‘The Mary Berry effect’ sees surge in interest in historic attraction
It was a year of record visitor numbers, primetime TV and thousands upon thousands of scones for one of Scotland’s favourite visitor attractions, Scone Palace.
The crowning place of the Kings of Scots saw a bumper tourist year with 115,000 visitors through its gates between April and October and a staggering 42,500 buying a scone.
And while the popularity of its home-baked goods kept Palace staff extra busy in the kitchen, they made room for one special visitor: TV cook Mary Berry. Scone Palace was among four country homes featured in BBC One’s Mary Berry’s Country Secrets which saw Mary lift the lid on what it’s like to live in and run a national treasure.
The Earl and Countess of Mansfield, daughter Lady Iona Murray, son Viscount William Stormont and Palace staff entertained TV’s favourite cook, who spent ten days filming there.
The programme, broadcast in November, was so popular that the Palace’s website almost crashed due to an upswing in online interest. Scone Palace also saw a surge in weekend visitors following the programme’s broadcast, along with a jump in bookings for its luxury private accommodation.
Meanwhile, the five-star visitor attraction is looking forward to a busy 2018, with a packed events schedule that includes, for the first time in the U.K., the International Medieval Combat Federation’s World Championships from May 10th to 13th.
Margo Baird, marketing manager at Scone Palace, said:
“2017 has been an exciting and tremendously busy year for us, from regulars like Rewind and the GWCT Scottish Game Fair to our popular Halloween event, Spirits of Scone. No-one could have predicted how big the ‘Mary Berry effect’ would be, and our website almost buckled under the strain!
“Meanwhile, it seems our visitors weren’t just devouring history, they’re loving our scones. Our scones have always been popular but this year sales have been through the roof.”
Margo added: “We’re looking forward to another exciting 2018, and we’ll be sure to plan for lots of scone baking.”
Scone Palace and its grounds will be close for January and will then resume winter hours, when there is free admission to the grounds, coffee shop, food shop, children’s playground and maze each Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Palace itself will re-open to the public on 30 March.
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