The National Memorial Arboretum voted best UK large visitor attraction

The National Memorial Arboretum, the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance, has been named the UK’s best large visitor attraction. The Arboretum near Lichfield came out ahead of the other finalists, Blenheim Palace and Moors Valley Country Park & Forest, securing Gold at the prestigious annual VisitEngland Awards for Excellence ceremony.

Sarah Montgomery, Managing Director of the Arboretum, commented: 

“It is fantastic to be recognised for our work in creating an amazing place for hundreds of thousands of people to visit each year. Being named Large Visitor Attraction of the Year is a testament to the impressive work of the whole team of staff and volunteers at the Arboretum and the tremendous progress we have made in recent years. This didn’t happen by accident, but through every single person’s hard work and enthusiasm.”

“We look forward to welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Arboretum this year to explore the site, learn about the wide range of memorials and the extraordinary stories behind them - and engage in many of the events and activities on offer.”

“Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by their first sight of the magnificent Remembrance Centre when driving into the excellent visitor car park. These high standards continued throughout the visitor journey and included visiting; the first class 'Landscapes of Life' Exhibition, the spacious contemporary café, the well stocked shop and of course, the 300+ well-maintained memorials - the highlight being the Armed Forces Memorial. But it was the staff and volunteers that made the visit so memorable with their welcome where nothing was too much trouble. The guide on the 12 noon Buggy Tour brought a deeper appreciation of how the site has grown and developed over the past 20 years and made the day so very memorable.” 

- Testimonial from VisitEngland Judge who visited the National Memorial Arboretum

Sally Balcombe, CEO of VisitBritain and VisitEngland, said: 

“The standard of the hundreds of applications we received this year was extremely high and that’s why the National Memorial Arboretum’s accolade is a testament to their excellent work.”

“These awards shine a spotlight on our fantastic tourism industry, with the winners showcasing the quality, innovation and excellence on offer throughout England and I warmly congratulate them on their impressive contribution to the tourism industry.”

Mark Winnington, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth at Staffordshire County Council and Deputy Chair of Enjoy Staffordshire, commented on the success:

“We have a thriving tourism sector here in Staffordshire worth around £1.7 billion and our tourism providers do a great job in attracting millions of visitors each year.”

“It really is wonderful to see our operators recognised at these national awards.  Competition in the Visit England Awards is always incredibly tough so winning is testament to our operators hard work to making their venues the best they can be.”

“The Arboretum is now truly a world class centre of remembrance and I’m sure we can look forward to welcoming many more visitors to our great county. The County Council is a great supporter of the Arboretum and why we provided £3m funding towards the development of the new visitor centre which opened last year”

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