Estate tops the visitor chart

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WALLINGTON is the most visited National Trust-run site in the North East.

Record numbers visited the estate near Cambo over the last year, a trend seen throughout the trust’s properties in the region.

More than 900,000 visits were recorded at the trust’s North East paid for sites between March 2011 and February this year, up 12 per cent on the previous 12 months.

Meanwhile, its retail and catering outlets in the region recorded sale increases of nine per cent and 17 per cent respectively.

Assistant Director of Operations Liz Fisher said: “We’re delighted to have welcomed over 900,000 visitors to our places in the North East. It is really heartening to see that in times of recession people are valuing the enjoyment that days out at National Trust places can offer.

“I think the value for money our membership offers, combined with our continued investments to improve our facilities and the experiences we offer, has led to this success.”

The trust is planning multimillion pound investment projects at both Wallington and Gibside in the next two years as it strives to build on its success.

Ms Fisher added: “This year we’ve agreed to a price freeze on all admission prices at our pay-for-entry places in the North East so prices will remain what they were in 2011.

“We hope that this will encourage more people to come out and enjoy the range of experiences the trust has to offer in our country houses, castles, gardens and parklands, as well as the free countryside and coastal sites that we conserve for everyone to enjoy.

“We also have big plans for our events programme this year, including lots of events to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June and a Walking Festival in October.”

For more information about the trust’s activities visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/northeast