Cumbria and the Lake District is already the ‘go to’ destination for climbers, walkers, mountain bikers and outdoor swimmers, it has the highest mountain, longest lake and the deepest water.
Cumbria is regarded as the birthplace of rock climbing and Cumbria Tourism wants Cumbria to be “recognised as the Adventure Capital UK by 2018 with an unrivalled reputation for outdoor adventure.”
Cumbria already has the highest concentration of outdoor shops in Europe and the county has already made significant strides towards this vision with an outdoor industry generating some £330m in to the Cumbria economy annually through recreation activity, retail, overnight stays, and food and drink spend.
It also has 100 plus Outdoor Activity centres and is emerging as a county of excellence for the provision of outdoor centres for people with disabilities and those that are disadvantaged, such as the Calvert Trust and the Brendrigg Trust.
Cumbria also has a tourism infrastructure to accommodate 5 million staying visitors per annum, there are 2,137 km of public footpaths and 875 km of public bridleways in Lake District National Park, as well as extensive ‘right to roam’ access areas and common land. Plus there are several national cycle routes and forest mountain biking areas.
The adventure is already out-there in Cumbria and the Lake district so is the question more one of marketing the existing wealth of adventure opportunities, do we need to make them more visible and accessible to people or they talking about new operations and attractions such as a mountain zip wire and summit gondolas?