THOUSANDS of tourists travelled to south Cumbria for the Easter bank holiday weekend.

Ice cream shops such as Viking Ice Cream in Ulverston and Wraysholme Creamery near Allithwaite swung their doors open as the sun came out on Saturday and Sunday after a 'dreary' winter.

Families from across Britain also enjoyed the tourist attractions the area has to offer such as Windermere Lake Cruises and the Lakeland Motor Museum in Backbarrow.

Alec Berry, who runs Viking Ice Cream, said: "The weather was generally nice, if a little cloudy, people still came out."

It marks the first weekend of 2024 that the ice cream shop, which is on a scenic walk near Ulverston Canal, opened after winter. The staff spent a couple of weeks before opening getting the lodge prepared. 

Paul Morris, from Wraysholme Creamery, said it was 'very, very busy.' He said a lot of their trade came from tourists staying at Haven Lakeland Leisure Park. 

"It was after a very dreary winter," he said. "I know a lot of businesses have been struggling - especially as we're more seasonal. We opened a bit earlier than we normally do." 

Nigel Wilkinson, the managing director of Windermere Lake Cruises, said: "Trade over Easter was marginally better than we had anticipated.

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"The weather always has a significant impact on visitor numbers at this time of year and with Easter being particularly early we were not expecting a strong performance. But the relatively good weather on the Saturday and Sunday helped to offset poor volumes on Easter Monday, which was encouraging.

“However, we still anticipate that visitor volumes for the quarter ending 30 April 2024 will be down around 15 per cent on pre-Covid levels.”

Their sister attraction The Lakeland Motor Museum reported a good start to the main summer season over the weekend. 

The museum is developing a new display, and Springtime Classic Drive and Ride In Day (Saturday, May 4), will be happening soon, which it hopes will attract more visitors to Backbarrow.