Northumberland tourism businesses enjoy 'best summer ever' as visitors descend in their thousands

Tourism businesses in Northumberland have enjoyed ‘the best summer ever’ as visitors flock to the county in their thousands.

By Ian Smith
Friday, 10th September 2021, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 4:10 pm
Ryan Jones of KA Adventure Sports in Beadnell.
Ryan Jones of KA Adventure Sports in Beadnell.

Beadnell-based KA Adventure Sports has benefited from more than most from the limited opportunity Brits have had to head abroad.

Ryan Jones admitted: “There’s no doubt it’s been our best summer yet. We have never seen it as busy and we’ve all really enjoyed it.”

“We’ve had some great days – and even when the weather hasn’t been quite so good we’ve still had lots of visitors.

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George and Ailsa Shiel of Golden Gate Boat Trips. Picture by Jane Coltman

"People now know about Northumberland and more and more people know about places like Beadnell.

"I just wish we had a bit more parking – although I think every place will say the same thing.”

Along the coast at Seahouses, boat trips have been proving very popular since trips to the Farne Islands started up again.

Ailsa Shiel of Golden Gate Boat Trips said: “It was a late start to the season for us and we’ve been operating with limited capacity but we certainly can’t complain about how it’s been this summer.

Bamburgh Castle.

"We’ve benefited from people not going abroad, demand for bookings has been very high and holiday lets and hotels have been fully booked.”

Bamburgh Castle has had its share of the spotlight with filming taking place for the new Indiana Jones film.

Will Douglas, visitor services manager at Bamburgh Castle said: “We have had a really strong summer. It has been a joy to welcome visitors back with the easing of restrictions.

"Bamburgh certainly has enjoyed unprecedented media coverage in recent months, with the recent filming and awards such as Which? Best seaside resort.

Ryan Jones of KA Adventure Sports.

"People have been keen to come and experience for themselves just how magnificent Bamburgh is - and to visit the castle the village is famous for.

"We have seen a rise in the number of local people visiting the castle which I think is brilliant - as well as first time visitors to Northumberland.

"They have been absolutely mesmerised by the castle and are looking forward to returning. The staycation boom has really helped to showcase Northumberland to people who have never visited before.

“We are already experiencing strong visitor numbers in September.

"The good weather is certainly a contributing factor - there really isn’t a better viewpoint on the Northumberland coast than our battlements to take in the sights."

Ian McAllister, head of marketing at The Alnwick Garden, added: “We have had a phenomenal summer – the weather has certainly helped, but even on cloudy and wet days it has been apparent that people want to get out in the fresh air.

"The Poison Garden has had its busiest summer ever with over 1,000 people per day visiting throughout August and the Garden itself has been alive with people visiting, picnicking and running around the lawn.

“We launched our Christmas offer in the height of summer and have already had a record-breaking amount of tickets booked, so it’s apparent that people are making the most in the ease of restrictions and getting out and about as much as they can.

“It’s been great to see Alnwick busy again, with cafes bursting and the streets full – the atmosphere around the town has been fantastic.”

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