Tourist jewel in the UK’s crown

The Quire at York Minster. Picture by Simon Hulme
The Quire at York Minster. Picture by Simon Hulme
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London’s high cost of hotels, strike-hit transport links and worries over security have all contributed to an exodus of foreign and domestic holidaymakers to Yorkshire, a leading tourism body reveals today.

Harewood House near Leeds is one of the beneficiaries of the migration, and York Minster has risen 10 places in a newly-published ”league table” of major UK attractions.

In contrast, numbers plummeted at many of London’s biggest attractions. The British Museum, Natural History Museum and National Gallery welcomed nearly 2m fewer people last year than in 2016.

Bernard Donoghue, director of the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which published the figures, said the cost of accommodation, food and drink in London, and the unreliability of southern region trains, had become too much for many people.

He added: “Because of security fears last year, there was a displacement of tourists out of city centres, to rural communities in particular.

“Overseas tourists are getting better at moving around the country. They’re not just sticking to the honeypots any more, and York and Yorkshire are really benefitting from that. Properties like Harewood and York Minster did really well.”

He said York, though a city, was seen by visitors in a different light to larger centres, and that Yorkshire was “absolutely vital” to the tourism economy, calling it “one of the most important jewels in the UK’s crown”.

“Yorkshire’s food and drink and countryside makes for an entirely appealing package,” he added.

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