Celebrating English tourism in a week dedicated to the industry

28 March 2019

VisitEngland is celebrating the best of English tourism with businesses and destinations in a week of events and activities across the country from 30 March to 7 April 2019.

Now in its eighth year, English Tourism Week raises tourism’s profile and showcases the benefits of the industry to local communities and the economy.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said:

“English Tourism Week is a fantastic opportunity to shout about the many hidden gems that England has to offer. Whether it is the contemporary culture in our vibrant cities, our countryside’s beautiful landscapes or our seaside destinations there is so much to see and do and we want as many people and businesses to get involved as possible.

“We really have a fantastic week to look forward to in what is arguably the most exciting week of England’s tourism industry calendar, inspiring more Brits to explore England in springtime and throughout the summer as we celebrate our valuable industry, boosting its profile and acknowledging the hard-working people who go above and beyond for our visitors.”

Events are taking place right across the country. You could visit Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, go to Gloucester’s Residents Festival, experience Discover Lincolnshire’s Weekend of activities, visit the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich or discover Stratford’s waterways in a narrowboat.

‘Instameets’ are also taking place across the country from Kent to Cumbria, Norwich to Manchester to celebrate English Tourism Week with more than 250 Instagrammers expected to attend 11 Instameets showcasing England at its springtime best. This year’s theme is ‘microgapping’, with Instameets designed to give attendees a taste of the enriching opportunities to be had in England. Influencers are visiting attractions including Oxford’s Botanic Gardens and volunteering to clean-up a section of Kent’s coastline with Lizzie Carr of Plastic Patrol. The instagrammers are invited to share their ‘grams’ using #MyMicrogap and #EnglishTourismWeek19 across their content and @visitengland is running a post-meet story take-over of their favourite posts and stories from the weekend.

VisitEngland has this year invited MPs to show their support for businesses in their area by taking part in a Tourism Constituency Day as part of the week. English Tourism Week constituency day, on Friday 5 April, is an opportunity for MPs to visit local businesses and gain a greater understanding of how tourism benefits the local economy.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis MP is hosting a drop-in session in Parliament for MPs from 1pm to 2pm on Tuesday 2 April.

Tourism Minister Michael Ellis said: 

“Tourism contributes hugely to our national economy. It is good for business, good for jobs and good for our local communities.

"English Tourism Week is a chance for us to celebrate the success of this industry and promote the superb range of destinations and attractions across the country.” 

VisitEngland is also working with destination management organisations who run residents festivals with their local businesses and attractions, offering residents the chance to visit for free during the week. Tourism businesses who get involved in the week not only raise the profile of their business or attraction but help to showcase the value that tourism brings to local economies.

English Tourism Week is particularly special this year as the British Tourist Authority celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019, marking half a century since the Development of Tourism Act in 1969.

Tourism is one of England’s largest and most valuable industries, supporting thousands of businesses and the transport, rural and retail sectors as well as sport, museums and galleries, theatre and other performing arts. Tourism is one of the few sectors active in every part of the country employing more than 2.6 million people and generating more than £106 billion a year for the British economy.


See below a selection of offers and events for English Tourism Week 2019 and find more offers at www.visitengland.com/things-to-do/english-tourism-week.

15% off a food and drink adventure in Bath

30 March - 6 April

Savouring Bath is offering 15% off its culinary tours. The three-hour tour introduces visitors to top local producers and retailers, with plenty of tasty treats to try along the way. Visitors can also admire the World Heritage City’s many Instagrammable sites. Use promo code ETW_2019 when purchasing a ticket during English Tourism Week (advance booking only).


Free experiences at Discover Lincolnshire Weekend

30 - 31 March

Visitors to Lincolnshire during Discover Lincolnshire Weekend can enjoy free entry to top attractions, some of which will be putting on extra fun activities for the occasion. Highlights include free rides on Lincoln's open-top tour bus, free entry to Lincoln Cathedral, and free tours of the grounds of Lincoln Castle. These perks are in addition to the many other attractions free to enter year-round across the city.


20% off hovercraft travel from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight

30 March - 7 April

During English Tourism Week, visitors heading for the coastlines of the Isle of Wight can experience the thrill of Hovertravel for 20% less. Departing from Southsea, Portsmouth, the journey across the Solent takes just under 10 minutes, making it the quickest route available. And did you know it’s the world's only passenger hovercraft service? Offer available on adult and child day returns during English Tourism Week.


20% off group breaks at an English farmhouse in Cheshire

31 March - 5 April

To mark English Tourism Week, Brookbank Farm is offering 20% off stays. Ideal for a big group of friends or a family get-together. With its inglenook fireplaces, Aga and outdoor hot tub, the farmhouse makes for a restful base amid the Cheshire countryside. Great for keen cyclists and walkers. Guests to quote VisitEngland when booking.


Free dinner at The Runnymede on Thames Hotel & Spa in Surrey

31 March - 4 April

This contemporary four-star hotel and spa, close to Windsor, is offering one free dinner per person with a two-night bed and breakfast stay during English Tourism Week. The dinner will be in the hotel’s riverside Leftbank restaurant on the second night of the stay (excluding all drinks). Bookings to be made via the reservations team on 01784 220 880 or by email at reservations@therunnymede.co.uk. Quote ETW19 when booking.


20% off any 2019 narrowboat holiday with Blue Otter Boats, various locations

30 March - 7 April

For those who’ve always harboured romantic ideas of a slow travel adventure on a narrowboat, now’s the time to make it happen. Blue Otter Boats are offering 20% off all 2019 trips booked during English Tourism Week. Guests can choose from two fully-equipped, modern boats. The Skipton in Yorkshire, on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, is wonderful for couples while the Wootton Wawen in Warwickshire, on the Stratford canals, sleeps up to four. Both have hot running water, electricity, a gas stove and bathroom.


50% off entrance to The Sculpture Park, Surrey Hills

1– 5 April

The Sculpture Park is a hidden gem for art lovers, collectors, photographers and nature enthusiasts. Nestled in the heart of the Surrey Hills it is a magical world of water gardens, woodlands and incredible sculptures, with works by national and international artists. Visitors between 1 and 5 April receive 50% off admission.


20% off tickets for Timber festival in the National Forest

5 - 7 July

Festival goers who book their tickets to Timber 2019 during English Tourism Week get 20% off. This unique festival, held in the National Forest on the Leicestershire/Derbyshire border, invites attendees to recharge mind, body and soul amid the soothing sights and sounds of nature. Featuring an inspiring line-up of artists, musicians, writers and thinkers.



Power walk the Isle of Dogs with Unexpected London

31 March

Tourists get to see a different side to the capital on this Unexpected London tour from the Isle of Dogs to Greenwich. London’s largest island is full of surprises, from hidden tunnels to gorgeous rooftop gardens. The two-hour tour takes in history, culture and nature along the way, passing famous film locations, architectural wonders and musical hotspots.


Mother’s Day Weekend at Hever Castle, Kent

30 - 31 March

The childhood home of Anne Boleyn, with its Tudor castle and vast landscaped grounds, is perfect for a family day out. Kids can get involved in free craft and cupcake decorating workshops* or play in the Tudor Towers Adventure Playground. And mums get to relax with a well-deserved Mother’s Day Weekend Afternoon Tea in the Guthrie Pavilion Restaurant, overlooking the lovely lake (pre-booking essential). *Additional charge applies.


Spring Makers Market in Coventry’s Creative Quarter 

6 - 7 April

This April, FarGo Village in Coventry is hosting 30 of the best makers and designers at its Spring Makers Market. As well as all the colourful arts and crafts available to buy, there’ll be workshops led by local makers, street food, live performances and music all weekend.


Mer-maid Tidal Gathering in Haywards Heath, West Sussex

30 March

Those looking to try something otherworldly in West Sussex can immerse themselves in the magical hobby of mermaiding this English Tourism Week. The Dolphin in Haywards Heath is the location for this one-of-a-kind gathering, which includes a one-hour dry session before experienced coaches from NoTanx teach spectacular freediving skills in the pool.


Extraordinary Women tour at Birmingham’s Coffin Works, Birmingham

4 April

A rare chance to find out more about the incredible women who worked at the Newman Brothers’ coffin factory in Birmingham. The tour will remember the contribution these workers made to Birmingham’s industrial history as well as their personal stories. Following the tour, which lasts just over one hour, visitors can watch interviews with former staff and people who knew them.


Medieval Easter at The Royal Armouries in Leeds

30 March - 14 April

The Royal Armouries is transporting families back to the Middle Ages this Easter. Tiny troops can attend medieval sword school, sit in on historical storytelling performances and see how they fare at archery. Then on April 6 and 7, the Wars of the Roses descend on the museum, transforming the outdoor arena into a living history encampment and battlefield.


Street Art Tour of Manchester’s Northern Quarter

30 March

Tour guide, place writer and urban researcher Hayley Flynn is leading an alternative tour of Manchester, exploring the counterculture scene from 80s graffiti to 90s urban development via a public arts trail. Along the way visitors will ponder pressing issues such as public space and gentrification, as well as discover a fascinating and undocumented art history. As a bonus for English Tourism Week, there’ll be free doughnuts from independent bakery Siop Shop.

For more information on #EnglishTourismWeek19 visit: www.visitbritain.org/english-tourism-week

For the latest English Tourism Week offers and events visit: www.visitengland.com/things-to-do/english-tourism-week



Notes to editor:

VisitEngland is asking people to share their favourite spring moments using #EnglishTourismWeek19 and tweet them at @VisitEnglandbiz.