Crowds of tourists watch the Tower of London moat filling with ceramic poppies, October 2014 (Photo: Centenary News)

Centenary drives up 2014 UK visitor numbers

Posted on on 04 March 2015
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The First World War Centenary commemorations helped boost UK visitor numbers to a record high in 2014, according to new figures.

Tourists flocked to the ceramic poppies at the Tower of London and the Imperial War Museum's new First World War Galleries.

Five million people are estimated to have seen the 'Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red' installation at the Tower.

All 888,246 poppies planted in the moat, to commemorate British and Commonwealth military deaths during the Great War, were sold in aid of service charities.

IWM attracted almost 915,000 visitors, up 153 per cent on 2013.

The First World War Galleries opened at the start of the Centenary commemorations in July 2014, as part of a major redevelopment of IWM's South London site.

Major exhibits at IWM's new First World War Galleries include a Sopwith Camel fighter and a Mark V tank 

The visitor figures have been published by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, which represents more than 200 of the UK's top tourist sites.

There's also been a surge of interest in West Flanders, where tourist numbers almost doubled in 2014. The Belgian province  includes the battlefields of the Ypres salient.  

Source: Association of Leading Visitor Attractions

Images © Centenary News

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News