THE Lake District has been named the best place to visit in the UK - by globe-trotting readers of a national travel magazine.
It was officially named 'Top UK Destination 2014' at an awards ceremony in London.
The win at the 13th annual 'Wanderlust' Travel Awards has delighted tourism officials.
Wanderlust magazine - described as 'the bible' for independently minded travellers - asked its readers to tell them where they went in 2013 and what they thought.
Over 3,000 responded and named the Lake District in the top UK destination category.
Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust Magazine, said: ”Our readers are some of the most ‘well-travelled’ in the world so they know a winning destination when they see it.
"The Lake District proves that when it comes to having a proper adventure there’s plenty on offer in our own backyard.
"From walking, cycling, exploring the fells and villages, sampling local cuisine and following in the footsteps of legendary poets, artists and authors – the Lakes really does have it all.”
The presentation was held at The Holiday & Travel Show, Earl’s Court, on Thursday February 6.
London was second, Cornwall third, Edinburgh fourth, the Peak District fifth, the Scottish Highlands sixth, Northumberland seventh, Yorkshire Dales National Park eighth, Snowdonia ninth and Bath bringing up the rear in 10th.
Only recently, The Independent newspaper listed Cumbria among the Top 10 must visit foodie destinations in the world for 2014.
And The New York Times ranked Cartmel among the top 52 must visit destinations in the world for 2014.
Ian Stephens, managing director of the Staveley-based Cumbria Tourism, said: “We are thrilled that there is continuing recognition that the county offers a first class experience for visitors.
"The award is an unexpected extra boost for Cumbria’s £2.1 billion tourism industry and will help boost bookings for 2014."
Cumbria Tourism has recently devised a new campaign to lure visitors to the area ahead of Spring.
With stunning posters created by Kendal-based Cactus Creative, the campaign carries the slogan #theplacetobe.
As Mr Stephens added: "It also makes our spring campaign #theplacetobe even more poignant.”