Thousands enjoy free festival

THE 2012 Northumberland Residents’ Festival has been hailed a huge success after thousands of people took advantage of the glorious weekend sunshine and the free and discounted entry to visit many of the county’s top attractions.

The event – the third of its kind – was laid on to celebrate the fact that the county is a fantastic place to live and to give something back to its residents.

Local attractions, English Heritage and the National Trust worked closely with Northumberland County Council to make the event bigger and better than ever before.

A host of attractions took part in the festival weekend including, castles, gardens, stately homes and museums – all reporting a tremendous turn out.

Coun Jeff Reid, leader of the county council, said: “It’s easy to forget just how special the county is and the many great things there are to do and see on our doorstep.

“We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather and we are delighted that so many residents took the opportunity to experience the wonderful attractions Northumberland has to offer.”

Residents needed special vouchers to receive free or discounted entry to the attractions and these were available from libraries, council offices, tourist information centres, sports centres and from the county council’s website.

Although official visitor numbers have yet to be finalised for the festival weekend, the council has said that more than 21,000 people looked at its online leaflet.