1. ITV Report

Tourism boost as swimmers descend on Lake District

The Big Chill Swim. Credit: ITV Border
The Big Chill Swim. Credit: ITV Border

Thousands of people are visiting the Lake District this weekend, for the annual Big Chill Swim event.

The open water competition is part of the Winter Swimming World Cup, and it draws competitors and supporters from all around the globe.

This year's event is the organiser's biggest ever, and they say it provides a huge boost to the tourism industry, at a time of year when the Lake District is traditionally quieter.

I think the Big Chill Swim for the Lake District is really important. This is normally the quietest time of the year, for the Lake District in general, you know, and we are filling up hotels, and bnbs, because we have a thousand swimmers, a few thousand supporters, and all come to Windermere, Ambleside, the Low Wood Hotel, for the weekend.

It's not just a day event, people come for a few days with the family."

– Colin Hill, Director of The Big Chill Swim

The event takes place at the Low Wood Bay Hotel on the shores of Windermere.

But Ben Berry, of English Lakes Hotels, says the benefits of putting on a big event are spread across the area:

On Friday we had the awards ceremony for the World Open Water Swimming Association. Last year it was in LA, this year it's at LA23, and that's fantastic to have it here.

We've got lots of international guests, coming here, to Windermere, to race at the Big Chill Swim 2016."

– Ben Berry, English Lakes Hotels