Residents go free as tourist attractions open doors

jane view'Wallington Hall.
jane view'Wallington Hall.

FREE or discounted entry is being offered to many of the county’s top attractions this weekend.

Organisers of the Northumberland Residents’ Festival have unveiled this year’s programme, which forms part of English Tourism Week.

Local attractions, English Heritage and the National Trust have worked closely with Northumberland County Council to make the event bigger and better than ever before.

And families will be able to enjoy a range of venues, from castles and gardens to stately homes and museums.

Wallington is offering free entry to the Trevelyan family home, the grand Central Hall and its informal landscape of lawns, lakes, and woodland, while residents can get two-for-one entry to Belsay’s beautiful country manor, castle and gardens.

And Kirkley Hall Zoological Gardens, which has more than 100 species of animal, can be visited at half price.

Council Leader Jeff Reid said: “This is a year packed full with iconic events, including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, the Olympic Torch Relay and the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, which Northumberland will be involved in or celebrating with our own events.

“As part of English Tourism Week, residents are being encouraged to become ambassadors for their county and invite friends and relatives from far and wide to come and visit Northumberland.

“But first, our Residents’ Festival provides the opportunity for local people to get out and about and explore our beautiful county for themselves.”

Tourism is now the second largest employer in the county, supporting more than 13,000 jobs and bringing an estimated £665million to the local economy each year.

Residents will need to collect vouchers contained in the 2012 festival leaflet to be able to benefit from the free and discounted entry.

Each leaflet contains sufficient vouchers to visit up to five attractions during Saturday and Sunday. They are now available at various outlets such as libraries, leisure centres, council information offices and tourist information centres.

People will need to show proof that they live in Northumberland when presenting the vouchers at the gate.

For more information, telephone 0845 600 6400 or visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/festival2012