International travel agents visited the Lake District as part of a flagship tourism event.

The group of 12, from India, visited attractions across the area thanks to the annual ExploreGB programme.

They visited the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway as part of their tour.

Accompanied by Shuja Mehdi, of VisitBritain India and Blue Badge Guide Sue Wardle, the group was welcomed by Lisa Braithwaite, marketing manager of the railway.

Lisa said: "It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the railway and the Western Lake District, to make connections with international travel agents and to enhance our understanding of the Indian tourism market.

"We are committed to welcoming international visitors and we’re confident that working in partnership with VisitBritain and Cumbria Tourism our efforts will drive our appeal to the growing Indian markets."

The travel agents boarded the La’al Ratty, pulled by steam locomotive River Esk, to travel to Dalegarth Station.

The group also visited the village of Boot and saw the outside of Eskdale Mill, which is due to open to the public following a restoration work later in the year.

They also visited the new Windermere Jetty Museum of Boats, Steam and Stories. Earlier this month, another ExploreGB group of Indian tourism representatives visited Muncaster Castle in Ravenglass as part of their itinerary.

ExploreGB is VisitBritain’s flagship event providing British and Irish tourism suppliers and destinations with an invaluable opportunity to meet and do business with over 200 hosted international travel buyers from more than 30 countries.

As part of the event, tailored familiarisation trips are arranged to enable travel agents to experience the best types of accommodation, food and attractions that will appeal to their target customer market.

India is one of Britain's most important growth markets for inbound tourism.

In 2017 there were 561,573 inbound visits from India to the UK, an increase of 35 per cent on the previous year.