, Bassenthwaite

Small Hotel of the Year – Sponsored by Colliers International

  • WINNER: Rothay Garden Hotel, Grasmere

Boutique Guest Accommodation of the Year – Sponsored by Lamont Pridmore

  • WINNER: Lindeth Fell Country House, Windermere

Bed and Breakfast of the Year – Sponsored by Cumberland Business

  • WINNER: Raise View, Grasmere

Self-Catering Holiday Provider of the Year – Sponsored by Out of Eden

  • WINNER: Iconic collection Whitbarrow Village, near Penrith

Self-Catering Holiday Property of the Year

  • WINNER: Heart of the Lakes – Bristowe Hill, Keswick
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Glen Bank, Brampton, near Appleby

Holiday Park of the Year – Sponsored by NatWest Commercial Banking

  • WINNER: The Quiet Site, Ullswater

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

  • WINNER: Senhouse Roman Museum, Maryport

Large Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Burnetts

  • WINNER: Lowther Castle & Gardens

Tourism Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Christie & Co

  • WINNER: Dockray Hall, Penrith

Taste Cumbria – Sponsored by Enterprise Answers

  • WINNER: Merewood Country House Hotel, Windermere
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: The Castle Dairy, Kendal

Sustainable Tourism Award – Sponsored by Lake District National Park

  • WINNER: Upfront Arts Venue, near Penrith
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Cedar Manor Hotel & Restaurant, Windermere
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Newlands Adventure Centre

Culture & Heritage Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Carlisle Lake District Airport

  • WINNER: Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere

Adventure Experience of the Year – Sponsored by Lakelovers

  • WINNER: Cyclewise Whinlatter

Tourism Event of the Year

  • WINNER: Westmorland County Show, Crooklands
  • HIGHLY COMMENDED: Eden Arts – Winter Droving, Penrith
L-R: Chairman of the Westmorland Agricultural Society, Stephen Procter – Tony Johnson, Smooth FM The Lake District – Christine Knipe, Chief Executive of the Westmorland Agricultural Society (Wittwoo Photography)

Christine Knipe, Chief Executive of the Westmorland Agricultural Society and County Show, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to win this award and it is even more special because it has been voted for by members of the public. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who voted for us, as this award really is a huge honour for the County Show. I would also like to thank the directors, members, stewards, judges and of course the visitors, who all help to make the Westmorland County Show happen every year.”

Stephen Procter, Chairman of the Westmorland Agricultural Society, added: “This award is a great recognition of how farming, the British countryside and agricultural shows are enjoyed and celebrated. As a farming and agricultural society we are delighted to receive this award and are already looking forward to another great County Show this year on Thursday 13 September.”

Wedding Venue of the Year – Sponsored by Napthens Solicitors

  • WINNER: Broadoaks Country House, Windermere

New Tourism Business Award – Sponsored by Thomson Hayton Winkley

  • WINNER: Another Place, The Lake, Ullswater

The Sheila Hensman Award for Outstanding Customer Service

For the first time in the event’s history, there was a three-way tie for a Cumbria Tourism Award, recognising the exceptional levels of customer service and excellence in this category:

  • WINNER: Rachel Dunckley – Hazelbank Country House Hotel, Borrowdale Valley
  • WINNER: Victoria Blanco – Treetop Trek, Windermere
  • WINNER: Christine Brown  -Castle Green Hotel, Kendal

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

Lord Clark led the bid for the Lake District’s  successful bid to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been a high-profile figure championing Cumbria on the national and international stage over the past year. Since its status was given it has been fantastic to see how local people and businesses are working together to capitalise on this achievement and raise the profile of the Lake District, in indeed the county, around the world.

Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said: “Huge congratulations not only to  our award winners, but to all the finalists. The awards are one of the most eagerly anticipated  events in the Cumbria Tourism calendar and the high number of entries, the incredible number of highly esteemed sponsors and the fact there were more than 400 of us on the night is testament to the fact that this night of celebration, is one that our members, partners and colleagues not only enjoy but also deeply value.

“These were my first Cumbria Tourism Awards and I have been blown away by the strength and depth of our £2.9billion tourism industry, not to mention the sheer hard work and dedication shown by tourism businesses who deliver world class experiences to the county’s millions of visitors day in, day out. Following on from Cumbria’s second World Heritage designation for the Lake District, this truly is a Year of Celebration!”

All the Cumbria Tourism award-winners received a trophy hand-crafted by Kendal-based glass artist Jo Vincent. Cumbria Tourism would also like to thank all its generous sponsors for making the event possible.

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