The number of Chinese visitors enjoying one of the county's biggest tourist attractions has reached a record high.

Windermere Lake Cruises said both independent Chinese travellers and those visiting as part of larger groups have increased by 286 per cent since June 2016.

Figures also show a year-on-year rise in the number of tickets being booked online from China, rising by 32 per cent in 2016, increasing to 59 per cent in 2017 – and jumping to 70 per cent in 2018.

English Lakes Hotels Resorts and Venues – who work closely with Windermere Lake Cruises, as part of the English Lake District China Forum also reported an 85 per cent increase in Chinese bookings across their properties since 2016.

Figures from Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway have also reported overall group ticket sales with China rose by 11 per cent last year, with Chinese advance bookings up by six per cent.

The English Lake District China Forum work together to promote the area to Chinese visitors. One of the effective routes to the Chinese market for the group has been the popular Chinese social media platform, ‘Weibo’ - which in recent weeks has seen an increase in engagement among users of 71 per cent.

Windermere Lake Cruises’ sales and marketing director and chair of the English Lake District China Forum Jennifer Cormack said: “We’ve also noticed that huge numbers of independent travellers aren’t booking tickets in advance, but just turning up on the day.

"That does make it impossible to monitor the numbers exactly, however the increase in the number of Chinese leaflets that are taken each day and just observations from the staff, show that the increase has been huge over the last few years.

“We’re so happy to be able to mark Chinese New Year with these great figures. We work really hard to enhance the cultural understanding between China and the UK and we’re confident our efforts will help to continue our success and drive our appeal to overseas markets even further forward in the coming years”.