Visitors flock to castle after TV exposure

VISITORS flocked to Warkworth Castle in Northumberland after it starred in the new North East England TV campaign with an impressive 44 per cent increase in visitors to the castle in this week alone.

The English Heritage property featured in the new commercial promoting the region which launched on Monday, January 7.

The footage including two children swordfighting in front of the castle was filmed back in September and will be broadcast across the world.

The advert will be aired as far afield as Australia but the first people to respond to it were local families looking to blow off the New Year cobwebs.

As well as Warkworth other attractions set to benefit from the increased exposure include Holy Island, Hamsterley Forest, Cragside, mima and Dance City.

Other shots include The Alnwick Garden Treehouse, Rothbury, Souter Lighthouse, Saltburn beach, Blanchland and Durham Castle and Cathedral.

The new adverts will air on ITV 1 and Channel 4 targeting areas within a three hour drive time and nationwide on satellite television.

Stacy Hall, director of communications and tourism at One NorthEast, said: "It is great to see people responding to the TV advert in this way and bodes well for the rest of the campaign.

"Our major goal is bringing visitors into the region and while the advert will be broadcast across the world, it is rewarding to see people within the region exploring the fantastic attractions we have on our own door step."

Rob Flower, head of visitor operations for English Heritage in the north east, said: "Since the advert was aired, we've seen a 44 per cent rise in visitor numbers to Warkworth Castle compared to this time last year.

"I'm also pleased to hear that Holy Island will benefit from the advert.

"Lindisfarne Priory which is based on the island is also a wonderful site for visitors to wander around the richly-decorated, extensive ruins, or to see the refurbished museum.

"I'd urge visitors to get out and about, these are great sites to visit for all the family and are another reason not to hibernate during the winter months, hopefully the momentum of the TV campaign will build and our visitor figures will continue to increase as we head into spring."

For a full list of English Heritage sites, admission prices and opening times, visit www.english-heritage.org.uk

For details about Warkworth Castle telephone 01665 711423 or to view the North East England TV advert log on to www.visitnortheastengland.com

As well as 100 million UK viewers having a chance to see it, last year's TV advert was named 'World's Leading Travel Television Commercial' by the World Travel Awards.