More tourists visit historic properties

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The Independent Online
THE NUMBER of tourists visiting historic properties in Britain rose last year, according to figures released today.

In London, visits to palaces, cathedrals and ancient sites rose 5 per cent and in the South-east of England by 4 per cent, while spending at historic houses increased by 9 per cent, the English Tourist Board reported.

A 9 per cent increase in overseas visitors to the UK helped swell the number of visits to heritage sites in 1992 to 67 million - up 0.2 per cent on 1991.

Seven historic properties had visitor increases of more than 20 per cent last year, with Penshurst Place in Kent up 34 per cent, Little Moreton Hall in Cheshire rising 34 per cent and Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent increasing by 31 per cent.

The State Apartments at Windsor Castle had 23 per cent more visitors in 1992 and the Cabinet War Rooms in London played host to 21 per cent more.

The top 10 historic properties charging admission were: Tower of London (2.23m visitors); St Paul's; Roman Baths and Pump Room, Bath; State Apartments, Windsor Castle; Warwick Castle; Stonehenge; Hampton Court Palace; Shakespeare's birthplace, Stratford; Blenheim Palace; Leeds Castle, Kent.

More than 40,000 people visited Buckingham Palace in the first week of its opening. They spent pounds 250,000 on souvenirs - an average of pounds 6.25 each.