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VisitEngland records uptick in interest in historic monuments

VisitEngland’s annual Attractions Survey shows historic properties experienced significant growth in visitor numbers in 2017.

Of the 1,400 English attractions surveyed the research found that historic properties such as mills, monuments, boats and burial grounds saw the largest increase in visitor numbers, up eight per cent on 2016. 

Visits to farm attractions also experienced strong growth in 2017, up five per cent on the previous year.

Historic houses and palaces along with visitor and heritage centres and places of worship all saw increases of four per cent in 2017.

Minister for arts, heritage and tourism, Michael Ellis said: “Our world-class attractions have once more proven to be a huge draw for both UK and overseas visitors.

“Whether it be our unique historic places like Stonehenge, museums like Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, or cultural hubs like NewcastleGateshead – home to the Great Exhibition of the North this summer – we have attractions that are the envy of the world.”

The British Museum was the most visited free attraction in England in 2017 for the tenth consecutive year with nearly six million visitors, and the Tate Modern came a close second with more than five and a half million.

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “Visitor attractions are an important part of our tourism landscape, driving visitors to discover more of England.

“It is great to see people are getting out and exploring the huge variety of attractions and places of interest on offer across the country, boosting tourism and distributing the benefits across local economies.”

The Tower of London topped the list as the most visited ‘paid for’ attraction for the ninth year running with 2.8 million visitors and Chester Zoo came in second place with 1.9 million. 

Overall, visits to England’s attractions rose by two per cent in 2017.

Visitor attractions overall reported increased spending of seven per cent on 2016.

Tourism is worth £106 billion annually to England.

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