Three Cumbrian holiday lets have clinched top honours in a prestigious national travel awards programme.

The Old Water Mill in Kendal, Ghyll Cottage in Leasgill and Fellside Lodge in Bowness-on-Windermere, have each bagged a title in the Sykes Gems Awards.

The awards, launched in 2017, aim to celebrate the best people and properties in the UK’s holiday let sector.

The awards were judged by a panel of industry experts including Sykes' CEO Graham Donoghue and COO Bev Dumpleton, as well as The Sun's assistant travel editor, Sophie Swietochowski.

Mr Donoghue said: “A lot of work goes into running a successful holiday let so it was a difficult decision amongst so many wonderful properties, but our final winners are those consistently going above and beyond to deliver unforgettable breaks for their guests.

The Old Water Mill

Ran by husband and wife, Chris and Julie, this property won the title of the Best in the North West.

The couple took six years to fully renovate the property, adding a touch of luxury with underfloor heating, a hot tub, and a firepit.

Owner Chris Dilger said: “Giving people a fantastic staycation experience is really important to us and we feel thrilled to have won this award after all the hard work it took to get The Old Water Mill ready for holidaymakers.

"We’re excited to see who we welcome in the future and can’t wait to see what the rest of the year, and 2024, has in store for all of our holiday let properties in the local area.”

The Westmorland Gazette: Inside Ghyll CottageInside Ghyll Cottage (Image: Sykes Holiday Cottages)

Ghyll Cottage

Owned by Cumbrian couple Liz and Brian Nelson, this property claimed the Best Luxury Property title.

Initially attracted by its rich history the Nelsons focused on maintaining the character of the building while bringing it into the 21st century; installing a log burner, new bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen.

Owner Liz Nelson said: “We feel absolutely delighted to have won a Sykes Gem award. Receiving such positive feedback from our guests shows our hard work has paid off and it feels great to know people are enjoying the area and making happy holiday memories.

"I must also thank my best friend Dawn, who has been by my side throughout our whole holiday letting journey. Without her it wouldn’t be possible!”

The Westmorland Gazette: Fellside LodgeFellside Lodge (Image: Sykes Holiday Cottages)

Fellside Lodge

The award for Best Pet-Friendly Breaks went to Fellside Lodge, managed by Clare and Simon Winship.

The couple's transformative work on the lodge included a professional dog bath and facilities such as a hot tub and log burners, and a rolltop bath in the master bedroom.

Owner Clare Winsip said: "While we are currently based overseas, we plan to retire to Fellside Lodge in the future when we return to the UK as Cumbria has always had a special place in our hearts.

"In the meantime, it has been so rewarding to give people and their pets from across the country a great holiday and help them create happy memories. To receive this award shows all our hard work has paid off.”