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England’s gardens, farms and theme parks see greatest increase in visitors

Out of the 1500 English attractions in the survey, outdoor attractions performed particularly well in 2015. Gardens, farms and leisure and theme parks reported the biggest increase in visitors, each up 7%, with wildlife attractions and country parks also seeing visitor numbers grow by 4%.

England’s gardens, farms and leisure and theme parks have seen the most significant growth in visitor numbers in VisitEngland’s Annual Attraction Survey published yesterday. 
 
Out of the 1500 English attractions in the survey, outdoor attractions performed particularly well in 2015. Gardens, farms and leisure and theme parks reported the biggest increase in visitors, each up 7%, with wildlife attractions and country parks also seeing visitor numbers grow by 4%. 
 
Visits to rural and coastal attractions grew by 5% and 4% respectively, echoing VisitEngland research that shows an increase in domestic holidays to the seaside (up 7%) and countryside (up 12%) in 2015. 
 
Tourism Minister Tracey Crouch said: "Year after year, our world-class tourist attractions continue to draw millions of visitors not just into London, but to the country as a whole."

"It is fantastic to see such strong growth across the regions, particularly in rural and coastal communities."

"Tourism contributes around £60 billion to our economy every year and these results show that the benefits of this thriving industry are being spread more evenly around the country.

VisitEngland Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The attractions sector is an integral part of our national tourism offer and plays a crucial role in driving economic growth across all of England’s regions.
 
It’s great to see that more people explored the country’s stunning gardens and scenery in 2015, and we will be further highlighting gardens to visitors this year as we celebrate 2016 as the ‘Year of the English Garden'.” 

The Tower of London remained the most visited ‘paid for’ attraction with 2.8 million visits followed by Westminster Abbey and Kew Gardens which saw 1.6 million visitors each. 
  
Topping the list of free attractions for the eighth year was the British Museum with more than 6.8 million visitors followed by the National Gallery (6 million visitors) and the Natural History Museum (5.3 million visitors). 
 
Visits to England’s attractions rose by 2% in 2015 with revenue up 5%. 

VisitEngland’s latest figures show that the first four months of this year have set a record for domestic holiday trips in England with trips up 8% to 11 million and spend up 22% to £2.8 billion. 
 
Most visited attractions in England – Free Attractions – 2015
E = Estimate  

Name of Attraction

Region

Category

2014 visitors

2015 visitors

British Museum

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         6,695,213

 6,820,686

National Gallery

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         6,416,724

 5,908,254

Natural History Museum

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         5,388,295

 5,284,023

Tate Modern

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         5,785,427

 4,712,581

Brighton Pier

South East

Other

         4,500,000 (E)

 4,600,000 (E)

Victoria and Albert Museum

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         3,651,450

 3,888,374

Science Museum

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         3,358,086

 3,356,212

Alexandra Park and Palace

London

Historic Properties

         2,700,000 (E)

 2,800,000 (E)

National Portrait Gallery

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         2,062,502

 2,145,486

British Library

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         1,627,599 (E)

 1,579,570 (E)

National Maritime Museum

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         1,517,787

 1,358,964

Tate Britain

London

Museums & Art Galleries

         1,357,878

 1,284,519

Imperial War Museum London

London

Museums & Art Galleries

             914,774

 1,102,655

MAC Birmingham

West Midlands

Other

             996,523

 1,028,371

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

West Midlands

Museums & Art Galleries

             696,488

 909,935

Museum of London

London

Museums & Art Galleries

             909,645

 872,978

Ashmolean Museum

South East

Museums & Art Galleries

             875,407

 848,359

Museums Sheffield: Millennium Gallery

Yorkshire & Humberside

Museums & Art Galleries

             764,892

 764,639

Horniman Museum and Gardens

London

Museums & Art Galleries

             870,051

 758,868

Durham Cathedral

North East

Places of Worship

             734,000 (E)

 755,000 (E)

 

Most visited attractions in England – Paid Attractions – 2015

Name of Attraction

Region

Category

2014 visitors

2015 visitors

Tower of London

London

Historic Properties

          3,081,939

 2,785,249

Westminster Abbey

London

Places of Worship

          1,786,106

 1,664,850

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew Gardens

London

Gardens

          1,368,565

 1,622,821

St Paul's Cathedral

London

Places of Worship

          1,782,741 (E)

 1,609,325 (E)

Chester Zoo

North West

Wildlife

          1,432,867

 1,516,808

Windermere Lake Cruises, Bowness

North West

Other

          1,469,189

 1,482,899

Flamingo Land Theme Park and Zoo

Yorkshire & Humberside

Leisure / Theme Parks

          1,536,279

 1,470,828

Stonehenge

South West

Historic Properties

          1,346,177

 1,366,765

ZSL London Zoo

London

Wildlife

          1,318,621

 1,265,911

Drayton Manor Theme Park

West Midlands

Leisure / Theme Parks

          1,064,835

 1,210,141

Royal Academy of Arts

London

Museums & Art Galleries

              824,793

 1,096,608

RHS Garden Wisley

South East

Gardens

          1,023,715

 1,087,927

Roman Baths

South West

Museums & Art Galleries

          1,015,135

 1,044,802

Colchester Zoo

East of England

Wildlife

              964,222

 964,050

Eden Project

South West

Gardens

              867,362

 960,029

Canterbury Cathedral

South East

Places of Worship

          1,004,573 (E)

 957,355 (E)

Houses of Parliament

London

Historic Properties

          1,253,326

 928,855

Tatton Park

North West

Historic Properties

              834,500 (E)

 875,000 (E)

Tower Bridge Exhibition

London

Historic Properties

              646,659

 786,603

Royal Observatory Greenwich

London

Museums & Art Galleries

              785,962

 778,865

 

Visitor admission trends 2015 – by attraction category

Type of Attraction

Visitor admission trends 2015

Country parks

4%

Farms

7%

Gardens

7%

Historic houses / castles

2%

Other historic properties

2%

Leisure / theme parks

7%

Museums / art galleries

-0.5%

Steam / heritage railways

2%

Visitor / heritage centres

3%

Wildlife attractions/zoos

4%

Workplaces

4%

Places of worship

-0.5%

Other

2%

 

Visitor admission trends 2015 – by region

Region

Visitor admission trends 2015

North West

4%

North East

3%

Yorkshire & Humberside

2%

East Midlands

6%

West Midlands

6%

East

3%

London

-3%

South East

3%

South West

6%

 

 

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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