Southwold/Walberswick: Families holidaying in Suffolk so they can visit landmarks featured on TV shows Grandpa in my Pocket, Spring Watch and Coast
17:11 25 April 2014
The rise of ‘toddler tourism’ is helping to drive a growth in short breaks and getaways to Suffolk.
Industry heads have said exposure the region has enjoyed on television shows – including on Countryfile, property shows and particularly the CBeebies pre-school channel – has served to boost the county’s tourism profile.
Businesses based in Southwold, whose landmarks are key features in Sunnysands the location of hit children’s show Grandpa in My Pocket, has said the daily exposure has brought the region’s attractions to a larger audience.
Alex Paul director of sales and marketing at Gough Hotels, which owns Southwold Pier – the home of Miss Smiley’s Café in the CBeebies show – said: “We can’t monitor direct traffic from Grandpa in My Pocket, but it certainly is an excellent profile for a great iconic attraction.”
Much of the outside footage is shot around Southwold and Walberswick and regularly includes footage of the lighthouse and pier. The “home” of the shrinking Grandpa, played by James Bolam, is Seahorse Cottage on Aldeburgh’s seafront.
Speaking after an Easter holiday that saw thousands enjoy the sunshine at the region’s resorts, Mr Paul said the exposure was great news for the rest of the county, with visitors likely to disperse around the region while strengthening Suffolk’s reputation as a family destination.
He added: “I think inter-generational tourism has now been established and recognised as a trend – families going on an all encompassing break with grandparents and grandkids.
“That’s a growing in domestic tourism. The family goes together; the grandparents can take the kids so the parents get a bit of time out. Predominantly for domestic tourism that’s what we’re seeing. It’s also driving a lot of the business towards short breaks where families are getting together for a long weekend. It’s really growing.”
Keith Brown, chief executive officer at Visit East Anglia, said pester power created by shows such as Grandpa in My Pocket, could be another feather in Suffolk’s cap.
He added: “Certainly the power of the television and things like Spring Watch, Countryfile, Coast and all of those things that have featured Suffolk positively, has given Suffolk a tremendous boost for people thinking ‘I would like to go there’.
“We come across very well on television, which is great.”