THE Lake District’s biggest tourist draw is undoubtedly its outstanding landscape.

But with mountainous terrain there is always a higher chance of inclement weather.

Over the centuries, locals and visitors have stoically accepted this as a given.

However, after successive years of poor summers, it is understandable if tolerance has begun to wear thin.

Evidence of the strain on Lake District businesses is shown this week by the results of a Cumbria Tourism survey, which suggests the poor spring weather has dented confidence among hospitality businesses and other attractions.

Nearly half the businesses responding to a questionnaire said they had fears for the summer ahead. Out of 200, 47 per cent believed the season would not ‘be great’, while 89 per cent said the wet weather had already affected business.

However, we should not read too much gloom into the responses or the report’s conclusions that the poor weather has had the ‘biggest adverse effect’ on the lcoal tourist industry.

In this regard, the Lakes Hospitality Association president Jonathan Denby provides a voice a reason.

His view that it is ‘completely wrong’ to say Lake District tourism suffered because of rain is understandable - though pessimists might argue that such a prominent hotelier ‘would say that, wouldn’t he’.

But Mr Denby is basing his assessment on his own business experience, where bookings at his four hotels are so far higher than for the same period last year.

He also points out that the Lake District continues to have a higher satisfaction rate among holidaymakers than ‘any other area of the UK’.

As Mr Denby says, it is the day visitor who is most likely to be put off by bad weather - a factor which was apparent with the low attendance at Cartmel Races on the wet Bank Holiday Monday.

No one would argue that the Lake District with all its outdoor activities is more weather-dependent than a lot of UK holiday destinations - but ultimately it need not be a problem.

As adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes has pointed out: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”