Meet the festive star behind Christmas at leading Lake District hotels

A DEDICATED employee is the creative genius behind the spectacular transformation of some of the Lake District’s finest hotels into a Christmas wonderland.

Trish Irving, who works in the accounts department for Lake District Hotels, creates the impressive festive displays in her spare time for the group’s six hotels which include the Inn on the Lake at Glenridding, and the Lodore Falls Hotel & Spa by Derwentwater.

She spends more than 100 hours designing and creating the decorations at home and around 200 hours putting up the displays which she assembles with the help of her friend, Dawn Holden.

In total across all six hotels, the festive extravaganza includes 135 Christmas trees, more than 1,000 garlands, and over 9,000 baubles.

Trish, who has been doing the Christmas decorations at Lake District Hotels for 20 years, starts planning the displays in January and spends her nights and weekends creating festive decorations for the hotels, which are hung in November ahead of the launch of the festive dining menus.

She said: “Christmas is 365 days a year for me. It’s something I love to do, and I enjoy coming up with new ideas for each hotel.

“I make anything new we need for that year, and incorporate decorations from previous years into the designs, which are stored at the hotels.

“The festive season is all about being with loved ones and it’s wonderful to see families coming together at the hotels and admiring the decorations.”

Trish Irving

Trish decorates all six hotels which include The Inn on the Square, The Kings Arms and The Skiddaw Hotel in Keswick town centre; The Borrowdale Hotel in Borrowdale; The Lodore Falls & Spa; and The Inn on the Lake, which is on the shore of Ullswater.

“Every hotel has its own Christmas theme,” said Trish. “From the candy cane theme at Inn on the Square to bauble arches and gnomes at The Skiddaw Hotel, I come up with a different festive twist for each hotel every year.

“The animal-themed entrances at Inn on the Lake and the Lodore Falls & Spa are a big hit with kids, and the bauble arch at The Skiddaw Hotel is proving a very popular selfie spot this year.

“People often think the displays are done by a professional team and are surprised when I say that I make them in my spare time and have help from a friend to put them up!”

Trish and Dawn each spent 16 days putting up the Christmas decorations this year, often working seven days a week.

Dani Hope, director at Lake District Hotels, said: “The Lake District is a special place to visit for Christmas, and we find that people return to us year after year to celebrate with family and friends especially because of our Christmas decorations.

“It’s important that we help create a special atmosphere for our guests, and Trish does an amazing job to make that possible.

“We get inspired by trips to Copenhagen, which is so magical at Christmas, and when we come back we share our photos with Trish. It’s great fun to see Trish’s ideas come to life and see all her hard work come together.

“The energy-efficient LED lights we put on the exterior of our hotels also adds to the Christmas merriment and locals, in particular from Keswick, really love that we kick off the festive season with a big sparkly bang!”

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