Yorkshire’s tourism industry is celebrating a bumper Easter weekend, with some of the county’s favourite attractions reporting record-breaking visitor numbers over the four-day bank holiday.
Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Branton near Doncaster, welcomed a record-breaking number of 28,000 visitors over the four-day weekend - 250% up on the 8,300 last year and 40 per cent higher than 2017.
John Minion, CEO of Yorkshire Wildlife Park said: “The weather was fantastic over the bank holiday weekend and strolling round the park was a great way to get out and enjoy it while it lasted. There was a great atmosphere around the park and the animals enjoyed the summer weather too. We had over double the number of visitors over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend compared to last year and we would like to thank everyone for their continued support.”
Simon Bean, Head of Historic Properties for Yorkshire & The North Midlands at English Heritage said: “All 15 Yorkshire sites exceeded our visitor projections over the Easter weekend thanks to the beautiful weather and a very strong Easter offer. Our investment in Mount Grace Priory House & Gardens, North Yorkshire, last Spring continues to delight visitors with the site welcoming over 300% more visitors this Easter compared to last. We’ve also been overwhelmed by the strong public response to the significantly enhanced visitor offer at Whitby Abbey following a £1.6m investment over the winter. Visitor numbers there are exceeding our already ambitious expectations by 50%. It’s been a great start to the season and we look forward to welcoming many more visitors over the next few months.”
Nicky Chance-Thompson, Chief Executive of The Piece Hall Trust said: “Easter at The Piece Hall this year has been amazing. The World Premiere of ‘Zara’ a Mind the Gap and Walk the Plank co-production, funded by Arts Council England amongst others, bought in crowds fascinated by baby ‘Eva’. Over 40,000 people came to The Piece Hall this weekend to enjoy the show and eat, drink and shop in the fabulous sunshine. Children really enjoyed the various activities including our ever-popular Easter egg hunt and the lambs who came to see us in the courtyard.”
Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal said: “The sunny Easter weekend brought 18,000 visitors to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. It was a record-breaking Easter for us and we were the third busiest place in the National Trust. It was truly ice-cream weather over the four days and people came out to enjoy the lovely weather, follow the Cadbury Easter Egg trail and get stuck into a full day out with everything this World Heritage Site has to offer.
“It was a delight to see everybody having such a good time and the team here loved every minute. We’d like to say a huge thank-you to everyone who visited, as the money from all the memberships, cups of tea and ice creams goes directly back into caring for the site.”
It wasn’t just Yorkshire attractions benefitting from the Easter weekend, pubs, cafes and restaurants also made the most of their outdoor areas to host locals and tourists.
James Mackenzie, Chef/ Proprietor, The Pipe and Glass, South Dalton said: “We were so fortunate to get such good weather over the bank holiday weekend - the Pipe and Glass really comes into its own in the sunshine. We have two outdoor dining areas - the patio which overlooks our garden and picnic benches at the front - both were thriving with customers enjoying a meal or a relaxed drink with family and friends in the glorious weather. Long may it continue!”
Accommodation providers also reported an influx of bookings, with hotels, B&B’s and campsites catering to visitors deciding to spend more time in God’s Own County.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s Commercial Director, Peter Dodd said: “It’s fantastic that so many of our members have reported such a successful Easter weekend, welcoming visitors from far and wide. The glorious weather we’ve enjoyed has clearly contributed to people flocking to the magnificent places on offer across all four corners of Yorkshire, including our stunning coastline offering miles of golden beaches, three National Parks, and an abundance of charming towns and vibrant cities.”
Yorkshire.com, the official tourism website for Yorkshire, saw a 27% increase in traffic compared to last Easter, with 41,000 visitors and 140,000 page views over the four days, Good Friday to Easter Monday inclusive.