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Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds fourth most visited free attraction in England last year

An historic Bury St Edmunds site was among the most visited free attractions in England last year.

The Abbey Gardens was the fourth highest free visitor attraction in the UK in 2021, beaten only by Brighton Pier, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum.

Research by VisitEngland revealed 1,276,864 people passed through the gates of the Abbey in 2021, the highest figure for two years.

Figures for 2020 show 1,021,048 visited the Abbey Gardens, while in 2019 there were 1,228,564 visitors.

The Abbey was also the most visited attraction in the East of England in 2021, with Clacton Pier the second highest.

VisitEngland Director Andrew Stokes said: “From our world-renowned museums, galleries, castles and historic houses to our rural, wildlife and outdoor attractions, our outstanding visitor attractions are crucial to our tourism offer, also boosting local economies across England.

"We know it has also been a mixed picture for many attractions across England this summer highlighting the importance of extending the season through autumn and beyond.”