THE owner of travel operator The Mountain Goat walked away with the top honour at the Cumbria Tourism Awards 2019 held last night.

Stephen Broughton won the Bernard Gooch Tourism Personality of the Year Award at the glittering ceremony attended by almost 400 people at Cartmel Racecourse.

Mr Broughton had been involved in the Windermere headquartered business since the 1990s, before buying it with fellow investors Sir Norman Stoller CBE and Peter Nattrass and becoming managing director. The company – which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022 – operates across the Lake District and last year expanded into North Wales and Yorkshire.

Mr Broughton – who also owns the Lindeth Howe hotel with Sir Norman, the former home of Beatrix Potter – was also recognised for his strategic work with Cumbria Tourism, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and the Japan Forum.

Elsewhere, businesses from across south Cumbria emerged victorious across the other 16 categories up for grabs.

The Ethical, Responsible & Sustainable Tourism Award went to Haven Cottage, Ambleside, while CBA Events @ Graythwaite, near Ulverston, picked up the Experience of the Year Award.

Grasmere Gingerbread walked away with the Makers & Producers Award while the Small Hotel of the Year award went to The Regent Hotel in Ambleside. Cragwood Country House Hotel, Windermere, were victorious in the Wedding Venue of the Year category.

The awards were held in association with United Utilities and hosted by comedian, writer and musician Mike Wilkinson.