“TV tourism” on the rise in UK

The number of “TV tourists” – who visit places associated with television shows – is on the rise thanks to the success of such series as Downton Abbey.

Downton is filmed at Highclere Castle in Berkshire, which is expected to see a 400% rise in visitors this year, according to motoring and leisure association CSMA.

Another TV tourist destination experiencing increased visits is Barry Island in South Wales, the setting for Gavin And Stacey and Being Human.

A CSMA survey of 2,025 people also revealed other destinations already benefiting, or likely to benefit, from exposure to TV.

These included the villages of Box and Neston in Wiltshire, where Lark Rise To Candleford is filmed; Cardiff, the location for Doctor Who; Turville in Buckinghamshire (The Vicar Of Dibley) and the Brasserie Blanc in Bristol (Raymond Blanc’s The Restaurant).

Movies are also inspiring visits, with locations including Gloucester Cathedral (the Harry Potter films) and Latimer Gardens in Dorset, which featured in the recent Tamara Drewe film.

CSMA managing director Mark Rothery said: “While there may be a perception that watching TV stops us getting outside and enjoying the countryside, this research shows that our love of great British TV programmes and films has actually boosted the UK tourism industry.

“These locations are a fantastic choice for a family day out and hopefully their on-screen connections will get more people discovering Britain’s fascinating heritage.”

Source: UKPA / eTN

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