Olympic Media - Visit Lancashire
Wednesday, 22nd August 2012
As the Olympic Games came to a spectacular close on Sunday 12 August, Marketing Lancashire and VisitEngland were putting final touches to a two day tour of Lancashire, which was offered to unaccredited media through the London Media Centre. Hundreds of unaccredited media arrived in England to cover the social and cultural events surrounding the Olympics, with a view to producing broadcasts and features promoting the country’s appeal to visitors now and in the future.
Marketing Lancashire worked closely with VisitEngland on a schedule that included: an introduction to this year’s Preston Guild celebrations and Lancashire history, hosted by the Museum of Lancashire and Vice Chairman of Lancashire County Council, Cllr Michael Devaney ; a tour of the Pendle Heritage Centre and introduction to the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witch Trials, with a VIP preview of the new Pendle Sculpture Trail accompanied by artist Philippe Handford and Pendle Tourism Manager, Mike Williams; a tour of Lancaster Castle from Castle Manager Colin Penny, with a rare glimpse into the now decommissioned prison and Witches’ Dungeon; afternoon tea in the world famous Tower Ballroom, entry to The Tower Eye and 4D experience and Blackpool Dungeon, hosted by Marketing Blackpool’s Natalie Wyatt and Iain Hawkins of Merlin.
The group of 11, which travelled from London to Preston on Tuesday 14 August 2012 accompanied by staff from VisitEngland, included journalists from China and Italy, as well as freelance UK journalists writing for a variety of national and international media. They were welcomed at Preston station by Guild Mayor of the City of Preston, Cllr Carl Crompton and Guild volunteers.
Commenting on the visit Rebecca Holloway, Head of PR for VisitEngland said “It was a pleasure working with Marketing Lancashire on the recent Olympic Media visit, which introduced media from China and Italy, as well as UK freelance travel writers to the delights of Lancashire.
“The group was initially attracted by unique events such as the Preston Guild and the 400th Anniversary of the Lancashire Witches, but found a destination packed full of interesting places to visit and a genuinely warm welcome at every stop. The feedback from the tour has been excellent, with Lancashire having made a positive and lasting impression on the group, most stating that they aim to return in the near future.”
The group stayed overnight at Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex, in Langho where they enjoyed a fine Lancashire tasting menu which included local delicacies such as: Black Pudding Fritters, Morecambe Bay Potted Shrimps, Lancashire Hotpot, Winberry Crumble and Lancashire cheeses.
Manager of this family run hotel, Barbara Bryan, also treated the guests to a golf buggy ride to the top of the golf course, where they watched a stunning sunset with uninterrupted views across the Ribble Valley towards Blackpool and the Trough of Bowland. Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex was winner of the 2011/12 Tourism Award for Small Hotel of the Year and 2011/12 Tourism Award for Sustainable Tourism.
“We were delighted to accommodate this special group of visitors and to give them a real taste of Lancashire hospitality. We worked with Marketing Lancashire to ensure that the time we had with the group was full of fun things to do and really great local things to eat” commented Barbara
“The whole family and staff were involved in the event and each found the experience very rewarding. This was an important trip for Lancashire and we’re proud to have been involved. We’ve already received some very kind and generous feedback from the group so hope to see them again very soon. ”
A selection of comments from the group follows:
“I had a wonderful time, learnt loads and am inspired to visit the region again.”
“Have met very nice people, have experienced amazing trip.
I’m sure I will be there again in the future.”
"The nature was incredible, history fascinating and the team was good fun!"
“Had a fantastic time and got to try two new things – driving a golf buggy and
Ballroom dancing! You can’t get much better than that.”
“Lancashire people are the nicest people”
Anna Izza, Communications Manager, Marketing Lancashire 01772 426 459
Preston : The group are welcomed on arrival at Preston Station by Cllr Carl Crompton - Guild Mayor of the City of Preston and Guild Volunteers.
Ribble Valley : The group at Best Western Mytton Fold Hotel and Golf Complex, hosted by family members Barbara Bryan (centre) with mum, Mrs Lillian Hargreaves and sister Mrs Carole Mather. Brother, David Hargreaves, at the back.
Pendle : The group at Pendle Sculpture Trail, Aitken Wood with artist Philippe Handford (centre - black shirt) next to Michael Williams of Pendle Borough Council.
Lancaster: The group at Lancaster Castle with Manager, Colin Penny.
Blackpool: The group were very impressed with the architecture and popularity of the Blackpool Tower Ballroom.