The Best Tourist Information Office in England?

By | Category: Travel news
The tourist office window

The tourist office window

From the image you may not be able to guess where it is. The picture is taken from the entrance from the Grand Arcade, that ornate Victorian splendour running off Grainger Street in Newcastle.
So why do I nominate Newcastle as having the best tourist information office in England? Well to be fair I haven’t visited all the tourist offices in the country. Leeds has a good one at the main railway station though it is a little small and cramped as it contain s a lot. Newcastle wins in my view because it is spacious, has room to sit down and look at things, is well stocked with brochure from around all the countries in the UK and finally it has helpful staff.
Compare this to what might be considered the flagship tourist office in Lower Regent Street in London. There you walk through the front door to face a rather unwelcoming scene. There are desks to the right hand side. Yes there are people happy to help but if you want to browse there is no welcoming rack of brochures. For that you go to the back of the shop and wander upstairs where the balcony contains small racks of brochures and leaflets. On the left hand side they are all about London, its tours and sites. On the right they are about other parts of the UK. Given that this office is likely to receive more curious overseas visitors than almost any other you could be forgiven for thinking we aren’t very welcoming. Complacent is what this information office comes across as.
Unlike Newcastle. There are others with a greater number of local brochures and information. Great Malvern and Shrewsbury come to mind. There are others where the staff are just as helpful. Most in fact. But few have the space, the seating area, and the computer facilities. Unless, of course, you know differently.
Feel free to suggest alternatives and why and we’ll publish your comments and, more usefully for readers, go and check them out.

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