GREAT British Bake Off Host Prue Leith paid a surprise visit to new Ulverston art venue Gallery 68.

Artists Rosie Wates and Tina Balmer, who created the successful art fair ArtFest North at Kendal Town Hall, have opened the gallery and shop at 68 Market Street.

Chef and cookery writer Prue was in the area for book signings and was "charming and engaging" during her unexpected visit, said Rosie and Tina. "She even bought some artworks, helping to get the gallery going with a bang," they told the Gazette.

Tina said she and Rosie were "delighted" with the response to Gallery 68 so far.

"So many Ulverstonians have said how happy they are to have a gallery like this, how much it adds to what the town has to offer," said Tina.

"Not surprisingly, as it is our gallery, there's quite a bit of our own work on show. But we’ve got some other fantastic things to offer, artists from South Lakes and the South coast, paintings, cards (including handmade ones), ceramics, jewellery, amazing hand-turned lamps and quilts."

The gallery is open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5pm.