The Tower of London

England’s ‘world class’ historic properties are enjoying a purple patch as enthusiasts flock to them in their droves.

Mills, monuments, boats and burial grounds are leading the way with visitor numbers up eight per cent in 2017 compared to the previous year. 

More than 1,400 destinations were rated in VisitEngland’s annual attractions survey.

Topping the list for the ninth year running with 2.8 million paying visitors was the Tower of London. Chester Zoo was second with 1.9 million.

The British Museum was the most visited free attraction in 2017, for the 10th consecutive year, with almost six million visitors, while the Tate Modern came a close second with more than 5.5 million visitors. 

Farm attractions also experienced strong growth, up five per cent in 2017, according to the report. 

Minister for arts, heritage and tourism, Michael Ellis, said: “Whether it be our unique historic places like Stonehenge, museums such as Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, or cultural hubs like NewcastleGateshead, we have attractions that are the envy of the world. 

“As we look ahead to the UK’s exit from the European Union, we remain absolutely committed to supporting our tourism sector and boosting local economies up and down the country.”

Top paid attractions in 2017

Tower of London: 2,842,970

Chester Zoo: 1,866,628

Flamingo Land: 1,691,083

Windermere Lake Cruises: 1,611,491

Stonehenge: 1,582,532

St Paul’s Cathedral: 1,571,197

Westminster Abbey: 1,547,001

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew: 1,485,337

Roman Baths and Pump Room: 1,318,976

RHS Garden Wisley: 1,143,175

Top free attractions in 2017

British Museum: 5,906,716

Tate Modern: 5,656,004

National Gallery: 5,229,192

Brighton Pier: 4,684,000 (Estimate)

NHM (South kensington): 4,434,520

V&A South Kensington: 3,789,748

Science Museum: 3,251,634

Somerset House: 3,223,350

Tate Britain: 1,777,877

British Library: 1,426,433

VisitEngland chief executive Sally Balcombe said: “It is great to see people are getting out and exploring the huge variety of attractions and places of interest on offer across the country, boosting tourism and distributing the benefits across local economies.” 

Overall, visits to England’s attractions rose by two per cent, with reported spending up seven per cent.

Tourism is worth £106 billion annually to England.