VisitEngland’s Easter Trip-Tracker survey, published this week, shows that 7.4 million Brits are definitely planning an overnight holiday trip in the UK for the Easter weekend, bringing an estimated £1.8 billion boost to the economy.
This is on par with the pre-COVID Trip-Tracker figures for Easter 2019, which were the highest since this survey began and a significant increase on 2018 when 4.8 million Brits were planning an overnight holiday trip for the long weekend. In 2017, the figure was 6.6 million.
VisitBritain/VisitEngland Deputy Chief Executive Patricia Yates said:
“It is great to see so many people are planning a holiday at home for the Easter weekend, getting out and exploring the outstanding accommodation, events and attractions here on our doorstep whether enjoying a trip to the seaside, countryside or on a city break.
“This is the first Easter since 2019, pre-pandemic, that the industry has been able to fully trade and the long weekend will be critical in providing businesses and destinations with much needed cash-flow as the season gets underway. Our tourism businesses will be very pleased to welcome you back.”
Of those definitely planning an overnight trip in England during Easter, the majority were planning a short-break of one-to-three nights.
The survey also showed that a further 3.4 million people were undecided about whether to take an overnight holiday trip in the UK during the Easter weekend. The top reasons were ‘waiting to see if I can afford it’ followed by ‘waiting to see what the weather is like’ and ‘not sure where I’d like to go.’
Looking at day-trips in England, almost of a quarter of those surveyed were definitely planning one during the Easter weekend.
VisitEngland ramped up its domestic marketing last month, launching the next phase of its ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign, to encourage short-breaks to English cities this spring and early summer. The £1 million campaign has been putting the spotlight on the quality destinations, visitor attractions and experiences on offer across England’s cities, which have been hit hard by the slower return of international visitors and their spending.
VisitEngland has also this week announced the successful recipients of its Destination Management Organisation Marketing Recovery Fund to support tourism’s recovery in England. Running from mid-March to the end of June, the £1 million fund enables DMOs to tailor and align VisitEngland’s national ‘Escape the Everyday’ campaign to drive bookings of local tourism products.
The latest wave of the agency’s domestic consumer sentiment research towards travel, published on 15 March 2022, shows increasing confidence levels in the ability to take a domestic overnight trip, highlighting the importance of extending the tourism season. More than 70% of those surveyed were confident in the ability to take a UK overnight trip in April to June, and almost a third intend to take more UK breaks this year than last.
VisitBritain has estimated the loss to the economy in domestic tourism spending in Britain, in 2020 and 2021 combined, to be more than £97 billion.
VisitEngland’s full Easter Trip-Tracker 2022 survey can be accessed here.
For information about ‘What’s on this Easter in England’ please see: https://www.visitengland.com/spring-easter
Spring into Easter with these fun things to see and do across the country…
Egg hunts and chocolate delights
Easter events with the National Trust – Nationwide
National Trust properties and gardens have some eggs-cellent plans in place for Easter. Amongst the nature-inspired activities on offer are some of the most exciting Easter egg hunts across the country. And the chocolate reward at the end of the trail is none other than a Rainforest Alliance egg to devour, made from responsibly sourced cocoa making it an even tastier treat.
Easter Egg masterclasses, York Cocoa Works, North Yorkshire
9, 10, 16 April, adults £55, children £35
The York Cocoa Works chocolate emporium is the stuff of Willy Wonka-inspired dreams. From bean to bar, all chocolate is manufactured locally, with the chance to get creative in the workshops on offer this Easter – such as lollipop, Easter egg and chocolate bar making, and the important job of taste testing. A sure way to feed a sugar fix.
Blenheim Palace x Hotel Chocolat, Oxfordshire
Blenheim Palace has teamed up with luxury chocolatiers, Hotel Chocolat over the Easter weekend to offer young visitors the chance to create their own tasty treats. Taking place in the Palace’s Walled Gardens, interactive workshops will guide children through the fascinating history of cocoa beans whilst experimenting, decorating, and personalising their very own chocolate slabs. Children’s Chocolate Workshop, £15. Look out for the Easter bunny too!
Easter Dragon hunt at Ludlow Castle, Shropshire
Dragon’s eggs are due to hatch this Easter weekend at Ludlow Castle which calls for a baby dragon hunt. Little and big kids alike are sure to have fun spotting the clues and claiming their chocolate themed prize. £2.50 per trail.
Giant eggs at RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford
Now until 24 April
Like something from outer space, the giant, multi-coloured eggs are due to land at RHS Garden Bridgewater, Salford. The new 156-acre garden will be invaded by ginormous, painted eggs disguised amongst the flora and fauna, as part of a special Easter trail. Guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Easter at Knebworth, Hertfordshire
A long bank holiday weekend calls for a classic Easter egg hunt in the grounds of the magnificent Knebworth Gardens. Simply follow the clues around the trail and solve the word jumble. There will also be a craft activity and tickets offer access to Knebworth Park, Gardens, Adventure Playground with Fort Knebworth and Dinosaur Trail. Entry from £11.50. Trail sheets £1.
Big Easter Kick-off at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Now until 18 April 2022
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will become an all-round Easter destination for family and friends through April, with activities including a Stadium Tour Themed Easter Egg Hunt, Live Music on the Dare Skywalk, Face Painting, Football Freestylers, Magic and games for all to enjoy. All of the Easter experiences are to be enjoyed with a standard stadium tour or Dare Skywalk experience ticket.
Easter Biscuit Decorating up at the O2, London
Now until 17 April 2022
Experience London from the Sky while celebrating Easter with these deliciously themed workshops. Up at the O2 will be getting in the spirit of Spring with Easter biscuit decorating workshops running twice daily throughout the half term, for families and groups of travellers to enjoy the summit in a brand-new way. Take in the 360 skyline views while customising and decorating your own Easter eggs and O2 shaped biscuits, ready to be enjoyed on your descent.
Chocolate Festival, York
14-18 April, free entry
What a sweet indulgence it will be to wander through Parliament Street, York this Easter for the first time in two years, chocolate treats in hand, at the five-day Chocolate Festival. As part of the celebration of the city’s rich chocolate heritage, a vast variety of sugary delights will be on offer, all served from the very best local traders, chocolatiers, bakers and chefs.
CountryTastic, Malvern, Worcestershire
CountryTastic provides a jam-packed day for all the family this Easter. From tractor and trailer rides, and pottery workshops, to a play barn and the opportunity to meet all the farmyard favourites, as well as rabbits, guinea pigs and the very friendly ponies and donkeys.
West country trails at Westonbirt Arboretum & WWT Slimbridge, Gloucestershire
Easter Duck Trail, 9-24 April
The trail to find Superworm continues at Westonbirt Arboretum. Armed with an activity pack, little ones are encouraged to discover all about the mighty creatures in the Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler classic tale, Superworm as they head off into the forest for an adventure. And if worms aren’t quite Easter-themed enough for you, the Easter Duck trail at WWT Slimbridge Wetlands Centre might just do the trick. www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/slimbridge/whats-on/easter-duck-trail-23
Bluebells, bunnies and frolicking goats at Park Farm, Shropshire
Open weekends now
Does anything signify the Easter period more than baby animals? Park Hall Countryside Experience and Farm is offering the chance to interact with lambs, pet the guinea pigs, and watch the bunnies have fun in their own ‘Burrowland’ theme park. There’s also a huge indoor play barn plus an outdoor adventure playground, zip wires, and vehicles to ride. Also try the ‘Woodland Bluebell Nature Walk’ – a must-do springtime amble.
New Exhibitions this April
Burning Man at Chatsworth, Derbyshire
9 April – 1 October, free
For a different kind of Easter extravaganza, you’ll be hard pushed to find a more contrasting scene, as for the first time in the UK, giant sculptures from Nevada’s Black Rock Desert festival, Burning Man are coming to the Peak District. Chatsworth will play host to free-to-access Radical Horizons: The Art of Burning Man at Chatsworth exhibition, displaying 12 monumental sculptures in the 1000-acre parkland. It will be a sight to behold.
Dino Kingdom, Gunnersby Park, London
Now until 18 April
Just in time for Easter, the dinosaurs have scared off the bunnies and descended on London’s Gunnersby Park as the first ever Dino Kingdom opens its gates. The epic outdoor, prehistoric exploration for the whole family, will bring these infamous creatures ‘back to life’ – expect to encounter a 16-metre-tall T-Rex and an 18 metre Apatosaurus. An educational experience as much as an adventure, perfect for those budding palaeontologists out there, with an excavation sandpit, dinosaur eggs, fossils, volcanoes, a giant dinosaur skeleton head and a walk-through fossil tunnel. Adults from £14, children from £12.
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, Bristol
For a more cultured approach to the Easter break, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience heads to Bristol and involves a 20,000 square foot light and sound spectacular featuring two-story projections of the artist’s most compelling works, resulting in a 360-degree experience of one of history’s greatest artists. Expect floor-to-ceiling stretches of Van Gogh’s work, galleries that chronicle his life, larger than life re-creations and engaging interactives. Adults from £21.90, children from £14
‘Hockney’s Eye: The Art and Technology of Depiction’, Cambridge
Now until 29 August, free entry
This spring and summer, one of the most iconic artists of our time, David Hockney takes over Cambridge with an exhibition across The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Heong Gallery, Downing College. Through both traditional and futuristic ways of making art, the exhibition explores Hockney’s fascination with how the world is seen, and how the world of time and space can be captured on the surface of a flat picture. Not one to be missed.