A West Cumbrian couple have won the 2019 Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year prize.

The Corpse Roads of Cumbria, by Whitehaven couple Alan Cleaver and Lesley Park, also picked up the Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation at the event.

The book brings to life the county's corpse roads, paths trodden by those transporting the dead across the countryside to their burial places.

The paths still leave their mark upon the landscape today and the book brings them, and the stories they tell, vividly to life.

Chosen from almost 60 entries, all set in or featuring Cumbria and published in the last year, Alan and Lesley’s book was celebrated alongside five other category winners at a charity luncheon held at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, this year supporting local mental health charity Growing Well.

The judges, author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, renowned broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism President Eric Robson and BBC newscaster, presenter and author Fiona Armstrong, entertained almost 150 guests with their thoughts on the finalists before announcing the winners.

Following the announcement, Alan said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to win such an esteemed prize, especially given the high calibre of the competition. It’s been an amazing celebration here today and winning really is the icing on the cake.”

Lesley added “We’d like to thank all of the judges and sponsors who help make these awards happen every year, there’s such a variety of topics showcased here and it’s truly fantastic to see them all recognised by a prestigious and long-running event – we can’t believe we won!”

Gill Haigh, managing director of Cumbria Tourism, said: “Cumbria Tourism is delighted to be a long-term supporter of the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards, which every year showcase the full range and quality of writing inspired by our fantastic county. I am always impressed by the talent and dedication of all those who enter, and I never fail to learn something new.

"This book is a worthy winner and I can’t wait to take my family on some new adventures exploring Cumbria’s corpse roads and discovering more about their unique and fascinating history.”