From the 30th of March to the 7th of April English Tourism Week, organised by VisitEngland, will be celebrated countrywide.
Now a firm favourite in the country’s calendar, the event aims to raise awareness of the importance of tourism on England’s economy and the opportunity for growth within the sector. Visit England’s Chief Executive, James Berresford, put the industries impact on economy into perspective, explaining that; “Tourism is one of the few sectors active in every part of the country, supporting 2.6 million jobs and worth £106bn a year to England,” adding, “English Tourism Week is a chance for us all to celebrate the quality and vibrancy of our visitor experiences in a week-long programme of events to kick start the 2019 season.”
To help you decide where you will be celebrating this English Tourism Week, we have spoken to experts across the country to find some of the best tourist hot spots.
Puma Hotels’ Walton Hall and Walton Hotel is situated in the heart of Shakespeare Country, which covers the 4 main towns of Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and Stratford Upon Avon. Tony Merrygold, Managing Director at Shakespeare Country explained that the array of attractions the area has to offer, “attracts approximately 5.5 million visitors a year to Stratford upon Avon alone, who between them visit the Shakespeare Houses (celebrating his 450th birthday this year), the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Tudor World and the new Mad Museum,” to name but a few.
Local attractions include: Heritage Motor Centre, Compton Verney Art Gallery, Warwick Castle, Hills Close Gardens as well as a wealth of stately homes.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bath’s beautiful architecture and fascinating history have been attracting visitors on city breaks for hundreds of years. This influx of visitors has helped boost the local economy,as Nick Brooks-Sykes, Chief Executive of Bath Tourism Plus explains;
“The value of tourism is now worth just under £4 million to the people of Bath & North East Somerset and draws in over 5.8 million visitors to the region.” Brooks -Sykes believes that Bath’s iconic landmarks such as the Royal Crescent and Circus give it heritage “to rival anywhere in the world”.
Local attractions include: Stonehenge, Roman Baths and Longleat House.
Hinckley is the second largest Market Town in Leicestershire with a history going back to Saxon times. Its market – which meets on Castle Street every Monday, Friday and Saturday – is more than 700 years old and recently won UK Outdoor Market of the Year. Hinckley was famous during the 19th Century for producing more Hosiery than anywhere else in England.
However, Steve Wegerif Chair of The Hinckley and Bosworth Tourism Partnership Ltd explains why Hinckley still has just as much to offer today, “Hinckley Town Centre is a thriving community and warmly welcomes all visitors to its diverse retail offering of more than 150 shops, cafes and restaurants,” believing Hinckley’s shopping experience and diverse calendar of events make it the perfect day out for any tourist. “Hinckley boasts more independent businesses that most towns. Exciting events help to keep our independent businesses alive, for example, the second Stage of the Women’s Cycling Tour of Great Britain departs from Hinckley on May 8th 2014. Hopefully this will generate lots of business and allow tourists to experience what the Borough of Hinckley and Bosworth has to offer; from Steam Trains to Canal Boats, Vintage cars to stunning walks.”
Local attractions include: The Battle of Bosworth Heritage Centre which includes the monument to King Richard III, Twycross Conservation Zoo, Mallory Park Motor Racing Circuit, the Midlands largest Antiques Centre in nearby Shenton and the Framework Knitters Museum which showcases some of the History of Hinckley.
Famous for its natural spring water and Georgian architecture, the town of Buxton was founded by the Romans who called it Aquae Armentiae or Spa of the Goddess of the Grove. The fifth Duke of Devonshire put Buxton on the tourist map with development in the 1780′s – the centerpiece being the Georgian Crescent. The town’s rich history features Roman settlers, royal prisoners, outlaws and noble benefactors.
Isobel Wharton Buxton TIC Assistant Visit Peak District:
“The busiest part of the season runs from April until the end of September (during school holidays) helped by the Wells Dressings and Buxton Festival. Buxton is an ideal base for walking, cycling (with many converted railway line trails), stately homes, market towns and the annual Wells Dressing Festival taking place in towns and villages during summer months.”
Local attractions include: St Ann’s Well – a public fountain where the mineral water can be freely taken, The Pavilion Gardens, Buxton Opera House, The Buxton Festival, Poole’s Cavern, A Museum and Art Gallery and the Dome at the University of Derby building which boasts a larger unsupported dome than St Peter’s and St Paul’s.
History is such an important part of England tourism, so much so that organisations such as English Heritage aim protect and promote some of England’s most famous historic attractions and monuments. Phil Harper National PR Executive at English Heritage says:
“The history of Britain takes in many fascinating stories and events; to this day visitors remain fascinated by the atmospheric stately homes, spectacular castles and palaces, and unique sites that can be found across the country. Iconic sites in our care include Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, Tintagel Castle and many more, attracting visitors from both the local area and from overseas.”
City Of Culture
As well as discovering England’s rich history, many towns and cities in themselves are great attractions to tourists. Named as the UK’s City of Culture for 2017, Hull is one of the biggest up-and-coming cities for tourism. Jon Pywell, Hull City Council Lead for City of Culture explains what the title means to the city:
“City of Culture will bring huge benefits to Hull. We are already seeing positive benefits in terms of reputation, as we use this fantastic platform to transform perceptions about the city. With a year-round cultural offer, visitors to Hull will discover a city that has joined the dots.Our ultimate ambition is to make Hull a world-class visitor destination recognised for its contribution to the UK tourism economy. The time has come to tell the world about Hull.”
Will these be on your list of places to visit this year?