Windsor Great Park was top ALVA visitor attraction in 2021, finds survey

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22nd March 2022 09:01 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Windsor Great Park was top ALVA visitor attraction in 2021: Windsor Great Park has been revealed as the most visited attraction of 2021, ousting Tate Modern from the top spot. The latest Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) findings show that it was outdoor attractions which led the way in 2021, owing to many indoor venues being closed for several months due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey takes into consideration all of ALVA's members and is made up of the UK's most popular attractions ranging for galleries and museums to zoos, castles, palaces, heritage sites and historic houses.

The latest findings reveal the top 10 attractions were equally divided between Outdoor Attractions and London Attractions.

The top five

Windsor Great Park attracted 5,400,000 visitors in 2021, followed by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, which saw a 61% increase in visitors, (1,963,171, seeing it move up two spaces since the previous year. Chester Zoo came in third (1,601,327), seeing a 35% increase in visitors and moving up three places.

The fourth most visited attraction was the Natural History Museum, which was the most popular indoor attraction with 1,571,413 visitors, and in fifth, RHS Garden Wisley with 1,410,785 visitors.

The total number of visits to ALVA sites in 2021 was 67.8million, which was a 25% increase on the previous year, but represented an annual decline of 57% on the 156.6million visits in 2019 to the top 306 ALVA sites.

London was revealed to have the weakest year-on-year performance with visits up just 17%, compared to 26% of the rest of England. Scotland also saw a huge boost in interest with visits to attractions up by 45%.

The highest-ranking attraction in Scotland in 2021 was the National Museum of Scotland (20th position) seeing 660,741 people visit the Edinburgh attraction. The museum saw a 48% increase in visitors since the previous survey.

Top Twenty Visited Attractions in 2021

  1. Windsor Great Park – 5,400,000        
  2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew –1,963,171
  3. Chester Zoo –1,601,327          
  4. Natural History Museum (South Kensington) – 1,571,413   
  5. RHS Garden Wisley – 1,410,785        
  6. British Museum –1,327,120      
  7. Tate Modern –1,156,037 
  8. Somerset House –  984,978                                 
  9. Science Museum –955,873                        
  10. Jeskyns Community Woodland – 878,626     
  11. V&A South Kensington – 857,742       
  12. Moors Valley Country Park 803,867    
  13. Southbank Centre – 786,911
  14. Longleat – 727,800
  15. National Gallery 708,924          
  16. Sherwood Pines –705,007        
  17. ZSL London Zoo – 694,060      
  18. Royal Museums Greenwich – 686,375 
  19. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo – 669,574 
  20. National Museum of Scotland – 660,741

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