Hot weather keeps tourists away from Britains outdoor attractions

First it was the cold and rain keeping visitors away from Britain’s outdoor tourist attractions. Now, in a twist worthy of Goldilocks, they have suffered again from weather that is too hot.Extreme weather, including the record-breaking hot summer, has led to a fall in annual visitor numbers at outdoor attractions in 2018, according to a new report.Several gardens, zoos, wetlands and stately homes with parkland saw a drop in demand as the UK was hit by both freezing and unusually warm temperatures in 2018, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (Alva) said.The country’s second most popular garden, RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, saw its visitor numbers drop by more than 70,000. Other outdoor attractions to experience a decline included the Eden Project in Cornwall, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Blenheim Palace, and Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.The UK saw widespread snow between January and March, partly due to the so-called Beast from the East, with temperatures dropping to minus 14C (6.8F).This was followed by a heatwave, which led to the joint-hottest summer on record. “Weather is still one of the most significant factors in determining where people go on a day out that morning,” he said.“It’s a typical Goldilocks scenario where it’s either too hot or too cold and we want it just right.”Last year was odd because we had both extremes within a 12-month period.”Many gardens, on the other hand, have benefited, with the promise of shade encouraging visitors who were sanguine about the sunshine.  Bernard Donoghue, ALVA director, said stately homes and zoos had been particularly affected by the weather, with the “Beast from the East” early in the year meaning fewer people signing up to annual passes, and the record-breaking heat of summer putting others off. Overall, UK attractions saw an 8.68 per cent rise in visitors in 2018 from 2017, with 67,640,804 making the trip to institutions in London alone.The British Museum lost its title as the UK’s most popular attraction for the first time in more than a decade, leapfrogged by Tate Modern, which welcomed 5.9 million visitors.Regional museums were given a significant boost by “Dippy” the dinosaur, out on loan from the Natural History Museum to great success with record visitor numbers at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, the Ulster Museum, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Dippy the dinosaur has been on tour to regional museums The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit Whipsnade ZooCredit:Getty The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh visit Whipsnade Zoo Dippy the dinosaur has been on tour to regional museumsCredit:Matt Cardy

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