Historic hall leads the way with 'staycationer' visitors

DESPITE the rainy summer and a cold and snowy winter, new statistics show that visitor figures at Brodsworth Hall and Gardens, near Doncaster, increased by almost 20 per cent last year.

The figures were released by ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions), which represents the top visitor attractions in the country.

The association found that many attractions benefited from "staycations", as the recession kept people on holiday in the UK.

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There was an average increase in visitor numbers of 10.9 per cent.

Brodsworth Hall nearly doubled that figure, however, welcoming more than 86,000 visitors in 2009, compared with 72,699 in 2008. This is the fourth largest percentage increase of any English Heritage site.

English Heritage's regional marketing manager, Nicola Bexon, said: "This is great news for South Yorkshire tourism. Even though the predicted barbecue summer turned into a bit of a washout, Brodsworth's new children's play area, ongoing development of the gardens and fantastic array of flora and fauna contained within the gardens attracted some fantastic visitor numbers last year.

"The events were particularly popular, and we've got an equally strong event programme planned for this year.

"With more people planning to holiday in the UK in 2010 and choosing to enjoy attractions on their doorstep, we should be well placed to match, if not grow our visitor numbers for 2010."

The gardens of Brodsworth Hall are open every weekend throughout the year, with the hall itself reopening for Easter.

Admission prices are 5 for adults, 4.30 for concessions and 2.50 for children, which includes entry to the gardens, servants' wing and tea room.