Trudy Harrison has celebrated this year’s English Tourism Week by visiting a number of Cumbria’s major attractions.
Taking place in spring each year, English Tourism Week campaigns to raise the profile of the industry and celebrate the value and quality of tourism in England.
On Saturday, Trudy met with owners, Peter and Iona Frost-Pennington at Muncaster Castle to learn more about the historic attraction.
As part of the visit, Mrs Harrison was shown key aspects of the Castle before discussing new initiatives and the future plans of the estate.
Today Mrs Harrison will be paying a visit to Cumbrian Heavy Horses.
Mrs Harrison, said: “During English Tourism week it was humbling to see first-hand, the hard work and talent that goes on behind the scenes at one of our most iconic and popular days out.
“During our visit, we enjoyed Roman historic finds, a look in the cellar at the state-of-the-art new geo-thermal heating system in construction, a tour of the Castle’s most incredible tapestries and the newly restored Library complete with guilded constellation ceiling - all in a family residence, home to the Pennington’s for centuries and that for me, makes Muncaster so special.
“It’s real, historic, iconic and inspiring - but most of all, a brilliant day out.”
Every year more than 60,000 visitors flock to Muncaster Castle, owned by the Pennington family, who have been living at the Castle for over 800 years.
Employing around 60 local people, roles range from curators, foresters, skilled stonemasons and builders, to gardeners, falconers, accountants, cooks and chefs.
Mrs Harrison, added: “I’ve visited Muncaster Castle all my life, I’m sure all my birthdays involved a most enjoyable trip with family and friends. But my visit last Saturday absolutely blew me away (quite literally as the vulture’s wing tips brushed past my hair). Their ‘Sky Hunters Bird Show’ needs to be experienced, as hawks, eagles, vultures and owls took to the sky in awe-inspiring flights of fancy, perfectly choreographed to music. I was brought to tears, it was so good.
“Peter, Iona, their daughter Isla and the team devote their lives to opening up our most famous castle, creatively thinking of new ways to excite and inspire, always making the most of the incredible surroundings.”
Next month, Mrs Harrison will be chairing a Tourism Roundtable Discussion in a bid to keep talks open surrounding the opportunities that tourism presents for the local economy.
It follows, Copeland Borough Council’s Tourism Summit in February which saw key stakeholders come together to showcase the “outstanding” tourism opportunities within the borough.