Inbound countryside & coast research

Britain's great outdoors has an abundance of countryside and thousands of miles of coastline — both playing host to millions of visits from overseas each year.

There are two categories of activites focused on countryside and coastal activities - experiencing rural life and scenery and outdoor leisure pursuits. 

Experiencing rural life and scenery

Activities asked about Number of visits that involved activity (000) % of all visits Amount spent in UK (£m)*
Going to countryside or villages 5,234 13% £5,154
Going to coast or beaches 3,867 10% £3,842
Visiting a national park 2,604 7% £2,729

Outdoor leisure pursuits

Activities asked about Number of visits that involved activity (000) % of all visits Amount spent in UK (£m)*
Walking in the countryside 8,752 21% £7,898
Going for a walk, hike or ramble 6,065 17% £5,317
Walking along the coast 4,584 11% £4,258
Going for a run 2,043 5% £2,367
Playing golf 367 1% £525
Fishing 112 <1% £140

Source: International Passenger Survey 2007-2019, *By those whose visit included the activity. Spend is not specifically whilst under-taking activity throughout visit to UK

Propensity for holidays in UK nations and regions involving specific activities

IPS figures also show that Scotland (SC), Wales (WL) the South West (SW) and Yorkshire (YKS) are most likely to see holiday visits involving a visit to a national park and to the countryside or villages.

Going to the coast or beaches is particularly likely in Wales (undertaken by over 1-in-3 holidaymakers), followed by those visiting Scotland and the South West.

Almost two fifths of visits to Wales included going for a walk, hike or ramble, followed by visits to the South West, Scotland, Yorkshire, the South East (SE) and the East of England (EE).

Playing golf is most common when visiting Scotland and Wales, but on par with the holiday inbound average are the South West, the South East, the East of England, West Midlands (WM), East Midlands (EM), the North West (NW) and the North East (NE).

Visiting rural / coastal locations, participating in outdoor /sports activities during holiday visits to... SW SE LON EE WM EM YKS NW NE WL SC UK totaL
Going to the countryside or villages 29% 17% 5% 14% 12% 11% 23% 11% 18% 27% 31% 13%
Going to the coast or beaches 26% 18% 3% 6% 2% 4% 11% 8% 14% 34% 30% 10%
Visiting a national park 12% 5% 5% 3% 2% 4% 9% 7% 7% 15% 17% 7%
Going for a walk, hike or ramble 35% 22% 14% 16% 13% 15% 24% 12% 20% 37% 29% 17%
Playing golf 1% 1% <1% 1% 1% 1% <1% 1% 1% 2% 7% 1%

Source: International Passenger Survey 2014-2019, shown as percentages of total inbound holiday visits to the UK (inc. visits to Northern Ireland), to a nation or region