About Visit Cumbria

Visit Cumbria is a very unique and unusual website, it is the only independent ‘Visit’ website in the UK of genuine significance and serious ranking both nationally and internationally.  We have been online since 1998 and, as such, are one of the original and longest established online regional guides in the world.Over 5 million visitors access Visit Cumbria every year.


The site contains well over 1,500 pages of original content, all of which have been personally researched and written by Visit Cumbria management, staff and contributors, and over 5,000 original photographs and maps.  We are continually updating and adding new pages and the site will continue to grow.


All of Visit Cumbria’s management and staff are Cumbrian residents and we search out the very best local Cumbrian talent when we outsource any design or technical work.  This enables us to create information pages based on intimate and comprehensive understanding of the region.


Julian Thurgood graduated in Electronics, working at the IBM Research Centre in the late 60’s, as well as becoming an Open Directory editor for Cumbria.  He has lived and worked in the North and West Lakes areas of Cumbria for nearly 40 years. Julian founded Visit Cumbria and developed it over a number of years, with the aid of many contributors, as a purely philanthropic interest site.    Julian is still involved full time in Visit Cumbria as our Editor and Archives Manager along with overall responsibility for software solutions, as well as continuing to create and update content pages.  He lost the understanding of the words “day off” many years ago and his creation of Visit Cumbria was recognised with the “Unsung Cumbrian Hero Award” from West Cumbria Tourism.  Julian’s special interests are the history and culture of Cumbria and photography.


In 2009 Visit Cumbria’s growth and popularity became so great it became evident that to successfully continue a full time administrator and Marketing Director was urgently required, at which point Vanessa was recruited into the Visit Cumbria clan.


Vanessa Morrison grew up in a house on the shores of Derwentwater: selling orange juice to walkers from her gate by the age of 8, she graduated to full time holiday jobs in tourism by the age of 12 and has worked in every department of this industry over the last 30 odd years.  She also travelled extensively around the world for a number of years and in 1995 her research into tribal land rights abuse during the development of Sinai peninsular for tourism led to the setting up of a Middle Eastern clearing desk at Survival International.  A keen sailor, she has doublehanded across the Indian Ocean and the South & North Atlantic Oceans and sailed out of such memorable ports as Hellsville, Madagascar, and Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego. Vanessa is equally passionate about both responsible tourism and the importance of the Lake District & Cumbria as a national recreational facility, enabling everyone of any background, budget, race, or ability to access and share this uniquely special region.


Our Staff are a wonderful team comprised of flexi time and student workers.  We actively support flexi working and we have benefited hugely from being able to employ hugely talented and skilled team members on a part time basis during their early parenthood years.  We would encourage other employers to investigate the huge skill base available to them from those parents with young children who require real flexibility.


Contributors: our wonderful community of contributors are too important to include as a single mention, the many who have selflessly helped to make Visit Cumbria special have done so for no financial reward.  See our Contributors page for those who have allowed us to mention them, many more are just too shy.  If you would like to help us in any way whatsoever do please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.


Design for the new look site you see here, which we launched in March 2013, was created by Creative Soul Marketing, a communications and design studio with a conscience based in West Cumbria.  We were delighted to award the challenge to Hatti following months of research into Cumbrian web design firms.  Our brief to Hatti was to keep the feel and look of Visit Cumbria while both smartening up our use of space on the page and making the site easier to use.  Any website design is a challenge but to take on a site with our long history and huge content was quite a feat and our sincere thanks go to Hatti for her hard work, patience and skill.  Find Creative Soul Marketing here – www.creativesoulmarketing.com


Also for our new website we decided to change to a new programming system to enable us to update our site more easily.  We chose WordPress, a system originally used for blogs but now becoming rapidly more popular for websites as the system evolves.   Dealing with a completely new system for such a massive site was never going to be easy but we were fortunate to have the help of a wizard!  Mark Howes, a Web Developer & Internet Specialist based in Cockermouth, saved our bacon more than once as we approached our deadline.  Find Mark here – www.howesym.co.uk

Our place in the International and National Media

Visit Cumbria does not solicit links: however we are honoured that our site is linked to, and endorsed by, many respected and well-known bodies as well as numerous specialist individual websites and publications, plus numerous local attractions’ websites and Wikipedia and Trip Advisor forum pages all around the world. Just a few of the 950+ websites who refer their readers and visitors to Visit Cumbria are:

  • The BBC
  • CNN
  • The Telegraph
  • The Guardian
  • Visit Britain
  • Visit England
  • The Lake District National Park Authority
  • The National Trust
  • The University of Cumbria
  • The University of Northumbria
  • Cumbria County Council
  • West Lakes Tourism Authority
  • YHA
  • South Lakeland District Council
  • Countryfile
  • Lonely Planet
  • The National Geographic
  • Country Life
  • If you are linking to, or would like to link to Visit Cumbria and would like us to send you our new easy to use logo file please get in touch by email : vanessa@visitcumbria.com

    More information

    Visitcumbria is not the owner of any of the places of interest, or businesses, mentioned in this guide, so if you need to know about a specific place – contact them directly.


    If you wish to comment on the accuracy of the site content please email julian@visitcumbria.com.


    If you would like to ask about the site, whether media, advertising or information pages please email vanessa@visitcumbria.com.


    TOURIST INFORMATION – We do not have a telephone or email public tourist information line so if you need help please use the excellent Tourist Information Centres listed HERE.


    BROCHURES – We are an online guide only and do not send out brochures. You may order brochures from Bitesize Britain HERE.

    Please do not ask us for help in researching your family history. We get many, many requests, but we are not genealogists nor do we have the time to do the research.

    Please remember – we are Independent – we are NOT Cumbria Tourism or Visit England