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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

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Sunshine swells tourist numbers at Cumbria's attractions

Top tourist attractions are hoping for a cracking 2014 season after a bank holiday bonanza over Easter.

Walby Farm park photo
Jackson Collett with a baby eagle owl at Walby Farm Park

The extended weekend saw visitors flock to the favourite tourist honeypots and attractions, with the four days boosted by sunshine and high temperatures.

At Walby Farm Park, near Carlisle, youngsters were in for a treat following the birth of twin pygmy goats.

Feeding times were also busy when children were able to meet more new arrivals including lambs and bunnies.

Owner Neil Milbourn said: “We’ve had so much going on over the weekend.

“Visitors have been able to see lots of lambs, chicks and even the new twin pygmy goats born on Friday. They’ve yet to be named.

“It’s been brilliant, so busy and vibrant and it has been great because people have been able to enjoy all of the facilities outside too.”

In west Cumbria, early estimates are that about 1,000 people a day visited Muncaster Castle.

Jay Rollins, from Sheffield, entertained visitors by holding circus skills workshops in the open air.

There was husky racing and a horse and cart offering rides around the grounds. Yesterday there was an Easter egg hunt.

Andy Chafe, Muncaster’s marketing manager, said: “It has been a great atmosphere.

“On Saturday people were still here in their droves at 5pm enjoying the sunshine around the grounds and there was a real buzz around the place.”

Hopes are now high that the Easter holiday bodes well for the season ahead.

Muncaster is preparing to host its annual festival in a month’s time, from May 25 to 29.

It will include its jester competition.

For the first time, and in collaboration with the Rosehill Theatre near Whitehaven, Muncaster will also host The Wild Muncaster May Ball, a unique outdoor theatre experience that – at the end of the performances – will see the audience join the show.

Staged by Cornwall’s Rogue Theatre, the production will be at Muncaster from May 27 to 31 and is suitable for children and adults.

Mr Chafe said: “Easter signifies the real start to the summer season for many attractions and if Easter goes well you have a positive feeling going forward.

“And, certainly after this week and people having enjoyed themselves so much it makes you feel positive about the season ahead.

“We have a busy few weeks ahead when we host our annual festival and we’re excited to be hosting the Rogue Theatre company doing The Wild Muncaster May Ball.”

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