Another West bank holiday weekend bows out in the rain
This summer’s wind and rain blew in yet again to bring the bank holiday to a disappointing end, but the ill wind for some is proving good business for one West attraction.
Wookey Hole Caves in Somerset is reporting visitor numbers up on the same period last year. While it promises entertainment for all ages, it is also able to trade on the one big asset our prehistoric ancestors appreciated – it’s weather-proof.
“We are doing well, we are up six per cent on last year in the caves, and the hotel is up 21 per cent on last year, which was its first full year,” said general manager Daniel Medley as the rain came down yesterday.
Indoor or undercover attractions were definitely the favourites yesterday, although some took to the beaches, glad at least to have time to relax in the great outdoors.
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At Weymouth and Portland, crowds turned out to see the Paralympic Flame make its journey from Portland Castle, by boat across to Weymouth Harbour in a relay run by disabled sportsmen and women and support organisations.
The twin resorts will host Paralympic Sailing events from September 1-6.
Hoteliers and guesthouse owners blamed the Olympic Games for vacancies, saying fears of traffic jams, which never materialised, put off hundreds of regular visitors.
Yesterday David Price, chairman of Weymouth and Portland Hoteliers and Guest House Leaseholders Association, said: “Trade has picked up since the Olympics, it’s just got back to normal. The public sports and extra entertainment are still here for the Paralympics, and we are still hoping for good weather and an extended season in September and October.”
Overnight rain brought a 15-minute delay to the start of yesterday’s crucial CB40 cricket match at Somerset County Cricket ground in which Somerset faced Surrey where the Cidermen were aiming to win through to the semi-finals and the day’s play was later abandoned.
Scotland was facing the worst of the bad weather, with threats of floods and winds gusting to 55 miles per hour. The West escaped lightly on Saturday and Sunday, avoiding the flooding which saw the Creamfields festival site in Cheshire flooded. Yesterday rain blown in from Cornwall made the West one of the unluckiest regions. Party-goers at the Notting Hill Carnival in London were expecting just a few showers.
The forecast looks brighter for today with sunny spells. It will be a mixed week, with heavy showers returning from the West on Wednesday, but drier, sunnier weather is forecast for Thursday and Friday.