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The National Lottery reveals the top ‘Happy Places’ in the UK

1st June 2021

  • Eighty-one per cent of UK adults have missed their happy place during lockdown
  • Kew Gardens, Eden Project, Snowdonia National Park and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park feature in the top 10 happy places across the UK
  • Giant’s Causeway tops the UK’s bucket list of attractions to visit in the future
  • Photographer Tom Oldham has captured a portrait series of people back in their ‘happy place’, including Nicola Adams OBE, John Barnes MBE, and British swimmer and Olympic hopeful, Daniel Jervis
  • To say thank you for the £30million raised for good causes every week by its players, The National Lottery is offering a ‘Ticket to Your Happy Place’, with special offers and free entry during The National Lottery Open Week 5-13 June and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend 19-20 June
Olympic boxing champion, Nicola Adams OBE, at the Fight for Peace Academy boxing ring in London

New research out today from The National Lottery reveals how much the public has missed visiting their ‘happy place’ – their favourite visitor attraction or venue – during lockdown restrictions, as well as the most popular ‘happy place’ locations around the UK.

The research was commissioned to celebrate The National Lottery Open Week and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend this month, which sees venues around the UK offer discounts and free entry as a thank you to National Lottery players for the £30million raised for good causes every week.

The types of ‘happy places’ missed most in lockdown are the wider UK countryside (45%), heritage sites such as castles and gardens with historical value (33%), and theatres or cinemas (31%).

London’s Kew Gardens (15%) came out top as the place most people would consider their ‘happy place’, followed by the Eden Project in the South West of England (13%), Snowdonia National Park in Wales (13%) and the Natural History Museum in London (12%). Stonehenge, The British Museum, Bath’s Roman Baths, ZSL London Zoo, and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park also feature in the top 10.

The Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland was the most popular attraction on people’s bucket list (13%) when asked where they would most like to visit in the future, as well as being the most popular place to visit in Northern Ireland.

The study of 2,000 adults reveals that eight in 10 (81%) have missed their ‘happy place’ during lockdown, whilst just under half (48%) have developed a greater appreciation of the UK’s visitor attractions, cultural sites, history, and art in the wake of the pandemic. People are also keen to get back to the places that they love with over half (57%) intending to visit their happy place at the earliest possible opportunity. When asked why their chosen venue is their happy place, UK adults said that “it cheers me up” (40%), “it never fails to amaze me (34%) and “I feel like I can be myself there” (20%).

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum, says that The National Lottery Open Week and Cinema Weekend will be a great chance for people to get back to the places they most enjoy:

National Lottery Open Week and The National Lottery Cinema Weekend are really exciting moments in the year for us, where an amazing variety of venues and projects across the UK give thanks to National Lottery players for the £30 million they raise each week for good causes. “Now, more than ever, people are excited to rediscover their happy place, or find a new one close to home, and we’re proud that so many incredible spaces across the arts, screen, heritage, sport, and community sectors have signed up to offer their thanks.”

Ros Kerslake, Chief Executive of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Chair of the National Lottery Forum

Former Liverpool and England star John Barnes MBE

The National Lottery has also commissioned photographer, Tom Oldham, to capture a portrait series celebrating people revisiting their happy places following lockdown.

Subjects include double Olympic boxing champion, Nicola Adams OBE, at the Fight for Peace Academy boxing ring in London; ex Liverpool and England star John Barnes MBE, reminiscing at Wembley Stadium; and British swimmer and Olympic hopeful, Daniel Jervis, back in the Wales National Pool in Swansea. The series also includes architect Akiko Kobayashi in her beloved Collective art gallery in Edinburgh; local wildlife photographer, Tal Chohan, at RSPB Sandwell in Birmingham; and writer and film director, Marley Morrison, at the BFI Southbank, London. All photographed venues will be taking part in The National Lottery Open Week or The National Lottery Cinema Weekend.

The research also revealed:

  • Over half (55%) of UK adults associate their ‘happy places’ with their childhood
  • Two thirds (66%) have taken their little ones to their happy place in the hope they will enjoy them as much as they do
  • Value for money (44%) and fun (37%) are what people look for most in their favourite attraction or venue
  • On average, those polled have felt a special connection to a particular UK attraction for around 14 years – visiting it nine times in total.
  • Around half (53%) prefer to visit these locations with their partner, while 31% prefer to go with their kids, and a quarter (25%) would rather head there with friends.

From Saturday 5 to Sunday 13 June, The National Lottery Open Week line-up includes free entry as well as exclusive discounts and special offers at attractions and experiences across the UK, for anyone with a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard. From galleries and museums, to historic castles and gardens as well sports stadiums and nature reserves, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

And for those whose happy place is enjoying a film at the cinema, The National Lottery Cinema Weekend, in partnership with the BFI, will take place on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 June at around 500 cinema sites across the UK. Cinema Weekend will make over 200,000 free adult tickets available for any film screening across the weekend, as a thank you to National Lottery players for their vital contribution to film.

TOP 5 BEST ATTRACTIONS IN ENGLAND
1. Kew Gardens, London
2. Eden Project, Cornwall
3. Natural History Museum, London
4. British Museum, London
5. Stonehenge, Wiltshire

TOP 5 ATTRACTIONS IN SCOTLAND

1. Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
2. Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh
3. National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
4. Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow
5. Hampden Park, Glasgow

TOP 5 ATTRACTIONS IN WALES

1. Snowdonia National Park
2. Cardiff Castle
3. Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways, Snowdonia
4. National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Cardiff
5. St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff

TOP 5 ATTRACTIONS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

1. Giant’s Causeway
2. Mourne Mountains
3. Tropical Ravine at Botanic Gardens, Belfast
4. Ulster Museum, Belfast
5. St George’s Market, Belfast

Lotteries Minister John Whittingdale commented:

"I'm delighted to see so many 'happy places' such as Kew Gardens, the Natural History Museum and the Eden Project now reopening for people to enjoy once more. The National Lottery Open Week is a great way to say thank you to players who contribute so much to our cultural fabric every week, and highlight that our heritage and tourism sector is back open for business as we head into what promises to be a Great British summer."

Lotteries Minister, John Whittingdale

To explore the full selection of offers available to National Lottery players, including offers taking place online, please visit www.NationalLotteryUnlocked.com

Terms and conditions and booking instructions across special offers will vary, check the individual offer listing for details.

Please check your relevant national and local authority website for more information on COVID-19 restrictions where you live before booking and refer to local guidance before travelling.

Notes to editors

Please contact tnl@inklingculture.agency for further info and assets.

*Pending confirmation that restrictions will be relaxed in line with government roadmaps across the UK

Consumer research was conducted with 2,000 respondents in May 2021 by One Poll

About The National Lottery:

- National Lottery players raise around £30 million every week for good causes.
- Since The National Lottery’s first draw took place on 19 November 1994, more than £42 billion has been raised for good causes in the areas of arts, sport, heritage and community
- Since 1994, The National Lottery has awarded over 625,000 individual grants across the UK.
- The majority (70 per cent) of National Lottery grants are for £10,000 or less, helping small projects make a big difference in their community!
- For more information, please visit https://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk

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