More than 130,000 visitors flocked to a new nature reserve in 12 months, tourism figures have shown.
The new Brockholes Nature Reserve at Samlesbury, near Preston, features in a national visitor attractions report, which has a snapshot of 27 tourist hotspots in Lancashire.
The beauty spot played host to 135,780 tourists – a boost of more than a fifth on the previous year.
The report also reveals the Preston Guild celebrations saw more than a million visitors to Avenham and Miller Parks – almost double the usual amount – meaning it beat places like Blackpool’s Sandcastle.
Of the 27 attractions which submitted results, two recorded no change in visitor numbers, and 13 saw increases.
Preston’s Harris Museum saw visitor numbers increase by 1.2 per cent to 220,000, and Martin Mere in Burscough, where 179,166 visited, an increase of 2.4 per cent.
However, 12 attractions saw a significant drop. Bowland Wild Boar Park, in the Ribble Valley, had 30,000 visitors, a drop of 14.3 per cent.
Lancashire County Council has also revealed visitor numbers for the 13 attractions it runs.
The Museum of Lancashire had 3,692 visitors for 2012 according to the national survey, partly due its closure and refurbishment, but in 2012 to 2013 had nearly a ten-fold higher figure of 34,668, which has been attributed to extra visitors drawn in by Preston Guild.
County Coun Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “The county council’s museums are an important part of Lancashire’s visitor economy, and 2012/13 was a good year as there was a 13 per cent increase in visitors across all our museums up from 288,371 in 2011/12 to 325,959.
“The Museum of Lancashire was particularly successful, seeing an increase in visitors of over 100 per cent in 2012/13, compared to the last full year of opening, prior to its refurbishment and reopening in November 2011.”
Lancashire Conservation Studios, a specialist facility in Preston, saw visitors increase by more than a fifth from 2,451 to 2,972. The Judge’s Lodgings in Lancaster enjoyed a three per cent increase in visitors and Lancaster Castle, which used to house a prison until 2011, had a boost of 15.1 per cent, after previously unseen parts of the castle were opened to the public. It had 56,060 visitors.
But other attractions in Lancaster saw falls, including the City Museum, where numbers fell from 53,978 to 51,474, and the Maritime Museum, which had 15, 870 visitors in 2012 compared to 17,037 the previous year.
Clitheroe Castle museum, which underwent a major refurbishment, had the largest number of tourists, with an increase of almost a fifth from 58,591 to 69,271 visitors.