Tuesday, 28 March 2017

UCLan Tourism students enjoy their annual visit to the Lake District! 🌿

 Students take on our annual visit to the Lake District to check out one of the most bustling tourist attractions: Beatrix Potter’s house and the Beatrix Potter gallery. The trip also included time to explore the quaint Hawkshead Village before taking a final pit stop at The Langdale and Brimstone Hotels to discover how sustainability and luxury can work in unison. 

The Lake District is easily the UK’s most popular National Park and boasts some 15 million visitors a year due to its ‘postcard panorama of craggy hilltops, mountain tarns and glittering lakes’ Lonely Planet, 2017. However, Beatrix Potter’s house (Better known as Hill Top) has become a very popular visitor attraction in its own right.
Potter, an English writer, illustrator, natural scientist and conservationist was best known for her children’s books featuring animals such as those in ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’, ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck’ and ‘The Tale of Tom Kitten’ to name but a few. Beatrix however, also worked very closely with the National Trust and was a prize-winning breeder of the native Herdwick sheep. She helped them require a large amount of land with a view to long-term preservation.

The students had the opportunity to ask the staff questions and explore her house and garden (from where she sought inspiration for many of her books).

Our next stop: Hawkshead village

A quaint, historical village, which is also the home to the Beatrix Potter gallery. Students were given the opportunity to explore the little village including the church and Grammar School that William Wordsworth attended.

Our final stop: Langdale and Brimstone Hotels!

‘It’s not just a break… It’s an experience.’

Dr. David Jarratt, our accompanying lecturer, said of the day:

“The trip to Hill Top, Hawkshead village and The Langdale & Brimstone Hotels support what these Tourism students learn in class.  The coach travel also offered opportunity for the lecturers to introduce the National Park as a whole (which is one of the UKs most important centres of Tourism), and some of the issues it faces. These included the major issue of transportation infrastructure, which was discussed as our coach negotiated some very challenging roads!  Our first stop was the Beatrix Potter’s home, which is run by the National Trust, followed by a stop in the historic village of Hawkshead.
The emphasis at these morning stops was on visitor motivation, literary tourism and heritage tourism. We also considered the role of the National Trust in balancing high tourist numbers with preservation - it is essential that their attractions can be sustained into the future. In Langdale, we also saw the business cases for sustainable practice, as well as learning about a successful and innovative high-end hotel. Nick Lancaster and his team inspired our students with their customer focused and ambitious approach to the business, which aims to provide an 'experience' rather than just a hotel room. The whole day highlighted the attractions of the Lake District, as well the central role that sustainability plays in contemporary tourism.” 

The students were impressed by the history of the Hill Top and Hawkshead, the preservation work of the National Trust and the aesthetic qualities of the areas (the glorious weather helped with this last point!). For many though, the highlight was The Brimstone Hotel with its unique approach, such as a flat structure for its staff, unrelenting service excellence and a much higher than average emphasis on sustainability. 

Rachel Mawdsley, 2nd year student stated:

“Our trip to The Lakes gave great insight in to the effective operation of some of The National Trust's top tourist attractions. Hill Top was particularly interesting and the tour guides were full of fan facts and knowledge about the great Beatrix Potter! It is no wonder that her life is celebrated through tourist attractions; an apt way to spend International Women's Day.”

The annual trip is a great way for our students to visualise first-hand what they have learnt in their studies around a very popular UK tourist attraction. Yet, they also had the chance to see the management practises that are in place and in particular; what it takes to develop in a sustainable way to ensure growth in the future. The trip received great feedback from our students, providing them with knowledge, fun and lastly; a great networking opportunity.  

No comments:

Post a Comment