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Some of Yorkshire’s tourist attractions are enjoying a record-breaking time and giving a much needed boost to recession-hit local economies. With more people staying on British soil for their holidays during 2009 and high-profile campaigns by organisations such as Welcome to Yorkshire, it looks like being a bumper year if figures from the National Trust are anything to go by. The trust announced this week that almost 700,000 paying visitors – 100,000 more than in 2008 – had been to its properties and that membership in the region had also seen a sharp increase with 13,825 new recruits – a 1,601 jump over last year.
Free-to-access trust sites, such as Brimham Rocks, parts of the North York Moors and Coast and Hardcastle Crags, have also seen a huge surge in visitor popularity. Jonathan Brewer, property manager at Brimham Rocks (pictured), told me: “While it is difficult for us to monitor the number of visitors as people just pay for the car park, we have seen a huge increase with 15% more traffic passing through. By the end of the National Trust year in February we would have hoped to have had 130,000 visitors, which would be a record breaker for us. Easter this year was particularly busy and broke all records, and that carried on throughout the summer and into the autumn.”
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal anticipates breaking the 360,000 visitor mark for the first time by the end of the trust’s financial year in February 2010.
The trust’s paid-for visitor numbers:
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal    284,616
Beningbrough Hall, nr York        111,147
Nostell Priory, nr Wakefield        95,216
Treasurer’s House, York            64,705
Nunnington Hall, nr Helmsley        62,287
Rievaulx, nr Helmsley            35,223
East Riddlesden Hall, Keighley        29,178
Gibson Mill nr Hebden Bridge        9,292
Goddards Garden, York             4,302
Total                        695,966

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