Heritage Tourism and Greece

Knossos © David Gill

Greece will be re-opening to tourists and dropping quarantine regulations (“Greece reopens cafes, island ferries“, ekatherimini.com 25 May 2020). There is concern that Spain and Portugal will try to attract tourists from Germany (Ilias Bellos, “Greece battling Spain, Portugal for German tourists“, ekatherimini.com 26 May 2020).

These are particular challenges for Greece. Tourists from Germany, the UK, France and Italy were the main national groups bringing over 8 million visitors (in 2015). Tourists from the UK have yet to be given clearance to travel to Greece and that group is worth in the region of $750 million to the economy of Greece. Heritage tourism to a region like the Argolid is worth over $230 million to the local economy. Knossos on Crete is at the heart of one of the nation’s most popular destinations. Heritage in Greece is a major asset for the tourist economy and needs to be protected until tourist numbers can increase and generate the much needed income for the sector.

Top 10 Heritage Sites for Norfolk

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Galleries at the bottom of Pit 1 at Grimes Graves (2015) © David Gill

I have been thinking about my Top 10 heritage sites in Norfolk. This is very much a personal choice, and the locations are placed in (rough) chronological order. I have tried to include a variety of types of heritage site. How can you decide between Norwich Cathedral and Norwich Castle? Or between Felbrigg and Blickling? Castle Rising and Castle Acre?

Grime’s Graves. You can descend into the Neolithic flint mines.

Burgh Castle
The Roman fort at Burgh Castle © David Gill

Burgh Castle. One of the best preserved Roman forts of the Saxon Shore.

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Norwich Cathedral © David Gill

Norwich Cathedral. The cathedral is an architectural gem and dominates the city.

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Binham Priory © David Gill

Binham Priory. Part of the Benedictine priory is still in use as the parish church.

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Castle Rising © David Gill

Castle Rising. This well-preserved keep is dominated by a series of earthworks.

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Oxburgh Hall © David Gill

Oxburgh Hall. The moated hall at Oxburgh contains fabulous tapestries.

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Felbrigg Hall © David Gill

Felbrigg Hall. The 17th century front to the house is a gem.

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Holkham Hall © David Gill

Holkham Hall. One of the most magnificent houses and Grand Tour collections in Norfolk.

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North Norfolk Railway, Sheringham Station © David Gill

The North Norfolk Railway (The Poppy Line). The journey between Sheringham and Holt provides views of the coast as well as the Norfolk countryside.

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Sandringham © David Gill

Sandringham. The Royal residence sits in the middle of extensive landscaped grounds.

Heritage Day 2019 (2020)

 

The postponed Heritage Day 2019, arranged by the Heritage Alliance, was held at The Tower of London in February 2020. The Parliamentary Undersecretary of State, Nigel Huddlestone MP, gave his first speech on heritage and tourism.

Outlander and heritage tourism

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Doune Castle © David Gill

The Outlander series of books and TV series is having an impact on visitor numbers at heritage sites in Scotland (“Outlander tourism effect a ‘double edged sword’“, BBC News 15 February 2020). Doune Castle is reported to have a 200 per cent increase, rising from 38,000 in 2013 to 142,000 in 2008. It is now the fifth most popular Historic Environment Scotland site.

Culloden, managed by the National Trust for Scotland, has also seen a large increase in visitor numbers to over 213,000 in 2018.

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Source for Data: ALVA

Edinburgh abroad

Heading from Beijing to Shanghai the night before last meant an inevitable hike through the giant terminal at Capital Airport. Our small group was delighted however to pause at the photo exhibition of Edinburgh flanking either side of the main walkway heading to the departure gates transit area.

Forming part of a joint photography project between Beijing and Edinburgh airport authorities, the Chinese presentation of Edinburgh’s heritage, culture, streetscape and landscape is done on a typically large scale, with great visual impact. Heritage sells well here, and remains a key motivation and enjoyment factor in Chinese visitation to the UK, and Scotland in particular.

1066 and Battlefield

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Battle Abbey © David Gill

Battle Abbey was established on the top of the hill that formed a central part of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The battlefield is now an integral part of the English Heritage site and visitors are able to walk the slopes where interpretation boards help to explain the different stages of the engagement.

The Tin Coast and Poldark

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The Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack © David Gill

The BBC Drama Series ‘Poldark‘ is set in Cornwall in what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ‘Tin Coast‘ includes the Crowns Engine Houses at Botallack in the care of the National Trust.

Heritage locations used in the filming of the series have been listed by Visit Cornwall.

Leading Visitor Attractions 2018: National Trust

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Waddesdon Manor © David Gill

The figures for Leading Visitor Attractions in 2018 have been published. The top National Trust sites are:

  • Giants Causeway [35]: 1,011,473 [+2.7%]
  • Clumber Park [59]: 657,443 [+4%]
  • Carrick-a-Rede [72]: 491,947 [+13%]
  • Attingham Park [73]: 484,581 [+4%]
  • Cliveden [74]: 483,754 [-1%]
  • Waddesdon Manor [77]: 466,158 [-0.86%]
  • Belton House [83]: 422,682 [-5%]
  • Stourhead [86]: 393,779 [+3%]
  • Fountains Abbey Estate [88]: 388,500 [-8%]
  • Calke Abbey [90]: 384,561 [-1%]
  • Mottisfont [92]: 376,043 [+3%]
  • Anglesey Abbey [93]: 370,506 [-5%]
  • Nymans Garden [99]: 354,502 [+4%]
  • Kingston Lacy [101]: 353,653 [+9%]
  • St Michael’s Mount [103]: 347,773 [-1%]
  • Polesden Lacey [104]: 347,149 [-2%]
  • Dunham Massey [110]: 310,093 [+7%]
  • Sheffield Park [111]: 306,692 [+8%]
  • Wimpole Estate [113]: 304,191 [-12%]
  • Tyntesfield [116]: 301,765 [-3%]
  • Hardwick Hall [119]: 285,379 [+2%]
  • Lanhydrock [120]: 273,149 [+4%]
  • Killerton [121]: 267,383 [+7%]
  • Bodnant Garden [125]: 254,227 [+1%]
  • Ickworth [126]: 254,073 [-7%]
  • Dyrham Park [127]: 251,631 [0%]
  • Chartwell [128]: 246,336 [+3%]
  • Quarry Bank [130]: 240,277 [-5%]
  • Corfe Castle [131]: 237,992 [-4%]
  • Wallington [132]: 236,825 [+1%]
  • Cragside Estate [133]: 236,672 [+3%]
  • Mount Stewart [137]: 226,577 [+4%]
  • Baddesley Clinton [140]: 221,703 [+1%]
  • Trelissick [141]: 214,034 [+7%]
  • Saltram [146]: 209,755 [+7%]
  • Stowe [147]: 208,644 [-1%]
  • Charlecote Park [148]: 208,289 [-5%]
  • Dunster Castle [150]: 204,625 [-2%]
  • Speke Hall [151]: 204,134 [+6%]
  • Shugborough Estate [152]: 203,652 [+27%]
  • Packwood House [153]: 202,114 [-8%]

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Stowe © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2018: English Heritage

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The figures for Leading Visitor Attractions in 2018 have been published. The top English Heritage sites are:

  • Stonehenge [20]: 1,555,868 [-1.7%]. 2017: 1,582,532 [+14.5%]
  • Dover Castle [95]: 365,462 [-3.8%]. 2017: 379,740 [+13.9%]
  • Osborne [112]: 304,927 [-1.3%]. 2017: 308,861 [+16.1%]
  • Tintagel Castle [135]: 230,584 [-6.3%]. 2017: 246,039 [+7.1%]
  • Carlisle Castle [158]: 177,247 [+285.4%]
  • Audley End House and Gardens [160]: 170,042 [-5.1%]. 2017: 179,167 [+8.1%]
  • Clifford’s Tower, York [163]: 154,701 [+0.4%]. 2017: 154,135 [+5.1%]
  • Whitby Abbey [165]: 147,566 [-11.3%]. 2017: 166,362 [+9.6%]
  • Kenwood [171]: 131,126 [-8.6%]. 2017: 143,490 [+6.8%]
  • Wrest Park [172]: 128,980 [-5.9%]. 2017: 137,131 [+10.3%]
  • Carisbrooke Castle [174]: 125,664 [-0.7%]. 2017: 126,584 [-0.3%]
  • 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey and Battlefield [176]: 123,870 [+0.5%]. 2017: 123,220 [-10.6%]
  • Eltham Palace and Gardens [180]: 110,034 [+0.5%]. 2017: 109,501 [+12.5%]
  • Kenilworth Castle [181]: 110,012 [-6.8%]. 2017: 118,090 [+9.3%]
  • Housesteads Roman Fort [182]: 109,675 [+0.9%]. 2017: 108,660 [+6.5%]
  • Walmer Castle and Gardens [184]: 103,905 [-4.7%]. 2017: 109,005 [+18.8%]

Overall English Heritage seems to have been attracting fewer visitors during 2018.

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Eltham Palace © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2018: National Trust for Scotland

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Broughton House © David Gill

The details of the Leading Visitor Attractions for 2018 are now available.  The National Trust for Scotland locations are:

  • Glenfinnan [89]: 385,352 [-2.8%]. 2017: 396,448 [+57.8%]
  • Culzean Castle & Country Park [91]: 382,608 [+56.2%]. 2017: 244,930 [+11.6%]
  • Burns Birthplace Museum [122]: 266,36  [+62.1%]. 2017: 164,316 [+1.2%]
  • Brodie Castle [124]: 256,666 [+21.8%]
  • Glencoe [142]: 213,343 [+29.1%]
  • Culloden [143]: 213,343 [+10.9%]. 2017: 180,875 [+27.6%]
  • Crathes Castle [173]: 127,695 [+4.8%]. 2017: 121,841 [+23.7%]
  • Threave Castle [186]: 96,357 [+1.5%]
  • Inverewe Gardens [192]: 80,913 [-57.8%]. 2017: 191,951 [+109.6%]
  • Newhailes [199] 68,360 [+1168.7%]
  • Pollok House [205]: 57,172 [+5.1%]
  • Fyvie Castle [207]: 56,158 [-0.2%]
  • Drum Castle [208]: 50,421 [+8.3%]. 2017: 46,574 [-3%]
  • Falkland Palace [211]: 46,475 [-8.4%]. 2017: 50,726 [+15.1%]
  • Bannockburn [212]: 45,208 [-18.3%]. 2017: 55,347 [+7.9%]
  • Pitmedden Garden [213]: 41,694 [-3.1%]. 2017: 43,045 [+17.9%]
  • Brodick Castle & Country Park [216]: 39,708 [-10.4%]. 2017: 44,361 [-38.1%]
  • Georgian House [222]: 33,450 [-11.3%]
  • Ben Lawers Visitor Centre [229]: 24,728 [-12.3%]
  • Culross Palace [230]: 24,445 [+52.6%]
  • Craigievar Castle [232]: 19,702 [+15.6%]
  • Leith Hall [233]: 19,332 [-1.8%]
  • Tenement House [237]: 17,053 [-5.3%]
  • Kellie Castle [238]: 17,003 [+5.8%]
  • Broughton House & Garden [239]: 16,843 [+8.2%]
  • Greenbank Garden [240]: 16,327 [+2.4%]
  • Hill House [243]: 12,150 [-57.4%]. 2017: 28,518 [+6.2%]
  • Geilston Garden [244]: 12,110 [+17%]
  • Gladstones Land [245]: 11,670 [-3.2%]. 2017: 12,061 [-44.7%]

There is wider coverage of NTS in the ALVA figures for 2018. Bannockburn’s visitor numbers are a surprise given the increase in HES numbers for Stirling Castle.

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Glenfinnan © David Gill