Norfolk’s tourism chiefs hail great 2014 so far

The Shakespeare Festival drew crowds to Norwich Cathedral. The rest of the region reported a boost i

The Shakespeare Festival drew crowds to Norwich Cathedral. The rest of the region reported a boost in visitor numbers. Picture: Denise Bradley - Credit: copyright: Archant 2014

The region's tourism industry has had a bumper 2014 thanks to sunshine and the variety offered to visitors.

Temperatures have been teetering on 30 degrees Celsius in recent weeks, drawing crowds to our beaches, waterways and attractions.

And the warm days are set to continue, with little rain predicted.

On the Broads, director of Broads Tours, Barbara Greasley, said holidays with the company are up 10pc on last year with bookings filling fast for the summer holidays.

And Ian Russell, director at Wroxham Barns, said visitor numbers to the Broads-based attraction have been pleasing because of the sunny days.

'We need to celebrate this lovely weather,' he said.

'It is what every destination hopes for and it is a real boost for holidays in the UK. We should remember that Norfolk is one of the driest and sunniest parts of the UK, not everywhere has had this weather.

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'Thankfully, our visitors want variety during their holiday so we are still seeing a really pleasing number of visitors; early indications tell us we should exceed the last summer holidays, which was our best yet.'

In north Norfolk, Laurane Herrieven, marketing manager at the Holkham Estate, said numbers to Holkham park were up 11pc on this time last year.

'We think this a reflection of our new family offers in terms of the play area, cycling, nature trails and lake activities which have all been extra busy with the lovely weather we have enjoyed in north Norfolk,' she said.

'Forward sales are also very good for Holkham's open-air concerts for the August bank holiday weekend and tickets are also being snapped up for the outdoor theatre, so the next month looks busy too.'

In Great Yarmouth, tourism boss Alan Carr said the town's beaches have been busy with families enjoying the attractions.

With numbers up on last year, Mr Carr said the Wednesday night fireworks had proved popular.

But he said because the seaside destination has both wet and dry weather facilities it is a 'great destination whatever the weather'.

In Norwich, Neil Parsons, chapter steward at Norwich Cathedral, said the peregrines have been a real pull for visitors.

And a staggering 2,400 people enjoyed The Shakespeare Festival last month.

'The lovely warm sunny weather has naturally had an impact on more people taking time to stroll in the grounds and we hope the fine weather continues over the school holidays,' Mr Parsons added.

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