Tourism bosses in the Lake District have hired an agency to take the region upmarket.

Cumbria will now be marketed as a destination aimed at ‘chic seekers’ looking for a sophisticated weekend away.

Quite what the ABC1s will make of the thousands of Gore-Tex-clad walkers and climbers traipsing through their upmarket playground remains to be seen. And who’s going to clean up the sheep droppings so the urban sophisticates don’t soil their Jimmy Choo shoes? Still, the agency, Cheethambell JWT, will be £2m better off in the deal, which Cumbria Tourism hopes will ‘reposition its flagship brand, the Lake District’.

grough was, until now, unaware that when we were pounding up Fairfield or sweating at the drops on Sharp Edge, we were enjoying a flagship brand. We thought it was just a lot of big hills with water in between them. And one of England’s most beautiful areas.

Cheethambell JWT has recently promoted Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Alton Towers, along with London Zoo.

16 million visitors come to Cumbria each year, most of them to the Lake District National Park. Tourist bosses say the area is enjoying a boost from the anodyne Miss Potter film, in which Renée Zellweger played children’s author Beatrix Potter. The Lake District has always had two faces: the coachloads of ice-cream tourists buzzing around the valley honeypots and the hardcore adventure-seeking lovers of its upland wildernesses.

Now it looks like we’ll need to add a third: chic boutiques and unfettered BlackBerry reception. Some of those mountains may need to go if we’re to get a good signal.