Business-boosting tourism guides welcomed in Grasmere
One of Cumbria’s best-known businesswomen has welcomed the county’s famous Blue Badge tourist guides to Grasmere, as part of the ongoing Storm Desmond recovery efforts.
A campaign was launched by Joanne Hunter - co-owner of the famous Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, to strengthen the village’s profile as a tourist destination after the floods in 2015.
The guides ensure that visitors are given the best information about the village, to encourage them to come back for further visits in the future.
Joanne said: “After Storm Desmond wreaked havoc across the Lake District I felt it was more important than ever that our fabulous Blue Badge guides knew all the latest information about the area.
“This ensures that groups of tourists get the best possible experience here and will hopefully visit us again.”
After giving a talk to the Blue Badge AGM in London, Joanne organised the familiarisation trip.
“Blue Badge guides are the crème de la crème of tourist guides; visitors really look to them for having that extra slice of local information,” she continued.
Joanne, who has lived and worked in Grasmere since she was a little girl, knows every inch of the village.
As well as walking them around she arranged trips to local attractions Allan Bank, the Heaton Cooper Gallery and Forest Side.
She also pointed out vital facilities such as the post office, car and coach park, cash point ATM, chemist, disabled toilet and doctor’s surgery.
Joanne continued: “So often people come into our shop asking where they can buy stamps for sending postcards home.
“Or if there is a chemist to buy painkillers; small things maybe but which can really make or break a visit.
"We were absolutely delighted with the reception and hospitality we were given in Grasmere,” said Geoff Cook, Chair of Cumbria Tourist Guides.
“As professional Blue Badge Tourist Guides we need to keep ourselves abreast of developments so that we can share them with our clients from Britain and abroad. Our visit certainly achieved that."
Tess Pike, a Kirkby Lonsdale-based blue Badge Guide, explained that all visitor trails led to Grasmere during the tourist season.
“Each of us is a frequent visitor to the village and we were delighted to have the opportunity to benefit from Joanne’s up-to-date insider knowledge of Grasmere,” she said.