The East Riding of Yorkshire Council leader’s column with Richard Burton: the area has a lot to offer tourists

The Yorkshire Wolds attracts cyclists and hikers to the area.
The Yorkshire Wolds attracts cyclists and hikers to the area.

Early July saw an upturn in the weather, with the sun shining and temperatures rising. Summer had well and truly arrived in the East Riding.

With the school holidays around the corner, many of our residents and visitors from further afield will be looking for activities to keep the children entertained or will be holidaying in the East Riding over the coming weeks.

The East Riding is home to picturesque countryside, stunning coastlines and vibrant market towns. It really does have something to offer everyone.

I recently attended the Visit Hull and East Yorkshire (VHEY) Tourism Conference, where it was announced that tourism is worth £565million every year to the East Riding economy and supports thousands of jobs.

Those are staggering statistics, but when you look at the fantastic and diverse offer of the East Riding, it is not difficult to see why tourism is such big business for our region!

Bridlington and the surrounding coastline is a terrific example of this.

From the sun-lit promenades to the magnificent beaches, the town’s seafront alone attracted tens of thousands of visitors last weekend.

Many of which took advantage of the park and ride facility and enjoyed a jaunt on the recently-refurbished land trains.

The council’s venues – Bridlington Spa, East Riding Leisure Bridlington and the jewel in the East Riding crown, Sewerby Hall and Gardens – also enjoyed bumper crowds.

It was a real pleasure to see so many people, particularly families, out and about enjoying themselves and, most importantly, it was an opportunity for local businesses to capitalise and attract visitor spend.

Earlier I mentioned the diversity of the East Riding’s tourism offer being a key strength.

A good example of this is nature tourism, which sees thousands of people flock to our area to see wildlife, including the magnificent seabird colonies at RSPB Bempton.

Cycling and hiking are two other leisure pursuits that are growing in popularity, with the Yorkshire Wolds emerging as a destination of choice.

This in turn benefits towns like Pocklington and Market Weighton as visitors look for places to eat, drink and stay.

The entertainment industry is another beneficiary of our tourism sector. Nowhere is this truer than in Pocklington where the popular Pocklington Arts Centre continues to go from strength-to-strength.

The award-winning venue has a varied entertainment programme of live music, theatre, cinema and exhibitions and workshops. Making it well worth a visit.

For those looking for low-cost or free activities to keep the children busy this summer, I would thoroughly recommend checking out the council’s School’s Out programme.

A free brochure will be sent to homes of families with children aged four to 11 or it can be picked up from council venues, including customer service centres, libraries and leisure centres.

School’s Out includes a number of events, including those organised as part of the council’s successful Active Coast programme.

For further information about what is on offer this summer, visit www.eastriding.gov.uk or follow the council on Twitter and Facebook.