Record year for abbey visitors

Visitors to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. (Credit ' NTImages)
Visitors to Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. (Credit ' NTImages)
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Records have tumbled at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal near Ripon as visitor numbers soar.

The National Trust is celebrating its most successful year after its visitor numbers at the heritage site broke new records, reaching 372,187 visitors in its 2014-15 season.

The World Heritage Site and iconic Yorkshire landmark is much loved by visitors to and from the region with many regular visitors coming all year round.

The previous record high was 357,158 in the 2011-12 season.

Chris Fowler, general manager at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, attributes many factors to the record high visitor numbers.

“We’re always aiming high at Fountains. We do our very best to ensure our visitors have a memorable and enjoyable day out, coming back to see us more than once during the year,” he said.

“Of course, we’ve been lucky with a good year weather-wise in 2014 but we’ve really improved our overall offer and offered an enhanced programme of activities to give people reasons to return and stay longer with us.

“There were extra features in the gardens and we hosted our first park run just over a year ago which has definitely seen an increase in people enjoying the site in a different way.”