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Heaton Cooper, Lakes Cottage Holidays, Nanny Brow and Sally’s Cottages are finalists of Cumbria Family Business Awards

Tourism plays such an integral role in Cumbria’s economy it’s no surprise that the quality of applications for the Small Leisure and Tourism Business sector was so high This competitive category sponsored by Coulson Associates Ltd has four wonderful finalists, and you can learn more about them all here…

The Heaton Cooper Studio in Grasmere, was opened by William Heaton Cooper in 1938, but the business was started on another site by his father, Alfred, in 1905.

A prominent and significant feature of Cumbria’s cultural heritage, it includes work by the Heaton Cooper family and guest artists, with the Lakeland landscape at the heart of displays. The Heaton Cooper family tree is a pictorial essay on development of art in the Lakes, with 10 artists represented, including sculptor Ophelia Gordon Bell, and Julian Cooper, (son of William Heaton Cooper and Ophelia) the internationally known painter of mountain landscapes. The most well-known works are by Alfred and William, capturing the magnificence and beauty of rock and fell, stream and lake. The current director of the studio, Rebecca, the grand-daughter of William, is also an artist. She works alongside her uncle, Julian, and father, John, who is the former director.


We are a dedicated and passionate family who want to promote our county to others. We now have over 400 cottages in Cumbria to offer our holidaymakers. We want other families to make special memories here whilst on holiday just like we have. We cater for all budgets and are always ready to go that extra mile. We work with other local businesses and help promote days out and events throughout the year. Our staff are our extended family and we are proud to have such a committed and dedicated team. As husband and wife seeing our daughters follow in our steps when they could have gone in different directions after university makes us very proud. To see how much they and their families enjoy being part of the business, and now our grandchildren also sharing their days out to other children is in our eyes just priceless and makes it all worthwhile.


Since 2009, the Robinson family have worked tirelessly to create an establishment that fully reflects their desire to create a luxurious, peaceful, five-star location in the heart of the English Lake District.  Built in 1904 by renowned local architect, Francis Whitwell, Nanny Brow is one of the finest Arts & Crafts properties in the Lake District and attracts guests and visitors from all over the world.

Nanny Brow was awarded a CBEN gold award for environmental sensitivity in renovation and operation, and recognition of their five-star gold status by the AA for three years running, plus inclusion in the Michelin and Good Hotel guides.  In 2015, Emma Robinson was nominated for ‘Front of House Manager of the Year’ at the ‘Boutique Hotelier Personal Service Star Awards’.  In 2016, Nanny Brow was named in the top 20 North West Hotels by ‘Trivago’, was a finalist in the ‘Family Business of the Year’ awards and won Cumbria’s ‘Best Luxury Boutique Hotel 2016’ at the Hotel and Spa awards.


Sally’s Cottages has grown from humble beginnings.  In fact, Sally started out life in the tourism business cleaning toilets on her parents’ farm campsite.  Her husband, Rob, had a slightly different line of work in building stone walls and digging graves.  Together they have grown Sally’s Cottages from holiday letting a single cottage in Eskdale, to letting over 400 cottages today.  It is a business that took only £1,000 to set up, over 13 years ago to one that took bookings worth over £5.7 million last year.  It is a business that sells dreams and moments of happiness, and relies on a core team of fabulous people to do so – the business owns nothing except for a few computers and desks, visitors buy nothing but the chance to stay for a few days in (what we think is) the most beautiful part of the UK.  At the end of their stay they have nothing to take back from Sally’s Cottages except memories to keep them going til the next time…

Wishing all these wonderful finalists good luck. See you on the big night! #CFBA2017 #WeAreCumbria

Our Sponsors

A huge thank you to all our sponsors for the Cumbria Family Business Awards 2019