A MAJOR British car brand has named the Lake District 'the ultimate upmarket staycation destination' in new research.

Land Rover Defender has set out to find 'the best rural and upmarket destinations to explore in Great Britain' this year.

The Lake District tops the index as the best rural destination in Great Britain for luxury lovers, beating out English staycation classics the New Forest and the Cotswolds.

The so-called ‘Defender Destinations Index’ compares a location’s population to its number of highly rated five-star hotels, golf clubs, Michelin restaurants, wellness retreats, hiking trails and National Trust sites.

The Lake District is crowned the ultimate upmarket staycation destination in the index due to 'its humble population of just over 40,000, as well as its ten 5-star hotels, 18 Michelin Guide restaurants, five 5-star golf clubs, 25 luxury spa and wellness centres, 32 excellent hiking trails and 23 National Trust locations in the area'.