May boost so welcome for Blackpool and Fylde coast

Visitors on Blackpool beach and promenade
Visitors on Blackpool beach and promenade
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The May Day bank holiday might play second fiddle to Easter and Spring Bank in terms of visitor numbers, but it is still provides a very welcome boost to the tourist economy.

That’s the feeling of Stay Blackpool president Claire Smith, who was delighted to see extra visitors in town for the extended weekend.

The early May bank holiday celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and has become an established part of the spring calendar, several weeks ahead of the Spring Bank break which usually signals the starts of half term for most schools across the country.

“May Day is always rather a poor relation to Easter and Spring Bank, especially when, like this year, Easter is so late and the weather then was so glorious,” said Claire. “But it certainly provides a very welcome lift for our economy.

“Reports have been a little bit mixed from the hotels in terms of numbers but all extra visitors are always very welcome and the Sunday night stayovers are a great addition for us.”

A Fylde attraction which proved especially popular was garden open weekend at Warton Hall, near Lytham.

Thousands of visitors flocked to the grounds of the Georgian manor house as owners Nicola and David Thompson opened its 11 acres for a fifth successive year.

While gate receipts went to the National Garden Scheme, Blackpool’s Streetlife junior homeless charity and Pear Tree Specialist School in Kirkham were boosted by proceeds from sales in the tea room.

“The weekend was a brilliant success,” said Nicola.