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Bank Holiday boost for local tourism

By Stour & Avon Magazine  |  Posted: August 30, 2013

A little girl enjoys peering into the shopwindows at Wimborne Model Town

A little girl enjoys peering into the shopwindows at Wimborne Model Town

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AUGUST Bank Holiday 2013 is likely to go down as one of the best for local tourism, with temperatures nudging the mid 20s on Monday encouraging local people and visitors to enjoy the region's attractions.

Visitor numbers at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park were up 15 per cent up on last year.

Wimborne Model Town had a busy Sunday and more than 250 visitors on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon alone.

Greg Hoar, development manager at the model town said: "From the successful candle lit Sting in the Tale theatre production in the gardens on Wednesday night, Wimborne Model Town has had a busy week with bank holiday weekend visitors numbers up by 17 per cent on the previous year. With the good weather we have seen a lot of new faces and our tea shop has done brisk business throughout the long weekend."

The registered charity's family entertainment programme continues this week with quizzes and a magic show on Thursday.

It was a similar story at Wimborne's Priest's House Museum.

Assistant curator James Webb said: "The Bank Holiday proved to be very busy at the museum, with younger visitors making the most of 'Sally's Summer Sun Activities', self directed craft activities around the museum during the school holidays. With the fine weather the garden tearoom was also popular.

The season to date has been a successful one for the museum, with visitors enjoying two new exhibitions, 'The Games We Used to Play' and 'Suits You Sir'."

James added that the new ticketing system introduced this year has also increased the number of repeat visits, which in turn has led to a greater use of the new garden tearoom.

Compton Abbas Airfield had 120 visiting planes on Bank Holiday Monday and visitor numbers to the Bournemouth Aviation Museum increased from 166 last year to 206 this year.

Go Ape with their Hire Wire Adventure Course and Forest Segway at Moors Valley Country Park smashed their visitor targets.

Bank Holiday was also a pretty busy weekend for Moors Valley Country Park itself, as it continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary. Whilst Sunday saw a quieter start due to rain at the beginning of the day, Monday was the busiest day with 4,363 cars - at an average of 3.4 people per car - that was 14,834 visitors, not counting those who walked or cycled into the park. To date in August they have had 34,000 cars through and are aiming to top 40,000 for the month.

The National Trust's Kingston Lacy say they had a "stunning weekend" with just under 2,000 visitors on Sunday and just over 2,000 on Bank Holiday Monday.

The special Wimborne Children's Weekend, hosted by Wimborne BID with fire act and performer Simon Chainey, street entertainers, dancers and musicians drew total estimated audiences of 1,200 -1,500 on Saturday and 900 – 1,200 on Sunday.

In Christchurch on the Monday, all 700 spaces of the car park at Hengistbury Head were filled.

Wimborne's Tivoli Theatre didn't miss out either with The Bohemians – A night of Queen a complete sell out.

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