Lucky travellers in the Lake District received a tasty surprise as they were treated to samples of one of the region's most famous sweet creations.

Joanna Rose, General Assistant at Grasmere Gingerbread® dressed in traditional costume to hand out pieces of the world-famous, spicy-sweet cross between a biscuit and cake to customers of Stagecoach and Lake Windermere Cruises, to celebrate English Tourism Week (Friday, March 18 - Sunday, March 27).

The generous gesture marked the arrival of the first Victorian tourists to the Lake District in the 19th century - after Sarah Nelson invented Grasmere Gingerbread® in 1854, the expansion of the railway network in the region encouraged more and more people to visit the Lakes. 

Joanne Hunter, a Co-Director of Grasmere Gingerbread®, said:

"Tourism is the lifeblood of Cumbria and the Lake District, generating billions of pounds in income and safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs for local people.

"The last two years have been challenging for reasons everyone knows about and now recruitment difficulties and rising energy costs are in the mix.

"However, I believe that the UNESCO Lake District’s stunning scenery and top-quality food and hospitality is an attractive mix for people looking to take holidays closer to home."

Transport operators were keen to emphasize the importance of sustainability of travelling around the Lake District in maintaining its tradition as a premier destination for tourists.

Tom Waterhouse, Operations Director for Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire said his company was proud to play a 'key role' in supporting tourism in Cumbria.

"We provide regular bus services to key local attractions including Grasmere Gingerbread®, ensuring visitors have access to the best the county has to offer in a sustainable way".

Jennifer Cormack, Sales and Marketing Director at Windermere Lake Cruises, said:

"We welcomed Grasmere Gingerbread® on board our newest vessel MV Swift and it was great to see passengers enjoying a few slices of this historic Lake District treat. 

"It’s important that visitor attractions and sustainable transport work together so visitors to the Lake District can enjoy a wonderful experience without the need to always use a car. 

"Boats and buses can be a relaxing and sustainable alternative."

Read more here about the history of Grasmere Gingerbread