A LAKE District tourist hotspot has been pipped to the post in a battle to be crowned the United Kingdom's village of year.

Grasmere was up against three other northern communities in Channel 4's 'Village of Year' programme on Monday (February 5).

Presented by actress Penelope Keith, who described Grasmere as a 'remarkably beautiful village with a thriving economy', the show featured some of the village's best known shops and residents.

Cllr Vivienne Rees, who represents Ambleside and Grasmere on South Lakeland District Council, was one of those who took part in the filming last summer, on what was a particularly rainy and gloomy day.

"It really was a horrible, horrible day when they came to film," she said. "I think it did come over that it's a lovely place to live but it would have been nice if we had only had some sun when they came!"

The village was submitted for consideration by Cllr Vicky Hughes with whom Cllr Rees shares ward responsibilities with.

Also featured on the episode were the couple behind the Grasmere Chocolate Cottage, artist Rebecca Heaton Cooper, of the Heaton Cooper Studio, and Rick Martin, of Faeryland Grasmere.

Talking to garden designer Juliet Sargeant, who was exploring the village, Angela Barker of Grasmere Chocolate Cottage said that she found the relationship between tourists and villagers to be 'harmonious'.

"Obviously we need the tourists," she said. "We are very proud of our village. We have a great sense of community. It's very peaceful. It's just having a massive great big back garden. It's just beautiful."

And Cumbria County councillor Will Clark made an appearance, describing Grasmere's views as 'amazing'.

"The best thing living in the village for me is the outdoors," he said. "Being able to just go out of the back door and go out on to the open fells or take the boat and go straight on to the lake."

The village competed against the Boat of Garten in Inverness-shire, Bamburgh in Northumberland and Embo in the Scottish Highlands for a place in the semi-finals.

And Penelope Keith and the judges - archaeologist Alex Langlands, Juliet Sargeant and craft expert Patrick Grant - had a tough time picking their favourite of the four contenders.

Grasmere was pipped by Bamburgh for a place in the semi-finals.

"It was a shame we did not win," Cllr Rees said. "It was interesting that we came so close, as well. They were thinking about it.

"I think we do love it here so much that it was this feeling of: 'Oh dear we are not going to do ourselves justice'. But I think that we did."