Almost four hundred guests gathered at Cartmel Racecourse last night, 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)
Treetop Trek Managing Director Manager Mike Turner said: “Since we opened in 2012 we’ve aspired to be as accessible as possible to as many people as possible.
“We’ve made some significant investments over the last year to try and broaden that reach even further and it feels absolutely fantastic to have been given this award.
“I’d go so far as to say it’s the most satisfying award we’ve ever won. We’d like to say a really special and heartfelt thanks to The Bendrigg Trust for all their help. Nick has been brilliant and if it wasn’t for him and his team, we wouldn’t have won this award.”
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)
Lisa Braithwaite, Attraction Marketing Manager said: “We are absolutely delighted that Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway has been recognised with Cumbria Tourism’s Large Visitor Attraction Award.
“The quality of visitor attractions in Cumbria is very high so it is a real achievement. We have been listening to our customers feedback and looking at how we can keep improving their experience, so they become lifelong supporters of the Railway.”
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)
When asked about his reaction to the award, Head Chef and General Manager Phil Corrie said: “I think I was in shock for the first 24 hours! And now I’m running out of ways to express just how proud I am of the team and of what we’re doing here.
“It’s brilliant that we’re starting to make a name as ‘foodie’ destination – particularly as local businesses and the community here are preparing for the installation of Pooley ‘New’ Bridge from September this year. It’s even more vital now that all our loyal customers both near and far continue to come and support 1863 and the other amazing entrepreneurial businesses in the area – this award could not have come at a better time.”
Small Visitor Attraction of the Year – Sponsored by Northern
- Wordsworth House and Garden, Cockermouth (WINNER)
Wordsworth House visitor experience manager Zoe Gilbert said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have won this prestigious award in our anniversary month. It’s a wonderful acknowledgement not only of the brilliant work being done by today’s staff and volunteer team, but also of the people who came together to save the house from demolition back in the 1930s.
“We’re celebrating our anniversary year with two major exhibitions taking very different perspectives on our fragile and ever-changing relationship with the world around us.
“We chose this subject not just because it’s topical now, but because it was something that mattered a great deal to William, who was one of the founding fathers of the global conservation movement.
“We also have a series of talks and special events, and a new display telling the story of this unique family home in the 20th century.”
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.