Despite the unpredictable weather, England is really holding its own when it comes to international visitor appeal. Rain, sun or snow, its historic and cultural attractions more than make up for its lack of reliable sunshine – and recently, visitor numbers to our shores have been rising.
A recent report by VisitEngland has named the top tourist landmarks in England and one of the findings is that history and art (from classical to modern) are now more popular than ever.
The top 5 attractions in England according to VisitEngland’s latest Annual Attractions Survey include two of the UK’s most famous art galleries, two top museums and a favourite seaside resort, Brighton.
The rankings are:
- The British Museum
- National Gallery
- The Tate Modern
- Natural History Museum
- Brighton Pier
We are lucky to have a range of attractions and sites in England such as beautiful historic buildings, country parks, and many well kept gardens for tourists to enjoy and all of these have seen a rise in visitors over the last year according to 2013 and 2014 figures.
Regionally, the North East and West saw growth levels higher than the national average, with their coastal regions thanking the good weather of 2014, which resulted in a tourist increase of 7 per cent. However, it was the East of England that saw the highest levels of tourism growth with visitors to certain attractions up 10 per cent. These figures and the strengthening of Britain’s economy showed that it is not just London we head to for a little sight-seeing or to find activities for the family, instead we are increasingly looking to the countryside for family fun and outdoor activities. (Interestingly, the most popular timeshare destinations in this country are among the most scenic – Cornwall, Devon, The Lake District, and further north, The Highlands of Scotland, for example).
In more rural areas, farms have experienced the biggest hike in visitors, perhaps as many now offer tea shops, fruit picking, petting farms and walks that ensure a great day for all of the family. Similarly, zoos and wildlife parks have also been popular, again seeing double-digit increases.
Clearly, digital marketing is positively impacting tourism, too, with 83 per cent of attractions using social media to drive visitors to their official websites. This helps increase awareness and information about the attractions, including useful details such as directions, opening times and photo galleries. Additionally, online booking has made it quicker, cheaper and easier than ever to book tickets and events online, encouraging us to get out to see and do more.
London is still a very hot tourist favourite, with the Tower of London receiving the most visitors year on year – in fact ticket sales reached an incredible 3.1 million in 2014. Similarly, Westminster Abbey, home to many of the most famous British royal weddings is top of a lot of tourists’ lists – an astonishing 1.8 million visited the Abbey last year.
Free attractions remain extremely popular – again, no surprise – and many of these free activities have seen an overall increase in visits. The British Museum and the National Gallery’s latest figures reported numbers of 6.7 million and 6.4 million respectively.
One very important upside of this healthy visitor growth is that the increasing numbers of tourists who come and see these landmarks means these popular sites and attractions can remain open and well maintained. The more we visit, the longer these magnificent attractions will remain open, so it’s important to support them.
Which is your favourite London attraction or timeshare getaway in England? Tweet us with yours and your tips and suggestions at @GoTimeshare