Lancaster Castle Popular Heritage Destination
Lancaster Castle is enjoying record numbers of visitors this month with numbers up 90 per cent on last year and 60 per cent on 2019. During August, our weekly visitor numbers reached almost 5,000 and over the last two weekends in August we recorded a total of over 2,000 visitors to the Castle – a number last achieved during the popular Christmas Market in 2019.
The increase is due in part to an increasing number of ‘staycations’ as holidaymakers chose to spend their leisure time in the UK. Research indicates that as many as 83 per cent of British holidaymakers would rather holiday in the UK than run travel abroad in the current climate and a quick comparison of UK holiday bookings during the school summer holidays in 2021 with that of 2019 indicates an increase of almost 500 per cent.
Throughout the summer visitors to the Castle have been able to enjoy free tours of the courtyards, a small walk-in exhibition on the history of the Lancashire witches and extended open air catering facilities provided by award-winning coffee roasters and baristas, Atkinsons. The temporary installation organised as part of the St John’s Hospice Sunflower Appeal and on display at the Castle has also proved popular during the month of August.
Commenting on the enduring appeal of the Castle, Debbie Garritty, Head of Communications for the Duchy of Lancaster said: “We have been delighted to welcome visitors from at home and abroad into the Castle over the summer. It is clearly a popular choice for local families looking for an interesting day out, as well as for tourists and visitors from further afield. Each of these amazing buildings has a story to tell about the people who have lived, worked and even died here. Our aim is to share these stories as widely as possible. The Castle is a key part not only of Lancaster’s history but also of Britain’s national heritage.”
Lancaster Castle forms part of the ancient inheritance known as the Duchy of Lancaster. This is a portfolio of land and property held in trust for the Monarch and passed down through generations. It includes around a dozen Castles and historic properties across England and Wales, many of which are managed by local authority or heritage organisations. Lancaster Castle and Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, as well as The Queen’s Chapel of the Savoy in London are unusual in that they are managed directly by the Duchy.