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Jeff Hamblin, British Tourist Authority
"We have been losing in the order of 120m a week"
 real 56k

Pam Alexander, English Heritage
"There is plenty to see and do"
 real 56k

Friday, 30 March, 2001, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
Open tourist attractions named
Lake Windermere in Cumbria
Tourists are urged not to stay away from popular spots
Tourism chiefs are publishing a guide of top attractions open this Easter in a fresh attempt to boost businesses hit by the foot-and-mouth crisis.

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) told BBC News Online all the top 20 tourist attractions will be open for business.

The BTA is teaming up with English Heritage, the Historic Houses Association and the National Trust to tell the public about the 600 properties they can still visit, despite restrictions in place in the countryside.

Top 10 historic houses and monuments
Tower of London - open
Windsor Castle, Berkshire - open
Edinburgh Castle - open
Roman Baths & Pump Room, Bath - open
Stonehenge, Wiltshire- closed
Warwick Castle -open
Hampton Court Palace, London - open
Leeds Castle, Kent -open
Shakespeare's Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon - open
Blenheim Palace, Woodstock -open

A BTA spokeswoman said: "There are so many messages being given out. We have a positive message that not everything is shut.

"All the top attractions and historic sites are going to be open within the next couple of weeks."

It is estimated the tourism industry is losing 120m a week as a result of the crisis.

This is expected to rise further as Easter approaches.

Even sites far from the countryside, such as the Tower of London, are reporting a downturn in visitor numbers, according to the BTA.

The publication of the list of sites open to tourists comes after Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared on American television to persuade US tourists Britain is still "open for business".

Blackpool tower
Blackpool's leisure beach hopes to pull in the crowds

In a rare interview with NBC television, Mr Blair said: "Britain is open for business, you can go to any town, city and village that you want."

The top 20 tourist attractions listed by the BTA which are open to visitors this Easter include Alton Towers, Chessington Zoo and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Historic homes

Nine out of 10 of the most popular historic homes and monuments are accessible.

And English Heritage has now opened almost half of its 409 historic sites.

Hadrian's Wall remains closed.

By 13 April National Trust says it aims to have 200 sites open to the public.

A dog treadmill at Happy Cocks pub in Bristol
There is no excuse for not exercising your dogs

Peter Nixon, Director of Estates for the National Trust, said: "The health of the rural economy is of great concern to the Trust and we want to play a part in getting it back on its feet."

The 12 national parks of England and Wales are enforcing the same guidelines introduced a month ago allowing people to drive and walk on roads.

Only 34 local authorities have reopened footways and bridleways.

One enterprising publican has introduced a new gimmick in an attempt to help out people unable to walk their dogs across fields because of the disease.

Harry Heal, manager of the Happy Cocks pub in Bristol, has installed two treadmills so customers can exercise their dogs while propping up the bar.

The English Visitor Hotline provides information for tourists seven days a week, 1000 to 2000BST, on 0870 241 5659.

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28 Mar 01 | UK Politics
Blair urges return to countryside
28 Mar 01 | UK
The countryside needs you!
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