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Yorkshire Dales Tourist Information Centres experience Eden’s classic welcome

Yorkshire Dales Tourist Information Centres experience Eden’s classic welcome

Cumbria Classic Coaches and Stainmore Railway Company provided a unique taste of heritage transport from a bygone era for a group of Visitor Centre staff from the Yorkshire Dales this week.  

Last year saw the official launch of the new extension of the Yorkshire Dales National Park which now covers a large area of Upper Eden around Kirkby Stephen and Orton.

Eden District Council’s Tourism Team invited 16 Visitor Centre staff from the Yorkshire Dales Centres this week to discover the Upper Eden area and find out what is on offer for visitors exploring this beautiful corner of Cumbria.

Tourism is one of Eden’s main industries. In 2016, Eden attracted 4.77 million tourism visits (visitor numbers up 3% on 2015), with a massive £309.41 million being generated within the local economy through visitor and tourism business expenditure (an increase of 3% on 2015) (Source: STEAM).  Now that the Yorkshire Dales National Park extends into Eden it is hoped more people will be encouraged to travel to Eden and explore what it has to offer.

The group were given the chance to tour part of the Upper Eden area on board a heritage bus from Ravenstonedale based Cumbria Classic Coaches. The day started with a tour around the Stainmore Railway Company (SRC) based at Kirkby Stephen East Railway Station.

Mike Thompson from the “Stainmore Railway Company, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to play host to the Yorkshire Dales Visitor Centre staff on the first leg of their familiarisation tour. We very much hope that the day is a great success and also provides a tremendous marketing opportunity for the many delights that the Upper Eden Valley can offer to visitors to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.”

Volunteers have been restoring the site since 1997 which has been open to the public since 2011. The station opened in 1862 as the route from Darlington to Cumbria and closed to passengers in 1962. The site became a bobbin factory until the early 1990s and SRC have developed the site over the last 20 years.

The site is now a heritage railway open to visitors at weekends, rated as the number one tourist attraction in Kirkby Stephen by TripAdvisor. Trains run on a few weekends per year, but the site has a museum retail outlet and is open at weekends.

From there the group were taken through picturesque countryside to the village of Orton where they were shown round Kennedy’s Chocolate Factory who also kindly hosted a buffet lunch. Visitor Centre staff also had the time to explore the village which is now home to one of the Yorkshire Dales National Park’s area offices. 

Traveling to Appleby in Westmorland people were shown part of the area’s renowned limestone pavement on Orton Scar. In Appleby the group looked around various historic sites including the Moot Hall, Appleby Castle, Lady Anne’s Alms-houses, St Lawrence’s Church and enjoyed the beautiful riverside stroll beside the River Eden.

The day ended with a short trip on the Settle to Carlisle railway line from Appleby in Westmorland to Kirkby Stephen made possible by the Settle to Carlisle Railway Development Partnership. The railway line is a main link from Yorkshire Dales into the Eden Valley and creates a range of opportunities for people to travel and explore the areas around Appleby and Kirkby Stephen.

Tracey Lambert, National Park Centre Manager of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s four visitor centres and gift shops, said: “Thank you to Eden District Council for the invitation. We were treated to the best of Eden and we’re looking forward to telling people all about it.  We see a total of 400,000 people a year in our visitor centres.  We’re in a much better place now to advise people where to go in Eden, including the parts of it in the National Park.  We look forward to hosting the return visit.”

Eden District Council’s tourism team will be working closely with colleagues in the Yorkshire Dales to develop cross border marketing initiatives and strengthen tourism alliances to boost visitor numbers and tourism-related employment in the area.

Jessica Goodfellow, Joint Tourism Manager at Eden District Council, said: “We are delighted to be working alongside the Yorkshire Dales National Park Tourism Team. Together we look forward to promoting this beautiful area and encouraging more visitors to enjoy this new part of the Dales National Park. This provides a great business opportunity for our operators who can happily say they are located between two of the country’s best known National Parks.”

Following the successful visit, Yorkshire Dales Visitors Centres are looking forward to hosting a familiarisation day for Eden Tourist Information Centre Staff later on this year.

Landscape journey leads TIC to artist studio’s bus stop

Landscape journey leads TIC to artist studio’s bus stop

A bus stop in the grounds of an Eden Valley artist was the unusual location for Penrith Tourist Information Centre (TIC) this week to launch their latest retail partnership with local artists in the area.  The bus stop looks as though it used to stand on the main street in Tirril located between Penrith and Pooley Bridge.  How it came to land beside the studio of local artist Haydn Morris remains a mystery.

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Indulge in Eden food festival’s free days out

Indulge in Eden food festival’s free days out

There’s no tastier time to visit this beautiful part of Cumbria than during the Eden Food and Farming Festival. The festival gets off to a delicious start with the annual Penrith on a Plate food festival day on Saturday 15 July, giving you the chance to try some of the finest foods and beverages lovingly produced in Eden and beyond. 

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Dorothy's Gate offfically unveiled

Dorothy's Gate offfically unveiled

A new art installation has been unveiled at Aira Force.  Dorothy’s Gate is one of nine commissioned pieces of art to make up a new heritage trail located on the Ullswater Way.

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Appleby Launch New Visitor Website

Appleby Launch New Visitor Website

Appleby-in-Westmorland Town Council has launched a new website aimed at visitors to the town.  The website address is www.visitappleby.com. The website was designed and developed by Appleby Community Enterprises (ACE) and funded by a grant from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (Cumbria LEP), administered through Eden District Council.

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Lady Anne Clifford helps celebrate Appleby’s new Heritage Action Zone

Lady Anne Clifford helps celebrate Appleby’s new Heritage Action Zone

A character from Appleby’s history, famous for helping to rebuild the area’s castles - Lady Anne Clifford, joined the celebrations as the conservation area in Appleby has been chosen as one of the first Heritage Action Zones (HAZ) - the only one in North West of England. Ten villages, towns and cities across England have been selected for their historical significance and promise by Historic England.

The HAZ is a five year project based on a partnership between Historic England, Eden District Council and Appleby Town Council, who are working together with the local community to use the power of Appleby’s heritage to boost the local economy. The overall investment over five years is estimated to be £1,650,000, with Historic England contributing £760,000.

In 2015/16 Appleby was devastated by the major winter floods. People’s homes and businesses and the local economy were badly affected. A number of buildings were damaged and landslides closed the Settle to Carlisle railway line northwards for over a year.

Since the flooding, Appleby has been designated a Conservation Area at Risk and several buildings feature on the Heritage at Risk Register. Tourism is one of the town’s major industries, but Appleby had suffered from a decline in visitor numbers in recent years.

Some of the aims of the Appleby HAZ are:

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Feast of delights launches English Tourism Week in Eden

Feast of delights launches English Tourism Week in Eden

The iconic Sharrow Bay Hotel on Ullswater was the magnificent setting for the launch of this year’s English Tourism Week in Eden where local tourism businesses were joined by Lady Cobham, Chairman of VisitEngland and David Curtis-Brignell, Chairman of VisitEngland’s English Tourism Week Committee.  

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Win! An Eden Food and Drink Hamper

Win! An Eden Food and Drink Hamper

To celebrate English Tourism Week (25 March to 2 April) in Eden, we've teamed up with some of our local food and drink producers to offer you a mouth-watering chance to win a special hamper.

The winner of the hamper will have the chance to sample some of the best local food and drink in Eden from yummy producers including Appleby Creamery, Kennedys Fine Chocolates, Country Flavour, Cumberland Mustard, J&J Graham, Mr Vikkis Chilli, Penrith Toffee Shop, Marmalade from Dalemain, Fiends Fell Pantry, Traybakes, Magnificent Marshmallow Company, Cranstons, Little Salkeld Watermill, Appleby Brewery and Eden Brewery.

Eden offers great opportunities to sample fantastic local food and drink from pubs, restaurants and cafes not forgetting the area’s renowned local Farmers’ Markets held on a regular basis in Brough, Penrith and Orton.  Eden also has some great Farm Shops which sell fantastic locally sourced high quality produce.

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Get set for a beary sticky day out!

Get set for a beary sticky day out!

Come and meet Paddington in Penrith along with a huge dollop of marmalade, shopping and festival fun - yes, Penrith Goes Orange is back on Saturday 18 March, as the town joins in the World’s Original Dalemain Marmalade Awards & Festival.

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Tree Tales of the Eden Valley at Penrith and Eden Museum

Tree Tales of the Eden Valley at Penrith and Eden Museum

Tale Trees of the Eden Valley: 24 March to 30 April 2017 at Penrith and Eden Museum

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The 2017 Eden visitor guide is here!

The brand new 2017 Eden visitor guide is now available - which we worked on in partnership with Bucket and 2017 Eden visitor guideSpade.....perfect if you are planning a break to Eden in 2017.

The 2017 Eden guide is colourful, contemporary and contains stunning images of the area which compliment the range of activities on offer with a choice of quality, comfortable accommodation from cosy bed and breakfast accommodation, scenic caravan and camping sites and award-winning hotels. 

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