Attractions outside London

By | Category: Travel news

Wednesday’s story about which attractions received the most visitors was very London-centric since the top ten venues are all in London.

interior of the National Museum
inside the National Museum in Edinburgh, the biggest tourist attraction in Scotland

In Scotland, the National Museum of Scotland was the most visited attraction (11th place) outside London with a 3% increase and 2,227,773 visits. In 12th position was Edinburgh Castle with a 2% increase (2,111,578) – continuing to be the most visited paid for attraction in Scotland. The Scottish National Gallery (in 16th place) saw a 9% increase to 1,739,128.

One Scottish attraction that has yet to establish how popular it will be on an annual basis is the new V&A Dundee which only opened just over six months ago. By the end of the year it had seen 341,265 visitors but, just as importantly, its opening has introduced visitors to other Dundee attractions as well.

Usually headline exhibitions attract more people and the Charles Rennie Mackintosh –Making the Glasgow Style might have been considered a crowd-puller, but The Kelvingrove in Glasgow saw a decline in visitors of 19.7%. Now that the exhibition has moved to the walker in Liverpool will that gallery see an increase as its fellow Liverpudlian venue, the World Museum did with its terracotta warriors exhibition in 2018? There over 610,000 visited the museum whilst the warriors was on boosting visitor numbers by 111%.

Since the exhibition finished in October 2018, the museum has done some research on the economic impact of the exhibition and found that the exhibition generated in excess of £83 million for the city of Liverpool and the wider Liverpool City Region.

In Northern Ireland, the Giants Causeway is still the most popular attraction and 1,011,473 (up 2.8%) went to see it whilst Titanic Belfast had the biggest percentage growth 8%. The Ulster Museum grew its visitor numbers by 10% to 584,723

With Wales evidence for visitor numbers is a little more problematic. Partially this is due to counting visitors across calendar years so you aren’t really comparing like with like. The National Museum of Wales which consists of seven museums does not appear in the ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions) figures but the St Fagans National Museum of History just outside Cardiff is the most visited site in Wales with 522,684 visitors.

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