Northumberland is now officially third in the ranking of England’s most-loved holiday destinations, overtaking the likes of Yorkshire.
A recent survey by national tourist board Visit England puts Northumberland in the top tier of English destinations that visitors most enjoyed.
Northumberland scored highly for satisfaction and for loyalty from recent visitors to the county, just behind Cornwall and the Lake District and for the first time beating the more well-established and popular holiday destinations of North Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District and the Isle of Wight.
The research also showed that people staying in bed and breakfast accommodation or guest houses with a high-quality rating – such as four stars – tended to be more satisfied with their visit.
The county boasts a large number of four and five-star- rated accommodation including B&B/Guest House of the Year in the 2010 Enjoy England Awards, the five-star St Cuthbert’s House in Seahouses.
Visitors also said they were more satisfied with their holiday if they took part in activities such as outdoors leisure pursuits or exploring the countryside.
As England’s most tranquil county, Northumberland again scores highly in both areas with a wealth of countryside options, from the wild castle-strewn coastline to rugged National Park land and Kielder Forest’s lakeside walking and mountain bike trails.
Jude Leitch, tourism development manager for Northumberland Tourism, is delighted that visitors are leaving the county happy.
“We’re extremely happy with these results,” she said.
“Satisfied visitors are much more likely to return for another holiday and to recommend Northumberland as a holiday destination to their friends and family. Our own surveys show that over the last three years Northumberland’s food and drink has been scoring higher and higher ratings from visitors.
“Our towns too have been growing in popularity.”
She added: “It goes to prove that the energy so many have put into improving our pubs, restaurants and town centres is paying off.
“Our challenge now is to keep those visitor scores rising in the years ahead.
“Only when we’re at the very top of VisitEngland’s list will we be happy!”