The beauty of England’s countryside and gardens is in the international spotlight this year as 2016 is named the Year of the English Garden with HRH The Prince of Wales recording a video message highlighting its importance.
In his message, which was released as England’s annual tourism week got underway, he says that many of England’s “wonderful landscape gardens are now places of incomparable beauty” and “an integral part of the countryside’s living and working fabric”.
The Prince of Wales, who is Patron of English Tourism Week, also praises local communities for pulling together following the recent floods that affected parts of the country and said he was “delighted” that the Countryside is GREAT campaign encourages people to “visit and stay in these beautiful areas in order to keep the vital local businesses going.”
The Year of the English Garden marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of the renowned landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. It is estimated that Brown was responsible for more than 170 of the landscapes surrounding the finest country houses and estates in Britain from the world famous Chatsworth House in the North of England to Blenheim Palace, birthplace of Winston Churchill, in the South. Capability Brown is today remembered as ‘England’s Greatest Gardener’ and the landscapes he created, which span all corners of the country, are today able to be enjoyed by everyone as idyllic places to relax, reflect and enjoy nature.
The Year of The English Garden is a nationwide, year-long celebration to inspire visitors to come and explore more of England’s stunning countryside. It is promoted internationally as part of the Countryside is GREAT campaign which highlights the beauty and diversity of the landscape to drive tourism across all the regions.
Last year was a record-breaker for inbound tourism to Britain with 35.8 million visits, 4% up on 2014 and the fifth consecutive year of growth. The number of international visitors to Britain is predicted to continue to grow with 36.7 million visits expected this year. Tourism is Britain’s seventh largest export industry and third largest service sector.