Environmental concerns and Brexit are being identified as reasons for an increasing number of Brits choosing to holiday in Cumbria.

Tourism operators have reported an increase in bookings as more people look to take a "staycation" this year rather than heading overseas.

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said domestic tourism made up the bulk of the county's £3bn a year industry, with up to 90 per cent of visitors coming from other parts of the UK.

“Our most recent tourism business performance survey found 35 per cent of tourism businesses have felt the positive impact of staycations over the previous six months," she said. "Furthermore, 60 per cent reported that bookings were either level or had increased when compared to the first quarter of last year.

“What’s also very apparent is that current external issues mean that more people are considering a holiday closer to home."

Sally Fielding, managing director of holiday cottage company Sally's Cottages, based in Keswick, said it had also seen the effect.

She said: "Last year was a bumper year for people staying in our holiday cottages - this is due to lots of factors but Brexit will have played a big part in it.

"And this year is shaping up to be the same - we're running out of holiday cottages to meet the demand."

Those in charge at Old Park Wood and Longlands Caravan parks, both part of the Holker Estate in South Cumbria, also said a shift towards domestic holidays had fuelled enquiries over the winter.

“This year we will be welcoming a number of new owners to both sites who will be able to enjoy their first full season here with us," said Alex Hodgson of Holker Leisure.

“More and more people seem to be thinking differently about how they want to spend their holidays and free time now.

“Not everyone wants to get on a plane for a week or two every summer.

“The trend towards staycationing is continuing to grow and people are looking to spend more time here in the UK.”

While Old Park Wood is on the Cartmel Peninsula overlooking Morecambe Bay, Longlands is located near to Kirkby in Furness.

Alex said climate change awareness and a focus on wellbeing could also be contributing to the uplift in people looking to buy a holiday home in the area.

“People increasingly want a home away from home, somewhere they can recharge their batteries at weekends and regularly throughout the year to counteract busy lives and stressful jobs," he said.

“But there is also more general awareness of climate change and the damage to the environment regular plane journeys can cause.

“All of these factors mean holiday habits are changing and interest in an alternative getaway that offers a better fit for modern lifestyles is increasing all the time.”

Tracy Archer, sales and marketing director at Windermere-headquartered Pure Cottages Group - which operates brands in the Lake District, Cornwall and Cotswolds - said it had also seen an increase in business.

She said: "The growing trend for staycations seems set to continue, with the combined effects of Brexit, the value of the pound and other factors driving it. "Our portfolio of cottage companies can certainly see the increase in bookings."