A young couple who put their 'heart and soul' into their business have won the title of the best tattoo parlour in Cumbria.

Alice Metcalfe and her partner Nitu own Big Lakes Tattoo studio on Main Road in Windermere and on Sunday they won a prestigious England Business Award.

Not long after opening their studio in December 2019 they faced the challenge of covid and lockdown but managed to persevere through.

After studying art at university, Nitu originally started developing his tattoo skills in his home country of Romania.

To push his skills further, he left home and came to England to pursue his dream career of tattooing.

Now, ten years later he has his own studio.

Coming from a 'completely different industry', Alice originally worked in the studio as a manager and receptionist but she decided to retrain as a tattoo artist after welcoming a baby boy in June 2022.

When she returned from maternity leave Alice wanted to take on a new challenge and signed on to be an apprentice.

She has now been working on the art of tattooing for 10 months.

"We are a young couple with a young child," Alice said, "We decided it would be great to work together and start a new venture and it's the best decision we ever made."

Big Lakes Tattoo studio offers a variety of styles and a personalised service in the heart of the Lake District.

Their main designs are based in black and grey realism and geometric work but Alice said nature is a very popular subject of tattooing.

She said: "We love doing animal portrait, people's portraits and different pieces that will challenge our skills."

At the weekend, Big Lakes Tattoo studio won the award of the best tattoo shop in Cumbria.

Their next stop is in Birmingham for the national awards where they will compete against all the other tattoo studios who won regional awards across the UK.

"We were thrilled to be nominated never mind winning," Alice said.

"We're over the moon to have won this award. It means everything to us, we have put our hearts and souls into this business. To receive this award based on the votes of our clients is just amazing. We're very much looking forward to going to Birmingham, it will be lovely to meet with the other studio owners."