The National Parks Experience Collection - 2019 Update

kevin ancient britain with experience collection lord edward manors of hadden hall

Kevin from Ancient Britain with Lord Edward Manors of Haddon Hall at the launch of the National Park Experience Collection in The Peak District, February 2019

During 2018 & 2019, Northumberland Tourism have been working in partnership with the Northumberland National Park to develop the ‘National Parks Experience Collection’. The project, which is part of the Discover England Fund, aims to increase the number of international visitors to England, by supporting local businesses to create immersive experiences which will appeal to international visitors.


Project update, January/February 2019 from Project Executive, Steph Tebay:

On Thursday 31st January,  one of the Peak District’s finest offerings Haddon Hall opened its doors to businesses from all over the National Park to officially launch Visit England’s ‘English National Park Experience Collection’. A family home steeped in history and with a captivating story of its own, Haddon Hall provided the perfect back drop to showcase a project which celebrates the authenticity of its local narratives and landscape.  

Between the hours of 3 and 6 p.m., businesses congregated to celebrate the achievements of the project to date. Currently, there are over 70 new and exclusive bookable experiences and a range of fantastic accommodation offers going out to the international markets. All of these offerings are now advertised in the newly devised travel trade brochure, which was available to be viewed for the first time at this event.  40 businesses from across the Park were in attendance to receive their very own copy and listen to key note speeches delivered by Lord Edward Manors of Haddon Hall, Sally Balcombe CEO of Visit Britain and Visit England, Sarah Fowler CEO of Peak District National Park Authority and Mark Holroyd, Head of the National Park Programme. 

Businesses had the exclusive opportunity to toast their achievements and to meet and mingle with other businesses involved in the collection. 6 businesses from across the Park, including our very own Ancient Britain provided a re-enactment of their experiential offering for delegates to engage with. Each of these businesses encompassed the variety of opportunities available for international visitors across the Collection. A nod to each and every businesses was evident in the official national video which was unveiled at the launch and in each of the videos developed for the individual parks across England.

Trade partners and media representatives were also in attendance, keen to engage first hand with the ethos of the collection and the businesses behind it. Now that the Collection is visible to the international markets, it is anticipated that international bookings will continue to increase and attract visitors from further afield with a desire to see our landscapes, delight in our heritage and seize the opportunity to partake in all that we have to offer.     
An enthralling concept from the outset, the launch was a fantastic success and marked the culmination of over a year’s worth of dedication and commitment from the Peak District central team, regional business support and a diverse range of talented businesses. Weaving together the narratives of our regional parks to tell the tale of our nation, the launch marked the beginning of an exciting story for our National Park Experience Collection, now ready to be told to a new and attentive international audience.   

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