Boost for Norfolk tourist attractions

Kate ScotterThe bank holiday weather failed to wrecks the spirits of fun-seeking families as tourist attractions reported a promising start to the half term holidays.Kate Scotter

The bank holiday weather failed to wrecks the spirits of fun-seeking families as tourist attractions reported a promising start to the half term holidays.

Scores of people braved the rain showers over the weekend to visit some of Norfolk's top attractions with some places reporting higher visitor figures than last year.

And with the improving weather outlook for the rest of the week, many are looking forward to a bumper half-term break.

Simon Egan, general manager at BeWILDerwood, the tree-top adventure park near Hoveton, said: 'We've been slightly up on the number of visitors from last year, which is thrilling considering the weather was better last year.

'People were brave and turned out despite the rain. The weather wasn't that bad, though, and because it's not really sunny, they weren't going to the beach. The forecast is looking good for the rest of the week so we're looking forward to the rest of half term.'

The bank holiday saw a mix of rain showers and sunny patches with strong winds.

Most Read

The rest of the week, however, is forecasted to get warmer with temperatures reaching above 20C by Friday.

Ian Russell, director of Wroxham Barns, said: 'Granted there have been a few showers, but the weather hasn't been too bad. What's been very pleasing is that lots of local residents have been enjoying the bank holiday and we've had as many visitors as we've ever had in terms of holidaymakers - that's the dream ticket for us, having both local residents and visitors coming into Norfolk and seemingly having a really good time.

'It's an improving picture for the rest of the week and we've had a very, very good start to the half term break.'

Martin Dupee, head of operations for Dinosaur Adventure, Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, said: 'We've been quite pleased considering the weather wasn't exactly what was forecasted. All three parks have been consistent and we've had higher figures compared to last year.

'The weather for Tuesday isn't looking so good but Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are looking very good, so I'm expecting them to be very busy days at all three parks.'

In Great Yarmouth, crowds flocked to indoor attractions instead of the beach.

There were queues outside the town's Marina Centre and the Sea Life Centre where staff dished out sweets to people as they waited to get in.

Terri Harris, Sea Life Centre attraction manager, said: 'It is sad for holidaymakers when they come away not to get nice weather, but we are in indoor facility and I suppose that is the bonus - when there is bad weather there is somewhere nice to come.

Peter Williamson, director of Merrivale Model Village, said: 'Great Yarmouth was very busy, but unfortunately the Great British weather has let us down again, as usual. Unfortunately we are about 15pc down on visitor numbers on the year as a whole.'

The Evening News has been celebrating the wealth of attractions on offer in the county through its Do Different, Do Norfolk campaign.

Has your business been boosted by the increase in people holidaying in Norfolk? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email