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BBC One’s The Great Staycation comes to the Lake District

Jan Wilkinson at Honister Slate Mine welcomes stag and hen weekends in the Lake District

The rise in popularity of staycations in the UK is put under the spotlight in a new TV series The Great Staycation on BBC One North East and Cumbria, with an episode exploring the growth in adventure tourism in the Lake District on air at 19:30hr Monday 11 November.

Get under the skin of the adventure tourism scene in the Lake District and the 19 million people who visit the National Park each year. Why is this relatively new area of tourism doing so well? How is it attracting stay-at-home Brits? And what’s the future for those whose livelihoods depend on the wilder side of tourism?

Over a million Brits head overseas each year for hen and stag weekends, with every person spending around a grand each time. But now the Lakes is leading the way in persuading party groups to swap the sunny foreign weekend for a few days of rural adventure. The TV show meets with the team at the Honister Slate Mine, speaking to Co-Owner Jan Wilkinson about the popularity of their Xtreme Via Ferrata climbing experience for stag and hen do’s, as a visiting stag party from London take on the challenge of the mountain.

Honister Slate Mine’s Jan Wilkinson comments, ‘I remember my Dad reminiscing about the adventures he had with his friends, coming up to this area on their motorbikes in the 60s and my grandparents visiting from Yorkshire in their youth to walk the fells and rock climb with friends. To me, today’s trend for adventure stag and hen do’s is no different. People come to enjoy the benefits and challenges of getting outdoors, putting themselves outside their comfort zone and ultimately bonding with their friends.’

Showing the wide variety of accommodation options in the area the programme follows a family during their stay at Skelwith Fold Caravan Park, who have diversified into the world of glamping with wooden pods, yurts and safari tents to help them compete against the rising competition in the area. The show also looks at the new phenomenon of “Champing” – camping in churches – and sees how this new idea has saved a remote Cumbrian church, St.Mary’s in Longsleddle, from closure. Guided adventure activities come in the form of Canyoning and Ghyll Scrambling with Crags Adventures.

The programme also follows Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team, who step in to provide help when adventures go wrong and online safety tips for visitors with the recently launched Adventure Smart Programme.

The Great Staycation Lakeland Adventures will be live at 19:30, 11 November and can be watched on BBC iPlayer immediately afterwards.

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